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How to Get Cat Poop Out of Cat Fur (for Long & Short-Haired Cats)

Long haired grey cat being combed happy human

Cats are excellent groomers and enjoy being clean. Sometimes, though, no matter how good they are at cleaning themselves, they’ll need a little help from you if they wind up with poop in their fur. Self-grooming can be difficult for cats that are overweight or arthritic, so cleaning poop out of their fur might be a more regular occurrence. Other times, cats have diarrhea that makes a mess not only in their litter boxes but also on them.

To help, we compiled a list of ways that you can easily get cat poop out of your cat’s fur and get them back to feeling and smelling fresh. Let’s get started.


Before You Start Removing the Poop

Once you know that you must perform this task, it’s best to get everything that you need ready before you begin. Even though cats don’t like having poop in their fur, they also won’t always be readily agreeable to everything that you have in mind. Depending on the cleaning method that you’d like to use, you won’t need all these supplies. Still, here is a list of things that you can choose from and have on hand for these situations.

  • Cat shampoo
  • Waterless cat shampoo
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Calming cat treats
  • Pet grooming wipes
  • A large towel
  • Washcloths that are only used for this issue
  • A comb
  • Disinfectant spray
  • Grooming scissors
persian cat taking shower
Image Credit: 135pixels, Shutterstock

Cat Poop Cleaning Preparation

Before you start any cleaning process, it’s best to wear long sleeves and rubber gloves. No matter what, you’ll want to protect yourself from cat scratches. You’ll also be handling poop, so it’s best to protect your hands.

Safety glasses should be worn to protect your eyes. These are mainly suggested for use while bathing your cat. This isn’t required, of course. But a flailing cat could send poopy water splashing up into your eyes, and this can cause infections. If you don’t wear the glasses, use caution to protect your face from splashes.

If there’s time, give your cat a calming treat before you start handling them. It could relax them and make it easier for both of you. Regular treats can also be used as rewards and incentives for getting your cat to hold still.

You’ll find different cleaning methods here, so you can choose the one that is easiest for both you and your cat.

How to Get Cat Poop Out of Cat Fur (3 Ways)

1. Waterless Shampoo

spraying on cat
Image Credit: Vaillery, Shutterstock

For small messes that don’t require a full bath, waterless shampoo can be a real hero. These usually come in a spray bottle so you can use a targeted aim and spray the product where you need it. This is good for poop that has hardened in the fur or left a dry residue on the tail or legs. Just spray the shampoo on, and use a warm, damp cloth to work the poop out of the fur. Be sure to use this cloth only for these purposes.

2. Pet Grooming Wipes

This simple solution involves taking a pre-moistened pet grooming wipe and cleaning the poop from your cat’s fur. It’s a one-step process and works well for poop that wasn’t fully eliminated or got stuck in some fur but didn’t make a huge mess.

Treats are important to use here because if your cat gets used to seeing you come at them with a grooming wipe, they may instantly run and hide. Keep them around with treats, and make the process as stress-free as possible.

3. Full Bath

If the mess is too much for waterless shampoo or grooming wipes to tackle, you’ll have to give your cat a bath.

Depending on the extent of the poop in the fur, you can either just clean the back end of their body or give them a full bath. Fill the tub or sink first with warm water before you go and collect your cat. The sound of running water might freak them out.

Once they’re in the water, wet the affected areas and massage cat shampoo in their fur to loosen and remove any stuck poop. Use a shower head or clean water that you’ve set aside beforehand to rinse your cat.

It’s important not to use the water that the cat is standing in to rinse them. This water is contaminated with fecal matter. Drain the tub or sink, and rinse the cat clean once you’ve finished washing them.

When you think that all the shampoo is out of your cat’s fur, rinse them again just to be sure. Then, wrap them in a large towel and start drying them.

Black Persian Cat Having a Bath
Image Credit: Bussakorn Ewesakul, Shutterstock


After Cleaning

Once your cat is clean, you can use a comb to brush their fur to keep it from matting. Also, be sure to clean the tub or sink with disinfectant spray to get rid of any germs that might be left behind.

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For Long-Haired Cats

The cleaning methods mentioned here should work for both short- and long-haired cats. However, long-haired cats may require more work and longer times in the bath to get the poop out of their fur. Their long hair gives poop more places to get stuck. Clumps and mats can then form that need to be cut out.

If your long-haired cat isn’t coming clean no matter which cleaning method you try, consider trimming the clump of poop out. It may lead to a choppy-looking coat, but it’s better than having poop stuck in it.

Sometimes, just one or two snips with scissors can loosen the clump enough to be worked out with your fingers. You don’t have to cut much unless the clump is compacted and hard.

Professional Grooming & Vet

If you cannot clean your cat yourself, you can always take them to a professional groomer. A groomer will bathe your cat, clip their fur, and shave any areas on their rear end where poop is likely to get stuck again. This can help prevent future buildup.

While these appointments can stress your cat out and cost money, they are an option for those who can’t handle a squirming cat themselves. If your cat is very disagreeable, they may have to be sedated. In these cases, you’d need to bring your cat to the vet so they can sedate them safely and clean them.

Cat in grooming salon
Image Credit: Studio Peace, Shutterstock

Cat Poop on Cat Hair Prevention

You can take these steps to stop poop from getting stuck in your cat’s fur, especially if this is a common occurrence.

Adjust Your Cat’s Diet

If your cat has frequent diarrhea, they may be sensitive or allergic to something in their food. Changing to a high-protein diet with limited ingredients may help this issue. Speak to your vet about possible allergens in your cat’s diet, and work with them to come up with a diet plan. Once you eliminate the culprit, your cat’s digestive system should go back to normal.

Watch Their Weight

Obese cats have difficulty grooming themselves and cannot reach their butts if they are too heavy. While regular, daily grooming keeps cats clean all over, the areas that they can’t reach can build up with dirt or, in this case, poop. If your cat is on the heavier side, you may need to regularly wipe them clean. Once they lose a little weight, they should be able to go back to grooming themselves properly.

fat calico cat sleeping in the window perch
Image Credit: Lisa A. Ernst, Shutterstock

Keep Fur Trimmed

This is mostly for long-haired cats, but short-haired cats may still benefit from it. Trimming the fur keeps it from getting in the way and getting covered in poop. Keeping the fur around your cat’s butt trimmed might seem tedious, but it can prevent you from having to frequently clean them.

Clean the Litter Box

Cats like a clean litter box to do their business. But keeping the box clean goes beyond the cat’s preferences. Digging, burying, and walking in a dirty litter box can cause existing poop to stick to their paws and fur. A clean box also gives them a bigger area to use. If they’re trying to fit into the only clean spot, poop can get into their fur as they go.

cat litter box cleaning
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock


Conclusion: How to Get Cat Poop Out of Cat Fur

Cleaning poop out of your cat’s fur isn’t the most pleasant task, but it needs to be done. Sometimes, all cats need is a quick wipe to solve the problem. For messier situations, full baths may be in order.

By using the methods that we’ve listed in this article, you can make the experience quick, stress-free, and as easy as possible.

We hope that you’ve found a solution to this issue and ways to prevent it from happening in the future.

Featured Image Credit: Jakub Zak, Shutterstock

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