Maine Coons are prone to getting poop stuck in their fur. If you have a problem with dingelberries, dags or feces try these reader suggestions!
Here are our archived questions and answers related to poop stuck in fur. Just scroll down to read more about:
My medium/long hair possibly part Maine Coon kitten (6 months old) is starting to have periodic problems with "dingleberries."
She uses the litter box, and a while later, I find a pea-size piece of fresh poop within yards of the litter box.
She isn't pooping outside the litter box, but I suspect her long fur is snagging things when she uses it.
I've heard of "sanitary shaving/trimming of longer haired cats rear ends, but would like to hear the expertise of Maine Coon owners. Sorry for the graphic detail, but how else to describe...
You are right, this is a fairly common problem. It happened to our cats more when they were kittens, and less often now.
Hopefully you will get some fresh ideas from other cat owners, but until then we have a few pages already where visitors have asked this question. You can check the rest of this page to read my comments, and the experiences of others.
I have 2 Maine Coons, Dewey and Vanessa. They are siblings, and of course they are my babies.
Vanessa has a lot better grooming habits then her brother and he is starting to get a few little knots under his "armpits". He also is having some trouble with poop getting stuck under his rear.
I groom him weekly, but I'm having the most trouble with getting poop off around his butt... I usually can snip a few pieces but I'm scared I might hurt him so I don't go after the tougher ones...especially in such a sensitive area.
I'm wondering if anyone has any tips for this? (I know if it gets too serious he will need to go to the vet to get the feces removed; if I'm worried about anything with my babies they always go to a professional)
I'm also wondering if I should get him a lion cut, I think he would feel really good with one since he has a hard time cleaning himself, but I just wanted to know some other Coone owners experiences with getting their cats the lion cut.
What a sweet picture, I love it :) This is a common predicament with long-haired cats. They are so pretty, but that fur in the rear can pose an issue!
You might want to read the other, similar visitor questions and comments on how they deal with poops that get stuck on stuck on.
As for the lion cut, I think that is a great idea! I see that you are in Florida, so Dewey and Vanessa live in a warm weather climate.
We haven't tried the lion cut at our house. It's only hot here for a short time, but I have been tempted to try it for Leo. He gets knotted, too.
The lion cut would take care of Dewey's mats and stuck-on poops at the same time. Some of the Maine Coon owners I've talked to say their cat was a little "off" after the first one, but then got used to it and actually seemed to strut their stuff when they got used to the lion cut.
Hopefully others will chime in on their experiences with both the lion cut, handling mats, and getting rid of stuff stuck to the rear!
All The Best,
Getting the rear clean
I have the same issues with mine also. I sit his rear in warm soapy water, bathe him and then snip some fur away if needed. He also gets alot of cat litter stuck in his hind paws...
Have you tried a Furminator?
My sister is a vet (specializing in cats) and I have a geriatric Maine Coon with mats all over his fur. He never liked to be brushed (coons have sensitive skin and some just don't like the pulling); it's much worse now, of course, since he's so arthritic he can't clean himself well.
I use a "furminator" (not sure of the spelling) and it does a wonderful job on the mats. It's a lot like brushing or combing, but there's a razor-like feature that helps to cut the fur under the mat, which ultimately releases the mat. I've used this on mats that were pretty firmly stuck to his skin, without cutting or scratching him (I'm afraid of using scissors close to the skin; I accidentally knicked a cat that way once). But the furminator gently and gradually works the mat off.
I don't know about using it around the anal area, but it works great on the rest of his body, and he tolerates it pretty well.
All that fur
My coon cat has a body coat that any show cat would be proud to sport. He is "bushy" with a lot of undercoat. We both enjoy his daily grooming. When you do it every day you can catch the little knots before they get skin tight and it only takes a few minutes.
I live in Texas where the temperature has been over 100 degrees for over a month now. Today it was 107, a new record. Despite the weather out side my cat lives indoors where it is a cool 72 degrees. I would never think of cutting his hair. The big fluffy hair is what makes my coon cat the envy of the neighborhood. I knew when I got him that daily grooming would be a part of owning such a magnificent animal.
Only a few times did The Bezzer Buzzer have diarrhea that stuck to his britches. I drew about three inches of warm water in the tub, put a towel in the bottom, scruffed him by the neck and washed his bottom with my free hand. I didn't use soap and I only washed what needed to be cleaned. He seemed to know I was helping him and didn't scratch or try hard to get away. (And a 21 pound cat can certainly go when he wants to!)
Keep your coon cat looking like a Coon Cat!
Maine Coon Dags?
Our 10 month old Maine Coon girl often has a problem with dags after going to the toilet.
I am wondering if this is a common thing if so is there any other way of controling it then with scissors?
I must confess that I've never heard the word "dags!" For others like me, here is a definition (the only one) I found on the web:
"Dag is an Australian slang term, often used as an affectionate insult for someone who is, or is perceived to be, unfashionable, lacking self consciousness about their appearance and/or with poor social skills yet affable and amusing."
Since this happens to your girl particularly after she goes to the bathroom, I'm guessing she has something hanging there that shouldn't be?
It happens. At our house, we call them "hangers." And you are right, sissors will do the trick. If one person holds her and the other snips, you'll be all set.
Interestingly, our cats "grew out" of this as they became adults, by around 3 years old. I don't know why that is. Maybe their bodies were able to digest the food better, so thier stools were more dry?
I hope this helps,
If your question was different just follow up with another comment here!
All The Best,
Our 5 month old, Cheif, has the same issue. Only he also gets the "stuff" well stuck into his paws! :O It drives me crazy as I then have to find a way to hold him still while I wash his paws (front and rear) and he is already a strapping kitten weighing 9 pounds at 5 months! (Not fat at all!) Anyhow, I have bought him the largest litterbox imaginable, hoping that would help him not to step in it...but he does it anyhow. Any suggestions?
Becca has the same problem
I have a maine coon female thats a lil over a year old she has the same problem I think most long haired cats have the problem as well I bought a pair of sissors to help with it didn't want to hurt her with the brush and comb to my suprise she prefers me to brush them out same with matts she gets in her maine she keeps pulling while I brush and puts her head back for me to do it more till I get it out shes very laid back and mellow so she just lays there or eats while I work them out I do use the siccors for bit hanging peices though.
Soft Feces Sticks To Fur
We feed our two 3 yr old neutered females Royal Canin dry food. Their stool has always been soft ("cow pie") but for the last year or so it has started sticking to the fur under the tail.
We comb the area every morning to remove the attached pieces. Often we find small blobs on the floor just outside their boxes or elsewhere in the house. Trimming the fur in the area helps a little but this is a tricky task. Is there a better diet which would produce firm(er) feces?
They see our veterinarian regularly and are healthy and parasite free.
Pat and Joanie
Hi Pat and Joanie,
This is a common issue among long haired cats. We call them "hangers" at our house. I'm not sure that different cat foods would produce a "drier" stool. And, it wouldn't be healthy for them to have hard or dry stools.
Owners have different methods to deal with it, such as trimming the fur or brushing & combing as you do.
As for the food, you might want to read our articles on Royal Canin Cat Food
& why we don't use it. We have seen a decrease in hangers since switching to a healthier, corn-free diet a few years ago but I'm not sure if it was coincidence. We rarely deal with it now. Perhaps they grew out of it.
Also, we had a similar question a little while back: Maine Coon Dags.
Other readers shared their tips & advice on this page, which you might find helpful.
All The Best,
I certainly would slowly introduce a different cat food. My vet recommends Pro-Plan. My breeder has used Science Diet for years. We have never had a problem with either brands.
Your vet probably carries Prescription Diet foods. Ask him if ID might be a good choice.
Brushing Cat Bellies
3yr old Maine Coon rescue declawed will not let me brush her belly and also get doo on her rear. How to deal with this?? Need grooming or sedation tips.
Some cats really
don't like their bellies to be touched, and it makes grooming that area really hard!
I would think sedation would be a last resort. If she has thick mats and there is no other way, you can ask your vet about it.
First, you could try having someone help you. Maybe even two people. One could hold her front paws, and one to hold her rear ones.
You have to use your good judgement on this, though. If my cat simply didn't like it, I would hold her down this way to get the job done. If it turns into a situation where your kitty exhibits real fear, panic, and starts thrashing, I would not put her through it.
In that case I would consider having a professional shave her belly and rear. This way no one has to touch it for a very long time. This is assuming she has some real grooming needs down there.
A lot of cats can go for long periods of time without having a human groom them. My Leo gets matted easily, but my Alice almost never gets a mat- they have different fur types. So don't do it just because you think you need to, only if there are mats and/or doo hanging.
Since your girl is declawed, that adds and extra element to it. She's feeling very vulnerable and exposed. It's common for declawed kitties to have some insecurities.
Other well-known tips involve wrapping a cat up in a towel, using claw covers (for the rear if she still has them), kitty muzzles, etc. It will be up to you as to what needs to be done and how far to go before resorting to sedation. As for sedation tips, that would be a question for your vet as he/she would be the one doing it.
Hope this helps!
Cats with Mats
by: Pat in Florida
I just went through this with my one year old kitty, MiMi. She has never liked being brushed and had large mats under her hind legs and was starting to get them under the front legs. I was not able to remove them. I tried holding her down and using one of those mat removers, and she would have no part of that! It was distressing.
I called my vet, as I trust her with my pets. I told her receptionist the problem and made an appt. for MiMi. I was pretty nervous when I took my cat in and left the exam room when it came time for mat removal. I gave permission for sedation, if needed. The vet's technicians removed those bad mats with no problem! One tech held the cat up and stretched out and the other one used a small shaver like men use to groom mustaches. MiMi knew they were in charge and complained, but did not struggle or fight them. She also let them trim her nails!
I am SO relieved. I brush her a little each day and then give her cat treats, but know I can take her back and not worry about it. It was not expensive, either. I wish you the same good luck and experience with your cat.
Sometimes if you scruff them up by the nape of their neck you can control the situation better. This is how kittens are carried by their moms and they go limp when held this way. Some cats retain this instinct into adulthood.
Declawed cats tend to bite in defense. Be careful.