Causes of Inflamed Anal Glands in Cats

Anal sac problems aren't just dogs'.
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Understanding inflamed anal glands is important. Cats don't experience anal gland inflammation as regularly as dogs do; but when they do, uncomfortable straining, soreness and itching will make them miserable. Keep your pet's anal sacs empty to keep her in good health and out of discomfort.

Anal Gland Problems

When your cat goes No. 2, her sphincter works to narrow her anal sacs, essentially wringing them out. This process drains the glands of a very foul-smelling fluid, a scent marker. For various reasons, this emptying function doesn't always take place, which usually will cause impaction. Inflammation begins when the gland secretions get significantly thicker with time. The resulting blockage can cause severe discomfort. When such an inflammation is ignored, infections and abscesses are both potentially harmful possibilities.


Especially soft stools are sometimes responsible for anal gland inflammation and impaction. If your cat's stools aren't regularly firm, she may be more at risk for anal sac disease than others.


Stool size also can lead to anal gland inflammation. If your cat's stools are usually on the small side, they may not be able to produce sufficient force in order to apply the appropriate pressure onto the anal glands. This lack of pressure could be the reason why the glands always stay full and thus lead to unpleasant inflammation issues.


If your kitty recently suffered from diarrhea, the frequent watery stools that are part of the condition could be the culprit behind the anal gland inflammation.

High Fat

In some situations, your fluff ball's diet may be the cause of her anal gland inflammation issues. If your cat consumes too much fat on a regular basis, her anal gland secretions may take on a stickier, thicker and heavier feel. The heavier the secretions, the more likely it is they will thicken up and cause icky blockage problems. If you suspect excessive fat consumption is the root cause of your cat's inflammation, speak to her veterinarian about suitable ways to change her diet and prevent this yucky impaction headache from happening again.

Veterinary Attention

At the first sign of anal gland inflammation in your cat -- from dragging her rear end across the ground to noticable straining when she goes to the bathroom -- schedule an appointment with the veterinarian. Don't give the condition time to worsen and bring on a dangerous and painful abscess. Always play it safe with your kitty's health.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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