How to keep a Maine Coon cat clean - poop on butt problems

Social media users are asking the question how to keep their Maine Coon clean? And what they are referring to is not keeping the whole cat clean because they can do that for themselves by and large. What they are referring to is poop stuck to their cat's backside. This appears to be a problem with Maine Coon cats. It is certainly not uncommon.

There are several things that can be tried to alleviate if not eliminate the problem. Please read on. There are some useful links to information about litter trays/boxes and substrate which may help.

This Maine Coon has difficulty in keeping his butt clean
This Maine Coon has difficulty in keeping his butt clean. Image: Reddit.com. The owner asks how he/she can keep him/her clean.

Interesting aspect of the question

Normally domestic cats are fastidious about keeping themselves clean including their bottoms. If they can't it can only be because the problem overwhelms them and they need intervention.

Initial question

It seems to me that you have to ask yourself an initial question. It is my Maine Coon cat pooping normally? Does he have diarrhoea? If he has diarrhoea and some of it is becoming stuck to the long fur around his bottom, one way to solve the problem is to change their diet.

This, I believe, will require some experimentation and possibly a session with your veterinarian for advice. In fact, it may be essential to do that because there are many causes of diarrhoea not just the type of food they eat. So, if diarrhoea is persistent or regular then it would seem that a visit to the veterinarian is essential.

Test?

Before doing that, you might do some testing by changing the diet, which would enable you to eliminate one possible cause namely an incorrect diet for your cat. Maine Coon cats don't, as far as I know, have sensitive stomachs as is said about Siamese cats.

Some Maine Coon owners say that if their diet is too rich in proteins, it can be too rich for the cat's stomach. Of course, cats are obligate carnivores and therefore protein is essential what I'm saying is you might simply alter the wet food diet to a different manufacturer while retaining the same high quality. If it doesn't help then as mentioned a trip to the vet would be advised.

Shaving

Having ticked the potential diarrhoea box, the next thing probably is to consider shaving around the backside. Some people go so far as to give their cat a full lion cat for the hot weather. This would probably solve the poop around the backside problem. You might be advised to see a vet about this.

Longhair the problem

I don't see any people complaining about keeping their shorthaired cats clean. This is really about longhaired cats and not necessarily Maine Coon cats e.g., Persians have the same problem.

Bathing

You can of course bathe your Maine Coon cat and you can wipe their bottom using a wet wipe (but don't throw it down the toilet as they block sewers). Bathing a cat is not a good idea if you can avoid it because it removes the oils from their skin. This dries the skin. And Maine Coon cats will be very good at self-grooming like all other domestic cats. The problem with this breed is that their fur is sometimes just too long for the cat to maintain their coat properly alone.

Grooming intervention

They might need intervention on a regular basis. I'm sure that the more experienced Maine Coon cat caregivers regularly groom their cat with one of his very clever grooming brushes and combs that you can buy on Amazon.

This helps to remove loose hair strands which are being shed in any case. But this is more about the whole body rather than the specific problem referred to. They also shave their cat regularly.

Litter substrate (material) and litter tray

You might consider changing the litter substrate and the size of litter box and you might provide a second litter box. There may be a linked problem with the quality of the litter substrate. This is another box to be ticked if you'd like to maximise a possibility that your Maine Coon cat will keep himself clean.

Size

Ensuring that the litter box is the right size i.e. big enough will also help to avoid a Maine Coon cats stepping in his poop. This is because the question in the title also indirectly refers to poop being embedded between the toes of a Maine Coon cat after he has gone to the toilet. 

They seem to have a habit of doing this as well. This is probably due to their large size and litter trays being designed for average domestic cats which are considerably smaller.

Some stuff about litter trays which may prove useful

The litter box should be big enough and the litter substrate should be deep enough but not too deep. I have articles on that on other pages which you can see by clicking on these following links.

How much cat litter should I use- about depth of substrate.

Long-haired cats and litter box problems - discusses Persian cats who have the same problem. This article also includes a reference to a cat litter substrate for long-haired cats.

How big should my cat’s litter box be?

Cat litter trays should face north or south - this is an intriguing suggestion that the litter tray should be aligned north/south. Have a look and see what you think.

Do cats prefer open or covered litter boxes? - open or covered litter box? A worthwhile discussion.

Regular grooming/shaving of the backside

You may actually have to groom their backside on a regular basis to keep the fur short there all the time. I think that, having considered the matter, it's probably the most important way to keep your Maine Coon cat clean provided they are pooping normally.

I would welcome suggestions of others and comments because first-hand experiences are very important.

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