The anus of your cat is filthy – How do you clean it?

To know how to clean your cat’s filthy anus, you first need to find out what causes your cat’s filthy anus. For example, does he have diarrhea that sticks, is he unable to clean his buttocks himself, or is it not poop that you see, but anal gland fluid. In this article we discuss all these components so that you know what the cause is in your cat and how you can solve it yourself, without the intervention of a veterinarian.

cat has a filthy anus, that's why he holds a sign that says "some privacy please".

How do cats normally clean their filthy behinds?

Under normal circumstances, cats are very clean in themselves. They usually wash themselves extensively several times a day. According to a study conducted by the University of California in 2000, cats spent approximately 4% of their day cleaning themselves. That’s almost an hour every 24 hours! Of course, they don’t do this by taking a shower. As a cat owner, you will probably know that your cat keeps itself clean by licking itself. And they also do that to their behinds. Their tongues have hooks that hold dirt well. They use their saliva to moisten dirt and make it easier to remove it from their fur.

But not every cat is equally clean in itself. You also have some real dirty ones among them. But we also have them among people. And sometimes cats simply can’t keep themselves clean anymore. Take, for example, an old cat that has become very stiff and suffers from osteoarthritis. His back won’t be as easy to bend as it used to be. And then it becomes difficult to lick your own buttocks to clean it!

What causes a filthy anus in your cat?

A filthy anus can therefore arise as a result of the fact that your cat can no longer keep its anus clean due to a physical disability. Above we already mentioned stiff joints (arthrosis). But an overweight cat will also have difficulty bending itself and thus keeping its anus clean. In these cases, your cat will develop a filthy anus.

But a filthy anus can also be caused by his anal glands being overfilled. Or they are even inflamed. The anal glands are two small glands on the sides of the anus. The anal gland fluid produced should always be excreted a little with the stool. This way your cat marks his or her territory. If the anal glands are overfull or inflamed, your cat usually suffers from this. He will then try to wash his anus more often or he will rub his filthy anus against objects or the ground.

In addition to the fact that your cat can no longer clean his own filthy anus or that it concerns the anal glands, it is also possible that his feces are too soft and therefore too much feces sticks to his anus. Or the hair on his anus is too long, causing the poop to stick to his filthy anus.

Cat is cleaning his filthy anus

Your cat no longer washes himself and therefore gets a filthy anus

Does your cat no longer wash himself, while he used to? And is he already a day older? In that case, there is most likely a reason for it. Observe your cat closely over the next few days. Does he walk a little stiffer than before? Is he less likely to jump on the table or windowsill? Then there is a good chance that it concerns osteoarthritis. This means that the cartilage of his joints is no longer in good condition. Inflammation occurs in his joints or his bones rub against each other. In that case he has (mild) pain. He will therefore choose to wash less often, or even not at all.

Is your cat still relatively young but does he have a bit of a potbelly? Or maybe he’s just downright too fat? In that case, the fatty tissue in his abdomen will prevent him from cleaning his own behind. The result is of course that you will see a filthy anus on your cat. In that case, make sure he loses weight. Less food, less sweets and more exercise. Only then will your cat eventually clean its own anus again. Or do you want to continue doing that for him for the rest of his life?

The feces get stuck in your cat

Of course, it is especially the case with long-haired cats that their feces occasionally get stuck in their hair. Does this happen regularly? First try to see if it helps if you cut the hair around his filthy anus a little shorter. And this mainly concerns the hairs in the immediate vicinity of his anus. You really don’t have to shave his entire butt.

However, does his feces remain stuck even if your cat has long hair or if you have cut it short? In that case, your cat may not digest its food properly. Then too many substances remain in his stool that he should actually have digested. And these substances also attract extra moisture. The stool always remains a little too wet. The result is that the feces stick more easily and your cat will have a filthy anus.

Is it actually feces that causes a filthy anus in your cat?

As we wrote earlier in this article, it may also be that your cat’s anal glands are overfilled and then keep secreting a little bit of the anal gland fluid. In that case you will also see a filthy anus on your cat. This fluid also does not smell like feces, but has a foul, stale, fishy and very strong odor. In general, it is also somewhat waterier than stool, but that is not always the case. The color can be dark brown, but also light yellow and everything in between.

If your cat has overfull anal glands, he will generally lick his anus more often or rub his bottom on the floor or rub against other surfaces. He does this to get rid of the itchy feeling.

Your cat stinks from the bottom, but doesn't look filthy

In this case too, it will involve the anal gland fluid. You probably smell a very intense odor from your cat. You can usually improve this by adjusting the diet. We will explain what you can do later in this article.

cat has a filthy anus and a stinky smell is coming from it.

Your cat smells like rotten eggs

Some people think their cat smells like rotten eggs. They usually continue to look for the cause of the odor for a while longer and then come to the conclusion that the odor comes from their cat’s anus. Unfortunately, in this case too it is most likely his anal glands.

Why does my cat smell like poop?

In principle, the cause will usually lie in the fact that a small piece of poop has remained behind somewhere. So look if you can find that somewhere. But it can also happen that your cat smells like poop if its poop has a very intense odor. This mainly happens when your cat receives less good quality food from you. But in addition, the same study we referred to earlier, the study conducted by the University of California in 2000, shows that cats spread their own fecal bacteria over their fur by licking and washing themselves. These poop bacteria will need substances in their environment to survive and produce certain gases when digesting these substances that you recognize by their poop smell. And we just think that cats are such clean animals…

How can you clean your cat's filthy anus yourself?

Does your cat only occasionally have a filthy anus? Then you can use an antibacterial wipe to clean his buttocks in a hygienic way. It is best to use chlorhexidine cleaning wipes for this, such as the ones below. The chlorhexidine ensures that bacteria formation is prevented, so that you not only remove the poop on the eye, but also tackle the bacteria that they have left behind.

How do you prevent a filthy anus in your cat?

In this case, the solution depends a bit on the cause:


In very serious cases of osteoarthritis, it is better to take your cat to your vet. You can examine this carefully and, if really necessary, prescribe your cat a painkiller for the rest of its life. But do you believe that he is a bit stiff and can no longer walk and jump as smoothly, but that he also does not seem to have much trouble with his joints? In that case, it is wise to give your cat a nutritional supplement that will ensure that your cat’s joints can move more easily and your cat will therefore experience less pain when he wants to wash his behind.

Flexadin cat


If your cat has become overweight over time, it is important that he consumes fewer calories than he uses. So give him 75% of the food he normally eats and encourage him as much as possible to exercise more. You can encourage this, for example, with these toys:

Cat toy interactive

Is your cat not losing enough weight? Then you can also switch to a diet that contains fewer calories. Try to weigh your cat once a month or more often. You can do this by standing on a scale with your cat and then you alone. The difference between the two weights is the weight of your cat.

Purine proplan weight cat

Long hair

As we said before, it is wise to cut long hair short if your cat’s feces get stuck in it. This is best done with sharp scissors with a rounded tip. This way, the risk of injury during cutting is very small.

blunt scissors

Sticky stools

If stool is too wet, this means that digestion is not optimal. By feeding your cat a food that is easier to digest, the feces will become slightly firmer and probably also slightly less in quantity. This makes the chance of a filthy anus in your cat much smaller.

Purina sensitive skin cat food.

Overfull anal glands in your cat

Your cat’s anal glands are located on the sides of the anus. You should think of it as a small balloon with the opening on the edge of the anus. You can therefore empty your cat’s anal glands quite easily. That is, if your cat is willing to cooperate. You can empty the anal glands by folding a piece of toilet paper in half a few times. You have to feel good about what you are doing, so don’t fold it over too often.

Then place this cloth over your cat’s filthy anus. You can then feel a thickening on the side of the anus, at approximately 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock. If you “squeeze” a little behind the thickening and then apply force forward and to the center, the anal gland fluid will come out of the anal glands. First put on a disposable glove because the liquid smells terribly and is difficult to wash off your hand. Just give it a try. You will see that you get some liquid out of it and then you will better understand how to empty it even more. It seems scarier than it is! But it is a dirty job.

Your cat's filthy anus is not over yet, what now?

Do the above solutions not help enough? In that case, you can still try whether intestinal flora stimulants offer a solution or try glandex to support the anal glands. Good luck!
Fortiflora cat
Glandex cat