Felines love to groom themselves and they’re usually very thorough. So, if your cat is not cleaning her bum properly, there’s always a reason. Hygiene is extremely important, especially to felines, so you need to make sure all parts of her are clean.
If your cat has a dirty bum, it induces the risk of toxoplasmosis. It’s a disease caused by a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. Dried feces on the feline’s behind can cause her to develop the illness and possibly transfer it to her owners, too.
If you notice that she’s having trouble grooming, you’ll need to help her. There can be a number of reasons why a cat’s not cleaning her bum properly. We’ll list some of the common ones, but still, the best way to aid her is to seek professional help.
Behind any difficulties in maintaining their hygiene can lie an enormous amount of medical problems. These can be dangerous to both your cat and you. And it becomes particularly scary if you have children.
Kids love touching just about anything and then putting their hands in their mouths. So much so that it’s nearly impossible to keep track of them and everything they interact with.
It’s easy to imagine a scenario in which your child gets infected. That’s another reason why you need to work on solving your feline’s issue as soon as possible. So, let’s start right away!
8 reasons why your cat is not cleaning her bum properly
It might be unseemly to see a dirty cat, but it’s even worse for them. Felines are one of the cleanest pets you can own, so seeing a filthy one is a cause for concern. It’s usually a sign of some sort of issue or illness. Here are some ideas of what it could be.
One of the most common reasons why your cat isn’t cleaning her bum properly is obesity. Overweight cats have limited mobility which makes it difficult for them to reach certain places. They also have much less energy than other cats, so they tend to give up on grooming halfway.
If you have an overweight cat, chances are you’ll have to assist them regularly. Because of this and their health, you should start looking for ways to make them lose the extra pounds. We suggest that you start by visiting the vet. Obesity is usually just a sign of some illness pulling the strings behind the scenes.
2. Senior cat
Limited mobility can also occur in senior cats. Arthritis and other illnesses might be causing your feline too much pain to groom some parts. If that’s the case, you’ll need to take over the regular cleaning. Your furball hates feeling dirty, so she’ll be very grateful.
Although mobility issues are usually present in senior or obese felines, any cat can have them. They’re normally tied to different illnesses and injuries. These older furballs completely depend on you to keep their hygiene.
3. Litter box problems
How often do you clean out your furball’s litter box? If the litter is dirty, it could lead to your cat not cleaning her bum properly. In the wild, they tend to avoid overly filthy places and the same goes for indoor cats.
She might be trying to get it over with as quickly as possible. And that causes her to neglect her bum hygiene. Thankfully, this issue can be easily fixed. You just need to clean her litter box a bit more often. If that doesn’t work, consider changing the litter type.
The kind of litter you use plays a huge role in the way your cat interacts with her litter box. If it has a scent that’s far too intense or if the texture is too rough, she’ll hate it. To the point that she might refuse to use it or try to get her business done too quickly.
This creates a huge mess and not just around the box of litter. Her bum will get dirty, too, and she will probably lose all desire to clean it. A simple change in the kind of litter you use and how often you clean it can make a huge difference.
If diarrhea is the issue, your cat might just be struggling to keep herself clean. Each time she finishes grooming, she gets dirty again. So, she might give up after a while because of exhaustion. Thankfully, this usually isn’t too big of a problem.
Diarrhea can be caused by just about anything when it comes to felines. It can be a result of a new brand of cat food you decided to try, stress and so many other things. However, it’s rarely anything to give much thought to or worry about.
It usually lasts for a few hours, and everything goes back to normal. Just give her plenty of fluids and monitor her closely. If it continues for more than a day, contact a vet. Diarrhea that lasts more than 24 hours can be a symptom of some other medical issue.
5. Intestinal worms
Intestinal worms are a very common problem amongst felines. They cause a number of issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, and bloating. It makes them develop an itchy bum which causes them to drag it on the floor to get some relief.
You might also see small white flecks in their stool or even a worm hanging out of their bum. You shouldn’t ever pull it out, though because it could cause damage to your feline’s organs. Take your cat to the vet as soon as possible to avoid any further complications.
6. Swollen anal glands
Bacterial infections are the most common reason behind swollen anal glands. It causes a blockage that makes it difficult for your feline to finish her business. This creates discomfort and pain which makes your cat avoid cleaning her bum properly.
Until you fix this issue, your feline will continue avoiding that area. It will only lead to a larger build-up. So, the moment you notice anything sketchy, take your cat to the veterinarian. Waiting can always lead to complications.
A way that your vet will use to fix the issue is probably anal expression. You could do this routine by yourself in your home, but you first need to be taught by a professional. But since this job can be very messy, most choose to leave it to the vet.
7. Cognitive dysfunction
A frequent condition that develops in cats that are older than 10 years is cognitive dysfunction. One of its main symptoms is felines grooming themselves significantly less. This leads to greasy fur, matting, and your cat not cleaning her bum properly.
This condition cannot be cured and your furball becomes completely dependent on your aid. You’ll need to make time for regular grooming and cleaning her behind. You should consult a veterinarian about what exactly you’ll need to handle.
8. Long-haired breeds
Grooming is especially difficult for long-haired breeds. They’re usually more prone to matting, so feces getting caught up in the fur is very likely. These breeds generally can’t groom themselves entirely on their own, but their bum needs even more care.
A lot of people assume that they can handle their hygiene on their own because they’re cats. And that leads to long-haired felines looking unkept and dirty. Be sure to groom them regularly and trim the fur in their bum area.
You can also take them to a professional groomer. They always do a much better job because they’re trained for it. Plus, they make your kitty look like royalty. However, if you’re hoping to save up some money, you can definitely learn how to do it yourself.
How to clean your cat’s bum
Before taking your cat to a veterinarian, you first need to clean her behind. The longer you leave it dirty, the bigger risk there is of a disease or infection. As we’ve already mentioned, there’s a high possibility of toxoplasmosis.
Toxoplasmosis is zoonotic, which means it can be transferred to humans. So, if you have children, be sure to keep them far away from your pet until this issue is solved. You’ll also need to thoroughly wash your hands after handling your cat.
1. Cleaning wet feces
Wet feces are usually the most difficult to remove and they pose a serious threat to your cat’s health. And to add to that, it’s a nightmare if it spreads on furniture or carpets. Not only is it difficult to clean, but it’s also possibly spreading the parasites.
Your first thought might be to bathe your feline. But baths should be avoided unless completely necessary and unavoidable. The water can damage your cat’s skin’s pH levels. You’ll end up creating a bigger problem than the one she already has.
That’s why you should use wet wipes or cloths. But even with these, you need to be careful. Make sure you use wipes specifically made for pets or baby wipes from a pharmacy. (Some baby wipes can be harmful and they can cause the same problem as baths.)
In the case that wet wipes and cloths can’t help, you can resort to a bath. But, you need to be particularly careful about what kind of shampoo you use. It needs to be specifically made for cats so that your feline’s skin suffers the least amount of damage possible. The water should be warm and shallow.
2. Cleaning dry feces
Dry feces usually form for one of two reasons. The first is that you might have missed a spot while cleaning up the wet feces. And the other is that your feline’s litter box is dirty, and some got attached to her fur.
You can get rid of it by spraying a little water over it and then combing it out with a fine-toothed comb. Just be sure to properly sterilize it after use. Combing the feces out is typically extremely hard to do, though. And even if you manage to get most of it out, little bits and pieces will remain.
This is why you’ll need to trim the fur, especially if you have a long-haired breed. Regular scissors will do just fine, but you need to be careful not to injure your feline. Especially if she hates being handled and squirms a lot.
Another good idea would be to shave some fur off of your feline’s behind. It might look a bit funny, but it’s for the best. If your cat isn’t cleaning her bum properly, this would be a good fix for the time being. That is until you find the root of the issue and solve it.
Cleaning up the problem
The fact that your cat’s not cleaning her bum properly is a very complex issue. You need to tackle it from all sides to understand it and hopefully fix it. The cause can be very simple, like having a long hair breed of cat.
Or it could be something extremely complex that requires medical assistance and a long recovery. Whichever the case, try to keep in mind that your cat has it way worse. For an animal that cares so much about cleanliness, having a dirty bum is extremely stressful and irritating.
In situations like these, you’re basically the world to them. They rely on you to do what they can’t or find too painful. And by grooming their bums, you’re not only helping them but protecting yourself and your whole family. The sooner they get help, the easier it will be for everyone involved.