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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had her for over a month so she's 4 months and some change. Everytime she goes #2, I wipe her butt. I've googled and tried all sorts of methods, spraying her butt, cream cheesing her butt, even just wiping her butt with wet TP. None of this gets her to vigorously clean her butt right after contrary to what I had read that simply making it wet would make her lick her bum. She does groom herself, but it tends to be when we're sleeping on the bed. She does lick her bum then, but I'm not sure if it's all that effective because she's still a little stinky. It's fine to me if she's a little stinky, but I'd prefer if she were licking her bum right after using the litter box and being a little OCD just like her mommy. This is especially important because I'd like to trust her to have more free reign of the apartment without worrying that her little poop residue will get everywhere. Right now, I keep her in the bathroom if I'm not home

Any input is helpful!
 

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I'm no expert and I can't say it's the same for all cats, but my Nigel (who is now 2 years old) had the same problem. He wasn't an expert at cleaning up after his trips to the litterbox. It took some time, but by time he was a year old, he was a pro at grooming himself.

I would honestly chalk it up to the kitten learning curve. They're still new, bumbling little things...trying to find figure themselves out and the great big world around them.

Everything takes a bit of practice. I've got a kitten now that is doing the same thing that Nigel did when he was a kitten. Just give them time and keep on encouraging her to groom herself.

Keep us posted on her progress and lots of luck to you and kitty.
 

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Just as you wouldn't expect a toddler to be able to properly clean itself you can't expect a kitten to be able to.

It will come with time. Shepherd Book is 7 months old now and he's finally starting to pay attention and I'm hoping it won't be much longer that I can take the old sheets off of every surface he likes to sit on.

When I notice a butt smear I toss the sheet into the washer to bleach it clean and put down a clean one. Icky I know, but he isn't doing it on purpose and he'll get cleaner as he gets older.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hmm, this is good news! I was not sure if kitties would be able to "learn" to clean their bums right after going #2. I was worried that me cleaning it for her is preventing her from going. Is my using a wet TP to her bum a way of teaching her to clean?
 

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Hmm, this is good news! I was not sure if kitties would be able to "learn" to clean their bums right after going #2. I was worried that me cleaning it for her is preventing her from going. Is my using a wet TP to her bum a way of teaching her to clean?
All I ever did for my kitties was I wiped their bum with wet paper towels when they had poo on themselves...or if it was too much poo, I'd run their hind end under a warm faucet and then dry them with a paper towel. Every single time I put them down, they would immediate lick their backside.

Your kitty will be just fine and you're doing all the right things. No need to put anything on their butts, they'll eventually master it on their own. :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK, great ! :-o I'll be sure to post when she does start grooming herself back there ^_^
 

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So are you saying you want your cat to lick herself right after using the litter box, every single time she goes #2? Pardon my bluntness, but like a human would wipe themselves with toilet paper? Because neither of my cats have ever felt the need to do that unless there was something left over back there or stuck to their fur. I've never heard of a cat that licks itself every single time it uses the litter box - they usually keep themselves plenty clean by grooming on their own schedule (your cat cleans herself on the bed instead of directly after using the litter box, I don't see a problem with that? unless she's constantly making a mess?).

Is there something about this I'm missing? Does everyone else have cats that immediately step out of the litter box and neatly lick their butts? :lol:

Also unless she is leaving residue where she sits or actually has something stuck to her back there, I would worry about grabbing her and wiping her butt every single time she leaves the litter box. She could start making the association that pooping in the box means you'll run up and make her back end all wet, and that makes me worry she might start looking for other places to relieve herself. Unless she always comes out of the litter box with a large amount of poop stuck to her, I think you should really just let her do her business in peace.
 

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Yeah, I always figured cats did this stuff on their own time, for the most part.

I had a somewhat similar problem when my cat first moved in, except it was a bit different. She had been living a fairly stressful life in her previous home and had been coping with that in part by eating excessively, and so her weight had ballooned to a rather excessive 17-18 pounds, which is obviously just enormous for a female cat. She was so fat that she actually was not physically able to clean herself properly down there - she'd just fall over onto her side if she tried, the poor pathetic little kitty! Anyway, I immediately put her on a diet and it was easy because she wasn't nearly as stressed anymore all the time, and within a couple months she had gotten down to 15 pounds or so and was able to clean herself again, thank *god*. Now she's down to 12-13 pounds and she's even more proficient with regard to flexibility vis-a-vis personal grooming. I was getting pretty tired of doing it for her, but I wouldn't necessarily do it *every time* she pooped, just every couple days and when there was anything noticeable there. Seemed adequate.
 

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So are you saying you want your cat to lick herself right after using the litter box, every single time she goes #2? Pardon my bluntness, but like a human would wipe themselves with toilet paper? Because neither of my cats have ever felt the need to do that unless there was something left over back there or stuck to their fur. I've never heard of a cat that licks itself every single time it uses the litter box - they usually keep themselves plenty clean by grooming on their own schedule (your cat cleans herself on the bed instead of directly after using the litter box, I don't see a problem with that? unless she's constantly making a mess?).

Is there something about this I'm missing? Does everyone else have cats that immediately step out of the litter box and neatly lick their butts? :lol:

Also unless she is leaving residue where she sits or actually has something stuck to her back there, I would worry about grabbing her and wiping her butt every single time she leaves the litter box. She could start making the association that pooping in the box means you'll run up and make her back end all wet, and that makes me worry she might start looking for other places to relieve herself. Unless she always comes out of the litter box with a large amount of poop stuck to her, I think you should really just let her do her business in peace.
No, I agree with you completely. I should have clarified and said "when there is a blob of poo left on them after using the litterbox." My apologies for that.

My cats don't lick themselves every time they come out of the litterbox, I just meant that when they were kittens, they didn't groom themselves at all when there was poo left behind, so I had to wipe them or in extreme cases run them under some warm water. It took them months to get to know themselves and learn to groom properly.

I also assume (hopefully) that the poo circumstances (regarding grooming and wiping) are the same for the poster of this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So are you saying you want your cat to lick herself right after using the litter box, every single time she goes #2? Pardon my bluntness, but like a human would wipe themselves with toilet paper? Because neither of my cats have ever felt the need to do that unless there was something left over back there or stuck to their fur. I've never heard of a cat that licks itself every single time it uses the litter box - they usually keep themselves plenty clean by grooming on their own schedule (your cat cleans herself on the bed instead of directly after using the litter box, I don't see a problem with that? unless she's constantly making a mess?).

Is there something about this I'm missing? Does everyone else have cats that immediately step out of the litter box and neatly lick their butts? :lol:

Also unless she is leaving residue where she sits or actually has something stuck to her back there, I would worry about grabbing her and wiping her butt every single time she leaves the litter box. She could start making the association that pooping in the box means you'll run up and make her back end all wet, and that makes me worry she might start looking for other places to relieve herself. Unless she always comes out of the litter box with a large amount of poop stuck to her, I think you should really just let her do her business in peace.
:lol: I know it is a little bit OCD of me to be like this, but yes, I do wipe her like a human, and I do kind of want her to "wipe" there herself afterwards! Her poop leaves a little smear of liquid poop on her anus after she goes. For some reason, not sure if it's the anatomy of the way a cat sits or if I am too quick to wipe, but I have not noticed any smears on the floor yet (except one time where the wall molding meets the wall when her poop was more liquidy). I am trying to get her on a diet that leaves almost no residue, but I think even then, I'd want her to lick just to make sure. I am fully aware that a kitty may never learn to lick as many cats just naturally don't clean, but I'm wondering if me wiping her back there will help teach her...or stop her. It does bother her a bit, but it hasn't stopped her from pooping :D Hope I am not commiting kitty kruelty..
 

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I hope so as well. Humans have different standards of hygiene and very different elimination rituals compared to other animals, which is something we just have to accept. If there's ever poop stuck in my cat's fur or on their bums I'll wipe them down too - but it's completely unrealistic to expect a cat to vigorously groom themselves every time they leave the litter box. The original post mentioned grooming did occur on the bed, so at least the kitten sounds like she's getting the hang of it :) I guess I'm lucky both my cats came to me old enough to know how to keep themselves clean, for the most part.

Also Mew, you mention your reason for suspecting that your kitten isn't cleaning herself enough is because she smells. If she stinks there could be other reasons besides feces residue - like bad breath; or gas, either from her food not agreeing with her or her body simply adjusting to a change in food. And if she DOES step out of the litter box everyday with poop covering her back end there is something besides grooming habits going wrong. Her stool should usually be firm enough to be passed without leaving a huge mess - if it's consistently runny, sticky, or loose I'd suggest taking a look at whether her diet is agreeing with her, and talking with your vet about any other possible causes.
 

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:lol: I know it is a little bit OCD of me to be like this, but yes, I do wipe her like a human, and I do kind of want her to "wipe" there herself afterwards! Her poop leaves a little smear of liquid poop on her anus after she goes. For some reason, not sure if it's the anatomy of the way a cat sits or if I am too quick to wipe, but I have not noticed any smears on the floor yet (except one time where the wall molding meets the wall when her poop was more liquidy). I am trying to get her on a diet that leaves almost no residue, but I think even then, I'd want her to lick just to make sure. I am fully aware that a kitty may never learn to lick as many cats just naturally don't clean, but I'm wondering if me wiping her back there will help teach her...or stop her. It does bother her a bit, but it hasn't stopped her from pooping :D Hope I am not commiting kitty kruelty..
If she's not making a mess, I do not see why you're so concerned. MOST cats DO naturally clean themselves - but they do it on their own schedule. Toilet paper and the act of wiping every time we eliminate is a uniquely human habit. You are not going to teach your cat to lick herself every time she uses the litter box, by this method or any other. I doubt anything you do could stop her from pooping (which is a natural, necessary bodily function) but bothering her EVERY TIME she leaves the litter box could teach her to be sneaky to avoid getting wet, and seek places out of your sight to poop. Places that are not the litter box.
 

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I doubt anything you do could stop her from pooping (which is a natural, necessary bodily function) but bothering her EVERY TIME she leaves the litter box could teach her to be sneaky to avoid getting wet, and seek places out of your sight to poop. Places that are not the litter box.
100% agreed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, it's a balance...I really just don't see anything wrong with trying to keep her clean and me and my living area clean. I think we would all agree that a human not wiping his/her butt is considered pretty "gross." If her pooping behavior changes, I will of course stop wiping her.
 

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From the OP I thought you mean that she was always leaving butt marks and/or was messy and stepping in her poo but not cleaning herself.

Catlover is right, I think if you keep snatching her and wiping her privates each time she comes out of the box you're going to find her using sneakier 'alternate' places to keep from that indignity as she gets older.

I also would not keep putting anything strange on her to make her clean herself. It could cause a reaction and/or irritation if she's licking herself TOO much. Their tongues are rough and when MowMow had the UTI and was licking himself constantly the vet was VERY concerned because he was actually mutilating himself.

She's a cat and it is quite unreasonable to assume she is going to have the same OCD obsession with a clean bottom that a human is going to have.
 

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Well, it's a balance...I really just don't see anything wrong with trying to keep her clean and me and my living area clean. I think we would all agree that a human not wiping his/her butt is considered pretty "gross." If her pooping behavior changes, I will of course stop wiping her.
That's the problem. She's not a human. It is unreasonable to impose human standards of cleanliness onto a cat. She will never wipe herself after each visit to the litter box, she will never understand WHY you wipe her after each visit to the litter box, and she will never just stop pooping.

For the most part, cats are very clean animals. I have had my older cat for 14 years, and in that time she's only left poop somewhere a handfull of times, because it got caught in her long fur. Cats are not tiny furry people, and there will be times where they puke on the floor, hack up hairballs on your possessions, accidentally get poop somewhere other than the litter box. You clean, and you move on.

I think the absolute last thing you want to do is teach her to poop OUTSIDE the litter box. Which you could easily do if you continue to obsess about her butt every time she leaves the litter box. She's not going to spread poop everywhere if you relax and just let her be a cat. I can tell you that my home is definitely not covered in cat feces, and I never wipe their bums unless I need to. No animal, including humans, is ever perfectly clean all the time. Just try to relax about it.
 

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I consider myself pretty OCD when it comes to cleanliness, however I've also realized that if I did wipe his bum every time after he poops, he will soon associate the wiping with his pooping. Since he doesn't like it a lot when I do need to wipe him down, there will be a big chance that he will start to poop somewhere else, therefore I've had to come to terms with it that I can't wipe him every single time he poops. If he gets poops smeared anywhere where it shouldn't be, I just have to clean up instead. I still give him a wipe when necessary, like when there's poop stuck to his fur etc, but not because I don't see him licking after a poop.
 

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I was wondering the same thing when Cody was 4 months. There were times he'd have crusties and dingleberries on his behind and I was wondering when he would take some effort to clean up a little back there. At 5 months his grooming skills greatly improved and his bottom is fairly clean most of the time now. Hopefully in due time she'll pick up on better grooming habits :)
 

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I think you need to approach this a bit differently OP. I don't think it's a horrible thing to expect your kitty to be clean, but there seem to be two issues here, IMO.

1. Runny poo. I've found that no matter what you feed them kittens will have runny poo occasionally. As long as it's not constant, or horribly smelly, ect I generally take a wait-and-see approach. Both my boys went through bouts of runny poo to one extent or another in their first year. They were fed raw for most of that time. So IMO, not diet related. It will happen, just accept it and keep an eye on it for signs of a more serious problem.
That being said a change in diet might be in order depending on what you're currently feeding anyways. Check out the Heath and Nutrition forum for feeding info.

2. Cleaning. I agree with the other posters that hijacking your kitten as soon as she's out of the box to wet her bum and wipe can easily create a problem. If you check out some of the other posts here you'll find that it's a LOT easier to cause a litter box issue than it is to fix one.
However, I can see another way to do this. Rather than hijacking her and wiping make it into a mutual grooming session. Get a warm damp cloth and take your kitten to a comfy spot. Snuggle her, and as you do use the cloth in quick small strokes, like another cat would do, to groom her all over. Always go in the direction the hair goes, from the front to the back. This IMO will be a bonding experience and is a lot more natural than a simple grab and wipe. It will also teach her to help clean herself since as you 'lick' her with the cloth she'll be inclined to do the same. Make sure you keep your motions smooth and relaxed, with kittens grooming naturally moves into play. Once you're done grooming take advantage of that for a fun play session. This way she's clean, you've had a snuggle, she learned to e gently restrained and examined all over, and she gets to play with you to burn off some energy.

I think this could become a really lovely ritual between you. I know I used to do this with Doran (who was my bottle baby) and now I'm him preferred snuggle/grooming spot. I still 'help' by gently wiping his face with my thumb, with the grain of his fur of course. He LOVES it when Mummy helps!
 
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