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What is Scooting?

Scooting in cats refers to a physical action in which your cat will appear to scoot, or drag their rear end, across a surface, typically a carpet or roughened area. This behavior will appear as if your cat is sitting upright in a human posture or as if they are attempting to scratch their rear anatomy. Scooting refers to a symptom of a number of underlying anal, skin, and other rear-end conditions. Although this is not typically an urgent health concern, scooting can mean your cat is in discomfort and the behavior can also have serious hygiene impacts on your home.

Scooting Average Cost

From 262 quotes ranging from $100 - $400

Average Cost

$300

Symptoms of Scooting in Cats

Scooting in cats typically appears in the form of your cat sitting and dragging their rear end across your carpet, grass or any other surface. At times, this may be accompanied by a foul odor or residue left behind. Cats who scoot will sometimes also experience diarrhea or other litter box issues such as painful or difficult defecation. Cats may also scratch at their hind end or rub their rear against other objects instead of scooting.

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Causes of Scooting in Cats

Your cat scoots as an attempt to alleviate some form of discomfort in their anal area. This can include pain, itchiness, or general swelling or discomfort. Scooting in cats is typically a symptom of an underlying condition impacting your cat’s digestive system. The most common of these conditions deal with the anal glands, small pouches of foul-smelling fluid and oil that are normally secreted when your cat defecates. Common causes of scooting related to anal glands and other issues include:

  • Impacted or infected anal glands
  • Parasite infections, such as internal worms
  • Allergies
  • Fleas causing itchy skin
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Diagnosis of Scooting in Cats

Diagnosing your cat’s scooting will begin with a thorough physical exam at your veterinarian’s office. Your vet will ask for a medical history of your cat, including if they have had any issues with scooting before. If your cat has been experiencing diarrhea, blood in the stool, difficulty defecating, or other litter box issues, these are all helpful facts that your vet should be made aware of. Additionally, you should let your vet know if your cat is currently on any parasite prevention and the approximate date of their last de-wormer treatment. 

Your vet will examine your cat’s hind legs, spine and neck to confirm that the scooting does not have a neurological element and is not the result of an injury. Your vet will also examine your cat’s anus. Here they are particularly looking for redness, swelling or any discharge that may indicate impacted anal glands.

Your vet will also collect a stool sample from your cat. Since this may be difficult to time, bringing along a sample from your cats most recent litter box trip may be helpful. Using this sample, your vet will test for parasites such as hookworms and roundworms. This is done by placing a small amount of stool in a special liquid and then examining it under the microscope for eggs, larvae, or other signs of worms.

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Treatment of Scooting in Cats

Treatment for your cat’s scooting condition will depend on the underlying cause. In the most common case of impacted anal glands, your vet will be able to alleviate your cat’s symptoms by expressing the glands manually. This is done by the vet gently pinching your cat’s anus on either side of the opening, causing the excess impacted fluid to empty. 

If worms or parasites are determined to be the cause of the scooting, your vet will administer an in office de-worming medication. This is typically a liquid that is squirted directly into your cat’s mouth. Some cats experience mild diarrhea for several days after treatment. This will be followed up with a take-home prescription for regular parasite control. Most traditional heartworm medications also control a variety of intestinal parasites that cause scooting. 

For itchiness, allergies, or other conditions that are causing scooting-like scratching symptoms, your vet will be able to prescribe topical medications or dietary changes to address your pet’s discomfort.

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Recovery of Scooting in Cats

In the majority of cats, the prognosis for recovery from scooting is very good. In most cases of impacted anal glands, the original cause of the condition is unknown. There is some connection between a primarily wet or canned food diet and scooting, suggesting that cats that have recurring bouts of scooting may need a higher content of dry food or food that contains more fiber or bone meal elements to aid in proper bowel expression. Prognosis for recovery from an infection of intestinal parasites is also good, with most cats being completely cured within several weeks of treatment. 

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Scooting Average Cost

From 262 quotes ranging from $100 - $400

Average Cost

$300

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Scooting Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Fenella

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tabby

dog-age-icon

7 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhoea
Diarrhoea, Vomitting
Diarrhoea, Vomiting, Scooting

Hello, my cat has acted strangely in the last 12hrs. She has been vomiting, diarrhoea, scooting and wheeling eyes. She is walking oddly and refuses to be touched around the abdomen.

Aug. 15, 2018

Fenella's Owner

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1 Recommendations

It is difficult to say what is happening with Fenella but you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination since it sounds like she is in discomfort and she may be trying to pass a foreign object, been poisoned or have a severe infection (bacterial/parasitic). Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 16, 2018

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Ash

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Domestic shorthair

dog-age-icon

4 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Puking
Butt Scooting

Yesterday my indoor cat was taken to his first vet visit since we adopted him this summer. He got a rabies shot and seemed to be in good health. The next day, he tore off a small piece from a plastic bag and ate it. He then started pooping more. But later that night, he got worse. When everyone but me went to sleep late at night, he quietly puked, butt scooted twice, and had diarrhea. I wonder if he has been doing this while no one was watching him. But my main concern is wondering how I should handle his symptoms before scheduling an appointment with my vet. In advance, I thank anyone who can inform me on what to do.

Aug. 12, 2018

Ash's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Ash's problems might be related to that plastic bag, as that isn't a good thing to be eating. If his vomiting and diarrhea continue, or he doesn't want to eat, or he seems lethargic, he may need to go back for a recheck to see if he needs treatment. Sometimes those sorts of things will pass, and if he is not vomiting any more, the diarrhea is getting better, and he is still eating, you should be fine to keep a close eye on him.

Aug. 12, 2018

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Penney & Mixin

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domestic short hair

dog-age-icon

3 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Scooting
Scoot

I have two cats Penney (3years) and Mixin (8yrs) just the other day I noticed Mixin scooting and the day after Penney scooting. While examining behind the tail I didn’t seem to see anything that stood out as a problem. Both eat the same cat food Purina Cat Chow Indoor & use the same litter box. Is there something i should Worry about?

July 13, 2018

Penney & Mixin's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Scooting may occur for a few different reasons, however if both cats are scooting I would be more concerned with the possibility of parasites than anything else; anal gland issues, trauma, passing foreign objects, allergies among other causes may also lead to scooting. Make sure they are up to date with worming medication and that they are otherwise in good health; if the scooting continues you should pop into your Veterinarian for an examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 14, 2018

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Finn

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Domestic shorthair

dog-age-icon

14 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargic, Vomiting, Antiaocial

My cat has lost a significant amount of weight over the course of a few months. He eats and drinks a LOT of water. He’s less social. He’s a little lethargic. He poops on the floor next to the litter box. He pees often and for about 45 seconds each time. He vomits but not often

June 30, 2018

Finn's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

There are many conditions which may cause these symptoms to present especially in an older cat, since this has been going on for a few months now you should think about visiting your Veterinarian for a thorough examination to be on the safe side. The symptoms are quite general and may be due to many different conditions so it is difficult to narrow them down without an examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 30, 2018

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Nevada

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Domestic shorthair

dog-age-icon

6 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea, Scooting, Swollen Anus

My cat is scooting, has mild diarrhea, and her anus looks a little inflamed. She is fine otherwise. No lethargy, eating and drinking normally, no weight change, or change in fur.

June 30, 2018

Nevada's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

1 Recommendations

There are various causes for anus irritation in cats which may include anal glands, parasites, trauma, foreign objects, diarrhoea among other causes; you should wipe around the anus with a chlorhexidine wipe after each defecation and pop a dab of petroleum jelly on the anus to soothe it. You should also give all cats in your home a wormer to be on the safe side; if there is no improvement, you should visit your Veterinarian for a check up. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 30, 2018

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The Dude Rolfe-Ryndak

dog-breed-icon

short hair

dog-age-icon

2 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Penis Discharge
Occasional Scooting After Using Box
Increased Grooming Of Privates
Penis Visible During Grooming

The Dude will be 2 at the end of this month. I've seen him scooting a few times within the last few weeks or so, mostly after visiting his litter box. He also threw up a few times over a couple of days about 2 weeks ago, but doesn't seem to be experiencing that symptom anymore. We moved into a new apartment last November and around that time I saw a noticeable increase in him licking his private area, a lot of times his penis becomes visible during these instances. He is mostly an indoor only guy, but is allowed on my apartment patio occasionally, and I supervise him pretty closely. He's been regularly taking a monthly dose of Revolution heart worm for the past 6 months (last saw our Vet in Sept. 2018). He was due for his next dose on March 15th, but I'm currently unable to afford the prescription. I've reached out to our vet after each abnormal instance (excessive grooming and recent vomiting) and was encouraged to bring The Dude for a visit to make sure no serious problems are occuring, but as I said I'm not in the best financial position currently (unemployed and have been actively seeking any type of job). His diet hasn't changed, he eats primarily dry grain-free food (1/2 C daily) and is treated to a small can of wet food 1-3 times a month (grain-free as well). His BMs/urine do not seem out of the ordinary and his mood seems very normal; he's very playful, affectionate, and doesn't appear in any pain/distress. I will be teaching out to our Vet as well, but am curious if this may be semi Normal behavior? He is a very big attention hog, so his meows are not concerning or abnormal. Any advice is VERY appreciated. I tend to read a lot of internet information and become overly paranoid about the slightest symptom The Dude may have. Thank you, Monica R. In Austin, TX

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Morris

dog-breed-icon

long hair

dog-age-icon

7 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea, Scooting
Diarrhea, Scooting, Thir
Diarrhea, Scooting, Outside Box

My kitten, now 7 months, was an adopted outdoor cat, turned exclusive indoor cat. He has received an immediate checkup and full round of vaccines, bloodwork, and dewormer. He was treated for fleas and ear mites and we changed his food because his stool was smelly and loose. It seemed to harden the stool a bit, but it still is a horrid smell. Recently, he ate a leaf, I think an angel wing begonia, and has had massive diarrhea and went out of the box for the first time on our rug. He us now scooting. He is drinking tons of water.

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Duchess

dog-breed-icon

Ragdoll

dog-age-icon

1 Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Scooting

I have never seen a cat scoot until today! This morning I discovered a straight line of dried up fecal matter just outside of the litter box. We have a litter robot so not able to distinguish who did what when...however, tonight I watched Duchess scoot across the kitchen floor! My cats are indoor only although she has gotten into the garage a few times recently, not outside though. No change in food since I brought her home a year ago. I feed my cats Earthborn wet and only natural pet dry...between the two ragdolls, they eat about 16.5 oz wet and 1 cup dry a day. Definitely not fleas and no signs of allergies. The only thing thats new is the litter. I bought the one made of ground up walnuts...

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Dinah

dog-breed-icon

short hair

dog-age-icon

Two Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Butt Scooting

Our recently adopted two year old kitty, Dinah, has been scooting the past couple of days. Her anus was raw when we got her six weeks ago and we took her to our vet. She said it was coccidia and gave her a shot. She healed up right away. She isn’t red there now. We have also discovered that she has Feline Herpes. We are treating her for conjunctivitis now with erithromycin. We didn’t know any of this when we got her from a foster agency. She is playful and active and is always hungry. We have her on a diet because she is overweight.

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Shiva

dog-breed-icon

TORTOISE shell

dog-age-icon

1 Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Butt Scooting, Licking

I took my cat to the. Et and they expressed under anal glands under sedation. Ever since I brought her home she is scooting worse and won't stop licking her bottom. How long should that last? She seems like she is miserable.

Scooting Average Cost

From 262 quotes ranging from $100 - $400

Average Cost

$300

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