The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Does Your Cat Have Peculiar Bathroom Habits…Like Bolting, and Zooming?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Does Your Cat Have Peculiar Bathroom Habits…Like Bolting, and Zooming?

Cat lovers know that their feline family members can have very peculiar bathroom habits.

Arguably, the greatest mystery of these behaviors is when cats use the litter box.

Bolting out of the litter box is a bizarre phenomenon, and the theories aiming to explain it are quite varied.

Some say post-poop freak-outs, or "zoomies," are a carryover survival instinct, so that predators can't trace the smell back to the kitty responsible for it.

Others, including a veterinarian, say that it can be a sign of discomfort stemming from food allergies or even an infection.

Still others, including another veterinarian, say that using the litter box might lend some fresh energy to cats, and they burn off the high with a favorite exercise: running frantically around the house.

It could also be that cats run to cast off any remnants of waste. Or perhaps kitties sprint, some cat lovers speculate, because they can't stand the smell of their own droppings.

Or maybe it is just exactly what it often looks like: a sign of happiness and exhilaration.

In humans, the vagus nerve, which descends from the brainstem to the colon and is stimulated during defecation, can cause all kinds of reactions, even feelings of exhilaration, according to gastroenterologist Dr. Anish Sheth, who wrote "What's Your Poo Telling You."

A similar phenomenon could be occurring in cats and could explain why cats seem elated and happy, running around and scratching their scratching posts with joy, Erin Willis, animal physiologist at Oklahoma State University, told The Dodo.

"Dr. Sheth calls the pleasurable sensation with defecation 'poo-phoria.' Good name for humans I guess, but the term 'poop crazies' is much better for cats, in my opinion, since they essentially run around like crazy cats afterwards," Willis said, adding that there is very little research on the matter.

Whatever the reasons are, we just keep scooping — and sweeping up the litter.



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