Why does my cat run around like a maniac when he's got to poop?

One of our cats, god bless his little soul, tends to wig out when he’s got to poop. His pupils get wide, he runs around and meows at the walls, jumps into the box and back out, runs around a bit more, jumps back in the box, has his stinky little bowel movement, runs away as fast as possible, caroms off a wall or two, returns to the box (or, occasionally, hides under a desk) to finish pooping, then scampers off as though the devil were trying to clip his back claws. On a particularly amusing day, he’ll try to run through a closed wooden door as a finale.

We’re used to it. We’ve had him for over a decade. He’s always been like this. We asked our vet about it early in the cat’s life, and the vet said it was not unusual cat behavior. I’m not expecting him to change.

But I’m really starting to wonder about the evolutionary advantages of being unable to poop without attracting the attention of every living creature within a quarter mile radius. At the very least, it seems like this behavior would end up in a lot of cats braining themselves on a tree trunk.

So. Why does my cat, and apparently other cats, go a little psycho when it’s time for a bowel movement? Anyone have a clue?

Cats do that too? I thought it was just me…

Seriously, is it possible there’s something painful or unpleasant the fella associates with pooping? Changing habits or behavior around the box could be a sign of serious problem but this just sounds like a personal quirk.

My first thought would be that he has constipation problems. Ever thought about adding some oil to his diet? Especially if he eats dry cat food.

Actually, he got constipated once a couple of years ago, and since then has had extra fiber in his diet and a healthy serving of canned food every day, per the vet’s recommendations. He used to eat only dry food, but the behavior didn’t change when his diet did.

We have asked different vets about this “problem” over the years, and none have thought the crazy behavior was symptomatic of anything, since he’s done it all his life.

Also, I should clarify that he doesn’t do it every time he poops – probably three or four times a week, at most. But only for pooping, and definitely on a regular basis.

So just to clarify, while advice is certainly interesting, I’m not so much hoping to solve the problem – which isn’t so much a problem as an amusing quirk – as to understand it better. Of course, if it can be solved, that’s lovely, but more for his comfort than mine.

Our cat doesn’t go nuts before she poops, but she goes completely psycho after she does, sometimes. Racing around the house, skidding off the lino and flailing into walls and doors.

http://www.tomatonation.com/catwalks.shtml - offers some possible explanations :smiley:

Ah, the Poo Gallop. It’s funny 'cause it’s true.

At the very least, I’m glad to hear that other people are familiar with the phenomenon.

Possible causes:

Anal gland inflammation/infection
tapeworm segments being passed
sexual abuse (just kidding)

Probably for the same reason I do. Often at work you will see me running up and down the halls screaming, “I have to sht! I have to sht!”.

I’m sure this doesn’t help, but my cat goes completely wiggy sometimes for no cause that I can discern whatsoever. At least you can associate your cat’s spasticity with something concrete and consistent. “Cats can see ghosts” is about as plausible as any other reason I can come up with for my cat’s behavior.

Our dog does the same thing … often when we take her outside for her potty break she gets all silly and runs around in circles and then settles down for her poop.

Our cat likes to poop when one of us is in the room - he likes to torture us with the smell I think. Then he doesn’t cover it up!!! Little stinker … literally … yuck.

My suggestion was oil, not fiber - a diet low in fats (and each body, whether human or feline, has a slightly different ideal balance) can lead to slower and more difficult passage of food through the intestines. Unless your cat is already seriously overweight, I’d still suggest a bit more oil. Very few cats will turn up their noses at any kind of oil added to their food, so you could use whatever you’ve got - olive, canola, corn, whatever.

And you might take due note of vetbridge’s non-humorous suggestions. You’ve been around longer than I have, so I assume you know that he is a vet with some years in small animal practice. Anal gland problems aren’t the least bit unusual for pet cats (or dogs). And parasites are always a possibility, unless your cat has been recently de-wormed with a multi-species product. Even if your cat is strictly a housecat, there’s always the possibility of someone who has walked through a grassy area bringing worm eggs in on their shoes. It’s usually a relatively remote possibility, of course, but YNK. I searched Pseudocoprastasis and found nothing, but when I searched coprastasis, I got coprOstasis suggested back, which got some results. Maybe vetbridge will enlighten us about what Pseudocoprostasis is?

:smiley: When long haired cats get fecal matter stuck in their hair around the rectal area it can occlude and preclude further defication. The way to justify the money I make in producing the diagnosis is by calling it pseudocoprastasis. :smiley:

(and it is a legit medical term)

I can’t believe nobody has added this yet…

It’s sooooo simple!!!
He’s got the runs… :smiley:
<Butler runs away to cause havok elsewhere!>

Maybe your cat want “mirron dollahs” and is on the Japanese game show, “Who Poo Last?”.