Are You Squeamish about Seeing Your Cat’s Bottom?

You shouldn’t be squeamish about looking at your cat’s bottom. It seems that some people are. I got the idea for this short post from Jo Singer’s post about cat tail body language. In her article she quotes a cat owner who said he didn’t like looking at his cat’s bottom when his cat approached him with his tail up. Little did he realise that his cat was greeting him warmly. He should have been delighted but sadly he was disappointed so he had unfortunately turned something pleasant into something unpleasant.

I won’t mention names but when I was in the USA about 4 years ago sitting at the kitchen table about to eat, the lady of the house made sure that her cat did not present his rear-end towards me. She was obviously sensitive about me seeing that item of cat anatomy, which was nice of her, but I wasn’t in any way concerned. It didn’t bother me at all. All of a cat’s anatomy is the same to me because it is all part of a cat.

Cats can have a habit of presenting their bottom to us. For example, often when my cat sleeps next to me he will face away from me and place his rear-end against me to feel the warmth. In my experience, the domestic cat nearly always does this. They don’t like having their face near to our face or they don’t like facing us in close proximity when resting near to us. The consequence of this is that while they are adjusting themselves and getting into position you are presented with their bum.

Another occasion when a cat might have a tendency to present his bum to you is when you stroke him down his back. A lot of cats will raise up their rear-end keeping their tail erect, pointing towards the ceiling, which puts their rear-ended in full view. The scientific explanation for this is that a cat believes he is being groomed by his mother and, behaving like a young kitten – almost a newborn kitten – he presents his rectum to his mother to lick as well in order to stimulate defecation. I know that sounds rather gruesome and if you are the sort of person who doesn’t like looking at your cat’s bum you will find that description somewhat unpleasant.

However, if you like things natural then it won’t bother you at all and surely nothing natural to do with our domestic companion should bother us in the slightest. Of course, the point is that everything a cat does is entirely natural and therefore we should like it all.

Humans do have a tendency sometimes to find it difficult to live in the real world. A lot of people spend their entire lives trying to fly over it all. They distance themselves from reality and they do this in all manner of different ways. Clearly, a lot of us find reality rather hard to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

When it comes to being a guardian of a domestic cat it is not a good idea to shun reality because we are living with a creature which behaves entirely naturally and very much in the real world. A cat’s behavior is supremely honest. What you see, is what he is. A good cat caretaker will be very familiar with all aspects of a cat’s external anatomy and a cat’s bodily functions and love them all equally. Well not quite equally (I’m thinking of the cat litter tray).

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Comments

Are You Squeamish about Seeing Your Cat’s Bottom? — 55 Comments

  1. Michael,

    I so agree with you about the cat’s “bum” and cannot for the life of me understand why a kitty “owner” would be squeamish about seeing it.

    In addition to all that you wrote, I would like to add that it’s important for folks who live with cats to routinely INSPECT their kitty’s “bum” to make sure that all is ok.

    Years ago, Dr. Hush Puppy started “scooting” his “bum” on the floor. Being aware that this can be symptomatic of anal gland problems, I immediately checked him out. It turned out that he not only had a problem- he had an infected, impacted gland which needed surgery to correct. Thankfully my vet was very skillful and the gland didn’t have to be removed.

    He had one more attack a couple of years later- and my vet repeated the procedure. Knocking wood he has had no further issues. She stretched the passageway to the gland, allowing it to empty much more easily.

    We need to inspect the rear end of a cat, in the same way we look into their mouths, their ears and eyes. It’s just part of prudent, routine cat care!

    Anyway both my cats have very cute “bums”.

  2. I can’t understand why anyone would want to make a fuss about a cat’s backside, it’s part of the cat, usually clean and let’s face it we all have them.

    I’d go so far as to say fixating on a cat’s bum is unhealthy and a bit creepy, it’s the human thought process making something out of nothing, cats don’t know it’s rude to show your bum.

    So I have a message for anyone fixated on cats bums and here it is 🙂

  3. My 5 year old tomcat cat matata has this habit of occasionally lifting his tail and rubbing his backside on me wanting to be petted.As for my 7 year old female cat “Matahari”, she normally raises her tail and rubs her sides against me when in “Heat”. I have observed this behaviour in both my cats of different sexes and hope cat behaviorists could decipher this “Cat body Language”!

  4. What a fun subject!
    No problem with any butts here.
    Kind of like vehicles – some are big, some small, some old, some young, some have accessories (sadly), some leak, some backfire, some shimmy and shake.
    It’s all a part of the package.

  5. well i have no problem with it as we have one too dont we??? Its their way of greeting us. Though i know human dont greet each other like that. Anyone that has a prob with seeing their cat bottom must have a serious problem.

  6. This was a fun comment section! I’m always checking my cat’s bottom. It can provide clues to important very important functions! Sometimes I see litter there, or in her fur, which I clean off, so she doesn’t have to. If I see her scoot, I immediately lift her tail to check things out. She’s usually not too happy about that. I would want to see any worms before they become worse.

    I’m always checking what in the litter box. Again, it provides clues to a cat’s health.

    I’m very investigative, so nothing gets beyond my scrutiny. I see things that most people dont, so maybe I was a detective in my past life!

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