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Candy R.
Candy R., Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 11612
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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cat licking rear....and while pooping

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My cat just did something I have never seen him do. Basically he was licking himself near the anal area but was also pooping some. He did this a few times. I put him in the litter box and he jumped back out. The poop was solid, small turds. I tried stopping him verbally or touching him each time he was trying to lick if he was pooping and then again after when he was just licking himself.

He did scoot his butt on the carpet for a second (which I thought was more of a dog behavior). He was standing in the hall and crying out some earlier, but he has cried before bowel movements before, moreso when younger.

He continued to lick himself, but was calmly laying by me.  He got up and has been drinking from his water bowl for longer than usual now. 

Do I need to be concerned about the pooping and excessive licking?


My roommate did just get a puppy and our apartment is fixing our fire alarm so it keeps beeping (which scares him each time), so could it maybe be stress or attention? Please help! I will call my vet in the morning but too late at night now.

Hello, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I have been a veterinary nurse for 26 years.Thank you for allowing me to assist you today.

Can you tell if there is any swelling around the rectum particularly on the sides of the rectum?

Is his stool always hard balls?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Doesn't look to be any swelling. There does seem to be maybe a white-ish material on the hair above, like the tail base area. I also noticed, or thought I did, some white-ish discharge on one of the stools. I can try to attach a photo if it would help, but looks mostly normal to me


His stools vary sometimes, but are usually hard, and often in smaller segments, but these did seem smaller than usual.


He is back laying by me again...I was worried having never seen him licking so intently and while having a BM

Thank you for the additional information.

If the stool was hard it is possible that it was very painful when passing which is why he was licking. It is also possible that he has full and or infected anal glands. Dragging the bottom is often a sign of problems with the anal glands.

The white discharge could have been pus coming from these glands so you want to watch for any more licking, swelling around the rectum or any more dragging of the bottom on the ground. When the anal glands become infected and or impacted they can actually rupture on the outside.Anal gland infection are very painful. Click here for more on anal gland problems.

The stools should never be hard so if his are all the time then you want to try to change or add things to his diet to help. If he does not eat canned food then adding canned would help. It is recommended that a cat have a 50/50 ratio of canned and dry.

You can also add things like 1-2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin or 1 tablespoon of grain cereal such as grapenuts to his food to give added fiber and make the stools softer.
Chronic hard stool can lead to problems such as constipation and mega colon.

If he continues to lick or dragging the bottom I would have the anal glands checked by your vet.

I hope this helps. Please reply back if you have additional questions or concerns and I will be happy to continue.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks so much! We were just at the vet for annual checkup last week and she also suggested adding some wet food (he is also a big cat [but not hugely overweight, just a lb or so more than target], so thinking less carby food could be good for that and for softening stools some.) I also will try the fiber suggestions too!


Would there be anything I should look out for tonight that might warrant having to bring him in to an emergency clinic?



I will keep an eye on him for more licking or dragging. Thanks again for your timely response...I can stop being so worried now!

You are very welcome. Normally anal gland problems are not something you would have to rush to the ER for unless he was so painful that he was consistently crying or the anal gland actually ruptures.

You are correct canned food will help with both weight and stool.

Give him a good head scratch from me and tell him I hope he feels better soon
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