It may not be the most pleasant topic about your cat, but it’s one that is important – their little furry butts and the poop they produce. According to Dr. Jean Hofve, holistic veterinarian, author, and the found of the online site, Little Big Cat, this is what cat veterinarians talk about when they all get together, and you need to learn a little about what they discuss, because it’s important to your cat’s health. Whether you realize it or not, their poop says a lot about their health and can help you take care of them better, if you know what’s going on down there. So keep reading to learn how your cat’s tush can give you a sense of their health.
1. Kitty butt dingleberries
This is probably more familiar to cat owners of a cat with long fur, but if you have ever seen little pieces of cat poo dangling from your cat, which is disgusting enough, but worse if you happen to see it just after your cat jumped on your pillow and is waving her butt just inches from your face, then you know what at dingleberry is.
The dingleberries typically happen if your feline’s poo is soft-textured, and is more common in cats with diarrhea. Diarrhea is something that needs to be checked by your veterinarian, especially if it is happening for a couple days in a row. One way to help prevent dingleberries in long-haired breeds, is to keep the fur around their butts sufficiently trimmed. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, have your vet or a groomer trim it. It’s really much more sanitary, and that is all you need to ask for, a “sanitary trim.”
2. Should you be wiping your cat’s butt?
This is something that you will need to decide, but there are a few indications that might give you reason to lend a hand and wipe your kitty’s little butt. Here are a few of those reasons:
- Your cat is overweight – Some cats who get “fat” will find it difficult to do some of their own grooming. It becomes harder for them to maneuver their body the way a lean cat can. If your cat starts having trouble grooming due to weight, it might be time to put kitty on a diet.
- Soft poops – If you notice your cat’s poop is softer than normal and is sticky in his litter and sticking to his fur, you may need to start helping him by giving his bottom a wipe to help keep him clean. If the soft poop continues, you may want to talk to your vet about a diet change.
- Cats with arthritis – If your cat has arthritis, this is also a hard-to-reach situation. Your cat will have difficulties bending good enough to keep his bottom clean, so it’s time you step in and help by wiping him after he takes a poo.
The best way to help wipe your cat’s butt is with a warm water washcloth. Dr. Hofve says that baby wipes or pet cleansing wipes are also available, like, Earth Bath All Natural Cat Wipes. She goes on to explain that if your cat has a hard time reaching his little bum due to weight, arthritis or other issues, the wipes are fine. But if it is simply a situation of him just being a little lazy or not doing a very good job, plain water is the best route.
3. Kitty butt scooting
Cat owners are all familiar with this move – your cat jumps out of the litterbox and immediately drops his butt to the floor and starts scooting. Sometimes this act happens out of the clear blue sky without having just gotten out of the cat box, and either way, no one wants those brown skid marks on their floor.
When a cat scoots its bum across the floor, this is an indication there is something going on; typically something that is making your feline uncomfortable. It could be worms, it could be allergies, it may even be a case of diarrhea. Whatever is causing him to scoot on the carpet, you need to have it checked out.
4. Common health problems related to the feline bottom
It’s always a good practice to stay in tune with your cat’s butt and litterbox habits. You should know what exactly what is coming out in order to determine if there is a health issue or not. If you suspect something strange, you need to have him checked by a vet and here are some indications that you should get him checked right away.
- Swollen anal glands – This is fairly common in cats and needs to be addressed. The anal glands are on either side of your cat’s anal opening. They secrete a scent that is used for marking by covering their poop as the poop comes through the anal opening. The poop moving through triggers the glands to release the scent, but if your cat’s poop is too soft or too hard, it won’t trigger the anal glands to release it. If this continues, the glands back up and get swollen, but you won’t know it by looking since the glands are inside your cat’s body. You can pick up on hints, however, by watching for your cat to either start to scoot a lot, or they begin licking their rear end often. Your vet will need to release the glands, or (empty) them, which is quite messy, so although it is possible for you to do yourself, you will probably want a professional to do the dirty deed.
- Wiggly things appear – If you start to notice little wiggly things in your cat’s poop or hanging at the opening of your cat’s anus, this is a sign your cat has a case of the dreaded worms. If they are hanging at your cat’s anus’ opening, the case has already advanced and he needs to get treatment started right away. Your vet will X-ray your cat’s tummy or do an ultrasound to make sure there is nothing left inside your cat’s system if the wiggly thing was caught halfway out of his body. You don’t want something like this, tangled around any organs.
So, you see how it is important to keep an eye on your cat’s poo and bum. It may seem odd, it may seem disgusting, and it doesn’t seem like his pooping habits should be anybody’s business but his, but it is. It is your business to know your cat’s pooping habits and his butt behaviors in order to make sure he is, and stays healthy. So, get busy and start taking an interest in your cat’s butt.