Cats sit anywhere and everywhere they want. All cat lovers know this as solid truth, but if felines find perches on any chair, counter, or bed, does it mean their fuzzy butts are pressed firmly against those surfaces?
It’s a good question because just as we know how cats will sit anywhere, we also know cats like to flash their butts to those they trust. And, once they trust you, you wind up with that puckered view pretty often. So, with all that cat booty rocking everywhere, how much of that butt do they leave behind on surfaces?
Sixth-grade student Kaeden Henry of Perry, FL, wondered the same thing, so he developed a science project asking, “Does your cat’s butthole really touch all the surfaces in your home?”
His hypothesis? “If my cat sits on a surface, then their butthole will also touch said surface.”
A Butt-Load of Science
But just how did Kaeden set about measuring cat butt smears on surfaces?
To begin, it helps to know, both Kaeden’s cats, Taco and Maya, have been trained to commands since they were kittens. Kaeden’s mom, Kerry Griffin, has a Ph.D. in animal behavior with a concentration in feline behavior, so the kitties’ already-existing abilities to “sit, wait, lie down, and jump up” were quite handy for the experiment.
In a sidenote, Kerry shared, “They also know how to high-five, spin around, and speak.”
For the experiment, Kaeden applied red, nontoxic lipstick to the kitties’ “bum-bums,” and then the cats were directed to certain surfaces, both hard and soft, and covered with white paper for data collection.
But don’t worry! Kerry assured, “As a disclaimer, no cats were harmed in the process of this science project.”
After a quick 10-minute experiment, the lipstick was wiped away with a baby wipe, and both Taco and Maya “were compensated with lots of praise, pets, and their favorite treats.”
Cat Butt Conclusions
So, what did Kaeden learn?
- “Long and medium-haired cats’ buttholes made NO contact with soft or hard surfaces at all.”
- “Short-haired cats made NO contact on hard surfaces. But we did see evidence of a slight smear on the soft bedding surface.”
“Conclusion, if you have a short haired cat and they may be lying on a pile of laundry, an unmade bed, or other soft uneven surface, then their butthole MAY touch those surfaces!
Okay, there’s your answer. While cats sit anywhere and everywhere, their butts aren’t yucking up the whole house, just a here-and-there smear in the places we sit, the clothes we wear, and our beds. Now, if you’ll excuse this cat mom, I’m going to put a load of sheets and blankets in the washing machine!