Does your cat want to join you in the bathroom?

There are three things in a bathroom that a cat likes… (a) you (b) your scents and (c) for some cats: water. I’ll deal with the first one last.

Cat joins you in bathroom

Cat joins you in bathroom. Photo (modified by Michael) by Tobyotter

Despite the endless discussions about how cats dislike water, lots of cats like it. Some cats actually join their human in the shower and some jump into the bathtub. Some cats jump into a bathtub after you have showered and lick the water drops that remain. Finding water is more fun than being given water. This is about the wild cat within.

The bowl of a toilet is attractive to many cats. When the toilet is flushed lots of fresh mains-supplied water gushes out. This is probably interesting to a cat and encourages drinking from it. The residual scents would be an attraction rather than a repulsion.

I always remember Kathrin Stucki of A1 Savannahs saying that Magic – I think it was Magic – joined her in the shower. Magic is the world’s best known cat and the tallest domestic cat. Kathrin is a very attractive woman (dare I say it). The pair must have made a startling image together in the shower. Shame there is no picture of it 😉


Yes, we have to get to that subject and, of course: wee. This is where nature meets human sensibilities. Whereas cats are very relaxed about poo and wee, being, as it is, a natural and important part of their lives through scent detection, humans shy away from the subject at all times.

However, if you are in the bathroom sitting on the toilet, does your cat want to come in? Better still, does she come in because the door is open?

Although I haven’t checked the Internet recently on this subject, I would expect there to be a decent number of stories about cats joining their human companion in the bathroom when the person is on the toilet.

This has to be about…smell or let’s call it “scent”, so much more polite ;). It appears that our cat knows the scent of our poo and labels us with that scent. When we are on the toilet – loo, john, lavatory – we are scent marking. If our cat sees us as a cat, when we go to the john we are scent marking from our cat’s perspective. Scent marking is a statement of ownership of territory. Cats scent mark with feces, urine and scratching (ground and vertical objects).

As we are related to our cat (from her perspective), it seems that our scent marking attracts our cat. Why? That is the 64,000 dollar question. The answer is probably that our cat comes to a place that is safe and secure and which she considers her home and territory. The scent we make with our poo signals that, saying, “this area is ours and it is safe”. That is attractive to a cat. That is my theory having thought about it as I write. A visitor may have a better, or additional, theory, which I would welcome.


Wee is also a favorite substance for scent marking territory. The same theory would apply as for feces.


My personal experiences are typical. My Binnie would like to come into the bathroom when I  was on the loo. The door would be open as I was alone at home. Charlie rarely comes in.  I don’t recall Missie or Boo Boo coming in. Not all cats are bothered about joining us in the bathroom. It is a personal thing. A likeness for it may be associated with the confidence or anxiety of a cat. In other words be dependent on personality trait.

Kevin’s Felix

Here’s Felix doing his bathroom trick after Kevin has showered:

Felix watching water droplets

Photo by Kevin Roche

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Does your cat want to join you in the bathroom? — 27 Comments

    • Monty does this to Jeff.Jeff solves it by picking Monty up and holding him while he pees. I laughed so hard the first tine I saw it. We were alone so Jeff had the bathroom door open. I walked by and there’s Jeff holding Monty while he’s peeing. Monty is not a cat who tolerates being picked up for very long so at that moment Monty said, “Meoooow,” meaning “I’m busy, put me down.” But Jeff translated it at, “Don’t pee on me!” We both about died laughing. Monty did not see the humor in the situation.

      • Might there be a tiny element of danger in that process? What if Monty tapped hubbie with his paw to ask to be put down? What if Monty had a claw (the middle one) ever so slightly extended at the same time? What if Monty was quite near to a certain bit of important anatomy? It doesn’t bear thinking about.

      • Yes it has happened. To make things more complicated they even try to grab at it sometimes. Thats a funny but good idea Jeff has to hold Monty 🙂

  1. Marc, you are funny — in a good way. You and Michael make me laugh out loud.

    Shame there is no picture of it, michael. What would Martin say? and what would Kathrin and Magic or Titan or Trouble or any of the others have to say? you prevert, you! Shame! go to your room. and stay there, until I say -or Kathrin says- you can come out! Go! Now! [always used a subdued voice when talking to your felies.)

    • Did you like the picture of how to use a toilet? I thought it was quite amusing.

      And can you imagine what a great poster Kathrin and Magic in a shower would make? I’d put it on the home page of PoC …permanently. That was a great opportunity missed.

      • I loved that comment 🙂 you’re right Michael she is a beautiful woman; classically attractive without the need for enhancements or make up(and by the way I’m straight). I’m pleased to say that in the last 10 years or so I can appreciate another womans beauty without feeling threatened or jealous; I think age thankfully brings security and contentment.

  2. I think when cats sniff your poo they want to know what you have been eating and not sharing with them. I read a study about feral cats being given tuna and other feral cats being able to discover by sniffing those cats’ rear ends that they were getting superior food. The other ferals followed those who has received tuna to get some themselves.

    My bathroom door won’t close tightly. Open or closed Monty gets into the bathroom with me. My personal favorite is when I’m taking a bath and he needs to come in. He pushes the door open all the way just to admit his little body. Our furnace is set at 58 degrees Fahrenheit and we don’t use space heaters. The heat of the water warms up the bathroom enough to be tolerable. Until a small cat opens the door and cold air rushes in. Thanks, Monty.

    Sometimes in the morning I’ll be on the toilet doing my thing and I’ll hear Monty scratching in his litter box in his room which is next to the bathroom. It’s silly, I guess, but to me that’s really a nice moment when we are both answering the call of nature at the same time.

    • He is in sync with you. Cute. I guess there are other reasons why a cat joins us in the bathroom. Warmth, as you say, is one and the fact that we are in it, is another – a social visit.

  3. When Walter and Jozef were kittens they both used to come in the bathroom with Babz or with me and sit on our laps as they took every chance to do wherever we sat down.
    One day though they ‘slept in’ and I stood up just as Walter made a running leap to sit on me before I got the lid back down and he ended up down the toilet, good thing I had flushed it!
    I know you shouldn’t laugh at cats but I just couldn’t help it that day as I fished him out.

    • Monty fell in the toilet once. He likes to use the toilet seat to climb up by the sink to see what I am doing. When he was a tiny kitten I had forgotten to immediately close the lid and he attempted to use the seat to climb up to me, but since it was up, he fell in the water. Luckily, I had flushed also. He was very surprised. I am very careful to keep the toilet lid closed. I’ve heard that if a cat falls in head first he may not be able to get out because of the curvature of the bowl.

      • lol poor Monty, yes I bet he ewas surprised.
        Yes we always keep the toilet lid closed too, woe betide any visitor who leaves it up even although our boyz are mostly far too adult now to do silly things, you are right a cat can get his head trapped and drown.
        We ‘think cat’ every minute of every day because they are so vulnerable.
        We’d never forgive ourselves if one of ours was hurt because of something we did (or didn’t) do.

  4. Our late cat Popsy was very interested in my late husband’s bits, I still laugh when I think back to the day I saw him busily having a pee and Popsy was standing up at the toilet watching the flow from source to toilet pan most interestedly. Another time when he was getting dressed on the side of the bed she insisted on jumping up and examining those same parts in great detail. It was love at first sight between those two, I like to think of them still happy together.

  5. Is that figure on the poster washing his feet in the toilet?lol
    I have to shut my toilet door so I don’t end up festooned in cats and unable ever to rise again.
    Oh I laughed Barbara about Popsy studying her dad’s anatomy,yes I bet they are happy together but I’m sad for you without them and isn’t it your birthday and John’s sad annivesary as well today I’m sending you best wishes and love.

    • Is that figure on the poster washing his feet in the toilet?


      I think that poster (modified by PoC) comes from a country where they are not used to Western toilets. In a lot of these countries there is just a hole in the ground and you squat over it. Either that or a backstreet.

  6. I have to agree with you Michael when I go for my morning wee I am joined by no less than 3 cats. Ozzie Alfie and Honey. Ozzie is the largest of our cats and assaults the bathroom door by standing on his hind legs and shoving it open like some well planned military assault which usually leaves me being unceremoniously bashed on the knees while I’m still half asleep (our bathroom isn’t very big!) He then strides in as if he needs to know exactly what I’m doing and how long its going to take before I go downstairs and feed him.

    After his assault on the door he is quickly followed by Alfie and Honey all with the same expression.

    Nope you can’t have a peaceful wee in our house!

    • I think in your case you are assaulted in the bathroom because you have just got up and it is your cats’ first chance of the day to request breakfast. In other words they are in the bathroom because you’re there. The scents etc. are probably an added extra.

  7. when i had my cat “felix”, he used to love to sit on my lap while i was going poo,i never knew why and when i was done doing my thing and flushed the toilet,he would watch the poo swirl around until it disappeared down the was pretty comical.he also used to sit on the edge of the tub and watch me take a shower.when i was done showering he would then hop into the tub and watch the remaining water droplets go towards and down the was like a show for him.i have a picture of him doing this but dont know how to attach it to my comment.

  8. when i had my cat “felix”, he used to love to sit on my lap while i was going poo

    That would have made a great picture although it would have been an invasion of your privacy 😉

    I am pleased you have a picture of him watching water. If you email it to me I’ll add it. You have my email address but just in case here it is:


    change [at] for @

  9. Tootsie likes to follow me around, but observes me from a distance.

    She sits just outside the open bathroom door, and stares at me with an unwavering gaze when I’m on the loo. I finally figured out that she is “a very polite cat”. She comes in to get scritches only when I invite her in- “Tootsie, where’s my girl… come say hello”.

  10. Ozzie, Dorothy and Leah? My Michael, when I was goign potty, would always sit, just without of range–and then! when the toilet would flush, HE WAS ALWAYS right there, watching that last gurgle…then… he would POUNCE! like there was nothing going stop him, from trying to retrieve what ever. 🙂

    I had to shut his brain down, by scratching him under the jaw…ooh-ooh ooh! –and just above it towards his mascara line on his eye. He always succumbs to this/ And then, i can put him to sleep (maybe he was there already)…right paw draped over my knee…and he is out…dreaming sweet, wonderful kitty dreams… now, I’m asleep….[

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