Why Is My Indoor Cat Rubbing Their Butt Across the Floor?

Its kind of cute, but probably more gross. Indoor cats will scoot on carpets and rugs when the skin on their butt is itchy. Its not normal for cats to regularly drag their butts across the floor and it’s a sign that your cat needs a visit to the vet. Your cat probably won’t get hurt by scratching their butt against the floor, but the cause of the itchiness can be serious and need immediate attention. Finding out why your cat is dragging their butt can help you decide what course of action you need to take, read on to find out more.

Why is my indoor at dragging their butt on the floor?

There are a small number of reasons why your indoor cat has started scooting. The three main ones are parasites, impacted anal glands, and skin conditions. Lets go over these starting from thee most common ones. The only real way to stop your cat dragging their but on the floor is to find out what is affecting them and treat them.

Indoor cats and parasites

Although keeping your cat indoors permanently protects them from getting different types of parasites from the outdoors and other animals, it does completely remove the risk. Indoor cats can and do get all sorts of parasites including worms, which is normally what causes your cat’s rear to itch. Worms make your cat itch when they crawl out of the anus and lay eggs. You will want to clean any surfaces that your cat has been dragging their butt on if this is the case to kill worm eggs that have been spread out. Practice good personal hygiene when you do this as worms can spread to humans from cats.

Indoor cats and impacted anal glands

Cats have an organ called an anal sac just before their anus which they use for scent marking. These sacs can become inflamed or impacted causing them to be blocked. When this happens, your cat’s rear end will become uncomfortable, and they will drag it along rough surfaces to relieve themselves. It is not clear what causes this happen. Anal sac disorders are diagnosed through palpation, a vet will feel around the are to see if they can feel something abnormal. We don’t recommend doing this at home as you won’t know what to look for unless you are a trained veterinarian.

Indoor cats and skin conditions

This is a less common cause, but skin can sometimes itch due to your cat having allergies. These allergies can be caused by food or the environment. Your cat can get a new allergy even if nothing has changed, although a rare cause is your cat food company changing a recipe without giving you notice. Your vet will be able to assess if your cat is suffering from an allergy and then walk you through how to medicate them.

Is cat scooting an emergency?

Sometimes your cat may just drag their butt on the floor because it is itchy at the time with some left over poop or litter. If they just do this behaviour once or twice for a short moment you might be able to attribute your indoor cat’s itching to this. You can also check underneath your cat’s tail for signs of what could be annoying them. If they have made a mess of themselves in the litter box you could consider gently washing them to help them out. Cats are flexible enough to clean up small messes if you don’t want to deal with this.

Every other cause is going to the need the attention of your vet so a correct assessment can be made. Problems like impacted anal sacs are very painful for your cat and if untreated can lead to other medical complications. Its best to get a professional assessment as soon as possible.


Cats rub their butts on the floor to relieve itchiness in the area. If they just do this once or twice, they could have had a normal itch. This could be caused by stuck cat litter or some left over feces under their tail. Otherwise, continued scooting is a sign of a more serious medical condition affecting your cat. Your indoor cat may have been unlucky enough to catch some parasites while inside of the house, have impacted anal glands, or developed a new allergy. In any case, you need to get an appointment with a vet so they can make an assessment and prescribe a treatment specific to your cat.