Animal Doctor

Cat's Problem Might Be Glands, Spinal Arthritis

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dear Dr. Fox:

I have a 20-pound, 11-year-old cat that scooches her rump on the floor.

There is nothing medically wrong with her. She is very furry, so I had her shaved in a lion cut, thinking that might help with feces that cling to her back fur. It made no difference.

The vet had no other suggestions except for shaving. I have tried wiping her, but she gets hostile. I have tried a squirt gun. I have switched litters. I have raised and lowered the litter levels in the box; she likes to stand while going. Is there anything else I can try?


Falls Church

If your veterinarian ruled out anal-gland issues, you need to consider why your cat gets fecal material on her rear.

Try a much larger litter box so she can position herself easily and not get caught on an edge. Considering her age and the fact that she likes to stand while evacuating, the most likely problem is spinal arthritis. A few sessions with a veterinary massage therapist, chiropractor or acupuncturist might help. You might try a warm pad for her to lie on or use a heat lamp.

Anti-inflammatory supplements such as fish oil and turmeric could make a world of difference. A little valerian could ease painful muscle spasms.

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