Anyone who’s adopted, or let’s be real here, been adopted by a cat, knows how independent they are. Unlike dogs, cats generally need less attention from their parents. But knowing that isn’t enough to stop us cat parents from obsessively checking that our favorite felines are in good shape.
A common problem cat owners come across is finding black seed-like spots around their cat’s bum. Well, we’ve got you covered with this article. As we proceed, we’ll tell you all the different reasons to find black beads around a cat’s bum.
What Are the Black Beads Around Cats Bum?
Finding black beads around your cat’s bum is certainly an unsightly and rather worrying scene. However, they can be the result of anything from dried poop to anal gland disease or even parasitic or flea infestations.
Finding black spots should alert you to notice any unusual behavior your cat might show. These unusual signs complete the picture and help your vet diagnose the cause behind them.
Causes of Black Beads Around Cat’s Bum
We can’t deny that these little black beads are an inconvenience to your furry pal, so let’s go over the potential causes.
Anal Gland Disease
These glands are found near the anal opening. They secrete chemicals that act as territorial markers, drive off predators, and alert other animals to their presence. Small amounts of these secretions are usually forced out by muscular contractions whenever the cat poops.
A problem arises if the openings of these glands become blocked, possibly by feces. The secretions will accumulate inside the glands. And the bacteria present in the feces would act on them, triggering an inflammatory reaction. This inflammation appears as an itchy, red perianal area.
Well, how do I know that my cat is feeling itchy?
You might notice your cat is repeatedly licking or scratching itself. Another unusual behavior that cats show is dragging their bum across the floor. During this stage, the management consists of squeezing the secretions out of the glands along with topical antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs.
If not treated early, inflamed anal glands can turn into an abscess, which would require surgery. Like any surgery, this procedure carries the risks of general anesthesia.
Another problem that can arise after surgery is incontinence, resulting from injury to the anal sphincter. While the majority of cases improve within a few weeks after surgery. Some cats remain incontinent and require special diapers.
Related: Why Does My Cat’s Hair Look separated?
Cat Fleas (Ctenocephalides Felis)
While they aren’t the only flea types found on domestic cats, they’re the most common and sadly the hardest to get rid of. Cat fleas are known to carry many diseases, making them a danger to your cats as well as yourself.
But how can you detect your cat’s flea infestation?
If you notice your cat scratching or biting its fur persistently, you should consider if it might be suffering from a flea infestation.
You can see the fleas —as small black moving spots— or their feces —as pepper-like black spots— on your cat’s fur coat. Fleas are usually present at the base of the tail or the cat’s armpits.
Cat fleas secrete digestive enzymes onto the cats’ fur and skin, to which some cats can be allergic. This allergic reaction can appear as severe itching, bald patches, red skin, and secondary infections.
If your pet is diagnosed with a cat flea infestation, then you need to treat both your pet and your home simultaneously.
You can de-flea your pet using oral or topical anti-flea drugs. As for your home, thorough cleaning and excessive sunlight should do the job. Remember, fleas love warm and moist environments, so make sure that your home is nothing of the sort.
Your cat can get infected by tapeworms in two ways. Either through fleas or by eating an animal that is infected by tapeworms, like rats or squirrels.
Tapeworm infections are generally symptomless, but you can suspect your pets’ infection if you find some subtle signs. Like excessive itching at the anal area, if your pet vomits worms, or if you find sesame-seed-like spots on your cat’s bum.
If your pet has been diagnosed with tapeworm infection. Your vet would probably offer treatment in the form of injection, oral, topical medications, or a combination of them.
Now, you’re probably wondering if you can get infected by tapeworms. It’s unlikely, but yes, humans can get infected if they eat the proglottids —the sesame-seed-like spots— that your pet would pass along with their poop.
Tapeworm infections in humans are, although rare, generally affecting children as they’re the ones more prone to put dirty objects or hands in their mouths.
Not a disease. Dingleberries is a term used to describe spots of dried poop that might stick to your cat’s fur. This is especially common with long-haired cats that suffer from loose stools.
While dingleberries themselves aren’t dangerous, they might hint at another problem like diarrhea that you might want to get checked.
It is generally better not to interfere with your cat’s business. Being clean and remarkably flexible, cats can properly clean themselves. However, there are certain situations when lending a helping hand —literally —might be most welcomed, like:
- When their poop is extra soft making it annoyingly sticky.
- Overweight cats might have difficulty reaching their butts
- Elderly cats might suffer from arthritis, which makes them less flexible and unable to bend enough to clean themselves properly.
You can clean your cat’s bum using a wet cloth or baby wipes and wipe gently till you get all the dried feces off.
Although you shouldn’t be alarmed if you find black beads around your cat’s bum, this should remind you to observe your cat for any cues of a problem carefully. These cues can be excessive grooming or your cat dragging its bum on the floor. If you find anything of the sort, you should take your cat to the vet as soon as possible for a check-up.
Now that you’ve read our article, you have an overview of all the reasons your cat might have black beads on its bum. You also know the important signs you should be looking for, And what to expect if your cat has been diagnosed with any of the diseases we’ve mentioned.