Why does my cat have a dirty bottom?

Our question this week was:

Hello, My cat always has a dirty bum, and I was concerned that he may have trouble either going the bathroom or that it is something else. Your opinion is appreciated.

Melissa McKim


Hi Melissa– thanks for your email. A dirty bum or rear can result from several things. Most commonly, we set it in pets that have had diarrhea. Another common reason is a pet that is too obese to reach and groom their bottom. They can also have anal gland problems that can make their bum appear dirty.

Have you noticed diarrhea in the litter box? You might clean him up (if possible) with a paper towel and a little soap/warm water. Make sure he is eating and drinking well. Monitor for further problems. If you are concernd, you can take him to your vet for an examination.

A couple articles that might be helpful to you are Anal Sac Disease in Cats, Obesity in Cats and Acute Diarrhea in Cats.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

Click here to see the full list of Ask Dr. Debra Questions and Answers!