Our question this week was:Dr. Jon,
I've got a longhaired cat that gets cat litter and her own feces stuck to after using the litter box. What can I do to stop this, I've tried cutting the hair down and even shaving her rear end however that was all very unsuccessful. What else can I do? I do have a second question, Why are my cats always licking bags or my clothing?
Hi – thanks for your email. What you describe, your long haired cat getting feces caught in his hair is not uncommon. It is hard to prevent or stop. Sometimes if their stools are nice and firm, they are less "sticky" and tend to stick to the hair less. Sometimes you can increase the firmness of the stools by adding a teaspoon of canned pumpkin to his food (some cats like it!) or about ¼ teaspoon of Metamucil to his food.
The only other option is to keep his hair clipped or shaved around his rectum and feathers between his legs. Some pet owners will just carefully use scissors to clip the really long feathers and that seems to help. I generally don't recommend owners using scissors to clip cat's hair because it can be easy to accidentally cut their skin. However, for long-haired cats you are only cutting their feathers, it can be safe. Just gently grab the hair and cut on the outside of where your fingers touch the hair to make sure you don't have any skin in there. Alternatively you can shave using a good quality clipper such as this one
This is a very good clipper – not the cheapest but I've had good luck with it. The cordless ones are also nice and convenient as you can more easily take them to your cat but I haven't had as good of luck with them.
An article that might also be helpful to you is Grooming Your cat
Best of luck!
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