Here’s Why Your Cat Runs Out of the Litter Box

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Have you ever noticed that your cat will go to his litter box, do his business, and then run out of there as though he’s being chased by something? Then you’ve probably wondered what the deal is with this odd behavior. A few possible explanations are below to help you better understand your feisty feline friend.

First Off, There Might Be a Medical Problem

Before getting into other potential reasons for your kitty’s strange post-litter-box habits, it is important to let you know that some cats may run out of the box if they are feeling discomfort or outright pain when they go to the bathroom.

Related: 5 Fresh And Effective Ways To Control Litter Box Odor

For example, a cat might be suffering from inflammation or an infection within the urinary tract, rectum, or colon. So it might be a good idea to have your pet examined by a veterinarian in order to rule out these problems, especially if your cat is showing other symptoms of being unwell.

A Few Theories

It turns out that even feline experts aren’t quite sure why some cats bolt out of their litter box while others don’t. Here are a few of the more common theories that they have come up with:

  • One theory claims that, even though kittens need their mothers to clean themselves off after they go to the bathroom, adult cats want to flaunt their independence and basically get your attention to let you know about what they have accomplished.

Related: The Most Common Litter Box Mistakes You’re Making

  • Some cats might feel better after they have done their business in the box. So there is also the idea that kitties who feel relieved will showcase their happiness by sprinting.
  • Another theory states that kitties who are experiencing digestive problems, such as constipation or diarrhea, may want to rush out of the litter box ASAP in order to get away from the issue.
  • There is also a theory that touches upon the evolution of felines. As you know, cats typically dig a hole in order to cover their waste. This behavior seems to have been passed down to domestic kitties from their wild ancestors. Beyond burying their waste, though, cats might not like the idea of even being near an area where waste is found. So rather than potentially exposing themselves to pathogens and parasites, they would prefer going to the bathroom, covering it up, and leaving it behind.
  • Yet another theory also taps into the evolution of cats, this time focusing on the fact that they are both predator and prey. If a cat were to defecate in the great outdoors, he might make himself vulnerable to attacks from other animals. The scent and sight of the waste could give away a cat’s location, so burying it and running away from the area might help a cat survive, just in case a predator is nearby. But what about cats who don’t bury their poop, you say? Well, experts claim that those might be dominant felines who are so confident in their ability to fight an enemy and win that they don’t even care about covering their poop. Or they’re just in a hurry to get out of the area and find safer ground.

When it comes down to it, no one really knows why some kitties run out of their litter box. But as long as your furbaby isn’t exhibiting signs of illness and he doesn’t have any medical conditions that need to be addressed, you don’t really need to worry. It’s just one of many behaviors that help maintain the mystery of our feline companions.


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