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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo,
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Chronic Scooting Cat, just anal glands

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Hi,
I have an 8 yr old female cat who is obsessively scooting her butt on the ground and licking in that area. The vet expressed her anal glands yet the problem did not abate in the slightest, in fact seemed worse. Now my family is horrified by this and worried because of unsanitary & health concerns for pregnant in-laws that visit our house. I had to take my cat, Pearl, to the adoption this morning but maybe if I have a solution in sight I could possibly get her back home & figure out a way to keep Pearl! Thanks so much, Lori

 You do not need to worry about any danger to a pregnant person who comes in contact with your home.   Diseases that would affect a pregnant person are transmitted by cat feces and your cat is not spreading that around.


You can always have the anal glands removed if they are a constant source of irritation for the cat.  It's done all the time.


If the problem got worse after expressing the glands, she might need an antibiotic to help with the problem.


There are many more solutions to this problem than taking the cat to the shelter.


Let me know if you have more questions.

HelloCustomer-Usually the cause is anal glands, but Pearl's story may be a little more involved. She may be a very clean cat and may have gotten into the habit of wiping and cleaning her behind. After expressing anal glands we always clean up the hindend because spots of the liquid can get on the back end and fur and this of course would have Pearl doing extra scooting and cleaning. Some cats will also be very meticulous about feces, so if the stool if in the least soft and any sticks to fur (in both short and long hairs, but worse in long hairs) they can get to rubbing and cleaning. Personal idiosyncracies but also felines are extremely clean animals.

Litter boxes also have to be kept meticulously clean. Scoop or clean at least two times a day.

Pregnant women just need to avoid the litterbox, that is all. If you notice that there is any stool on fur you can wipe the area gently with a wet warm washcloth as you would with a baby, and perhaps the extra gesture will be reassuring to your pregnant in-law. Sometimes if long haired, the fur needs to be shaved shorter on rear end. If the cat's rear end is clean as she steps out of the litterbox, there should not be a hygienic concern for house members, who are hand washing hygienic adults. Cats should also have a yearly stool check for worms, as part of yearly physical.

Good luck to you. Hope Pearl's situation gets settled soon. Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo,
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 35
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Dr. Jo and 2 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Hi Dr. Jo-Ann,

Thank you so much for your detailed reply. I really appreciate it. Yes, I'm afraid I do suspect that the problem here is more involved with Pearl as you mentioned. It seems almost now like she'd become so accustomed to cleaning her behind that the carpet became a convenient replacement. The family would observe her emerging from the litterbox only to instantly start the scooting without even licking herself first. And yes, she also has soft stools always it seems. I was giving her an all-natural Azmira dry cat food from a Hollistic Animal store but still her stools stayed soft. It's odd since I have two other cats who don't share this problem with the stools being that way. I'm very saddened that the anal gland/scooting problem seemed to be pervasive; Pearl is an exceptionally loving cat yet the problem is very unsettling to those who live with me. Also I noticed many times when she'd be on my lap a strong odor of urine. It seemed she couldn't get that area clean very well. I even had her groomed so the fur wouldn't get in the way but didn't help either.hmm I didn't worry too much about worms as Pearl is strictly indoors as well as the other two cats. I have an understanding family who let me try to work this out for awhile now but I could see they were growing more and more upset. I wished I'd thought of pursuing this problem much sooner with knowledgable specialists like yourself and the other kind people who have taken the pains to answer. I hate to say this but every time I go to my pet clinic, I come away bewildered and frustrated that it seems they have not listened to me. Plus I simply can not afford to do much in the way of operations and too many procedures as I'm unemployed.
Thanks again for your helpful answer, hopefully Pearl could have a second chance in my home but with much overwhelming sadness I fear that is a remote possibility.
Have a good evening, Lori
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tammy Falkner's Post: Hi Tammy,

Thank you so much for your answer. I forgot to mention that at times my cat would in the process of scooting, leave a feces 'trail' skidmark on the carpet. That was what prompted the concern for visiting pregant sister-in-law. I read about having anal glands removed yet heard there are some serious drawbacks to that with nerve damage sometimes occurring. Plus I have to admit that I simply can not afford too much vet care as I'm unemployed. Last week when I went to my Vet, the estimate given was well over five hundred dollars. I wished I could invest more time and money but I'm afraid I have run out of both. My family was really at their wits end waiting for me to deal with this problem. They are very loving and love my cats yet this particular problem really hit a nerve. Nothing has depressed me this much in a long time as having to take Pearl to adopt. I tried to place her in a Hermitage cat shelter but they were filled to capacity. I understand completly and echo your thoughts on how there are FAR better solutions than the cat shelter but I truly was backed into a corner on this one.
Thanks again for your informative answer and for your time, I truly appreciate it! - Lori
Lori--See my message that I left you with more suggestions since the post had closed. I did not realize that you were going to open it again. Dr. Jo

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