What do a bunch of cat veterinarians talk about when they’re hanging out at a party together? Cat poop, of course, says Dr. Jean Hofve, holistic veterinarian, author, and founder of the site Little Big Cat. Why? Because the state of a cat’s poop is one of the fastest ways to help determine what might be wrong with an ailing kitty. Poop is important to your cat’s health, so it stands to reason that the place where it exits, the cat butt, would be, too. Here are four important things you should know about caring for the cat butt.
If you have a longhaired cat like my Romeo, you’ve probably seen little pieces of poop clinging to a cat butt now and then. It’s especially awesome when you discover this right after your cat has jumped up on your pillow and your face is two inches from the offending clump.
Dingleberries can occur if your cat’s poop is soft and is especially prevalent in cats with diarrhea. If your cat has the runs, it’s a good idea to get him checked by a vet right away.
The best thing to do to keep the berries at bay is to keep that cat butt trimmed of excess fur. You can carefully do this yourself or take your cat to the vet or groomer for a “sanitary trim.”
Well, it depends. Does your the cat butt in question need wiping? Technically, your cat should be able to handle that himself, says Hofve. However, she adds, there are circumstances when he’s going to need some assistance.
Warm water on a soft washcloth is the best way to clean a cat butt, Hofve advises. You can also use baby wipes or pet cleansing wipes like Earth Bath All Natural Cat Wipes, which I sometimes use.
Wipes are fine if your cat can’t reach his bum by himself at all. But if your cat can reach but simply hasn’t done such a bang-up job, just use plain water. You don’t want your cat licking himself and then ingesting chemicals, however mild, from the wipes.
We’ve all witnessed this common cat butt issue. Your cat hops out of the box and immediately plops down onto the floor and appears to be wiping his bum with your carpet. Or sometimes it may happen out of the blue. Regardless, no one wants to have to clean up skid marks from her light-colored Berber rug.
Cat scooting, though, is actually a good thing, because it indicates there’s an issue at hand. From diarrhea to allergies to worms, something’s going on back there and your cat’s scooting should tell you that he’s not feeling comfortable. If your cat is dragging his bum on the floor, take him for a visit with the vet.
Paying attention to what’s going on in your cat’s butt is a good idea. By knowing what’s coming out, you’ll be attuned to health issues. But also pay attention to the cat butt area itself. If there’s anything weird going on down there, get your kitty to the vet right away.
Who knew the cat butt was such an important area? Staying up in your cat’s business will keep you aware and informed about the state of his health.
Tell us: What cat butt issues have you encountered?
Thumbnail: Photography ©Tomwang112 | Thinkstock.
This piece was originally published in 2012.