Surely this cannot be the first such question, but I have not found the appropriate keywords...

This morning, I saw one of my cats (9 year old, male, fixed) hop out of the litterbox (where he did not seem to leave anything) and wipe his behind on the floor. Otherwise his behavior is perfectly normal, except that lately he sometimes makes a noise as if trying to sneeze or bring up a hairball (without result).

This is a first, though his brother has been known to poop on the floor if I neglect cleaning the box, or fill it with a strange brand of litter. The box was clean, though the litter level was lower than average (I used up a box yesterday).

So, well, what are the likely causes? Is he likely to do it again tomorrow?

(UPDATE: a month gone by, he has not done it again.)


2 Answers 2


It is unusual for a cat to rub his butt on the floor, something is clearly wrong.

It sounds like your cat might have an infection or an injury. Cats have some glands in the anal area that might get infected. Your cat might be in pain, so you will have to take him to the vet.

Another cause for your cat to rub his butt against the floor might be intestinal parasites, as this can itch a lot; get your vet to deworm your cat at the same time as you take him to the vet.

At 9 years old your cat is in the beginning of his senior age, so you should start to take him to the vet every year for a checkup to discover any age related problems before they get more serious.


There are two common possibilities here:

  • Your cat is just trying to wipe its butt. It happens, especially for long haired cats (but our shorthairs have done it once or twice) when they didn't manage to "pinch it off" the way they usually do. Maybe the poop got stuck in his fur, maybe he's constipated and couldn't quite lay his poop.
  • There is something wrong. A common cause is worms causing an itch.

However, since you mention this happened straight after using the litter box, the former seems more likely.

Keep an eye on your cat and see if it keeps happening (or if any other strange behavior occurs). If it doesn't, it was just a bout of constipation or diarrhaea. If it does, consult a vet for a proper examination.

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