Why Is My Cat Dragging Her Butt and What You Can Do as the Owner

You probably have seen this thing and then start wondering ‘Why is my cat dragging her butt across the floor?’ If this happens for once, you may not be thinking much about it.


But when you see it happens quite regularly, it isn’t a surprise if may cat owners start to worry. Cats aren’t the only one dragging their bottom on the (rough) surface; dogs are also known to do the same thing.

They mostly do it on a not-so-smooth surface, like a rough floor, a rather rough mat, or even on the floor. What causes such a thing? Is it something that you need to worry about?

Why Is My Cat Dragging Her Butt
Why Is My Cat Dragging Her Butt

Understanding Scooting

The action of dragging their butts (in animals) is known as scooting. To scoot is to sit in a human upright look-alike posture and then drag themselves, basically scratching their behind along the way.

In general, your cat may be annoyed by the itch. But it can also show another underlying issue that affects the skin, anal, and also other conditions related to the rear.


If it refers to a health concern, it is typically not serious or worrying. However, scooting shows that the cat is in a discomfort state. Not to mention that scooting can lead to hygiene issues which can seriously affect your house. You don’t want to have scattered dry poop or bacteria from the areas where your cat scoot, do you?

Why Is My Cat Dragging Her Butt

Scooting Symptoms

You can always tell when your cat has scooted in the areas around the house, especially in indoor setting. In most cases, you will:

Smell foul odor. It may be accompanied by any residue that is left behind, such as poop, or liquid, or others.

Find out that your cat may suffer from diarrhea. It is quite often that they suffer from typically similar litter box problems, like difficult defecation or painful process.

See that your cat try everything it can to scratch the butt with its hind. Aside scooting, your cat may rub its butt against other rough objects.


The General Causes

Discomfort can happen anywhere on the body, including the rear. When it happens, it can be annoying. It may include discomfort, swelling, itchiness, and pain. In cats, scooting typically show symptoms of underlying health condition that affects the digestive system.

The condition may be related to the anal glands, which are the small pouches containing foul-smelling oil and fluid that would be normally secreted when the cat poops.

If it is related to the anal glands (as well as other issues), the symptoms would include:

Clumped stool or matted fur surrounding the butt
Parasite infections, like the internal worms
Fleas, which are responsible for the itchy skin
Infected or affected anal glands

Why Is My Cat Dragging Her Butt
Why Is My Cat Dragging Her Butt

Scooting Diagnosis

There is no need to worry that your cat would be in pain because it won’t. When you take the cat to the vet, the vet will have a thorough and overall physical examination. The process may involve:

Medical history check and recording. Your vet needs to learn whether your cat has previous scooting problem. The vet will also check whether the cat has experienced bloody stool issue, diarrhea, defecating difficulty, or other common litter box problems.

Medication checking. The vet also needs to know and understand your cat medication history. Has it been involved in parasite prevention? What was the date (and approximate date) of its last de-worming treatment?


Physical check. The vet will check the cat’s spine, neck, and hind legs to ensure that your cat isn’t injured or isn’t suffering from any neurological problem. Rectal examination may be needed.

Sample collection. It would be a great idea to bring along the (most recent) litter box content since collecting the (stool) sample isn’t exactly fast.

Why Is My Cat Dragging Her Butt

Treating the Scooting

Treatments depend on the underlying cause. That’s why it is crucial that you get your cat checked and examined, so the core issue can be revealed. Since there would be different reasons, there would also different treatments

If it affects the anal glands, the vet may suggest manual expression of the glands. It would alleviate the symptoms quite easily. The vet would gently pinch the cat’s anus, right on either opening’s sides so the excess fluid can empty.

If the issue is related to parasites or worms, the vet would administer de-worming procedures and medication. The medication involves liquid squirted to the cat’s mouth directly.

Some cats may experience mild symptoms of diarrhea within several days after being treated. If the diarrhea persists, you need to take it to the vet again. Besides the squirted liquid, the vet would follow the treatment with (take-home) prescriptions.

It is done for regular parasite monitoring and control. Most traditional medications would control various intestinal parasites responsible for the scooting.

If the issue is related to clumped stool or fur, or even the matted fur, the vet would clip it off and then clean the area thoroughly.

If it is caused by allergies, itchiness, or other issues, it’s highly likely that the vet would suggest dietary changes or prescribe topical medications to ease off the cat’s discomfort.


The best way to be sure to have your cat checked. You need professional examination so the proper and right treatments can be administered. If you find out that your cat is scooting quite regularly, you know what to do.

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