Vet Info for Pet Parents

When Poopy Time Is Loopy Time: How To Figure Out Your Cat's Craziness Before And After His Trips To The Litter Box

While there's a general acceptance that cats often exhibit inexplicable behavior, when your feline is acting funny around the time they feel the urge to poop, it may cause you some concern. After all, potty-time can tell a lot about an individual's health, so it's only natural to wonder if all the odd behavior before and after a stop in the litter box means that anything is wrong.

The Behavior You May Be Aghast To Witness

Your feline may dart around the house quickly, bouncing from one spot to another with no discernible destination or purpose. He may also make noises that are special to this specific occasion. Careful not to get in his way during this routine, lest you fall victim to a random clawing, not intentionally meant for you, his human, but just a normal part of the animal's reflexes. 

You should see pretty much the same actions when your cat needs to "go", although some dances may be lengthier or more elaborate than others. Keep an eye on him, picking up the possible mess left in his trail, while keeping yourself out of his way.

Why A Cat Would Act In Such A Way

While there's no actual scientific consensus as to why some cats act so strangely when anticipating a bowel movement, most experts agree that it's an instinctive response, left over from when the animal was surviving in the wild. Back then, if a feline was too casual about when and where they deposited their business, it might have been easier for a predator to find them. Hence, acting erratically meant the cat was less likely to be tracked down by his enemies.

When To Worry That Something Might Actually Be Wrong

Any behavior you don't normally witness could mean your cat is having difficulties, especially if his cries seem more an indication of pain than of fleeing from imaginary predators. It's important to inspect whatever is dropped in the box, looking out for particularly hard movements or any other unusual factors, such as being too runny, too little or too much or having anything other than fecal matter, including blood or mucus.

Also, keep track of how often your cat is making trips the box for solid drops, as he should do this about once every day or so. While his personal schedule may deviate somewhat, you need to ensure that he doesn't go for too long without a poop. Under some circumstances, odd behavior before or after a movement could be something other than a call of the wild, from temporary constipation to parasitic infection. As a good pet parent, it's your job to (try to) decipher the behavior, along with evaluating the eventual outcomes.

For most felines, a pre and/or post-poop ritual is normal; however, it never hurts to ask your veterinarian about anything you feel, as the cat's keeper, may be "off" or simply too weird, even for these infamously unpredictable animals. Your feline may simply have his own peculiar poop dance or he could actually be telling you that something is, in fact, amiss, but either way, your vet can help you figure it out.

For more information, contact animal hospitals such as Norwin Veterinary Hospital.