Why Is My Cat’s Butt So Dirty? What Every Cat Owner Should Know

Are you aware of what’s fascinating? We are lucky to be able to take care of our hygiene as humans, which includes wiping ourselves after using the restroom.

However, have you ever considered how cats handle this aspect of their hygiene? You probably missed it when you initially adopted a cat.

cat with dirty bottom

Although cats are naturally clean animals, their bottoms may get filthy. In this article, we’ll look at the potential causes of your cat’s dirty bottom and advise you on how to properly clean it.

Let’s explore why your cat can require more care and how you can contribute to its cleanliness.

Why Is My Cat’s Butt So Dirty?

Here are a few possible reasons for your cat’s bum to be dirty:

1. Anal Gland Problem

Cats have two anal glands, one on either side of the anus at roughly the 4 and 8 o’clock positions.[1] Cats have scent glands near their butt that they use to mark their territory and communicate with other cats.

Sometimes these glands can get blocked or infected, which can cause pain and discomfort. If this happens, your cat might drag its butt across surfaces or leak poop.

cat with anal gland problem

2. Diarrhea

If your cat has a dirty butt, it could be because they have diarrhea or soft stool. This can happen if your cat is having problems with digestion. Their poop might be too soft and cling to their fur around the butt area.

This can be caused by different things like changes in their diet, food allergies, parasites in their intestines, or any other health issues.

3. Obesity or Overweight

Due to their limited movement or problems reaching their bottoms, obese or overweight cats may have trouble maintaining good grooming hygiene.

Being overweight might make it difficult for them to bend down and reach specific parts during grooming sessions, which can result in a soiled butt.

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4. Natural Grooming Behavior

Cats are very clean animals and they usually clean themselves by licking their fur.

understand cat's issue of dirty butt

But sometimes they can’t reach every part of their body, especially around their butt. This is because the anus area is hard to reach and they might not be able to clean it properly.

5. The Litter Box Is Dirty

Just like humans, cats have standards when it comes to hygiene, and an unclean litter box is a major turnoff for them.

So, make it a habit to scoop out the used litter at least once a day, or every other day, to keep things fresh and appealing for your furry friend. Another thing to consider is the type of litter you’re using.

If your cat is avoiding her litter tray, she might simply dislike the litter you’ve chosen. Experiment with different options until you find the one that she prefers.

Remember, a change in routine can cause stress for cats, so ensuring a clean and comfortable bathroom experience for her is essential for maintaining her good bum-cleaning habits.

How to Clean a Cat’s Butt?

1. Bathing

“You can give them a bubble bath. If your cat has dried poop stuck to their fur, Put their bottom in warm water for a few minutes to loosen the poop. Always use cat-friendly shampoo or dish soap and wear gloves to protect yourself from germs”, suggests experts from ASPCA.

helping cat in grooming

2. Use Damp, Warm Cloth or Wipes

To clean your cat’s bottom, you may use a warm cloth and a damp paper towel or an unscented baby wipe that is gentle on their skin. Gently lift your cat’s tail and wipe the area around the anus.

Be careful not to press too hard or use any harsh chemicals that could hurt your cat’s skin.

3. Consider Professional Grooming Services

If your cat has a dirty butt often or if they don’t like being cleaned, you can ask a professional groomer or your vet for help. They have the experience and tools to clean your cat safely and effectively.

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Professional groomers can also trim the fur around the anus to make sure it’s clean and the chances of poop getting stuck will reduce.

How to Prevent This Behavior in Cats?

Now that we’ve explored some possible causes, here are a few solutions to help keep your cat’s bum clean:

1. Proper Grooming

If you want to help your cat in wiping behind them, you can sit by them and gently wipe them down with a warm, moist cloth or an unscented baby wipe.

However, take care not to massage too hard or use any harsh chemicals. Keep in mind that some cats might not enjoy this, so be patient and kind.

2. Healthy Diet

It’s important to feed your cat a balanced and healthy diet that is fit for their needs. And if your cat has problems with digestion frequently, then you should consult with the vet.

They might recommend changes to their diet or run tests to find out if any underlying health problems could be causing the dirty butt.

healthy diet for cat

3. Professional Help

Ti is important to visit the vet regularly. The vet can check your cat’s anal glands and make sure they are working properly. If there is a problem, the vet can help prevent it from getting worse by expressing the glands.


1. Why Is My Cat’s Bottom So Dirty?

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.

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2. Can Cats Clean Their Bum?

Most cats can clean their butts. However, cats who cannot clean their own butts should not be shamed for this. There are a variety of reasons which might cause a cat to not clean their own butt, but for this cat, it is their size.

3. How Often Should You Wipe Down Your Cat?

In general, cats should be given a bath once every 4-6 weeks, depending on how often they groom themselves, and the environment they’re usually in. If your cat is more outdoorsy and soils itself while playing, it’s a good idea to help with the grooming process as they alone won’t be able to properly get cleaned.

4. Can I Clean My Cat’s Bum With Baby Wipes?

Absolutely! I used to have a Persian cat and if he didn’t get his sanitary cut at the groomer, he’d have a poo butt now and then. Using baby wipes &/or pet wipes is perfectly acceptable to clean the area.


In short, it’s important to understand why your cat’s butt is dirty so you can keep them clean and healthy.

If your cat has issues with their anal glands, arthritis, or diarrhea, it can cause dirt buildup. Regular grooming like brushing and trimming can help prevent this.

If the problem continues, it’s best to consult a vet for further guidance. Remember, as responsible cat owners, we need to prioritize our feline companions’ well-being even in the less charming areas.

You can confidently address the issue and ensure your cat’s cleanliness and comfort.


  1. Coates, J., DVM. (2023, September 9). Anal Glands in CatsPetMD.

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