Q: Why Won't Kitty Clean Himself?

December 28, 2011 | By Nekoneko | 3 answers | Expired: 1491 days ago

My cat used to clean himself but then one day he just stopped. I adopted him as a kitten and he's about a year old right now. He's not overweight. He's not lonely - there's almost always someone at home. He's not depressed. he plays ALL day - everything is a game or a toy to him. He also eats everything and gets into everything - he's like a dog!

I started washing him with dawn dish soap because he smells so bad, so he gets a bath about once a month or every couple of weeks as needed.

He always has poop on his butt. He loves to wipe it on the carpet. I try to clean it off but it's hard keeping up with him. I have read tons on the internet about why cats don't groom themselves, but none of them apply. He USED to do it - why did he stop? Is he just too preoccupied with playing? that's all he does.
He is neutered and has very short hair and NOT overweight. Any reasons why he doesn't lick/clean himself anymore? is he just lazy? how can I re-train him to lick himself so I can curb some of the stinkiness and poop streaks?

Readers' Answers (3)

Dec 29, 2011

There could be several reasons for this. Overweight cats often can't and don't clean themselves just because they can't. It's harder for them when they carry excess weight. Even if not overweight, there could still be mobility problems relating to some sort of pain. Sometimes it relates back to how young they were when they were taken from their mothers. Other times it's caused by illness or even dental problems. If he's grooming everywhere except his back end, he could be having a bowel problem. Get him checked out by a vet to rule out any medical problems. I don't know of any way to teach him to groom himself. If he has an opportunity to be around other cats he might learn by watching them and having them groom him like his mom would have as a kitten.

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Dec 28, 2011

Do you have other pets maybe he would like a friend if thats not the case call the vet!

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Jan 05, 2012

He is a 6 year old Maine Coon cat. He is in good health, but he has never had any motivation to clean himself. I have to bathe him once every 2-3 weeks, or he stinks like an old man. He actually gets to smelling like a dog would. My 7 year old female is white, and she has not had a bath in at least 4 years (she DOES NOT LIKE WATER) but she stays perfectly clean and groomed. The male cat in question actually likes the water, he loves to be submersed in the bubble bath (cat shampoo of course) up to his neck and he gets mad if the water is not constantly running on him. Could it be that he does not take care of himself because he likes baths? He is sitting on my lap right now and he smells like human body odor. Maybe it’s because he sleeps in my armpits at night? Any thoughts?
he is a black cat, good point!


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