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Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14861
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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why does my cat drag its tail on the carpet

Customer Question

why does my cat drag it's tail on the carpet?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 5 years ago.

Dr Kara :

Hello, I'd like to help.

Dr Kara :

Do you mean that your cat sits on its bottom and scoots its bottom/tail across the carpet?
Or do you mean that your cat is unable to lift its tail properly and her tail is just hanging down?

Customer:

she drags her tail across the carpet

Dr Kara :

Which of my above descriptions fits her best?

Customer:

drags tail across carpet

Dr Kara :

I understand her tail is dragging.
Do you mean that your cat sits on its bottom and scoots its bottom/tail across the carpet?
Or do you mean that your cat is unable to lift its tail properly and her tail is just hanging down?


Customer:

she scoots across carpet, she has no problem with lifting her tail

Dr Kara :

If she is scooting on her bottom that means that she has perianal irritation. That could be from full, impacted infected anal glands. It could mean fleas or tapeworms. It could mean that she has irritation form diarrhea or constipation. It can also signify an itchy bottom due to a food allergy.

Dr Kara :

Has she had any trouble passing stool or with diarrhea lately?
Has she had fleas?
Has she ever had anal gland problems? If you look at her rectum does it look swollen or red or buged on one side?
Have you fed her any new foods or treats (or does she go out and hunt) that she could be exposed to new foods?

Customer:

I haven't noticed unusal behavior after her stools. She hasn't had diarrhea either. I've checked her stools for tapeworms, none shone and she doesn't have any items like rice at her anus. She doesn't look swollen or buged oneither side. she is indoor cat and doesn't have fleas.

Dr Kara :

Thanks so much for the information.
Then we've ruled out constipation, diarrhea, fleas or tapeworms, for the most part.
What we are left with is an anal gland problem or a food allergy or sensitivity that leads to perianal itchiness.

Customer:

She gets bagged Nutro Natural choice from Pet's supermarket.it is for inhouse cats.

Dr Kara :

Food allergies can develop to anything so it's still a possibilty, but anal gland issues are much more likely.
So I'd recommend that you take her to a very experienced groomer or your veterinarian to have her anal glands emptied. Then I'd put a little bit of cortisone cream (like cortaid) on her perianal area to soothe any residual irritation for a couple days. That should take care of it for her.

Customer:

Thank you verymuch. Yes, I'll take her to my groomer or Vet if she doesn't want to do it.

Dr Kara :

If this becomes a chronic problem for her then think about a hypoallergenic diet (like Hills Z/d or Royal Canin Duck and Green Peas) or a high fiber food to help empty those anal glands normally. You can feed foods like Hills R/d or add 1 to 2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin (not pie filling) or metamucil to her meals.

Dr Kara :

Can I answer anything else?

Customer:

No, "Thank You"

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