What Should I Do If My Cat Poops While Standing?

Disclaimer: The information presented below is for general informational & educational purposes only. Always consult with animal professionals in case of specific concerns.

Have you ever caught your cat in the act of pooping while standing straight up on their hind legs? As strange as it may seem, this is actually a fairly normal cat behavior. 

Have you encountered an odd behavior from your feline friend where they poop while standing rather than crouching down in their litter box like normal? If so, you may be concerned about what could be causing this unusual bathroom habit. While weird to see, standing to poop doesn’t necessarily mean something is medically wrong with your cat. However, a change in their elimination patterns is sometimes a sign that your furry companion isn’t feeling their best. In this post, I’ll discuss some of the common reasons why cats poop while standing instead of squatting as well as when you should consider taking your cat to the vet for an exam. By understanding what could be prompting this atypical potty position, owners can address any potential health issues and get their cat feeling like their normal selves again.

What Should I Do If My Cat Poops While Standing?

If your cat is exhibiting the unusual behavior of pooping while standing, it’s important to address the issue promptly. Here are steps you can take:

– Consult a Veterinarian: Schedule a visit to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Changes in bathroom behavior can indicate underlying health problems, and a professional examination is crucial for a proper diagnosis.

– Observe Other Behaviors: Take note of any other changes in your cat’s behavior, such as changes in appetite, water intake, energy levels, or grooming habits. This information can be helpful for the vet in determining the cause of the behavior.

– Examine the Litter Box: Ensure that the litter box is comfortable for your cat and clean up cat litter regularly. Cats can be sensitive to changes in their environment, and a dirty or uncomfortable litter box may contribute to unusual behavior.

– Check for Signs of Pain or Discomfort: Monitor your cat for signs of pain or discomfort, especially while using the litter box. If your cat seems to be in pain, it could be indicative of a medical issue.

– Review Diet and Water Intake: Evaluate your cat’s diet and water intake. Dehydration or dietary issues can sometimes contribute to changes in bowel habits. Discuss any changes in diet with your veterinarian.

– Consider Stress or Anxiety: Cats may exhibit unusual behaviors, including changes in bathroom habits, due to stress or anxiety. Evaluate if there have been recent changes in the household, routine, or introduction of new pets.

– Follow Veterinarian’s Recommendations: Based on the veterinarian’s examination and any diagnostic tests, follow their recommendations for treatment or management. This may include medicine for cats, dietary changes, or environmental modifications.

– Maintain Regular Veterinary Check-ups: Schedule regular check-ups for your cat to monitor their overall health. Regular veterinary care can help detect and address potential issues early on.

Remember, sudden changes in your cat’s behavior, especially related to bathroom habits, should be addressed promptly by a veterinarian. It’s important to identify and treat any underlying health issues to ensure the well-being of your cat.

Why Do Cats Sometimes Stand While Pooping?

Arthritis or Joint Pain: Cats with arthritis or other joint issues may find it uncomfortable to hold the traditional crouching position while defecating, causing them to stand instead.

Obesity: Overweight cats may have difficulty maintaining the typical squatting posture due to their size, leading them to stand while pooping.

Litter Box Issues: If the litter box is too small or the sides are too high, cats may stand while pooping as an adjustment. 

Digestive Problems: Certain digestive issues can cause discomfort during defecation, leading cats to adopt unusual positions in an attempt to alleviate the discomfort.

Behavioral Reasons: Sometimes, standing while pooping may simply be a behavioral quirk with no underlying medical reason. Some cats may just prefer this position.

Tail Injury: An injury to the tail can make the usual crouching position painful, causing the cat to stand instead while pooping.

Can This Behavior Be Trained Out Of A Cat?

Changing a cat’s pooping position can be challenging, especially if the behavior is due to underlying health issues or physical discomfort. If the standing posture is related to arthritis, obesity, or tail injury, addressing the specific condition with your vet’s assistance should be the primary focus. In the case of behavioral quirks or litter box issues, gradual training might help. You can try to switch to a different type of litter box or adjust its location to a more private area, which might encourage your cat to adopt a more traditional position. However, remember to be patient and refrain from forcing changes. Attempting to force a change in behavior can lead to stress and anxiety in your pet, potentially aggravating the situation.

How Common Is It For Cats To Exhibit This Behavior?

While the majority of cats tend to adopt a crouching position while defecating, it is not completely unheard of for cats to stand while pooping. However, this behavior is not typical and is generally less common. The frequency can vary depending on the overall population of cats and their individual health conditions. In specific cases where the cat is facing health issues like arthritis, obesity, or tail injury, this behavior might be relatively more common. Still, it is essential to underline that any unusual or sudden changes in your cat’s defecation habits warrant attention and potentially a consultation with a veterinarian.

Are There Any Remedies Or Techniques To Discourage A Cat From Standing While Pooping?

Gradual Training: If the issue is not related to a physical health problem, you can try to gradually train your cat to use litter appropriately. Be patient and give them time to adjust.

Modify the Litter Box: Consider getting a litter box with lower sides or a larger size. A comfortable and easily accessible litter box might encourage the cat to adopt the usual crouching position.

Change the Litter: Different cats have different preferences for litter types. Experiment with different types of litter to figure out your cat’s preference. A preferred type of litter might encourage your cat to crouch while pooping.

Provide Privacy: Place the litter box in a private, quiet area. Cats often prefer privacy while doing their business, which might encourage the desired behavior.

Investigate Health Issues: If your cat persists in standing, consult with a vet. It could be a symptom of a health condition that needs treatment.

Medication: In case the behavior is due to pain or discomfort, such as arthritis, your vet may recommend certain medications to manage the condition.

Dietary Changes: Consult with your vet about dietary changes if the standing behavior is linked to obesity or digestive issues. A healthier diet can sometimes help alleviate these conditions, encouraging the cat to return to its normal position.

Are There Any Specific Breeds Of Cats That Are More Prone To Pooping While Standing?

There’s no scientific evidence to suggest that any specific cat breeds are more inclined to stand while defecating. This behavior is typically linked more to individual health conditions or preferences than breed-specific characteristics. However, larger breeds like Maine Coons, or those prone to obesity like British Shorthairs, may find it harder to maintain the traditional crouching position due to their size. Similarly, breeds predisposed to joint issues, like the Scottish Fold, may also exhibit this behavior due to discomfort.


In conclusion, if your cat poops while standing, it is crucial to take immediate action and consult with a veterinarian. Not only can this behavior be a sign of underlying health issues, but it can also lead to unsanitary living conditions and potential discomfort for your furry companion. By following the tips and guidelines outlined in this post, you can help identify the root cause of your cat’s standing defecation and work towards finding a solution. Remember to always prioritize your cat’s well-being and seek professional help if necessary.