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Do Cats Feel Vulnerable When They Poop?

do cats feel vulnerable when pooping?

While looking at my three lazy furry beauties, it is hard for me to accept how fierce predators and scavengers cats actually are in nature. However, the question is whether they are aware of their size and feel vulnerable sometimes, especially in delicate situations while using a litter box.

Cats feel vulnerable when they poop because they never lost their fear of becoming prey even after centuries of domestication. Therefore cats feel vulnerable in situations when they are unable to act immediately to avoid danger.

Let's see whether cats feel vulnerable when they poop and the probable reasons for such behavior. That will help you discover how to help your kitty and prevent its discomfort.

Do Cats Feel Vulnerable When They Poop and Why?

As you have probably known, felines are fierce predators and scavengers, not at all like the cute furballs that like purring and sitting in our laps.

Therefore, it can sound surprising that these creatures feel pretty vulnerable in some situations, like pooping. There are a few reasons for such behavior.

Innate instinct

Many cat owners find it unusual that cats feel vulnerable when they poop. However, it shouldn't surprise you at all since your kitty is an intelligent creature. Cats are absolutely aware of their size compared to other animals in the surroundings, says a cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy.

As a result, cats are highly cautious in moments when they are unable to react immediately to avoid danger. Surprisingly, the fear of becoming prey hasn't been lost even after centuries of domestication, and nothing can change that.

Therefore, you can expect that even a cat born and raised as a part of your household never loses its ancient instincts to survive. You can best see that caution in its insistence to be alone when going to the toilet.

It has nothing to do with shyness because that feeling is incomprehensible to your four-legged friend. Still, it is often apparent that your kitty is nervous while you watch it ‘doing business' inside its litter box.

In such a situation, you can be aware that it calculates whether it is endangered at the moment when it is impossible to defend itself.

Be careful and avoid making eye contact with your furry beauty since it can understand your staring as an act of aggression. On the other hand, it will consider it is perfectly fine to stare at you in similar circumstances.

However, you can take advantage of such inclinations. As you know, suspicious cats and those with trust issues don't want company while pooping.

Therefore, any changes in this attitude will be a sign of acceptance. As soon as you notice that your cat doesn't mind using the litter box in front of you, you can relax. That means only one thing. It has concluded that you are worthy of its trust.

Fear of punishment

Many owners yell and punish kittens for peeing or pooping outside the litter box. It can be a scary experience for these creatures, so they may understand that peeing and pooping are inappropriate.

As a result, such pets will start hiding when physiology catches up with them to avoid punishment. In such a situation, the best option is to stay around but without eye contact.

Once your baby understands that pooping doesn't cause your anger, it will gradually stop being afraid. With some treats as a reward for using the litter box, you can solve that unintentionally caused problem.

Still, most cats will cover their excrement all their lives to hide the smell from possible predators. It has nothing to do with trust but is an ancient instinct that is almost impossible to eradicate. You should actually start worrying if your furry friend stops doing that.

Undesired company

As you have already known, your cat is a creature of habit. It likes using the particular litter box placed in an appropriate place. Your pet won't enjoy having it near bowls with food and water or next to its playground.

If you change this position or someone unknown appears near the litter box while the kitty poops, it will probably feel vulnerable and a bit confused. As always, this distrustful animal will react instinctively and treat any change as a threat. At worst, you can face terrifying cats' fear aggression.

The best way to avoid confrontation is to ask that person to look away and leave the bathroom. When the cat wants privacy, you need to accommodate its needs. That is how things work, and it is best to stick to established rules.

Otherwise, you will get a lesson like my friend Barbra. She recklessly tried to use a bathroom when my cat Clementine decided to poop. I am not sure whether the cat felt vulnerable or just angry, but it was the one who stayed unharmed in the bathroom to finish the work it came for.

do cats want privacy when pooping

What to Do To Help the Cat Feel Comfortable While Poop?

As you can see, letting your cat alone while pooping is a must. However, you can do a few other things to help it feel comfortable and relaxed while using the litter box.

Best places for the cat’s litter box

Always put litter boxes in quiet and a bit hidden spots in the home to provide some privacy for your beauty. It should be an easily accessible area with low traffic, preferably in the bathroom. For instance, never force an old or disable cat to climb or go down the stairs to reach the litter box.

Always avoid placing the litter box near a wall heater, washing machine, or dryer since a sudden sound can scare it. Putting the litter box in isolated, dark, and cold places like a garage or basement may cause a problem with its use.

Provide enough litter boxes and keep them clean

It is particularly vital to have enough litter boxes if you have multiple cats in your household. Some kitties are dissatisfied and fussy when forced to share them with other cats. In fact, the more cats you have, the more likely conflicts are to occur.

The crucial thing is the odor they leave, and not every kitty will tolerate other pets' smell around this critical area. Plus, it is necessary to keep litter boxes clean since most kitties refuse to use dirty and smelly ones.


Your cat's toilet habits are a bit confusing. Even though your cutie enjoys watching you while spending time in the bathroom, it rather chooses some privacy while using a litter box.

The best thing to do is to put the box in the appropriate place and let it have some peace, especially if it is shy or has just come to your home.

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