How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Candy R. Your Own Question
Candy R.
Candy R. , Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 11607
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Candy R. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

cat licking rear....and while pooping

Resolved Question:

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.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Candy R. replied 3 years ago.
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

Expert:  Candy R. replied 3 years ago.
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!

Expert:  Candy R. replied 3 years ago.
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
Candy R., Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 11607
Experience: Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
Candy R. and 2 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
< Previous | Next >
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
  • I will use your service again. I was very pleased with the response and the fact that you have a low cost option so that those of us on fixed income can have questions answered. I will also recommend you to others. Karen Jackson Heights, NY
  • You helped us to come to what we believe is a better next step in Jack's treatment, and hopefully have saved us $800!! Thanks again! Jack's Mom Tuscon, AZ
  • The vet said that the information and my following it will be what made the difference. Thanks again for being so very helpful. Tracy Grayson, LA
  • My oldest male cat had a seizure this evening. This site was the first place I could think of to go after the seizure had passed. Dr. Lucy was fantastic and she was spot on! Debbie USA
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

Meet The Experts:

  • Terri


    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
< Last | Next >
  • Terri's Avatar


    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
  • Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • Cher's Avatar


    Feline Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
  • Lori's Avatar


    Feline Healthcare

    Satisfied Customers:

    16 yrs health care mgmt & issues relating to cats, reproductive issues and multicat environments
  • Micki's Avatar


    Expert in cat behavior and health

    Satisfied Customers:

    Expert in cat medical and behavior issues.
  • Candy R.'s Avatar

    Candy R.

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • Theresa's Avatar


    A Voice for your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    19+ years in animal medicine as a veterinary technician