Cat with a dirty backside

alisonApril 6, 2009

Trying to figure out how to describe this accurately but delicately!

First, right off the bat: we have a vet appointment for 7:30 tomorrow morning. But if someone here has had a similar experience it might help me ask the vet better questions.

My overweight cat Chloe has always had difficulty cleaning her butt. 3-4 times a year, she gets the fur trimmed, periodically she has a little sitz bath, and I occassionally wipe her butt with a cat wipe. It's never been particularly offensive, just a little bit of dried feces.

Last night I came back from a long weekend to find her entire backside was wet and inflammed looking. She also seems to be a little sensitive when you pet just above and forward of the hip bones -- where her bladder is? I was gone Thursday night to sunday night, but the friend who came in to feed the cats didn't notice anything unusual.

About two weeks ago, I tried switch cat food. She had been gobbling Purina Pro Plan, and I tried to switch her to the Innova for adult and overweight cats. I did it gradually, mixing the two together, but she did not care for it. One of the cats developed diarhhea for a day or so, and there was some mighty stinky bowel movements. So I am switching her back to what she likes.

Once I saw her "scooting" -- sitting down on the rug, then pulling herself forward to rub her butt on the carpet. (Ick. For her *and* me)

No new litter, but a friend came over this weekend and cleaned and mopped the floors. But he's done that before, so it's not like she was suddenly exposed to anything she hasn't before.

She doesn't seem to be in any outright pain, except if you squeeze her right before the pelvic bones. Perhaps a tad slower and quieter than usual. And she was a bit mnore affectionate last night, licking my hands and cuddling, so I'm pretty sure she feels out of sorts.

Like I said, we've got the first appointment tomorrow morning, and I'm assuming this is some kind of urinary infection or blockage or something like that.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? Anything I should do tonight? Anything special I should ask the vet tomorrow? We're going to the OSU small animal clinic, and usually the omit no teachable moment, but I always like going in with as much information as possible!

Appreciate any suggestions -- it seems like a long time tp tomorrow morning.....

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Tell the vets exactly what you said here. Maybe print this and bring it with so you remember everything.

You said she is overweight but how old is she?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 3:51PM
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I think she's about 8 years old. She was abandoned by a neighbor, so I'm not exactly sure; she could be much older.

She weighs about 13 pounds now, down 2 from last January. I've tried a lot of different kinds of quality cat food to help her lose the weight, but she's a tough customer to satisfy.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 4:16PM
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Sounds exactly like my cat, back when she was fat. She always had poo on her rear-end, because she couldn't reach it to clean it; butt-skooching was a common activity of hers (joy). And a couple of times, it got all nasty and wet and yucky back there...ended up being a UTI both times.

If you've gotten her down 2 pounds over a year, then you're doing great. Just make sure you're not overdoing it -- if cats lose weight too rapidly, then they can get Hepatic Lipidosis...which I learned to my great dismay. My cat almost died from it. So, be happy with the weight loss you're getting, and if you manage to get a pound off a year, then you're doing really good -- by the time she hits around 12 pounds or so, I bet she can lick her own behind, and no more rear end crusties :)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 4:30PM
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I actually learned about the risk of hepatic lipidosis on this forum (thank you, GardenWeb!) so I've been careful about not cutting her back too much. (And of course, she simply eats the other cats food if she feels too aggrieved.)

She's in a lot better shape than she used to be, and she's very clever about propping herself against the furniture, so she can bend even more. But as with humans, the best approach is to increase exercise. Luckily she's still kittenish enough to like to play.

I've had cats that got UTI's before, so that doesn't seem as scary as what I was imagining. But I've made a list of bullet points with symptoms and changes to her environment, in case the cause isn't as simple as it seems.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 4:46PM
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i'm a dog person so this may be way off. But have you tried cleaning your cats rear everytime it goes potty? I clean my dogs rear and girly parts everytime she goes to the bathroom. I use regular baby wipes.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 5:40PM
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She really freaks out about the wipes. (I even tried warming them first!) Oddly enough, I think she tolerates the sitz baths much better than the wipes. She panics when she sees me get out the package, but she's quite calm about the tub. Even leans in to see what I'm doing when I'm taking a bath.

Good news from the vet, and it turns out there was very little to worry about. They did two fecal tests and ruled out any kind of bacteria, infection, or parasites. They think she simply got diarhhea from the food change, and enough of that got trapped to give her a really bad case of diaper rash!

They shaved the fur pretty close, and it does look like an angry rash. We have a little tube of ointment for the next few days, some metronidazole, and a probiotic to help her recover from the diarhhea.

They said she was an excellent patient, but she's happily home, explaining to the other cat why her butt looks so strange....

Thanks for the advice!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 2:02PM
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My dog used to freak out over the wipes too...I'm not sure how trainable cats are....but my dog knows she is not allowed inside until she is cleaned. She still does not like it and occasionally runs from it still but she sleeps on my bed so she will be cleaned :-) Its a little difficult with her because she has a tail that she will clamp down when she wants to be wicked. I am much more determined than she is though.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 4:02PM
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