Why does my dog lick my cat’s bottom? Here’s What to Expect

Your Dog Is Confirming the Identity of Your Cat

A dog’s sense of smell works like a kind of multi-purpose tool for them. They use it to locate food, find their way home, and recognize the people and animals in their surroundings.

You might have assumed that your pet will only sniff a fellow dog, but that’s not the case. They will use that heightened sense of smell to identify anyone or any animal, and that includes your pet cat.

So, why is licking necessary? Well, the licking helps because it allows them to gather more information. They are able to use both their nose and their tongue to ascertain the identity of your pet cat.

If your dog already recognizes your cat, they may lick their behind to confirm their suspicions. Your dog may also lick the behind of a cat they are meeting for the first time so they can obtain a frame of reference for their new companion.

Your Dog Is Trying to Help Your Cat Poop

Very young puppies don’t have complete control of their bowels yet. Left on their own, a young pup may not be able to poop regularly. That inability to poop regularly can cause issues in puppies.

Thankfully, their parents can help prevent that issue. An older dog can lick a puppy’s butt and effectively stimulate the latter’s bowels.

Your dog may mistakenly think that your pet cat could also use some help in the pooping department. Because of that, your dog may think it is also their job to stimulate your cat’s bowels through licking.

The intentions behind the action may be good, but your cat may not appreciate it. Keep an eye on them to see if something like that happens and break up a potential fight if your cat gets mad.

Reason #3: There is something on your cat’s fur that smells or tastes good to your dog.

If your cat recently got into something that smells or tastes good to your dog, then you may see your dog attempt to lick whatever it is off of the cat.

A dog may also lick your cat if your cat has just returned from being outside, from the vet, or from the groomer. All of those locations have a lot of different smells wafting around and it’s inevitable that some of those scents cling to your cat’s fur.

When she gets home, your dog may take an interest in the smell and lick at the cat to explore the taste of whatever they are smelling.

Dog Licks Cat Butt

You knew it was coming… Your dog doesnt only smell other dogs bottoms and poop in odd ways — Fido also sometimes consumes feces. This behavior, called coprophagia, sometimes happens because the dog has a health condition, such as diabetes or Cushings syndrome, that alters its appetite. Other times, its due to nutrient deficiencies, according to VCA Animal Hospitals.

But oftentimes, perfectly healthy dogs will eat poop. Its unclear why, but one hypothesis is that coprophagia is simply a scavenging behavior, a remnant of dogs evolutionary history.

Another idea is that dogs learn this behavior during puppyhood, when their mothers lick their genitals to stimulate urination and defecation, and then eat the excrement to maintain a clean den. Its also possible that dogs eat poop simply because theyre bored. [Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?]

Regardless of the reason, eating feces can be harmful, as one case report revealed: A 1-year-old female mixed-breed dog was brought to the vet because of urinary incontinence, abnormal thirstiness and an excess of diluted urine, according to the report, published in 2013 in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Turns out, the young pup had eaten the feces of another household dog, and that dog was being treated with a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug called carprofen. The drug ended up in the treated dogs feces and then was transferred to the female when she ate that poop.

Science doesnt have a clear answer on this one, so cat and dog lovers may forever debate whether Fluffy or Fido is brainier. But there are hints as to which fluff ball is most intelligent.

Cats brains take up 0.9 percent of their body mass, compared with 1.2 percent for a dogs brain, but size doesnt necessarily matter here, experts say. Thats because cats have 300 million neurons in their cerebral cortex, an area of the brain responsible for information processing. Dogs have 160 million neurons in that region.

However, its hard to do experiments with cats because, well, theyd rather lick their paws than follow orders, scientists say. But one experiment showed that although both cats and dogs can solve puzzles to get food, cats will keep trying even if the puzzle is unsolvable, while dogs will go get humans to help them.

This doesnt mean either animal is smarter. It just shows the effects of how dogs were domesticated at least 20,000 years before cats were, and thus are more likely to interact with humans, the study researchers said. [Are Cats Smarter Than Dogs?]