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Why Does My Cat Keep Getting Poop Stuck to Their Bum? Vet-Reviewed Reasons & How to Remove It

Keri-Beth Clur

By Keri-Beth Clur

Tabby cat step inside a litter box to poops or pee

Vet approved

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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It’s an unpleasant experience when your cat jumps up onto your lap for a cuddle, and you get a whiff of a nasty smell, only to find that they have poop stuck to their bum. Cats are known to be incredible groomers who spend most of their day licking at their coats, cleaning their faces, and getting to all the nitty gritty parts of their bodies. Therefore, it is not expected for cats to have poop stuck to their bum, and something needs to be done about it.

A cat may have this problem because they recently had diarrhea or because the fur around their bum is too long. However, there can be other less common reasons, too. If this is a recurring issue, the best option is for your cat to see a veterinarian to sort out their tummy issues and to remove the poop. If the stuck poop caused any complications, your veterinarian would need to treat those too.

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The 4 Possible Reasons Why Your Cat Has Poop Stuck to Their Bum

If your cat has poop stuck to their bum, there is a reason for it, whether big or small. Here are a few reasons why it could be happening to your cat:

1. Diarrhea

Diarrhea is one of the most common reasons why poop could be stuck to your cat’s bum. Loose stools are more sticky than regular stools and get in all the places they shouldn’t, like in the fur around your cat’s bum.

It’s not uncommon for cats to get diarrhea, especially if they ate something they shouldn’t have, but if it persists for longer than 2 days or occurs frequently, you’ll need to take your cat to the veterinarian as it could be a sign of something more serious health-wise.


2. Long Fur

If your cat often gets poop stuck to their bum and they have a long coat, you may need to start trimming the fur around their anus as it could be getting in the way of their business. The long fur could also be causing an obstruction and preventing your cat from being able to reach their bum to clean it properly.

If this is the case, you may need to trim or shave the area: this is best done by a professional as many owners inadvertently cut their cat’s skin in the process. Regular baths may also be necessary, as well as helping them out with their grooming process.

Cat grooming in pet salon
Image Credit: Boling, Shutterstock

3. Obesity

If your cat is overweight, they are at risk for developing health problems from arthritis to diabetes. It can also be the reason they’ve got poop stuck to their bum. An obese cat doesn’t have the ability to reach all the areas of the body that they need to groom because they’re restricted by their weight. If they cannot groom the fur and area around their bum, there is a higher likelihood that poop will get stuck and left there.

It’s important to make a change if your cat is obese, as it will improve their quality of life and health. Start by encouraging your cat to exercise more, eat less, and restrict the amount of treats you give them. Ask your vet for a nutrition plan, to accomplish this.


4. Arthritis

Cats with arthritis experience pain in their joints, which prevents them from doing the activities they were once able to do, such as grooming themselves. A cat with arthritis may struggle to reach different areas of their body because of the pain and discomfort it causes them. This pain can make it difficult for them to get up and down, walk, jump, and play, and may cause them to hide, have accidents in the house, and neglect their coats.

If your cat often has poop stuck to their bum and is showing signs like the ones listed above, they may have arthritis. It’s important to take them to the veterinarian to be given the care and treatment they need to manage their pain.

hind legs of senior cat with arthritis
Image Credit: Roman Chekhovskoi, Shutterstock

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The Problems with Poop Being Stuck to Your Cat’s Bum

Although it may not seem like a serious thing for your cat to have poop stuck to their bum, it can cause complications if left untreated.

Fecal Mats

Fecal mats develop if nothing is done about the poop stuck to the fur around a cat’s rear end for some time. These mats are caused by the fur getting tangled together, along with the poop, which acts like a glue. The tightness of these mats makes it very difficult to brush out without causing a lot of pain to your cat, so they need to be cut or shaven out by a professional.

Adorable long haired cat in brushing time, siberian male
Image Credit: Massimo Cattaneo, Shutterstock

Infestations

Poop attracts flies, and flies lay eggs which result in maggots, even if the poop is on a moving body. If a cat has had poop stuck to their bum for a period of time, it’s important to take them to the veterinarian to look for maggots that may have bred in the fecal mat. If this has occurred, the veterinarian will need to remove the maggots, and the area will need to be treated.

Skin Irritations and Infections

If your cat has a fecal mat, it can be painful and pull or rub on their skin, which can lead to skin irritations. The lingering poop is unsanitary, and the bacteria can cause skin issues as well as exacerbate existing skin conditions.

belly of a cat with wounds and skin problems from stress or allergies
Image Credit: Zhuravlev Andrey, Shutterstock

Ingesting the Poop

If poop is stuck to your cat’s bum because the fur is too long or because of diarrhea, it’s important to remove it and clean the area quickly. Leaving it will result in your cat ingesting the fecal matter through grooming that area. It’s not healthy or sanitary for your cat to ingest their poop as it contains bacteria which can lead to vomiting, infections, and illness.

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How to Remove Poop That Is Stuck to Your Cat’s Bum

Attempt to remove the poop as soon as you notice it because leaving it can lead to pain and complications that will require the expertise of a veterinarian.

First, you’ll need to soften the poop with warm water to remove it easier. You can use a spray bottle or a damp cloth. Use some of your cat’s shampoo and rub it on the area, as this will soften the poop more and clean the area. Rinse the area with warm water and dry it with a towel. You can also opt to use cat-friendly wet wipes that are designed to remove poop from fur, which might be less stressful for your cat.

Cats are famously good at grooming themselves, but sometimes they need a little extra help. Natural, hypoallergenic wipes like our Hepper Wash Wipes can help you keep your cat clean without causing any irritation. These wipes are specifically designed to work on all ages of cats, gently cleaning sensitive areas while effectively removing dirt and grime.

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If the poop cannot be removed with wipes or water and shampoo, or if there are matts, you may need to take your cat to a professional to cut the poop out and trim the area to prevent it from recurring. Also, seek professional help if the poop has been stuck to your cat’s butt for an extended period; you see any signs of maggots, skin irritations, infections, prolonged diarrhea, vomiting, or other signs of illness in your cat.

cat at vet with owner and veternarian
Image Credit: 4 PM production, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

Cats who have experienced diarrhea or who have long fur are at risk for getting poop stuck to their butt, but it can also happen to cats that are obese or who suffer from arthritis because they are unable to effectively groom themselves. Poop stuck in the fur should not be left untreated because it can cause complications and it is very unhygienic.

To prevent it from happening again or to remove a fecal mat, you may need to cut the poop out, as well as the fur around your cat’s bum. You can do this yourself if you’re able to, or you can take your cat to a professional groomer or the vet to do it for you.


Featured Image Credit: r.classen, Shutterstock

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