Gland Problems How To Tell If Cat Needs Glands Expressed

Cat Anal Gland Issues: Signs & Symptoms

When it comes to expressing bodily discomfort, cats may be deceptively subtle. Any cat that exhibits the following behaviors, on the other hand, may require examination for anal gland issues or may require anal gland expression:

  • Cats may regularly pause their activity to lick themselves because they are uncomfortable due to anal gland irritation or illness. Irritation in the rectal area: Scooting is common in cats when they are attempting to alleviate itching in this area. While sitting on the ground, a cat will use its front paws to propel its body forward, causing its hindquarters to “scoot” along the floor. Feces outside of the litter box: While this is frequently triggered by the cat’s disapproval of a particular component of their litter box, it can also signal pain or constipation due to anal gland irritation in the intestines. Body odor: A healthy cat should not have any unpleasant aromas emanating from its body. Detecting a foul odor is a red sign that should draw the attention of the property’s owner. Anal glands that are red or swollen: While the other symptoms on this list might be caused by a variety of factors, noticeable inflammation or swelling of the glands is a tell-tale indicator of an infection. These glands are positioned on either side of the entrance of the genital canal. According to this analogy, the anal glands are located at the 4:00 and 8:00 places on the clock face of the region.

About Cat Anal Glands

Despite the fact that cats are significantly less prone than dogs to experience problems with their anal glands, it is possible. It is possible that the ducts or outlets from these glands get blocked, which prevents the glandular fluid from being expelled as normally as it would be when the cat defecates. It is possible for the glands to become obstructed, which can result in constipation in the cat and interference with proper litter box utilization. When an excessive amount of bacteria accumulates in the anal gland, it develops into an infection.

If an infection is left untreated for an extended period of time, it might develop into an abscess.

TreatmentsWhat to do for Anal Gland Problems in Cats

Despite the fact that cats are significantly less prone than dogs to experience issues with their anal glands, it does happen. It is possible that the ducts or outlets from these glands get blocked, which prevents the glandular fluid from being expelled as normally as it would otherwise be when the cat defecates. The glands can get obstructed, causing the cat to become constipated and to have difficulty using the litter box as normal. An infection develops when an excessive amount of germs accumulates in the anal gland.

It is possible for an abscess to develop from an infection that has gone untreated for an extended period of time.

Why Does My Cat Scoot?

Your cat’s bottom smells bad, doesn’t it? Is she making her way across the rug? It’s possible that you have an anal gland condition. Find out what’s causing this foul situation and how it’s being dealt with. A issue with the anal glands in your cat’s rear end and scooting their butt around the carpet might be the cause of their behavior. During bowel motions, the fluid from these tiny glands near the anus is released. If the fluid becomes backed up, it might create discomfort for your animal companion.

What Are the Signs of Cat Anal Gland Problems?

When cats have anal gland problems, the most typical symptom is licking and biting at the soles of their feet. Even while cats do not scoot or drag their buttocks across the ground on a regular basis like dogs, they can do so. Angela Hoover, LVT, regional technical director for VCA Hospitals, explains that if a cat’s anal glands are inflamed, he or she may avoid using the litter box, scream, and hide.

“However, cats can exhibit this behavior in response to any type of discomfort or fear. The most obvious symptom of an anal gland dysfunction is a bad odor in the mouth. The combination of this with licking and biting is the most alarming sign.”

What Causes Anal Gland Problems in Cats?

Anal muscles contract against the exterior of the glands when a cat performs a bowel movement, causing them to bulge. When you have a solid bowel movement, it puts pressure on the glands from the inside out. According to Hoover, the combination of these two actions squeezes liquid out of the glands through two pinhole apertures placed outside the rectum at the four o’clock and eight o’clock locations. There are a variety of reasons why cat anal gland disorders might emerge. Soft stools or diarrhea do not exert the necessary pressure on the glands to for them to squeeze.

Additionally, the gland apertures can get blocked, which can occur as a result of diarrhea becoming lodged in the holes, according to Hoover.

How Are Anal Gland Problems in Cats Treated?

According to Hoover, the sooner you recognize a problem, the easier it is to cure it. According to the veterinarian, if you detect your cat licking and biting and take them to the clinic straight away, veterinary personnel may empty the anal glands and your cat will be well afterward.

Cat Anal Gland Expression

Cat anal gland expression is the process of physically pressing the anal glands to cause fluid to be released. According to Hoover, it is best addressed by qualified veterinary personnel. When you communicate yourself properly, the little opportunities might cause more harm than good to others. Furthermore, most cats are aggressive when it comes to being touched for medical treatment purposes.

Anal Gland Infections

Cat anal gland expression is the process of physically pressing the anal glands to cause fluid to be released from them. A veterinarian should be consulted if you have this problem, according to Hoover. When you communicate yourself properly, the little holes might cause more harm than good to the recipient. In addition, most cats are aggressive when they are touched for medical care.

Recurrent Anal Gland Infections

In the event that your cat suffers from frequent anal gland blockages and infections, there is a long-lasting solution. Anal glands may be removed without causing any long-term damage, according to Hoover, because they do not perform a required role.

Can You Prevent Anal Gland Problems in Cats?

Fortunately, there is a long-term solution for cats that suffer from recurring anal gland obstructions and infections. The removal of anal glands, according to Hoover, is not associated with any negative long-term consequences since they do not perform a vital job.

Is my Cat Experiencing Anal Gland Problems?

Cats. Pets that are both cute and mysterious, and are cherished by their owners. Because our feline companions may be deceptive communicators, it is critical to monitor their health and well-being. When a cat is experiencing digestive or rectal difficulty, they exhibit several strange behaviors and symptoms. Understanding a little bit about your cat’s anatomy, particularly when it comes to the condition of their anal glands, will assist you in getting to the “root” of their unusual behavior.

How do you know if your cat is experiencing anal gland problems?

Starting with Anal Glands 101 is a good place to start for novice pet owners. The anal glands are two little openings that may be seen on either side of your cat’s rectal entrance, and they are located on either side of the urethra. As with dogs who pee on your local fire hydrant or under a shaded tree, cats have anal glands that help them mark their territory by secreting fluid into the environment. When your cat defecates, these glands release a foul-smelling liquid, and this liquid is also secreted on occasion when your cat feels threatened by another animal (similar to our less household-friendly friend, the skunk).

However, there are a variety of anal gland issues that can swiftly jeopardize your cat’s overall health and wellbeing. Your cat scooting their buttocks around the floor might be suffering from an anal gland problem, which you should investigate.

What are the symptoms of anal gland distress?

Other indications and symptoms to keep an eye out for in your cat are as follows:

  • The licking of the rectal area on a regular basis Defecating outside of the litter box or leaking brown fluid are both unacceptable behaviors. Waste that has a foul odor, or a general unpleasant odor

Anal gland issues are caused by your cat’s anal glands being blocked, which means that the glandular fluid is unable to be expressed and can cause damage to the glandular fluid. This results in the accumulation of germs, which can result in illnesses or even a severe abscess. The following are some of the most prevalent anal gland disorders that you should look out for in your cat.

Anal gland inflammation.

Inflammation and irritation of the anal glands can cause them to expand, making it harder for fluids to drain and resulting in increased impaction.

Anal gland infection.

It is possible that an internal glandular infection will cause the anal sac fluid to become thicker with bacteria, rendering it incapable of expressing itself.

Anal gland tumors.

If a tumor or growth occurs in or around the anal gland, it may cause the anal gland duct to become physically obstructed, resulting in pain. Despite the fact that these symptoms might be frightening, it is crucial to understand that a fiber balanced diet can assist!

How can fiber help with treating anal gland problems in cats?

Fiber can aid in the production of a solid, healthy stool. Having a hard and bulky stool in your cat ensures that the right amount of pressure is exerted to the anal glands to facilitate stool ejection. Your cat may struggle to adequately discharge anal gland secretions if he or she does not consume enough fiber. Fortunately, there are a variety of therapies and preventative measures available to assist you and your cat through the unpleasant experience of anal gland dysfunction.

Can We Talk Frankly about Anal Glands?

Anal glands (sacs) are found under the skin on either side of the rectum, at the 5 and 7 o’clock positions, on both dogs and cats, respectively. These microscopic glands release a foul-smelling fluid into the anal region, which is carried there by a network of small ducts. When you have a bowel movement, the pressure on your glands causes them to naturally empty. Take a look at our movie about the anal glands!

What is the function of these glands?

The real role of the anal glands in dogs and cats is still up for question, according to some experts. According to one idea, they act as territorial markers and may even transmit information about gender and age. Another hypothesis holds that the secretion of the anal glands works as a lubricant for hard feces, allowing them to pass more readily. Some individuals feel that the glands are only ornamental and serve no actual use because domesticated dogs and cats are unable to empty the glands on their own initiative, as wild dogs and cats do.

Do anal glands cause problems for dogs and cats?

Occasionally, the anal glands may not drain as they should. The causes are numerous, but small ducts, obesity, persistent soft stools, and allergies are all thought to be contributing factors. Small breed dogs have a higher frequency of difficulties than large dog breeds and cats, and this is especially true for small breed dogs. It is more difficult for the anal glands to empty properly when they are not working properly.

In turn, the anal gland secretions are unable to move regularly down the tiny ducts (tubes) into the anus as a result of the blockage. Improper urination can result in impaction, and if impaction happens, the anal gland may burst, resulting in an abscess (infection) beneath the skin.

How would I know if my dog or cat is having an anal gland problem?

Uncomfortable or itchy sensations can arise when the anal glands fail to drain adequately. It is possible that licking the anal region or scooting their rear end on the floor is an attempt to empty the glands or to relieve itching in dogs as a result of this condition. If an abscess develops in the perianal region, you may notice swelling and drainage from the area. Cats that have impacted anal glands may become hesitant to use the litter box because they link it with discomfort while defecating, according to the American Cat Association.

What should be done if we notice these symptoms in our dog or cat?

First and foremost, the pet should be inspected. When the anal glands become overloaded, they may typically be expressed. (emptied). An abscess or infection will need to be treated, which will normally entail creating drainage (if it is not already present) and administering medications if the condition is severe.

How are anal glands expressed (emptied)?

There are two primary approaches: A paper towel or tissue is held against the anus and gently squeezed with your thumb on one side of the anus and three fingeres on the other, according to the external approach. The anal gland may feel like a grape under the skin when it is fully developed. Occasionally, utilizing the external approach, it is not feasible to express the glands properly. When using the internal approach, it is necessary to first introduce a greased, gloved index finger into the anus, after which it is necessary to isolate the gland between the thumb and index finger and gently squeeze it.

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How often should my pet’s anal glands be expressed?

The practice of frequently expressing the anal glands in the absence of symptoms is subject to considerable controversy, although many veterinarians feel it is not a good idea. In addition, it is believed that doing the treatment on a frequent basis may result in permanent damage to the gland or ducts, and many pets do not have problems with their anal glands in the first place. If symptoms do arise, it may be necessary to express the glands, and if the symptoms repeat on a regular basis, it may be necessary to put yourself on a schedule.

However, because this may be difficult and usually messy, many people prefer to have a vet tech perform this service at the clinic.

Call our office if you have any questions.

Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation The anal glands of a cat are pea-sized and positioned under the anus, approximately at the four and eight o’clock positions on the clock. The aroma of a cat is released along with transparent, greasy secretions that range in color from yellow to brown whenever the cat defecates. These secretions are natural (albeit they serve no use in the case of domesticated cats), but cats with highly active anal glands can emit a particularly foul odor and develop impactions and infections as a result.

If you suspect that you may need to express your cat’s anal glands, consult with a veterinarian before proceeding.


  1. 1Stow your items in a safe place. You’ll need a clean pair of medical or examination gloves, gauze pads, clean water, and, if your cat has a lot of hair, a cat clipper to do this task. You’ll also need someone to assist you in keeping the cat motionless while you work. 2Assign the cat to a certain location. Keep the cat steady and facing away from you with the help of a spouse or assistance. Advertisement
  2. 3Trim the perineal area to the desired length. The fur around the anus may need to be trimmed if your cat is particularly hairy
  3. This will be necessary before you can continue. 4Find the gland apertures and mark them. In order to examine the anus, gently lift the cat’s tail up and to the side. Find the gland openings, which should be positioned slightly below and to the sides of the anus
  4. 5 Remove any dried secretions with a damp cloth. Remove any crusted dry secretions from the anus and gland openings by rinsing them with water and gently wiping away the softened crusts.
  • It is possible that you will not be able to remove the softened crusts as readily as you would want in some circumstances. If this occurs, apply a warm compress to the anus for five to ten minutes to soften any plugged holes
  • If this does not work, consult a doctor.
  • 6 Gently pinch the anal glands together. Apply pressure to the two anal glands under the anus with your gloved palm, pinching them with your fingers and thumb. Gently press upwards, increasing the pressure as you go, until the glands pop and the surplus fluids are released.
  • Once the glands begin to secrete their secretions, you will most likely detect an unique odor. If there is blood or pus in the discharge, your cat’s anal glands are most likely infected, and you should be pleased with your accomplishment. In order to avoid more complications, you should call a veterinarian as soon as possible
  1. 7Wipe down the surface. Make use of a moist piece of gauze to wipe the anus and the surrounding area completely clean. Advertisement

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  • I noticed that my cat’s anus appears to be empty, as if the opening isn’t closing correctly. Is this a usual occurrence? A veterinarian with over 30 years of expertise in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice, Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS, is a member of the British Veterinary Medical Association. Veterinary medicine and surgery were among the subjects she studied when she graduated with honors from the University of Glasgow in 1987. She has been employed at the same animal clinic in her hometown for more than two decades now. Answer from a veterinarian expert

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  • Consult with your veterinarian before attempting to express your cat’s anal glands on your own. Obese cats may require their anal glands to be expressed more frequently than normal. This is due to the fact that fat cats are less likely to defecate on a regular basis, and feces is the natural way for the glands to express themselves. By incorporating a fiber supplement into the cat’s diet, you can encourage the cat to express its anal glands on its own. If your cat is suffering from severe constipation, do not do this without consulting a veterinarian. Try to keep the cat from licking the anal glands excessively if they are burst and bleeding, and take the cat to the veterinarian right away. The majority of instances may be managed with antibiotics, but severe or recurring occurrences may need the advice of surgical intervention.


  • If you observe blood or pus in the discharge, or if your cat’s anal glands are extremely swollen or painful to the touch, do not attempt to treat the condition yourself
  • Instead, consult your veterinarian. These signs and symptoms indicate impaction and infection.


Things You’ll Need

  • A pair of medical or examination gloves that are clean
  • Gauze pads
  • Clean water
  • And a bucket. If your cat has a lot of hair, you’ll need a clipper.

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Photographs courtesy of IBananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images Your cat has two anal glands in his rear that produce a foul-smelling fluid when he goes potty, which he uses to indicate his territorial boundaries. The obstruction of these glands might cause your furry pet to suffer from discomfort, soreness and itching. This will need a trip to the veterinarian in certain situations.

The Anal Glands

In accordance with WebMD, the two tiny, pea-sized anal glands are situated at the 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock locations along the border of the anus, respectively. Normally, when your cat’s feces squeeze through these glands during elimination, the fluid in these glands will be expelled by the body. Additionally, he may squirt the fluid when he becomes overexcited or afraid. However, if he has loose stool on a regular basis, the feces may not truly press on the glands, resulting in the glands not emptying.

This results in a buildup of thickened fluid in the glands, which might result in an impaction or an infection of the gland.


Scrooting is the most visible indicator that your cat is suffering from anal gland impaction. He’s scratching the region because it’s irritating. If you observe your furry companion rubbing his backside around the floor, he’s scratching because it’s itchy. Anal glands that have grown swollen, itchy, and uncomfortable for your furry buddy are a result of this condition. As a result of this, you may see him licking and biting at the affected region on a regular basis. Make a visual inspection of his rear end for any evidence of redness or edema.

Because of the discomfort in his glands, he may have to excrete outside of his litter box.

What To Do

Anal glands that have been impacted require veterinary treatment to empty them and treat any infections that may have formed as a result of the impact. Your veterinarian will inspect and feel the region for symptoms of impaction, and he or she may recommend X-rays to determine whether or not there are any infections present in the area. Depending on the severity of the impaction, your veterinarian may be able to physically squeeze the anal sacs to empty them, thereby alleviating the obstruction.

The area may get infected, and he will drain it before prescribing antibiotics and other treatments, which you will be responsible for administering yourself at home.

Follow-Up Care

If you have an infection or abscess of the anal glands, follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for treating it. Please take your pet back to the veterinarian for a follow-up appointment to confirm that everything has healed properly. According to the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, if your cat’s anal sacs are frequently being affected, your veterinarian may prescribe surgical removal of the sacs to alleviate the problem. Have your cat’s vet check the sacs during his or her yearly or twice-yearly visits to prevent them from getting swollen or affected.

  • It is possible that this sort of food will also assist your cat in maintaining a healthy weight, as overweight furballs are more likely to experience anal sac issues than those of a healthy weight.
  • This material is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a veterinarian.
  • Pets, money, crafts, cooking, home repair, shopping, and becoming green are just a few of the topics she covers in her writing.
  • Paretts graduated from the University of Southern California with a Master of Professional Writing degree.

Anal Sac Problems in Cats

Yourcat has two anal sacs in the bottom of their body. They function in a similar way to a skunk’s smell glands in that they help mark their territory. They create a black, odoriferous liquid as a result. When they defecate, the liquid is normally pushed out of their system. Although your cat does not require these sacs, it is advisable to leave them alone for the time being as long as they are in good health. However, difficulties might arise from time to time and necessitate the need for medical attention.

Common Problems

Your cat’s glands may become blocked, diseased, or abscessed as a result of an infection. It occurs far more frequently in dogs, although it can also occur in cats. 1. Affective repercussions The most common issue occurs when the duct or tube that is used to empty out the anal sac becomes blocked with mucus. As the pressure rises, it becomes unpleasant for your cat to go to the bathroom. They may also be suffering from constipation. 2. The presence of an infection A buildup of germs in the anal sacs has the potential to produce an infection.

It is critical to treat an infection as soon as possible, or else it may develop into an abscess.

Abscess is the third kind of abscess. An abscess is a large, painful mass of pus that develops in the body. It is the most painful of the three and must be cut and drained as soon as possible to avoid rupture.


Keep an eye out for any changes in your cat’s behavior. The following are examples of common signs:

  • Scooting. Your cat may drag their bottom around the ground
  • Tail chasing is another possibility. They may grab for their tail more frequently than normal
  • They may also lick or bite a lot more than usual. Your cat may lick or bite the area near their tail on a regular basis. Pain. Your cat may be experiencing discomfort near their tail. When they defecate, they may exert some effort. They may also experience swelling and find it difficult to sit. It is possible that the regions on the side of their anus are enlarged. You may be able to sense impacted, hard masses in this location
  • However, this is not guaranteed.

If you see any of these indicators, take your cat to the veterinarian right away. A rectal exam will be performed by the doctor. They may also do tests if they suspect your cat is suffering from an illness or tumor.


Expression of the Anal Sac In most cases, your veterinarian will be able to manually squeeze out your cat’s affected anal sacs. They may attempt to soften the contents if they are very hard or dry. They may also provide your cat with more fiber, which helps to bulk up the cat’s excrement and make it easier to pass. If your cat appears to be in discomfort, your veterinarian may prescribe pain relievers for him. In addition, they may provide a tranquilizer or sedative to keep it at ease. Your veterinarian may also recommend that you clean out its anal sacs.

If your cat is infected, your veterinarian will express (empty) their anal sacs and then provide an antibiotic to kill the germs that caused the infection.

If these treatments are ineffective and the issues persist, your veterinarian may recommend that your cat’s anal sacs be surgically removed.

Anal Sac Disease in Cats

A pair of tiny pouches situated on either side of the anus at about the four and eight o’clock positions on either side of the anus are known as theanal sacs. There are a high number of sweat glands along the walls of the sac, which secrete a foul-smelling fluid when the glands are activated. In the anus, fluid is collected and expelled by a tiny canal that opens just within the anus, which is referred to as the anal sacs. The anal sacs are also referred to as ‘anal glands’ in some circles. They can be found in both males and females of the cat species.

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What is their function?

The discharge from the anal sac includes molecules that serve as territorial marks, sometimes known as ‘cat calling cards.’ The secretions are comparable to those generated by a skunk, and they are utilized to ward off predators and notify other animals to the existence of the creature. However, although cats may utilize their anal sacs to repel predators in the same way, most domestic cats do not have a need to do so in order to survive. When a cat produces a bowel movement, a little quantity of anal fluid is normally squeezed out by muscle contractions, imparting a distinct odor (or individual’scent signature’) to the feces and delivering a characteristic odor to the feces.

What diseases affect the anal sacs?

Inflammation or infection of the anal sacs or their ducts can occur as the result of a variety of factors. Anal sac ducts become bloated as a result of feces, and the fluid cannot be effectively evacuated from the sacs throughout the process. Affected sacs may become impacted (blocked), and the fluid may grow thicker and deeper in color as a result of this condition. There are a multitude of factors that might cause the anal sacs or their ducts to become inflamed or infected.” In most cases, bacteria that are ordinarily found in the feces may easily make their way up the ducts and into the sacs.

However, if the sacs are affected, the fluid does not drain as quickly as it should, and the impacted fluid serves as a perfect growing environment for bacteria.

It is possible to have one or both sides of the rectum affected by anal sac abscesses, which are hot and painful swellings.

This is known as an anal sac rupture and occurs when the strain on the anal sac is not relieved.

A change in stool consistency is another factor that contributes to recurrent anal sac illness. This can occur in cats that have food allergies, inflammatory bowel illness, constipation, or a large amount of stool in their system.

What are the clinical signs of anal sac disease?

The kind and degree of anal sac illness determine the appearance of the disease’s symptoms. First indicators include scooting or dragging the anal region over the ground, as well as licking or biting the rectum or tail. It is quite uncomfortable for a cat to have anal sac illness, and even a typically gentle cat may claw or attack you if you attempt to examine the afflicted area. A swelling region beside the rectum may occur if one or both anal sacs are infected with an infection. A crimson or sticky discharge will flow from the abscess alongside or beneath the rectum if the abscess bursts.

How is anal sac disease treated?

It is necessary to express the sacs and drain out the crystallized material as part of the therapy for impaction. Another treatment option is to infuse anti-inflammatory and antibacterial medications into the afflicted sac. In order to treat an infection, the sacs must be expressed and antibiotics must be given to the cat orally in order to kill the germs. Many pain relief drugs and antibiotics (e.g., clindamycin; brand names: Antirobe® and Cleocin®) are effective in alleviating edema and inflammation in most cats when used for many days until the swelling and inflammation diminish.

Is the condition likely to recur?

Cats who suffer from recurrent anal sac illness are not prevalent in the general population. Some overweight cats, on the other hand, may have persistent anal sac issues. In many obese cats, it has been noticed that the anal sacs may not empty properly, and as a result, these cats may be vulnerable to repeated anal sac disorders. “Recurrent anal sac illness in cats is not very frequent,” says the veterinarian. As long as the underlying cause of anal sac illness is addressed, preventive may entail switching to a higher-fiber diet for the cat to avoid further development of anal sac disease.

What are the potential complications of surgery?

Anesthesia is required for surgery, which always entails some level of danger, regardless of whether the patient is a cat or a human (or both). The removal of the anal sacs is a difficult and specialized procedure that requires particular training. Some veterinarians may recommend these individuals to a board-certified surgeon if they believe they need surgery. Following the procedure, some cats may have a loss of bowel control in some cases. They may suffer fecal incontinence when sleeping or lying down, or they may drop fecal balls while walking or lying down.

In the majority of instances, this is a transitory issue that will disappear within a few days to a few weeks of surgery.

Unfortunately, some uncommon cases of fecal incontinence never improve, necessitating the use of special diapers or other accommodations to deal with the condition. Your veterinarian will go through all of the risks and advantages of surgery with you in detail before doing it.

What other problems can develop with the anal sacs?

Aging cats are susceptible to adenocarinoma, a cancer of the glands in the anal sacs that affects the kidneys. As a result, it is extremely vital to get your cat evaluated by a veterinary professional as soon as any of the clinical indications listed above are observed.

Anal Sac Disorders in Cats

Cats have anal glands, which secrete fluid into sacs that are positioned on either side of the anus, which are afterwards swallowed. According to popular belief, this fluid contains a fragrance identifier that may be used to delineate territory. Anal sac diseases are characterized by impaction of anal sac fluid, inflammation of the sac(s), and abscess formation in the sac(s), all of which can result in anastomotic rupture of the anal gland. A prevalent sort of anal gland condition is impaction, which is the most common type to occur.

Symptoms and Types

  • Scooting across the floor
  • Squeezing through the toilet paper
  • Scratching the back of the neck
  • Around the anus, there is licking and biting. Anal discharge is a discharge from the anal glands.


  • Chronically soft feces
  • A recent bout of diarrhea
  • Excessive glandular secretions
  • Poor anal muscle tone
  • And other symptoms


During a comprehensive physical examination of your cat, your veterinarian will take into consideration the background history of symptoms as well as any incidences that may have contributed to the development of this problem. Several tests will be performed, including a complete blood count, an electrolyte panel, and a urinalysis, to rule out the possibility of another underlying cause for the condition. As long as the anal sacs can be easily palpated during the physical examination, they are regarded to be enlarged.

It is common for abscessed anal sacs to have a reddish-brown discharge that is accompanied by swelling and redness, or they may be completely burst.


If the anal sacs have not already burst, your veterinarian will be able to express the contents of the sacs. Anal sacs that have become infected will be opened in order to enable drainage. Following that, the sacs will be cleansed and drained, and antibiotics will be pumped into them. Depending on the severity of your cat’s chronic anal sac infection, the anal sacs may need to be surgically removed to relieve the infection. However, if your cat has significant fistulation (abnormal openings in the anal sacs), cyclosporine oral medication may be beneficial to the cat’s overall health.

Living and Management

You will be scheduled for a follow-up visit three to seven days following the diagnosis of your cat’s illness. Your veterinarian will arrange additional follow-up appointments as necessary to treat your cat’s illness. if your cat is constantly licking at its anal glands after treatment, you will need to ask your veterinarian for an Elizabethan collar to prevent the cat from further irritating the area, you will need to ask your veterinarian for an Elizabethan collar to prevent the cat from further irritating the area.

If the anal glands continue to discharge and seem red and swollen after a few days of medication, you will need to contact your veterinarian for additional evaluation and management.

Cat Anal Gland Problems: How to Identify and Treat Them

Have you ever wondered why cats are so picky about where they urinate and pee? Cats, like dogs, have a strong sense of territoriality. And despite the fact that we don’t typically think of them as being very scent-oriented, they are! They employ fragrance as a navigational aid, a communication device, and a personal identification card. A strategically arranged mound of feces makes it clear to other cats who is in authority of a certain location and who is simply passing through.

Scent-sational News

While we’d prefer not to sniff a cat’s calling card, it contains a wealth of information that other cats may use to their advantage. The fluid generated by pea-sizeanal sacs, or glands, in the feces gives the stool its unique stench. Anal sacs squeeze out their contents as a result of the anal sphincter’s muscles contracting and pushing the anal sacs toward the feces as the cat urinates. If you think of the anus as a clock face, the fluid exits through ducts placed at the 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock locations, respectively.

In most cats, anal glands do not become inflamed or infected until they get impacted.

If your cat has a foul odor, it’s possible that this is the source of the problem.

Because of the swelling of the anal gland duct opening caused by inflammation, the secretion’s departure route might get blocked as a result of the inflammation.

Causes of Anal Gland Problems

It is possible that the stools will not put enough pressure on the glands in order for them to release the fluid. Chronic soft stools can be an issue for people who get them on a regular basis. If you want to enhance your cat’s fiber intake, talk to him or her about adding some plain canned pumpkin to his or her diet. Take it easy when he starts passing orange stool throughout the house. Soft stools might also be caused by a dietary allergy. A change to a hypoallergenic diet may be the solution to the problem.

Your cat may attempt to alleviate the irritation by scooting his rear end over the ground or by repeatedly biting or licking it on the bottom.

Anal glands that have become infected are treated with medicine, which is often liquid antibiotics that are infused into the anal gland.

Cat anal sac disorder: diagnosis, treatment and prevention

To be sure, this isn’t the most pleasant of topics, but with anal sac or anal gland dysfunction being recognized as a clinical concern in cats, it’s critical to be informed. We will guide you through the process of identifying the signs and symptoms of anal sac illness in felines.

What are anal sacs?

Cats have two anal sacs in their bottoms that secrete a black, stinky, oily substance when they poop. This material is then expressed onto the poop to designate your cat’s territorial marking zone. The anal sacs, which are also known as anal glands, are much smaller than the size of a pea.

The majority of the time, they work normally; nonetheless, issues might arise and therapy may be required. So, what are the most prevalent anal sac disorders, and how can you recognize the symptoms of these conditions?

Common anal sac problems in cats

Infected or clogged anal glands in your cat might result in an abscess or possibly a bacterial infection. The following is a list of the most often encountered problems:

Impacted anal sacs

When it comes to cats, the most frequent anal sac issue is caused by a clog or obstruction in the duct or tube that is utilized to empty the sac. Constipation can result from a build-up of pressure and soreness in your cat’s intestines, which can make it uncomfortable for your cat to poop, ultimately leading to constipation.

Anal sac infections

Infection can result from an accumulation of germs in the anal sac. If left untreated, this infection has the potential to develop into an abscess, making it critical to bring your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Abscesses in the anal sac

An abscess is a swelling collection of pus that is the most painful of the three disorders. Making a tiny incision and draining the abscess before it ruptures, or clearing it out if it has already ruptured, is the method of choice for treatment.

Recognising the signs and symptoms of anal gland problems in cats

The following are examples of common indications of anal sac problems:

  • Pain. Your cat may experience discomfort when pooping or sitting down
  • Swelling. Swelling on the sides of her buttocks may be noticeable, and you may be able to feel firm lumps in this area. The anal sacs are located on your cat’s bottom at the four and eight o’clock positions. Scooting. She may drag her bottom across the ground
  • Tail chasing is another possibility. She may find herself reaching for her tail more frequently than normal. Licking or biting are common. She may lick or bite the region surrounding her tail on a repetitive basis.
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Pain. Using the toilet or sitting down may be difficult for your cat. Swelling. Swelling on the sides of her bottom may be visible, and you may be able to feel firm lumps in this region. These sacs are located on your cat’s bottom at the 4 and 8 o’clock positions. Scooting. She may drag her bottom on the ground; tail chasing is another possibility for her behavior. The possibility exists that she will grab for her tail more frequently than normal. Using your tongue or biting your lips She may lick or nibble the skin surrounding her tail on a regular basis.

Treating anal sac disorders in cats

For cats suffering from anal sac diseases, there are a variety of options available. Antibiotics may be prescribed by your veterinarian to clean up any infection. In order to “express” the anal sacs, he or she must squeeze out the contents by hand – this is painful, but it is really efficient! The anal sacs are occasionally emptied and cleaned out under anesthesia, or in severe situations, your veterinarian may prescribe surgery to remove the anal sacs. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Need advice on anal gland problems in cats?

Contact your local veterinarian if you are experiencing anal sac difficulties in your feline companion. Find a veterinarian near you by visiting ourFind a Vetpage, or chat with a veterinarian online by visiting ourOnline Vets page.

9 Things You Never Wanted to Know About Cat Anal Glands

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about anal gland difficulties is generally a dog, and there’s a good reason for this: canines are considerably more likely than cats to experience blockages and other problems with those little sacs. Cat anal glands, on the other hand, can become clogged, as I discovered last week. One of Siouxsie’s tiny sacs had grown to the size of a marble when I took her in for her three-month post-radioactive iodine therapy visit, and my veterinarian detected something unusual.

Siouxsie was taken back to the treatment room by one of the techs, and I remarked, “Better them than me.” So, what exactly are cat anal glands and what do they do are you wondering? The following are some important facts to know about cat anal glands:

1. They’re not actually glands, they’re sacs

Cat anal glands are actually analsacs, which means “anal sacs.” Dorottya Mathe’s photography is courtesy of iStock / Getty Images Plus. The anal sacs are coated with glands that secrete an oily and smelly material when they are stimulated. Examine yourcat’s buttocks and you may be able to view the anal sacs’ outlets, which are located between the hours of four and eight o’clock in reference to the anus.

2. In the wild, secretions from cat anal glands are used to mark territory

When a wild cat craps, the passage of excrement through the anal canal squeezes the anal glands, causing a little amount of that foul-smelling fluid to be released into the environment. This can be used as an additional tool to delineate the borders of the cat’s territory. Anal sacs in domestic cats are regarded to be superfluous, despite the fact that they appear to play a significant part in cat social dynamics.

3. That butt sniffing thing? It’s all about the anal sacs

Secretions from the anal glands of cats contribute to the distinct fragrance that distinguishes each individual cat. This is why cats frequently welcome one another by rubbing their buttocks together.

4. Cat anal glands can get impacted

If the oily material obstructs the aperture of the anal sacs, the secretions will accumulate within, causing agony and suffering to the patient. Cat anal sacs are probably around the size of pine nuts, but when the apertures become plugged, they can expand to be many times the size of a pine nut.

5. Cats don’t show symptoms for impacted anal glands like dogs do

If the oily material obstructs the aperture of the anal sacs, the secretions will begin to accumulate inside, causing pain and irritation. Cat anal sacs are probably around the size of pine nuts, but when the apertures become plugged, they can expand to be many times the size of pine nuts.

6. Some cats may be more at risk for anal gland issues than others

According to Jessica Stern, DVM, DABVP (feline), of Cats Exclusive Veterinary Center in Shoreline, Washington, “we are not clear why certain cats have difficulties with their anal glands.” “In some cats, it is caused by constriction or strictures of the anal gland ducts,” says the veterinarian (the tube between the anal gland and the rectal wall). It is possible that the narrowing is congenital or acquired. It is also possible for obese cats to have difficulty completely emptying their anal glands.

Stern points out that underlying dietary or environmental sensitivities might result in problems with the anal glands of cats.

Some veterinarians believe that anal sac impactions are more prevalent in overweight and inactive cats.

Constipated cats may not have frequent enough bowel movements, and as a result, the secretions may accumulate and clog the gland openings in the abdomen.

According to Dr. Stern, increasing fiber in the diet can increase the amount of feces in certain situations, which may aid in the expression of the glands during defecation in some cases. Taking care of underlying allergies might also be beneficial.

7. Treatment of cat anal sac issues

Cats suffering from chronic anal gland disorders may benefit from taking a supplement called Glandex. Even though Dr. Stern has not tested Glandex on her patients, she believes that the components are sound: “pumpkin fiber to enhance fecal bulk, antioxidants to reduce inflammation, and probiotics to maintain healthy gastrointestinal bacteria.” Increasing fiber in the diet is a common advice, according to Dr. Stern. “This may or may not truly help, and you don’t want to add too much fiber (since constipation may be an issue), but it is something to try,” he adds.

8. Cat anal glands can rupture

According to Dr. Stern, if the anal gland ruptures as a result of an abscess infection, “the region is routinely cleansed and the cat is started on antibiotics, pain medications, and maybe anti-inflammatory medications to treat the infection,” he adds. “It may be necessary to undergo surgery to open up and drain an abscess that has not burst.” Anal sacculectomies (the procedure to remove the anal glands), on the other hand, are not considered urgent or emergent surgery, according to her. As she points out, “it is normally suggested to have this procedure done after the abscess, infection, and inflammation have subsided,” she says.

9. Surgery may be performed on cat anal glands — in some circumstances

Dr. Stern explains that when it comes to anal gland surgery, “we normally refer the cat to a board-certified surgeon.” The cost of the operation might vary greatly depending on where you reside, but Dr. Stern believes that in the greater Seattle region, you can expect to pay between $1,500 and $2,000 for the procedure. Doctor Stern warns that “the main danger would be nerve damage in the region, which might lead tofecal incontinence.” “The advantage would be that the possibility of additional impactions or abscesses would be eliminated.” If there are no difficulties, the removal of the cat’s anal glands will not result in any long-term issues.

  1. Stern explains, the glands “are basically fragrance glands that have no other purpose but to communicate via olfactory communication.” Do you have experience with cats who have impacted anal glands?
  2. Do you have any suggestions on how we might recognize the indicators of an issue before it gets critical?
  3. Please spread the word!
  4. ablokhin’s photography may be found on iStock / Getty Images Plus as the thumbnail.

Learn more about related health issues with

  • We’ve answered the three questions you had about cat butts. From Diarrhea to Constipation, dealing with your cat’s poop problems can be difficult. Cat Poop – When to Be Concerned (and When Not to Be Concerned!) for Cats of All Ages

About the author:

About JaneA Kelley:Punk-rock cat parent, scientific nerd, animal shelter volunteer, and all-around geek with a penchant for horrible jokes, intellectual discourse, and role-playing adventure games is what she is known for.

In gratitude and with grace, she accepts her position as head cat slave for her family of feline bloggers, who have been writing their award-winning cat advice blog,Paws and Effect, since 2003, and who have won several awards for their work.

How to Express Anal Glands in a Cat

The anal glands of all cats are a pair of smell glands placed on either side of the rectum that create an oily substance. Anal glands are found on all cats. Anal gland expression is a term used to describe the condition in which they become engorged and require help to eliminate the obstruction.

How to Tell if Your Cat May Need His or Her Anal Glands Expressed

As a rule, your pet’s anal glands are naturally expressed during bowel movements. However, this may not always be the case for a variety of reasons, leading to a highly painful sensation as pressure due to fluid accumulation builds in the anal sacs. The most typical sign of anal gland disorders in cats is excessive licking at the anal region of the mouth. However, this is less prevalent in cats. In dogs, they will frequently “scoot,” which is defined as when the pet drags his or her anus over the floor in an effort to scrape the glands and naturally express the fluids; however, this is less common in cats.

It is possible to notice a foul stench coming from the glands’ secretions if they become overburdened, as well as an inflamed region that seems to be a large boil if the glands get infected.

However, with a little caution, this is a process that may be performed safely at home.

The Right Supplies to Express Cat Anal Glands

Gathering all of your supplies in advance of starting this project is critical for success. You will require the following materials: Rubber gloves that are disposable Liquid lubricant (such as KY Jelly) Towels made of paper Having access to a bathtub or water-saving shampoo

How To Express Cat Anal Glands at Home

To express the anal glands of your cat in the comfort of your own home can be difficult, and it will most likely require two people: one to hold the cat while the other expresses the glands. Because the secretions inside the glands might have a very strong odor, you should do the treatment outside or on a firm surface that can be quickly cleaned afterward. 1: The person who is holding the cat should maintain the cat in a standing position or lying on the side by softly scruffing the animal to give restraint.

  1. Take extra precautions to avoid being wounded by your cat as he or she tries to flee the premises.
  2. 3.
  3. 4.
  4. 4.Second, the second individual will place his or her pointer finger into the anus and gently press on one of the glands until it is discovered.
  5. The gland should be pinched between your index finger on the inside of your anus and your thumb on the outside of your anus, gently yet firmly (see figure 5).
  6. Once it has been fully conveyed, go on to the next one and continue the process.
  7. You may be obstructing the entrance.
  8. 7.

The glands should be relatively full each time they are expressed in order to achieve the greatest outcomes (usually every 6 to 8 weeks). Anal gland expression is regarded to be a routine element of care and should be checked on a frequent basis.

Possible Complications of Expressing Feline Anal Glands

Despite the fact that expressing feline anal glands is generally considered to be quite safe, there are some potential complications: It is important not to push the gland to express if it is difficult to do so since the gland may be blocked and trying to express it may cause it to burst. Anal glands that have been damaged require surgical treatment and are quite painful. Even though it is typical for the fluid to have a foul odor, fluid that contains pus or blood may be a symptom of an infection.

Avoid being bitten.

The majority of pets have their anal glands expressed at their veterinarian’s office because of this reason.

Are you fed up with dealing with obstructions and infections on a regular basis?

I hope that this post has provided you with further knowledge on how to express your cat’s anal glands at home in the future.

The 19th of June, 2015

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