Cat with Wet, Smelly Tail and Hair Loss

by michelle
(West Valley )


My 12-year-old girl cat has long hair and is known for not getting herself clean. We are very good at cutting her hair and even bathing her (she loves baths and even jumps into the tub on her own when you don't want her - her favorites being showers).

Smelling her last night, I thought she may have something on her. However, I checked her bum and did not find feces. I found an alarming wetness with a slight odor and knots on her tail base and butt region.

I bathed her immediately and then checked the litter box for runny stool but did not find any. I separated her from the other cat just in case and thought give it a day or so.

Both the other cat and puppy are fine.

She has not had any change in appetite or energy. I checked her again today and found the knots were actually falling out leaving bald spots and the wet area seems to have spread some.

This had me really worried. I don't have any money saved up for the vet as it's Christmas time. So I started to look for a possible solution online.

My first look around on the internet makes me believe it's wet tail that hamsters get. However, I found nothing stating cats get it too (based on photos).

I am not sure where the wetness is coming. Just that it seems clear and slightly smelly. Anything I should do for her until my next payday which is the 20th to take her to the vet??

I can take pictures if it helps.


True "wet tail" just occurs in rodents It is not a cat disease. However, there are a number of different conditions in cats that could lead to this appearance.

For this reason, unfortunately, I cannot diagnose the condition you are describing without seeing your kitty. There are several different things that could be causing the problem.

It could be an infection of her anal sacs. It could just be irritated or infected skin from the mats. It could be mucous coming from her colon due to a virus or other GI disorder.

The best thing for you to do would be to take her to the vet. Could you ask your vet if they would see her and then let you pay when your check comes?

If this absolutely is not an option, the only other thing I could suggest is to continue to keep your cat isolated so that you can observe her bowels movements, urination and appetite. It sounds as if, from your observations, she does not have diarrhea so probably doesn't have a serious GI problem.

Since she is so agreeable about having her hair cut and being bathed, you could clip a wider area of hair around the area of concern and keep it very clean. It very well could just be irritated skin due to the prior mats on your kitty. It is also safe to apply some over-the-counter human antibiotic skin ointment on the area.

If, however, the odor gets worse or she loses her appetite or has litter box problems of any kind, you should take her to the vet right away.

Kindest regards,
Dr. Neely

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