Seeing an animal scoot their butt across the floor is typically associated with dogs, but some cats do it, too. If you've noticed that your cat is scooting across the floor, you're probably repulsed, but you should also know that this could be a bigger problem than dirtying the carpet. Healthy and comfortable cats don't scoot. Read this to find out what could be behind your cat's problem.

Anal Glands

Although some pet owners don't know this, cats have anal glands just like dogs do. And just like dogs, it's possible for a cat's anal glands to become inflamed, infected, or simply blocked. Under normal circumstances, fluid naturally drains into and out of your cat's anal glands when they use the litter box. However, if something is preventing their anal glands from fully emptying, or they're otherwise irritated due to injury, infection, or both, they may scoot to try and relieve themselves.

Unfortunately, this means two problems for you. The first is that anything your cat leaves behind while scooting will likely smell very bad. The second is that your cat is uncomfortable, and their condition may worsen if you don't get help for it.


Another possibility is that your cat's rear end is irritated. This usually happens around the anal area due to stomach problems. When cats have constipation or diarrhea, it can irritate their butts just like it would for a human. They may be scooting in an effort to try and rid themselves of burning stomach acid, or because their rear end got hurt while trying to defecate. Scooting doesn't resolve either of these problems, and is probably only giving your cat a small amount of relief.  Again, it's something that needs medical attention.

Getting Help

The good news is that both of these conditions are usually very easily treated by vets.

In the event that your cat's anal glands have a problem, your vet will empty them out and treat your pet if there's an infection or risk of one. In case the area got hurt from excessive scratching while trying to relieve themselves, any possible injuries will also be taken care of. 

If your cat's problem is originating in their stomach, your pet care provider will ask a few questions about your cat's usual bowel movements. From there, they can perform a physical examination to look for problems like blockages. Medicine can be provided to help normalize your cat's bowel movements, and a change in diet may help, too.