This is why I didn't get a dog
June 26, 2007 9:12 PM   Subscribe

How can I get the poop off my cat?

I just took home a cat from the pound. When I got her out of the crate at home, I noticed clumped up fur. On attempt to get out the clumps, it became clear I had dried-out cat poop on the cat in a variety of locations. It seems like she probably did some loose business in her crate and got it on her tail, around the ass area, and in a few other spots on her hind legs. I used warm water and a tiny bit of shampoo, followed by just warm water, followed by a trip to the pet store to get a variety of Nature's Miracle that goes on your pet, some kind of pet-handywipes, and some safer shampoo. I used everything except the shampoo, as I can't really get her all that wet on account of the sutures. She looks much cleaner, but there is still an unpleasant odor coming off of her. I am thinking of taking her to be professionally groomed tomorrow if the smell is still there.

Anyone have success stories getting cat diarrhea off of their cat?

She is amazingly tolerant of my wetting her down, but only for about five minutes at a time, and a full bath is out of the question for a couple weeks as she has just been spayed and I don't want to get the sutures wet.
posted by mzurer to Pets & Animals (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I would cut the clumps off with a scissors, in fact at this point I would cut most of the hair off.
posted by fshgrl at 9:19 PM on June 26, 2007

I used to work for a vet. We used a product called Peri wash. I'm sure your local drugstore will have something like it. By the way, the product is made for people, so look by the adult diapers.
posted by JujuB at 9:25 PM on June 26, 2007

I'd take her to my vet to be inspected & professionally groomed. An unpleasant odor could be a passing thing...or a sign of a problem. But that's just me.
posted by taosbat at 9:26 PM on June 26, 2007

Don't be afraid to cut off matted or soiled fur -- your kitty will thank you!
posted by loiseau at 9:30 PM on June 26, 2007

Pet spa for your cat. Duh.
posted by wfrgms at 9:32 PM on June 26, 2007

Warning: use of Pet Spa may cause a big ol' freakout on Metafilter.
posted by nanojath at 9:41 PM on June 26, 2007

Agreed that your best course is to get as much hair off the cat as practical. The Basic Pet Clipper Kit by Wahl will do the trick.
posted by paulsc at 9:47 PM on June 26, 2007

Definitely try to cut it out if she'll let you, and if a kitty-sponge-bath isn't doing the trick. But if she won't let you, take her to the vet. The only time this has ever happened with my cats, who are normally fastidious self-groomers, it's been due to a medical issue of some sort. Possibly her sutures are irritated or infected, for example, and it's distracting her from keeping herself clean. Trying the Periwash also sounds like a great idea, you might find it in the first aid aisle, or just ask a pharmacist.

But if there's nothing actually wrong, she'll probably let you snip out the dingleberries and the problem will solve itself after that.
posted by padraigin at 10:17 PM on June 26, 2007

Cats (long-hairs in particular) can occasionally get clumps in their fur (as mentioned above). The closest thing I can describe them to are dreads. And, like dreads, the only thing you can do to get rid of them is cut them off.

Just because your cat hasn't been able to clean up doesn't mean it hasn't tried--if it's just been through a surgical procedure, more than likely the area is still quite painful. If you decide to cut them out, be careful and slow and don't tug on the knot or it can cause your cat a lot of pain.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:06 AM on June 27, 2007

I think you should take her to your vet or a groomer to get a lion cut to ensure all of the poop is gone and that she stays clean for awhile while she is adjusting to her new home. Yes, it looks silly, but it does a great job of keeping a cat clean.
posted by tastybrains at 6:17 AM on June 27, 2007

As a long-haired cat owner myself, I'll second C_D's advice - take your time, snip a little bit out at each sitting, and reward the cat with petting, or a small treat afterwards, to help ease the discomfort. It is easy to cut a cat's skin with scissors (they have fairly thin skin), so do NOT cut anything unless you can see or quite clearly feel what you are doing.

If you get desperate, a mat cutter (which you will find in the grooming aisle of any pet store) can be helpful to break up clumps. Just don't pull hard on it, use a gentle see-sawing motion.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:28 AM on June 27, 2007

Matt cutter=letter opener?
posted by acro at 7:39 AM on June 27, 2007

Be careful if you try to cut the clumps out-- it can be difficult to tell where the skin is at times. Getting a professional to groom her is a good idea, especially someone working in a vet's office, considering she has stitches.

If the poop was dried and in various places, it sounds like it might not have been just from the trip home. The shelter you found her at might not have very good animal care practices. A frightened cat losing bowel control during a trip in a strange car isn't uncommon, but dried poop on her when you took her home doesn't sound quite right.

Good luck!
posted by Tehanu at 8:06 AM on June 27, 2007

Baby wipes worked on my cat.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:51 AM on June 27, 2007

When I got my cat from the shelter, he was a mess. It cost all of $35 to get a medium-length haired cat groomed in the (very expensive) D.C. area. My vet had an association with a groomer--I'd ask yours.

It was worth every penny to have my brand new cat hate the groomer and not me. Plus, he came back smelling like Febreeze.
posted by divka at 1:38 PM on June 27, 2007

i had a catmatt problem once, she was pregnant and couldn't reach her bum anymore. it was so matted i couldn't help, either- it wouldn't wash off. i just kept her off the bed and sofa, and otherwise i pretended not to notice. within an hour after the kittens were born, she'd taken care of it herself. i imagine it left a bad taste in her mouth.

how can i get the poop off my cat? [more inside]
ain't that always the way.
posted by twistofrhyme at 2:50 PM on June 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

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