Click here to learn more.
Ever wonder why cats are so particular about where they poop? Like
dogs, cats are
highly territorial. And while we don’t usually think of them as being particularly scent-oriented, they are! They use scent as a place marker, a communication device, and a personal ID card. A well-placed pile of poop lets other
cats know exactly who's in charge of a given space and who was just passing through.
While we’d just as soon not sniff a cat’s calling card, it delivers loads of information to other cats. The stool gets its distinctive odor from fluid produced by pea-size anal sacs, or glands. As the cat defecates, the muscles of the anal sphincter push the anal sacs toward the stool, causing them to squeeze out their contents. If you were to imagine the anus as a clock face, the fluid travels out through ducts located at the 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock positions.
The anal glands are one of the anatomical areas where cats have it all over dogs. It’s unusual for a cat’s anal glands to become impacted, inflamed or infected, although some cats have overactive anal glands. If your cat gives off an unpleasant odor, that may be the reason why.
In the rare instance that a cat develops anal gland issues, it’s usually because something is preventing the sacs from emptying normally. For instance, inflammation can cause the opening to the anal gland duct to swell and close off the exit route for the secretions.
Sometimes the stools don’t exert enough pressure on the glands to allow them to release the fluid. This can be a problem in cats with chronic soft stools. Ask your veterinarian about adding some plain canned pumpkin to your cat’s food to increase his fiber intake. Just don’t be surprised when he poops out orange stools.
A food allergy can also cause soft stools. A switch to a hypoallergenic diet may solve the problem.
If the anal glands are inflamed or infected, they become swollen and tender. Your cat may try to relieve the irritation by scooting his rear on the ground or frequently biting or licking at it. Your veterinarian can express, or empty, the contents of the anal glands and treat for infection, if needed. Infected anal glands are treated with medication, usually liquid antibiotics that are infused into the anal gland.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank You For Signing Up
for the Petwire newsletter, sending you all the pet news each week directly to your inbox.
Get the latest pet news, tips, tricks, and expert advice sent right to your inbox!
Thanks to his impressive stamina in the
water, Bruno the Newfoundland is now a
lifeguard at a resort in Spain.
Some of the sugar-free products you
keep in your home, especially those with
xylitol, are very dangerous to animals.
Though many toys are safe for pups, you
should avoid giving them those that are
easily swallowed or have strings.
We asked veterinary professionals and
pet owners to vote on water-loving and
water-shy breeds, and the results are…
Believed to have originated in Egypt around 329 B.C., the elegant Saluki is a calm and quiet companion.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.