How To Clean Kitten After Poop. Everything You Need To Know

help cat clean bum

Raising a kitten can be a rewarding and endearing experience. However, when it comes to the less glamorous side of pet ownership – like cleaning up after your kitten – many new pet parents can feel a little lost. What happens when your adorable, fluffy little furball doesn’t quite know how to clean herself after she poops?

The truth is, there may be situations where you’ll need to clean your kitten after she poops. This could be due to the kitten being too young and not having learned proper grooming habits yet, being ill, or having long fur that is prone to trapping feces. Or the cat simply doesn’t clean her/his bum properly.

To clean your kitten after poop, you’ll gather the necessary supplies like rubber gloves, pet wipes, shampoo, and so on. Make sure to calmly approach your cat and start by stroking her while slowly moving toward the base of her tail. Then, you can gently clean her with a pet wipe or wash her butt with shampoo. Afterward, you can dry your kitten’s butt using a washcloth and keep her in a warm room.

If your kitten is resisting you can try hiding her face, wrapping her in a kitty burrito, or holding on till sleep time.

Whether you’re a new cat owner or simply looking to gain more knowledge about your kitten’s hygiene habits, this guide is designed to help you navigate these messy situations with confidence and ease.

Should I Clean My Kitten After She Poops?

If the kitten is orphaned or separated from the mother too early, particularly in the case of those under 4 weeks old, you’ll need to step in. At this age, they are supposed to still be cared for by their mother, who cleans them up. You can do this by gently wiping the kitten’s rear with a warm, damp cloth or pet wipe, simulating the mother’s tongue.

Also, if your kitten has diarrhea, she might have trouble keeping herself clean. In this situation, not only should you clean her up to avoid any discomfort or potential skin issues, but it’s also important to contact your vet. Diarrhea in kittens can quickly lead to dehydration, which can be serious.

Long-haired kittens might also have trouble keeping their fur clean after using the litter box. If you notice feces getting stuck in her fur, you can help her out by gently cleaning her with a pet-safe wipe or giving her a “butt bath” with a small amount of cat-friendly shampoo and warm water.

Despite these exceptions, remember that most kittens learn to clean themselves as they grow and mature. If you find yourself needing to clean your kitten frequently, it’s always best to consult with a vet to rule out any potential health problems. Use this time not only to clean your kitten but also to teach her about grooming. By mimicking the cleaning process, you’re helping your kitten learn essential behaviors she’ll need as she grows into an adult cat.

READ ALSO: What to do if your cat won’t let you clean her bum

Why does my kitten not clean himself after pooping?

Cats are renowned for their cleanliness and personal grooming habits, often spending a large portion of their day grooming themselves. So, when a kitten doesn’t clean itself after eliminating, it can seem a little unusual. Let’s explore the potential reasons behind this behavior:

Early Separation From Mother Cat

Kittens learn essential skills from their mothers, and one such skill is grooming. Mother cats clean their kittens from birth, instilling an understanding of hygiene from an early age. They use their tongue to clean their kittens’ fur and stimulate their tiny bodies to excrete waste. The kittens will watch their mother grooming herself, and over time, they will start to mimic this behavior.

However, if a kitten is separated from its mother too early (before around 8 weeks of age), he may miss learning these crucial lessons in grooming. The result is a kitten that doesn’t recognize the need or know how to clean himself after pooping.

Poor Socialization With Their Kitty Friends

Cats are observant creatures and learn a lot from their peers. A kitten who has adequate interactions with other kittens or adult cats is more likely to pick up on their grooming behaviors, including cleaning after pooping. In contrast, kittens that haven’t had enough social interaction with other cats might miss out on these practical learning opportunities, leading to poor grooming habits.

Some Cats Learn Later

Every cat has its unique personality and learning pace. Some kittens might be quick to pick up on grooming habits, while others might take a bit longer. If your kitten is relatively young, he might still be in the learning phase. As he matures and observes you cleaning him or other cats cleaning themselves, he may start to understand the importance of this behavior and start doing it himself.

Kitten Is Sick Or In Pain

If your kitten is not feeling well or experiencing pain, he may avoid cleaning himself after pooping. Medical conditions, such as dental disease, can make grooming painful. Other conditions, like anal gland problems or digestive issues, can cause discomfort or pain around the rear end. Obesity could also be a factor, as overweight cats often struggle to reach their rear ends due to their size.

If your kitten suddenly stops grooming himself after going potty, it’s always best to consult with a vet. The vet can perform a thorough examination to identify any potential health issues that may be causing this change in behavior.

How To Clean Kitten After Poop If She Has Not Learned To

Here’s a step-by-step guide to making the process as smooth and stress-free as possible for both you and your furry friend.

Gather Supplies

Before starting the cleaning process, make sure you have all the necessary supplies at hand. This will typically include pet-safe wipes or a warm, damp cloth for gentle cleaning, a small towel for drying, disposable gloves to protect your hands, and treats for positive reinforcement. If the mess is more significant, you might need cat-friendly shampoo for a more thorough clean.

Wear Your Gloves

Protecting your hands is important when dealing with kitten feces, as it may contain bacteria or parasites. Disposable gloves are ideal for this task, providing an effective barrier while still allowing you the flexibility to handle your kitten gently and precisely. Once you’ve completed the cleaning, you can dispose of the gloves, minimizing any potential cross-contamination.

Approach Calmly

Your kitten may be nervous or scared, especially if this is a new experience for her. Approach her calmly and soothingly to help ease her anxiety. Speak in a gentle voice and move slowly to avoid startling her. Let her sniff your hand before you pick her up. Remember, your goal is to make this process as stress-free as possible for her.


Desensitization is crucial if your kitten is not used to being handled or cleaned. Start by gently touching and petting areas around her rear, gradually getting her accustomed to touch in this area. You can also mimic the cleaning motions without actual cleaning to help her get used to the process. Treats and positive reinforcement can be beneficial here, allowing her to associate the cleaning process with positive experiences.

The Cleaning Process For Wet And Dry Feces

Cleaning up after your kitten can sometimes be a little messy, especially if she hasn’t quite mastered her grooming skills yet. Here’s how to tackle both wet and dry feces safely and efficiently.

Cleaning Wet Poop

Wet feces can be tricky because it tends to smear and can get into your kitten’s fur. Here’s how to manage it:

Cat Wipes or Washcloths: Start by using cat wipes or a soft, damp washcloth to gently clean the area. Move from front to back to avoid spreading bacteria to her genitals. These wipes are usually effective at removing wet feces and can be a quick solution when your kitten needs cleaning.

Kitten Butt Bath with Shampoo: If your kitten has a larger mess on her, or the feces are dried and stuck to her fur, a ‘butt bath’ might be necessary. This means you’ll bathe only the soiled part of her body – typically her hindquarters. Fill a sink or small tub with warm (not hot) water, just deep enough to cover her rear end. You can then use a cat-friendly shampoo to lather the soiled area, then rinse thoroughly. Ensure the water is not too hot or too cold and never leave your kitten unattended in the water.

Cleaning Dry Poop

Dealing with dry poop can be a little different because it can harden and get stuck in the fur.

Moisten the Poop: If the poop is dried and adhered to your kitten’s fur, the first step is to soften it. Dampen a washcloth with warm water and gently apply it to the soiled area, loosening the feces without pulling at the fur.

Brush with a Fine-toothed Comb: Once the feces are softened, use a fine-toothed comb to gently pick the pieces out of the fur. Be very gentle during this process to avoid hurting your kitten. It’s also a good idea to have a second person help hold the kitten during this process if she’s not staying still.

Consider Trimming the Fur: For long-haired kittens who frequently have issues with feces getting caught in their fur, you may want to consider trimming the fur around their backside. This can make it easier for them to stay clean. Use a pair of safety scissors and be very cautious not to cut too close to the skin. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, a professional groomer or vet can do it for you.

Dry Your Cat As Fast As Possible

Drying your kitten quickly and efficiently after a cleanup or bath is crucial, not just for her comfort, but also for her health. Cats can quickly become cold, especially if they are very young or small, and remaining damp can make them uncomfortable.

Begin by using an absorbent towel to gently blot your kitten’s fur. The towel should absorb the majority of the moisture without rubbing the skin and fur too harshly. If your kitten is very young or small, she may have a hard time maintaining her body temperature when wet. Keeping her in a warm room or snuggling her against your body can help keep her warm as she dries.

Tips To Cleaning Kitten After Poop If She Won’t Let You

Here are some tips and techniques to ease her stress and ensure she’s as comfortable as possible during the cleanup.

Make A Kitty Burrito

If your kitten is particularly squirmy or anxious, swaddling her in a towel (often called making a “kitty burrito”) can help keep her calm and still during the cleaning process. Wrap her gently in a soft towel, leaving her backside exposed for easy access. This can help create a sense of security and limit her movements while you clean.

Get A Back-Up

Having a second pair of hands can be useful, especially if your kitten is reluctant to be cleaned. One person can gently hold the kitten, using calming strokes and soothing words, while the other focuses on cleaning. This division of tasks can make the process quicker and less stressful for your kitten.

Positive Reinforcement

Use treats, praise, and petting to reward your kitten both during and after the cleaning process. This can help your kitten associate the experience with positive outcomes, making her more likely to tolerate it in the future.

Wait Till She Is Asleep

If your kitten is very resistant, consider waiting until she’s asleep or very drowsy to clean her. Cats tend to be calmer and less likely to resist handling when they’re in this relaxed state. Make sure you move slowly and gently to avoid startling her awake.

Hide Your Kitten’s Face

Some kittens might be less resistant to cleaning if they can’t see what’s happening. You can gently drape a soft cloth over your kitten’s eyes while you clean her. Just make sure she can still breathe easily.

Inspect Your Kitty Butt

After each cleaning, it’s a good idea to inspect your kitten’s rear end to make sure all the feces have been removed and there are no signs of irritation, redness, or swelling. If you see anything unusual, it might be a good idea to consult with a vet.

How To Make My Kitten Self Groom His Bum

Cats are usually meticulous about cleanliness, and this is a behavior learned from a very early age. Here are some strategies to encourage self-grooming behavior in your kitten:

Don’t Separate Your Kitten From Mother Too Early

Kittens learn a lot of their grooming habits from their mother, including how to clean their bottoms. If possible, kittens should stay with their mother until at least 8 to 12 weeks of age, so they have ample time to observe and imitate their grooming habits.

Offer Her Treats

Positive reinforcement can be a powerful training tool. If you see your kitten attempting to groom herself, even if it’s not very efficient yet, offer a treat and plenty of praise. This will encourage her to repeat the behavior in the future.

Socialization With Other Kittens

If your kitten has siblings or other kittens around her age to interact with, this can be very beneficial. Kittens often learn social behaviors, including grooming habits, by observing and interacting with each other.

Give Her A Helping Hand Till She Learns

Finally, you must lend a helping hand until your kitten can do it on her own. This could involve cleaning herself after she uses the litter box, and then gradually doing it less as she begins to take over the task. You could also use a damp washcloth to mimic a mother cat’s tongue, lightly stroking it over your kitten’s rear to show her how to clean herself.

Why does my kitten smell bad after pooping?

If your kitten smells bad after pooping, there could be several reasons behind this issue. While it’s normal for feces to have an odor, a particularly foul or persistent smell can sometimes be a cause for concern. Here are a few potential explanations:

Diet: What your kitten eats can greatly affect the odor of her stool. Foods that are low quality or not suited to her digestive system can result in unpleasant smells. Similarly, a sudden change in diet can upset her digestive system, leading to foul-smelling poop. Always ensure your kitten is eating high-quality, age-appropriate cat food, and introduce any new foods gradually to minimize digestive upset.

Parasites: Parasites, such as worms, can cause changes in a kitten’s stool, including its smell. If your kitten has an infestation, her feces may have a particularly bad odor. Other symptoms of parasites can include diarrhea, bloating, and weight loss.

Infections or Disease: Bacterial or viral infections, as well as certain diseases like inflammatory bowel disease or pancreatitis, can result in changes to your kitten’s stool, including a foul smell. These conditions often come with other symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and lethargy.

Improper Cleaning: If your kitten isn’t properly cleaning herself after using the litter box, residual feces can be left on her fur, leading to bad smells. Young kittens, in particular, might not have fully mastered their grooming habits yet.

Anal Gland Issues: Cats have two small glands located near their anus that secrete a fluid with a very distinct, often foul, odor. Normally, this fluid is expressed when your cat poops, but sometimes these glands can become blocked, leading to discomfort and a bad smell.

If your kitten has persistently foul-smelling poop, it’s important to consult with a vet. They can conduct a thorough examination and run tests as needed to diagnose and treat the underlying cause. In the meantime, continue to clean your kitten’s litter box regularly and ensure she’s properly grooming herself after each bowel movement.

How To Get Poop Out Of Cat Fur (Whether Fresh, Dry, Or Runny)

Kitten Not Cleaning Bum Properly

If your kitten isn’t cleaning her bum properly, there might be several reasons behind this issue. It’s essential to identify and address the problem as poor hygiene can lead to discomfort, skin infections, or other health issues.

Young Age: Kittens learn a lot from their mother, including grooming habits. Very young kittens might not yet have mastered the art of self-cleaning. Typically, they’ll pick this up as they grow older and observe their mother or siblings.

Pain or Discomfort: If it hurts when your kitten tries to clean her rear, she’ll likely avoid doing it. This could be due to anal gland problems, skin irritation, parasites, or gastrointestinal issues, among other conditions.

Behavioral Issues: Some kittens might not groom properly due to stress, anxiety, or other behavioral problems. Changes in the household, a lack of socialization, or weaning too early can contribute to such issues.

Here are some ways you can help your kitten:

Manual Cleaning: Until your kitten learns to groom herself or if she has a condition that prevents her from doing so, you’ll need to help her stay clean. Use a warm, damp washcloth or pet-safe wipes to gently clean her rear.

Consult a Vet: If your kitten seems to be in pain or her inability to groom persists, it’s crucial to consult a vet. The vet can identify any underlying health issues and suggest appropriate treatments or interventions.

Stress Reduction: If the issue seems to be stress or anxiety, try to identify and reduce the source of these feelings. This might involve more predictable routines, dedicated playtime, or even anti-anxiety medication in some cases.

Fur Trimming: If your kitten has long hair, feces might get trapped in her fur. Trimming the fur around her backside (a “sanitary trim”) can help keep it clean. Always use pet-safe scissors and be extremely careful, or consider hiring a professional groomer.

At what age do kittens start cleaning their bum?

Kittens start learning to clean themselves, including their bum, around 4 weeks of age. However, they primarily learn these grooming habits from their mother. She will lick her kittens’ behinds to stimulate bowel movements and clean up any resulting mess.

At first, kittens may struggle with grooming their rear end. This is because they are still developing their motor skills and flexibility, and thus may not quite be able to reach or clean this area effectively. However, by about 8 weeks of age, most kittens should have developed the necessary skills to properly groom all areas of their body, including their bum.

That being said, even though kittens start cleaning themselves at a young age, they may not always do so thoroughly or effectively. For this reason, pet owners need to keep a watchful eye on their kitten’s grooming habits and overall cleanliness.

Owners can also assist their kittens in the learning process by using a damp cloth or pet-safe wipes to gently clean any areas that they may have missed.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning your cat after they poop can be an essential part of their care, especially if they’re a kitten, have long hair, or suffer from a health condition that prevents them from grooming properly. Learning how to clean your cat effectively and calmly can make this potentially messy situation more manageable and less stressful for both you and your feline friend.

Always approach the situation calmly and with patience. Use pet-safe wipes, warm water, and cat-friendly shampoo when needed. Make sure to dry them thoroughly afterward to prevent them from getting cold. A reward system with treats can help associate the experience with positivity, which will make future cleanings easier.

Be mindful, though, if your cat consistently requires your assistance to stay clean, it might be a sign of a health issue. Always consult with a veterinarian if you notice changes in your cat’s grooming habits or if your assistance becomes a regular necessity.

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