Why won't my cats clean themselves?

I had a female domestic that I got from a private home and she was very, very clean. After she died I got a brother and sister from pet rescue - they are 2 yrs old now. I realized after I got them that they were living at the house of a woman with dozens of pets and the place was a pigsty. I work from home so I am able to clean their box right after they use it. However I have to "wipe" and clean them every time. I've been doing it for two years and hoping that they would do it on their own. The ONLY time they clean themselves is AFTER I've done it first. I've waited to see if maybe I'm not giving them enough time to do it themselves but they just don't do it at all. This behavior is not only unsanitary, it's gross and disgusting. Allowing your cats to drag poop around doesn't mean you love them more. Could this have anything to do with the filth that they came from? Am I stuck doing this forever? It doesn't look like anything that they're going to grow out of. Any suggestions?

Asked by Member 1013876 on Nov 30th 2010 Tagged cats, grooming, bathing, litter in Other Grooming
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Izadore (Izzie)

It's quite possibly that there is a psychological reason why your cats don't groom themselves stemming from their lousy beginnings in the house of a hoarder. It's great that they use the box at all--most cats from these sorts of situations don't. They see you as the mom cat because you are, in effect, grooming them. If your cats haven't been to a vet recently, now is the time to go. Cats who don't groom need to be seen by their doctor. There could be a physical as well as emotional reason they don't groom. Cats who are overweight or depressed or physically ill don't groom. While at the vet, you can ask for a "hygenic trim" that will cut the fur around their backsides very short which makes it easier for you (and them)to groom themselves.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 12/1/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

gracie tatanka

excelent ans izzie! id just like to add if after the vets and everything your not having much luck. gracie had problems cleaning her bottom for a while when she came first she wasnt able to do it so when i felt she might be able to manage but was leaving it to me i started using wipes she didnt like the smell of it sounds like it should put them off but cats are very clever and within 2 days she was cleaning herself anything to stop me put those yucky wipes near her good luck and let us know how you get on

gracie tatanka answered on 12/1/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer