Let's just get it out there: Your cat can't tell you with words when his back end is itching and painful, which happens with hemorrhoids. But he can tell you with his actions that something is wrong. It's up to you to recognize the symptoms behind the behavior clues.
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Sure, it's pretty adorable when kitty chases his tail. But if you notice that your cat is chasing his tail more often than usual, he might be chasing the symptoms of internal hemorrhoids. Internal hemorrhoids cause great discomfort and often pain and itching. In response, your kitty might bite, lick or scratch his anal area or scoot around on the floor, particularly carpeted areas, for some desperately needed relief.
External female hemorrhoids are pretty easy to spot. That's right -- you'll have to look at kitty's anus to see if the skin around it is swollen. The swelling might be inside the anus, as occurs with internal hemorrhoids, however. And of course you won't be able to check there, unless you want to get your eyes clawed out. Therefore, be aware of other symptoms of internal hemorrhoids and learn to read your furball's signals to you. If your furbaby feels discomfort and pain, he will let you know, in his own feline way.
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Because hemorrhoids cause a painful, persistent burning sensation in and around the anus, sitting might be difficult for your cat. Some kitties will struggle when trying to sit or fidget lots, and others might try to avoid sitting entirely.
Difficulty in the Litter Box
Notice something different when you cleaned out the cat box? Cats with hemorrhoids might have trouble going number two and will have to strain lots, if they even pass any stool at all. Listen out for kitty when he's in his cat box. Your furball will hiss, growl or whine if he has to strain too much to potty.
Blood in the stool is a symptom of various feline diseases, including hemorrhoids. You will have to examine your cat's poop for blood or very dark spots. (Or at the least, your vet will ask you to collect a sample to bring in for testing.)
Hemorrhoids that go untreated can prove to be fatal to your furball, so it is imperative that you take kitty in to see a qualified vet as soon as possible if your cat shows any unusual behavior or symptoms. The vet will be able to give an accurate diagnosis and prescribe appropriate treatment. Treatments may include topical creams or ointments, oral medications or surgery. The sooner hemorrhoids are treated, the better.
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.
Vivian Gomez contributes to Retailing Today, the Daily Puppy, Paw Nation and other websites. She's covered the New York Comic Con for NonProductive since 2009 and writes about everything from responsible pet ownership to comic books to the manner in which smart phones are changing the way people shop. Gomez received her Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Pace University.