Long-haired cats are absolutely beautiful, and their soft, satiny fur just invites you to stroke them. Unfortunately, sometimes that lovely, long hair can create litter box problems that you will have to address. A short-haired cat seldom has any problems with accumulated feces on his or her backside, but this is often not the case with a Persian, Angora, or other long-haired breed.
You may well notice that your cat has been scooting its bum along the floor after using the litter box; the reason for this is that fecal matter has probably become caught in the hair. You may notice discolored streaks on the rugs or furniture, and often your cat will have a distinctly nasty odor. Finding stool outside the box after your cat has used it shows that your cat is inadvertently dragging feces out of the box on their hair.
Helping Your Cat
While cats are very good at grooming themselves, mats of hardened stool are impossible for the cat to remove, and you will have to step in to assist.
- Use a dampened paper towel as soon as your cat steps out of the litter box to remove any attached feces. Taking it off at this stage will be a lot easier than if it builds up. Starting this procedure when your cat is a kitten will make it routine.
- Daily brushing is essential for long-haired cats. Not only will it help prevent fecal mats from forming on the underside of the tail or on the backs of the legs, but it will keep hairballs from forming.
- If the fecal mats are too large for brushing, but not attached to the skin of the cat, you may be able to carefully cut them off. This is a two person job, and you can expect your cat to be upset.
- Heavy fecal mats, especially those that have become attached to the skin will require that the cat receive a warm bath. It may take some time for the matter to loosen up, depending on the size of the mats. Because your cat may fight you, have someone help you during the bath. Once the mats have broken up, change the water and gently shampoo the area.
- Some owners of long-haired cats simply use clippers to remove the long hair from the bum in order to prevent mats forming in the first place.
Be sure to inspect your long-haired cat’s rear end every day to make sure that stool has not become caught in the fur, and if any is present, remove it immediately.