Do Cats With Worms Scoot Their Butts?

Scooting her bottom along the carpet is not part of your cat's regular grooming routine.
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Scooting booty across the floor might look funny when your cat does it. Whether it makes you laugh or annoys you, your cat is actually trying to relieve irritation. To make kitty feel better, have him checked for worms or another type of problem.


For the most part, worms do not cause the type of irritation that would cause your cat to scoot his bottom on the carpet. Scooting, scratching and irritation in the anal area usually has another cause, however, it doesn't mean that worms aren't to blame. In some cases tapeworms can cause itching that leads to scooting, but it's more likely the worms are in indirect cause of the scoot. Loose stools caused by internal parasites can lead to anal irritation, which in turn can lead to scooting.

Identifying and Treating Worms

The only way to know for sure whether your cat has worms is to have him tested by your veterinarian. Other signs of infestation to look for include a pot belly, dull coat, weight loss and diarrhea. Different worming medications are used for different types of worms, which is why it's important to have your veterinarian test your cat to determine if he is infested and with what type of worm.

Anal Glands

The usual suspect in kitty booty-scooting is the anal glands. These are small fluid-filled sacs that are normally expressed when your cat defecates. If the stool is loose, however, the fluid may stay in the glands and cause irritation. The uncomfortable feeling caused by these overfilled sacs will cause your cat to drag his bottom as well as lick at the area and swat his tail in search of relief. Sometimes the anal glands will eventually express the fluid on their own, but your cat may need treatment, especially if the area around the anus is red, inflamed or appears very tender.

Identifying and Treating Impacted Anal Glands

Until they become severely impacted and inflamed, it's difficult to tell that the anal glands are not expressing fluid like they should. Often the first sign of a problem with the glands is kitty dragging his bottom on the ground for relief. Your veterinarian can manually express the glands by gently squeezing them, or show you how to do it yourself if you're up to the task. On rare occasions if the glands are seriously impacted and infected, surgery may be necessary to drain them completely.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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