Kitten butt scratching

by Deborah
(California)

I have a 6-week old kitten I got from the pound. She uses the litter box just fine, but... After depositing feces, she sits on it then rubs her butt in the sand.


Not only is this a mess to deal with, I worry that getting pebbles of sand stuck in/on her anus may cause an infection. How do I stop this?

My thoughts:

I'm sorry to hear that your kitten is having trouble, Deborah. At 6 weeks, she's just getting into using the litter box, but this doesn't sound behavioral to me.

The only time I've ever heard of a cat doing this type of thing is when there is discomfort in the anal area.

Often, the source of that discomfort is impacted anal glands (anal sacs), and the behavior is usually to drag the butt along the floor. This is often referred to as "scooting."

Although I've never heard of this problem in a kitten this young, it sounds to me like your cat is doing the scooting behavior in the litter box.

Impacted anal glands are typically expelled by a veterinarian, but your vet can teach you how to do it at home if you're comfortable doing it yourself.

Anal glands can be impacted, infected, or both. You may also notice a strong odor coming from the anal area.

This article may be helpful.

If it's not an anal gland problem (the age is what gets me), I would suspect some other physical problem with the anal area, such as infection, parasites (probably worms), or some other bowel problem.

As I mentioned, this doesn't sound behavioral to me. No matter the cause, if she were my kitten, I would put a call into your vet and get some guidance

I hope that helps. Please let us know how things turn out.
-Kurt

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