Why Do Cats Meow Before They Poop – Concerns & Reasons

Cats have many interesting habits, but one you may have noticed is your cats meowing before they poop. Shouldn’t the litter box be a place of relief, not pain? Well, with cats it can be a bit of both. If you have noticed this behavior of, you are probably concerned. So, why do cats meow before they poop? 

Cats meow before they poop to signify they are going to the bathroom. Instinctively, they also meow to scare away predators while in this stationary position. Meowing before pooping is also related to cats who are experiencing urinary tract infections, or painful bowel movements. 

If your cat has always meowed before using the litter box, then it is most likely nothing to worry about. However, if meowing before pooping is not a usual habit for your cat or if your cat’s meow is a higher-pitched “crying” sound, there may be a medical issue that needs attention. 

Why Does My Cat Cry When Using the Litter Box

If your cat has recently developed this habit, has a high-pitched meow, or has any other unusual signs such as straining or other symptoms of pain, it is time to take your kitty to the vet because there may be a health issue.

One issue that comes up is UTI or urinary crystals. Thsoe can be painful, not only when your cat is urinating, but also when it has a bowel movement. As the bowel movement moves down, it can put pressure on the urethra, causing pain.

It’s also possible that your cat may have Cystitis. Your cat may have difficulty urinating, and it may be painful, hence the meowing. Other signs of Cystitis include frequent urination, blood in the urine, urinating outside the litter box, and over-grooming around the back end.

There may be a blockage in your feline’s intestinal tract. This may make it difficult or nearly impossible to pass a bowel movement. The vet will most likely need to perform abdominal x-rays or ultrasonography to confirm if there is a blockage or not.

Your cat may also have worms. You will need to keep an eye on the consistency of its poop and look out for worms in the waste itself or around your cat’s bottom. 

In another case, your cat may need a visit to the vet and will need to take dewormer. Your cat may also be old or have an upset stomach, making it uncomfortable for it to use the restroom.

What Does Unhealthy Cat Poop Look Like

It can be a little tricky deciding whether or not your cat has healthy bowel movements, but it may also be necessary to investigate your cat’s poop as weird as it sounds. Abnormal poop can mean health problems. What does unhealthy poop look like in a cat?

There are different types of unhealthy poop. 

  • If the poop is too hard, it could be causing your cat pain when it passes a bowel movement. Its poop should be soft like play-doh or clay.
  • Poop that is a darker, blackish color can indicate blood in the stool. This is an issue that should be brought to the attention of your vet promptly.
  • Droppings that are too light can indicate other issues such as liver disease. It may be an indicator that the duct is blocked. Small, hard balls of poop could mean that there is a metabolic or neurological condition. It may also mean that there is an obstruction in the colon.
  • Liquid stools are also a type of unhealthy bowel movement. Diarrhea can indicate infections, food intolerance, or even parasites.

Healthy stools should be soft like clay, medium brown colored, and shaped like a tootsie roll. Also remember, the coloring of the poop can say a lot about it, even if it is soft. 

In addition to monitoring how the poop looks, you should take time as a cat owner to smell it during your examination. Cat poop should smell bad, but it should not smell oddly foul. If you notice your cats litter odor starts to have an off scent to it, but it’s new or clean litter, you may want to investigate further. 

Why Is My Cat Meowing Like He’s In Pain

As I said above, some cats meow just for benign reasons, but it may be that your cat is in pain. On top of some of the conditions above, your cat may have other underlying health conditions.

Perineal Hernias can make it more difficult to poop, which may cause your cat to have to strain frequently. Bowel movements may also feel uncomfortable as they pass by the perineal hernia.

Your cat may also be constipated due to dehydration. Dehydration is really common in cats because they tend to knock their bowls of water all the time. If this is the case, be sure your cat always has access to a clean water source. Your vet may suggest adding a little Pedialyte or other electrolyte balancing liquid, but be sure to check with your vet before you do this.

Another way you can ensure your cat always has water is to invest in a good water fountain system. Make sure to get something sturdy that your cat can’t knock over. 

Cats don’t get hemorrhoids in the same way humans do; however, they do get similar conditions. These can include proctitis, rectal and anal prolapse, an anal sac infection, impaction, or an abscess. All of these can cause painful bowel movements.

If your cat has had previous issues using the litter box, they may develop this habit because they associate it with a previous painful bowel movement issue.

What Should I Do If My Cat Is Meowing Before Pooping

If your cat has been doing this for a long time, it may just be a quirky habit and may be nothing to worry about it. As weird as it sounds, watch your cat use the litter box. Look for signs of straining or pain. Watch how long it takes your cat to use the restroom or to produce a bowel movement from the time it starts to the time it finishes.  

Examine your cat’s droppings to see if you notice worms. See what shape, color and consistency it is. Listen to the cat’s meow. Is it chattery, is it loud and high pitched? 

To be safe, you can always take your cat to the vet to have it evaluated if you notice changes in its bowel habits in association with the meowing.

Why Does My Cat Howl After Using the Litter Box

Cats may howl after their bowel movement because, again, the bowel movement may have been painful.

Checking your cat’s droppings after it is finished may give you an indicator as to whether or not there was an issue. If you don’t notice anything odd about the droppings themselves, you may need to monitor your cat’s next litter box trip.

Female cats will sometimes howl when they are in heat, even when using the litter box. If you have an unfixed female cat, you will have likely heard that yowling sound before and will be familiar with the sound.

Sometimes your cat may be telling you to clean its litter box. Cat’s don’t like to have a messy litter box. Our cats communicate with us in many different ways. They will likely meow at you when they are hungry. The same goes for when their litter space is not clean. 

They like clean potties too!

Sometimes cats will howl after using the litter box because they don’t like the smell of their poop, and they are ready to get out of there! Another reason could be because they want to let you know that they pooped. 

It might also be possible that your cat just doesn’t like the litter box they are using. While that fancy automatic litter box might be convenient for you, it could be annoying to the cat; especially if it makes a lot of noise. Your cat could be afraid of the experience and it’s letting you know through their howl. 

Whatever the reason, keep an eye on them to look for changes or signs of pain or discomfort. You know your cat. Listen to your gut if you feel like there may be something wrong with theirs. If crying or howling while using the litter box is not an everyday occurrence for your cat, a conversation with your vet may be the best thing to do.

Final Thoughts

Cats meow all the time before they poop, but it’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes all they want is your attention.

Many animals prefer not to be alone while they are using the restroom. While they are using the restroom, they are vulnerable, and having you present means safety in numbers. Sometimes, it may be the opposite. Some cats prefer not to feel like they are being watched while they are using the restroom. Other cats may just be announcing to the household that they are using the restroom.

You know your cat better than anyone else, so you will most likely notice signs of distress.


Welcome to FAQCats! We are a team of cat owners and writers who love to write about everything related to cats. We strive to provide the most accurate and helpful information about cats through extensive research and caring for our own fur-pals!

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