Skip to content
Includes Expert Content
Grooming, weight gain and newly adopted
dlsmithy posted:
I adopted my new kitty in July and since then I have sold my home and moved into a new one. I noticed him coughing up a worm within the first week and took him to our vet who tested and treated him for roundworms.

He consistently is pooping in my bedroom so I have closed it off and he now has full run of the extra bedroom where I keep his litter box and food and water. I close him up at night and he uses the litter box for both peeing and pooping. However, he's not grooming himself after pooping. (He also is on a diet since he has gained 7 lbs since July. I feed him 2 3oz cans of fancy feast and 1/8 cup of dry food in small amounts at a time (recommended by my vet) I take him back Saturday to have him rechecked.

What can I do to encourage him to groom his butt? Or, what can I do/use to clean it for him? I keep thinking maybe after he loses some weight he will be able to manipulate himself better for cleaning.

Any recommendations or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. I love him and just want us to be able to get through these issues and live peacefully together.
Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP responded:
Defecating outside the litterbox has two general causes: either it's a medical problem or a behavioral one. Fortunately, the distinction is easy. Most medical causes have abnormal stool, usually diarrhea (but sometimes constipation.) So if your cat's stool is completely normal, it's probably not a medical cause. Since he just had intestinal parasites, which often causes diarrhea, this could be the problem, but it should be obvious.

The other question is how to get him to clean his rear end. Again, if he has diarrhea, that's the problem. If not, and if he's really overweight, he may not be able to reach that area to keep it clean. If so, this shouldn't be a new problem (it took him a while to get overweight) but weight loss is the long term solution. In the short term, bathing his rear end with a mild shampoo will help. You can also use "baby wipes" if that's more convenient.

Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP
The Cat Doctor
Board Certified in Feline Practice


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

Helpful Tips

Helping Hospice Patients Keep Their PetsExpert
Pets are an extremely important part of our lives. And this is especially true when we are at the end of our days. What could be more ... More
Was this Helpful?
35 of 47 found this helpful

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Learn more about the AVMA

WebMD Special Sections