Cat Scooting – Why Does It Happen & What To Do?

While scooting is a fairly common behavior among cats, it can be cause for concern. 

It is crucial that you learn everything there is to know about this so you can take good care of your kitty. While this is more commonly associated with dogs, many cats do it as well.

What is Scooting?

Scooting is an abnormal behavior that some cats exhibit as a result of illness or even injury. You will notice your cat dragging its butt across the floor. Some people think that only dogs do this, but it is actually quite common among cats as well.

Reasons For Scooting in Cats

There are numerous reasons for scooting behavior in cats that you should be aware of. This can be a sign of a serious problem that may require treatment.

1. Allergies

One of the reasons that your cat could be scooting is because they have allergies. Your cat could be having an allergic reaction caused by the food they ate, or something in their environment. These animals can be allergic to everything from pollen to household cleaners.

An allergic reaction can cause a cat’s backside to become very itchy, which can manifest in scooting behavior. If you notice any vomiting or diarrhea with your cat, you’ll want to get it to the vet right away. These are signs of a severe allergic reaction, which needs to be treated immediately.

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2. Parasites

Some parasites that feed on the intestines of animals, such as tapeworms, can also cause scooting behavior. The cat is dragging their butt over the floor in an attempt to stop the intense itching. If this is the case, you may be able to see small white specs in their poop. Keep in mind that not all internal parasites are visible in feces.

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You’ll also want to look for other symptoms like lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and sudden weight loss. All of these things can indicate a parasitic infection, which needs to be dealt with soon. The longer you put off getting your cat treated, the more likely it is that they will experience negative long term health effects.

There are parasites that feed on the outside of cats, such as fleas, that can also cause scooting behavior in these animals. If the fleas or other parasites are biting at the area around your cat’s rectum, they may drag their butt along the floor in an attempt to get relief.

External parasites like fleas can usually be treated very effectively with a medicated bath or special ointment. Your veterinarian can prescribe something that will help your pet.

3. Impacted Anal Glands

A cat with impacted anal glands may also scoot around on the floor. These animals have glands in their anus that release a liquid that allows them to mark their territory. If these glands become impacted or backed up, it can cause the cat a lot of discomforts.

If your cat has impacted anal glands, you will likely notice a lot of swelling and redness around its rectum. This can be quite a serious problem, so you need to make a point of getting your feline friend treatment right away. 

Your veterinarian can flush out their anal sacs, which should correct the problem. There is a significant threat of infection with impacted anal glands, which is why it is so crucial that you address it right away.

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Some of the other symptoms of impacted anal glands in cats include bloody discharge from the anus, vocalizing while defecating, and excessive licking of their rear end. You may also notice an unusually strong odor coming from their butt.

4. Inadequate Diet

It is possible that your cat is scooting because they aren’t getting all of the nutrients they need in their daily diet. You may want to try giving them a fiber supplement each day. It is important that you consult your veterinarian before doing this.

A high-fiber diet could keep your cat from scooting, especially if it has diarrhea. Your vet can give you a better idea as to which specific changes you will want to make to your cat’s diet.

cat licking butt

What To Do About Your Cat’s Scooting

If you notice your cat scooting, it is a good idea to take them to the vet. You’ll want to make a point of doing this sooner rather than later. It could very well be a sign of some serious problem with your cat that requires immediate treatment. The longer you put off getting your kitty examined, the more at risk their overall health will be.

Parasites like fleas or a tapeworm are often to blame for scooting in cats, and it can usually be treated fairly easily. The specific treatment depends on the type of parasite that your cat has. They could be prescribed oral medication or a topical ointment.

It is important that you do not allow your cat to scoot, as it can actually cause more irritation and make the problem even worse. The vet may even suggest putting a diaper on them until the issue has been resolved with the proper treatment.

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Conclusion

  • Scooting is a fairly common behavior in cats, but it is usually a sign that something is wrong with them.
  • An allergic reaction can cause your cat to begin scooting across the ground. Cats can be allergic to pollen, household chemicals, perfumes, and many other things.
  • Internal parasites like tapeworms can cause your cat’s rectum to itch, which may result in scooting behavior.
  • External parasites like fleas can also cause your cat to scoot if they are feeding on them near their anus.
  • A cat with impacted anal glands may scoot around in an attempt to relieve their discomfort.
  • Your cat’s impacted anal glands can be flushed by a veterinarian to correct the problem.
  • It is important that you not allow your cat to scoot while it is receiving its treatment, as it could make the problem worse.
  • It’s also possible that your cat needs more fiber in their daily diet.
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