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Be Kind To Your Cats' Behinds! Dirty Cat Butts Prevention And Treatment

Oct 22, 2014 · Updated Oct 5, 2016 · ·
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  1. Anne
    Be Kind To Your Cats' Behinds! Dirty Cat Butts Prevention And Treatment
    Dirty cat butts can be a real aggravation, leaving owners wondering why isn't Kitty taking care of his backside? What happens when the cat doesn’t clean himself after a litter box break? What could be the possible reasons?

    Sometimes, Kitty has gained weight and, until she loses a couple of pounds, isn’t as limber as she once was. Of course, a diet is called for, but in the meantime, Kitty will need help. Another cause might be arthritis. Kitty just can’t contort herself into a pretzel like she used to. Ask the vet about glucosamine or another remedy.

    Kitty can also need a helping hand if she’s been ill and had diarrhea. That will leave a mess in all the fur, not to mention, mat up and trap subsequent output if it’s not taken care of promptly.

    All in all, Kitty can be a smelly mess.


    It’s Mama Cat’s job to keep the kittens clean until they are old enough to do the job themselves. In the absence of motivation, ability or good health, humans have to help out as needed.

    Prevention starts with a good quality food.

    Cheap food with uncertain ingredients like meal or by-products can upset a cat’s digestive system. Check the ingredients list on any diet or low calorie foods Kitty’s eating. Low calorie foods often use fillers that make Kitty feel full but produce more waste. Don’t let Kitty outdoors to hunt. A mouse or bird is not part of his usual diet, and can cause all kinds of stomach upsets that you don’t want to deal with.

    How to clean dirty cat butts


    A damp paper towel can clean up simple messes. Be sure to use a good quality towel. Cheap paper towels will leave “lint” which only adds to the problem.

    After wiping with a damp towel, do a follow-up clean with another and dry with a final towel.

    KKH, a TCS forum member, tried a cat bath wipe but her cat didn't like it. The scent may have been the problem. AlphaCat, another TCS member, used butter in an emergency. She softened the butter, let it melt on her fingers and then smeared it on Sam’s butt. To make sure sure he didn't smear butter on the furniture, Sam was sequestered in the laundry room for about half an hour.

    “I remembered the old wives' tale about putting butter on a cat’s paws after you move into a new house. Once Kitty has licked it off, he’ll remember the next time. I thought it might work for grooming himself and it did.”

    For more difficult messes, try sitting Kitty in warm water to loosen any clogged areas. He will not like this part so expect some (a lot) resistance. If you can remove the worst of the mess, then it’s time for a haircut.

    Long haired cats and dirty butts


    If Kitty is long-haired, clip Kitty’s hair on his butt to give waste a clean exit. For dark-haired cats, a closer cut might be needed. Use blunt nosed scissors to start. Most cats won’t want the vibration of clippers on their behinds.

    You might find red splotches where the hair matted and pulled, leaving irritation. To keep Kitty from scooting on the carpet - it will itch as the area heals - or from inappropriate licking, an
    antibiotic cream from the vet will help.

    Kitty may have to wear the dreaded cat cone so he’ll stay away from the area until it’s healed. Don’t use human medication since Kitty may find a way to lick and ingest it.

    Once everything is back to normal, periodically check Kitty’s backside to make sure there’s no problem. When his hair starts to grow out again, clip it short and keep it that way. A few of Kitty’s favorite treats after the
    haircut will keep you in his good graces. His clean behind will keep him in yours.



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  1. nunnc84
    Oops. I used cottonelle. Now I use a paper towel.
  2. CHATTY KATTY HOME
    As soon as I read this I went and got a damp warm washcloth and checked on all the kitties, butts fine, but had to get the eye boogies ick i did the eye thing first
  3. donutte
    I did end up taking Maple to a groomer to start with, and have since kept wiping her down every now and then. She's been on Prozac for a couple of months for anxiety issues (which had led to litter box avoidance), which had the pleasant side effect of her losing weight, and in turn she can reach her backend much better now! Add to that she has started using the litter box again instead of towels and well, happiness all around
  4. beaser
    When you love a pet or a child you can tolerate almost anything for their well being. In our situation I had no trouble with dirty diapers or our Pusy Cat's dirty bums. My wife is the holder and I'm the cleaner, trimmer, comber and general pooper eradicator. If the problem is a minor issue, I use the ball nosed scissors and steel comb, a spray bottle with warm water and a soft piece of terry cloth toweling. If the warm water won't cut it a small amount of non scented dish soap in the water will increase the wetting ability of the warm water. I spray and attempt to comb out the offending fecal matter. Sometim3es the end tine of the comb or a pic will disintigrate a matte. I rarely use a glove because I don't want to lose my sense of feel around my buddies tender areas. When i'm done I can scrub with a nail brush and soft soap.
    If I have to cut I use a series of metal combs and I try and put the tines between the pussy cats skin and the scissors blades. If a fine comb is required I have one that I've taken a piece of silicon carbide paper to to round the tips of the tines. A cat's skin is very thin and extremely elastic, without the barrier between the scissor blades and the cats skin you can do some damage.
    Warm water and a lot of loving patience will make things easier but their have been time that I've wrapped my arms in anything to stop the claws, there have been times that I've just washed and bandaged my wounds.
    Occasionally  we've had to run a lukewarm shower over a PC's behind with my wife holding the front paws. If it's gentle enough the cat's have given us a break, but there have been a few bloodbaths. Our lady of the house Missy (6 year old) is a very fine long hair that just lays there and allows me to do whatever I have to.
    Remember, No Guts, No Glory! They look to us to make their lives more liveable. Pretty much every long time cat caregiver will have their own sure fire methods and be very willing to share them to all that ask.
      nunnc84 and CHATTY KATTY HOME purraised this.
  5. ladylansing
    We just take a warm wash cloth to his behind and then let the air do the drying. I only give my cat a bath in warm weather but we groom him everyday.
      CHATTY KATTY HOME purraised this.
    1. CHATTY KATTY HOME
      I took your advice and everything is fine, they all had clean butts, but I cleaned the sleep/eye boogies everything is purrfect now
  6. vicnatii
    I've had great success with a wet cotton ball, cleans everything up and stimulates self grooming
      CHATTY KATTY HOME purraised this.
  7. donutte
    My cat seriously needs a bath. But she is so skittish and will pee (or in some cases, poop) on you if you pick her up. Even a little bit. I think I need to just suck it up, put on some clothes I don't mind messing up, and do it. She's also a big girl so have to take that into account.
  8. inaripeaches
    i've noticed dry food, produces much more waste and is much more messier then wet food. The wet food +dry combo produces way less than dry, and raw produces more firm poops. 
  9. beverlyjane
    If I lightly coat Pretty Kitty's butt with Vaseline, will this hurt her if she ingests it?  will it make it more comfortable for her to poop?
  10. catluvr321
    We used scissors on our long haired cat, Cali. It works great. thank you.
  11. ann5458
    My cat is 10 years old and once in a great while I have to take her to the vet to get cleaned. She will not let me do it and its just easier especially when her anal glands are plugged
  12. heathernichelle
    My kitty has hip dysplasia & has a terrible time with this. I clean his bottom & back feet multiple times a day. He's a good sport, but my roommates always make cracks about how I am obsessed with his behind. It's more like I'm obsessed with NOT having litter in my bed. I have a touch of 'Princess & the Pea' syndrome and cannot fall asleep if I feel any of it!
      CHATTY KATTY HOME purraised this.
  13. mysticdragon72
    I have an issue with my long haired kitty and her dirty butt!  My only issue with doing any kind of cleaning or trimming on her is she is vicious about her attacks whenever I try anything back there!  I still have no feeling in my one finger from her chomping on it the last time I attempted to get the stuck on poop off her rear end.  Having worked for a vet for a while I learned many different ways to contain a cat but none of the "tricks" to keep her calm and contained worked on her.... mind you, it would have helped if someone else would help hold or do the cleaning... it's so much easier with two people!!  My hubby's too scared of her though to help LOL
  14. smaylala
    I Am a groomer, and I have to say its soo sad when I see a kitty come in with what I call a "poo cake" on their booty. Therese Its so good to hear you take her in at least 3 times a year. Useing scissors can be dangerous if your not careful, but so can clippers cats skin is VERY thin so be super careful. I suggest a clipper and just gently skimming the hair down with out really making any skin contact, it cleans the area up so no "dingle berrys" yet doesnt give them a baboon butt either!  :) My Hairy is a super scaredy cat, and I give him alot of praise while scissoring his little butt :p He thinks getting a clean butt is the bees knees !!! If he goes too long without a trim he brings his "tag-a-longs" into bed to snuggle with me so I scissor his butt every month! 
      CHATTY KATTY HOME purraised this.
  15. slykat12
    That is a fair deal as long as I can watch.
  16. therese
    One of my cats is a medium long hair and I take her to the groomers about every 3-4 months...they do a hygeine shave as they call it....basically clip her belly, around her butt and shorten the 'pants,' on her back legs.  Its about $15-20 and well worth it, because it really keeps her clean.  
  17. slykat12
    Oh TY so much and I will keep that in mind. But my kitty is fine so far and I think a good trim is all we need. I am looking at restraint devices-cat bags.
  18. bugsypawsey
    I have a long Haired Maine coon.  I just had to use Wen (Yes the infomercial product) on her.  She has a very hard time cleaning her butt and the nasty stuff was getting worse.  Believe it or not, this stuff worked a miracle on her. We usually give her a Lion's cut in the summer, but not in the winter because we don't want her to get cold.  I am going to have to give her another bath this weekend (which was not easy and breaks my heart with the crying), and then she will be wonderful!  I didn't want to traumatize her in the sink and do a second bath on her.  I figured she was a million times better and we could see how it was working by waiting a week for the second round.  Anyways, if your kitty is real bad, you may want to try it.  I contact Wen and they said it was safe to use on cats, as long as you are not using the Tea Tree scent.  I used Fig on her! :)
  19. slykat12
    Scissors takes too long and it hard. In addition the cat won't stay still fighting and crying. There has to be a quality clipper that can safely tackle  my long haired pantaloons in a fast easy manner.
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