Adult cats use meows to communicate only with humans.
When my cat meows at the door, she’s likely asking to be let outside. When she meows when I arrive home from work, she’s likely offering you a friendly greeting. When she meows before dinner time, she’s asking for food!
You may have noticed your cat meows loudly after using the litter box, which can be a pretty strange and noisy experience. I often hear my cat yowling after using the litter box, and it got me wondering what she was trying to say. Why does this happen, and will she always do it?
As it turns out, there are a few different things that your kitty could be trying to communicate. They could simply be making you aware that they’ve gone to the toilet, or telling you there’s something that needs cleaning up. However, it can also be a sign of pain and certain medical conditions.
In this article, I look at ten reasons why your cat meows loudly after using the litter box. I’ll also give you some pointers on how to work out which scenario applies to you and when to contact the vet. If something is wrong, it’s better to sort it out sooner rather than later!
Why Does My Cat Meow After Pooping & Peeing?
If your cat meows loudly after using its litter box, it may seem strange. However, it is normal in cats and often nothing to worry about. In general, if your cat has always meowed after going to the bathroom, you’ve no cause for concern. But if their behavior has suddenly changed, you need to figure out why.
Their meowing could be their way of simply informing you of their actions, asking you to clean their tray, or requesting help. However, several medical conditions can make it painful for your cat to eliminate causing them to yowl and meow every time they go.
Here’s a look at all of the possible explanations in more detail so you can find out why this strange behavior is happening.
1. Letting You Know They’ve Eliminated
It is surprisingly common for cats to enjoy announcing to their owners that they have done their businesses for no particular reason a all. Vets and scientists are not sure why our cats feel the need to let their owners know, but many cats have the urge to do so – probably for attention!
Whether or not your cat meows after peeing or pooping just for the sake of it will likely depend on how vocal they are in general. My cat is very verbal in nature and meows constantly, whereas other felines may be much less vocal. If, like me, you also have a chatterbox as a pet, don’t be surprised if your cat is just meowing to tell you about their actions.
If this is the reason your cat meows after pooping or peeing, this behavior will be no new thing – they will have meowed after going to the bathroom throughout their entire life. It is also common for these cats to meow to inform you of other actions and intentions as well as to get your attention.
2. Asking for You to Clean Litter Box
Cats are finicky creatures, and one of the things they are most particular about is the cleanliness of their litter box. Having a dirty litter tray is entirely non-negotiable for cats! They love being clean, and a soiled litter box can cause a lot of distress – it could even see your kitty poop or pee on the floor.
Therefore, if your cat meows after peeing and pooping, they could be telling you that they’ve dirtied their tray so that you know to clean it. By meowing, your cat is giving you a gentle nudge and reminder that it’s your job to scoop up their poop.
Some cats may ask you to clean their litter box regardless, but many cats will only meow for this reason if you have not established a good cleaning routine. In other words, if you actually do need them to remind you to pick up their poop! Try sticking to a strict cleaning schedule and seeing if your cat stops yowling after using the litter box.
3. Moaning About Their Litter Box
When it comes to litter boxes, cats are not only fussy about the cleanliness of their tray. They are also finicky when it comes to the:
- Size and style of the litter box
- Location of the litter box in your home
- Type and quantity of litter you put inside
- Number of litter boxes in a multi-cat household
Therefore, if your cat meows after using their litter box, they could be telling you that they aren’t happy with one or more of these things.
If you know you have just changed one of these parameters, you can be pretty sure your cat isn’t happy with the new product. For example, if you have just changed to a new type of cat litter, it can stress out your cat. Some cat litters with high dust and strong fragrances can also trigger allergies in pets. Your cat meowing after they use their litter tray is their way of asking for their old litter back.
On the other hand, changes in your cat might cause them to no longer be happy with their old litter box. For example, cats will need larger litter boxes the bigger they grow. If your kitten has outgrown its tray, you may notice your cat peeing over the edge of the litter box. Likewise, larger breeds such as Maine Coons will need an extra large litter box to comfortably fit them inside.
Listen to your cat’s wants and needs and try to perfect their litter box. This will keep your kitty happy and potentially reduce their noisy and annoying meows after peeing. Besides, it will reduce the number of toilet accidents that you need to clean up – win-win!
4. Requesting a Reward
Have you recently finished training your kitten to use their litter box? If so, they could be expecting to receive a treat or reward each time they eliminate inside their tray. They are meowing to inform you they have pooped or peed and are asking you for their treat.
This is most common in kittens as being given a reward for going to the bathroom has become a part of their toilet routine. However, as cats get older, they will typically grow out of this behavior. Once your cat is litter trained, ensure you stop giving them treats to disassociate toilet time with rewards.
Instead, praising your cat with petting should be enough for them to keep using their litter box while stopping their noisy and annoying meows each time.
5. Needing Your Help
If your cat keeps going to the litter box but nothing happens, they are likely meowing to ask you for help. For whatever reason, they are struggling to go to the toilet and need the assistance of their favorite human – you!
In most cases, the reason your cat can’t go to the toilet is that they’re constipated. There are several symptoms of constipation that you can look out for, including:
- Going to the litter box but not defecating
- Straining when going to the bathroom
- A decrease in the frequency of defecation
- Production of small, hard, and dry feces
- Cat running around like a manic after using their litter tray
- Crying and meowing in their litter box
As constipation makes it uncomfortable for your cat to go to the bathroom, they meow to ask for help. Mother cats lick their kittens’ bums as this stimulates the orifices, making it much easier for them to poop. Therefore, you can replicate this feeling by wiping your cat’s bottom with a wet wipe to stimulate your cat to do a poop.
Constipation can be caused by a whole range of things, including stress and anxiety, pain from the anal glands, obesity, or a blockage of the intestines. Neurological disorders and metabolic conditions are also linked to toilet troubles. Even having a dirty litter tray can make cats reluctant to eliminate their waste, causing it to harden.
Therefore, while constipation from time to time is nothing to worry about, you should take your cat to the vet if they suffer from hard stools regularly. Your vet will be able to advise if there is a dangerous underlying condition that needs treating. If not, they will likely suggest diet changes to help improve the consistency of your cat’s stools.
6. Suffering from Diarrhea
On the other side of the spectrum, diarrhea also causes my cat to meow after pooping. When suffering from diarrhea, a cat will feel sick and nauseous and they could be trying to communicate to you that they don’t feel 100% themselves. Is your cat not eating much but acting normal? This is another sure sign that they are feeling a little under the weather.
If your cat has diarrhea but seems fine, try not to worry. This is usually down to them eating new cat food, spoiled food, or something that has caused allergies. Once this is out of their system, their diarrhea will stop. However, you should take them to the vet if any of the following apply as it could be a sign of a more serious medical condition:
- Consistent diarrhea for over 24 hours
- Intermittent diarrhea for 2+ weeks
- Blood in their stools
- Defecating five or more times per day
- Other symptoms alongside diarrhea
- Diarrhea while taking other medication
7. Contracted a Urinary Tract Infection
When a cat meows loudly after using the litter box, it could be they are feeling pain and discomfort. In these cases, this behavior will not be normal and you’ll notice a sudden increase in vocalization when peeing. And as their meowing occurs when going to the bathroom, the pain must be related to going to the toilet.
The most common culprit is a urinary tract infection or UTI for short. UTIs are caused by bacteria infecting the cat’s urethra, which makes peeing extremely uncomfortable. Similar to a human urinary tract infection, it causes a burning sensation when urinating. This pain can cause a cat to meow and yowl every time they eliminate.
Aside from increased vocalization when using their litter box, other symptoms include:
- Being unable to urinate
- Blood in the urine
- Grooming their genital excessively
- Peeing outside the litter box
As UTIs are bacterial infections, you will need to take your cat to the vet so they can be prescribed antibiotics. Following the course of their treatment, your cat will have fought off the UTI and their loud meowing when peeing should stop.
8. Developed Cystitis
Cystitis is similar to a urinary tract infection and is extremely common in cats. It makes urinating painful, so is another reason for a cat yowling after litter box use. Just as with UTIs, it has all of the following clinical signs:
- Straining to urinate
- Meowing when using the litter box
- Urinating more than usual
- Peeing outside their litter box
- Excessively grooming their genitals
- Blood in the urine
Despite the similar symptoms to a UTI, cystitis is usually caused by stress rather than an infection. The stress triggers an inflammatory response in the urinary tract which is responsible for the discomfort felt when peeing. As such, it is usually treated by making changes to make your home a stress-free environment and increasing fluid uptake.
If you think your cat has cystitis, it is important to take them to a vet so they can recommend the changes you need to make. Once stress triggers have been eliminated, cystitis should go away and the loud meows when peeing will seize.
9. Have a Blockage
Blockages are another explanation as to why a cat meows loudly after using the litter box. Blockages can occur anywhere along the urinary or digestive tract. For example, crystals can form inside the bladder from an untreated UTI, making urination difficult.
On the other hand, intestinal blockages from a hairball or lodged foreign object make pooping more of a challenge. These blockages are more dangerous. Your cat will need to eliminate whatever is causing the blockage so that they can go the bathroom as usual and in no pain.
Thankfully, most cats will be able to remove a hairball or foreign material they have accidentally swallowed before it reaches the intestine. Is your cat throwing up food but acting normal? They are likely trying to vomit up whatever is stuck before it gets further down the GI tract.
However, when the blockage does reach the intestine, the only way to remove it is by pooping it out. Small items will be eliminated without bother, but for larger items, this isn’t as easy! Any cat that is howling before and after using the litter box for 24+ hours should see a vet. Your cat may require surgical removal of the blockage or the addition of fluids to help remove the lodged object.
10. Suffering from Arthritis
Issues with the urinary and GI tract are not the only causes of pain that can cause cat yowling after litter box use. Arthritis – a painful condition caused by inflammation and stiffness of the joints – causes my cat to howl before and after using her litter box.
Although cats of any age can develop arthritis, it is more common in older felines. As such, if you have a senior cat that meows loudly after using the litter box, arthritis is a likely culprit. Climbing in and out of the litter tray can be painful on their joints. Additionally, if their joints touch the side of the litter box it can cause even more discomfort, meaning more meowing and yowling.
In addition to meowing, other symptoms to look out for include:
- Your cat sleeping more than usual
- Limping and/or stiffness when walking
- Difficulty jumping or climbing
- Grooming excessively
- Matted fur on the cat’s back and rear
If you think your cat has arthritis, contact your vet. Although the condition cannot be cured, they can prescribe pain relief and joint supplements to help deal with the symptoms and slow disease progression.
You too can make life more comfortable for your arthritic cat. For example, litter boxes for senior cats exist which have lower entry points and are larger in size. These put less strain on your cat’s joints when using their litter tray, making it more comfortable to use and reducing their vocalizations.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
As you can see, there are many reasons why a cat meows loudly after using its litter box. This is normal behavior for many cats – my cat meows after peeing and pooping! She’s super vocal and likes to inform me of all her actions, her bathroom habits being one. Applying simple solutions like changing the cat litter or praising your cat each time they do their business can stop this behavior.
However, a cat yowling after litter box use can be indicative of certain medical conditions, such as UTIs, cystitis, intestinal blockages, or arthritis. Each of these makes it difficult or painful for your cat to eliminate. If you notice meowing alongside other symptoms, take your cat to the vet for treatment. Once the condition is treated, their loud meows will stop.