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Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 32666
Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
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My cats tail is swollen at base...she is an indoor cat and

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My cat's tail is swollen at base...she is an indoor cat and sometimes I let her follow me outside but she is never left out very long; she chews grass a bit and that is about it; I noticed the bottom of the tail to be swollen & she was hiding under the bed; took her to conclusion -- colon empty as she was not eating for 2 days (I was out of town)--and we put her on antibiodics...Amox-Drops and Metacam Dose; 2 days later...she's been eating and finally left a bit of poo in the litter box with healthy urination...swelling still there all around anal area...doesn't seem so sensitive but by far not normal....I read of anal or oil gland do you check for these? (She is a mega bowl cat that I have had on Laculose for approx. 7 months to prevent constipation..can too much of this create a problem?)...Any feedback is welcomed.
Karen, in FW Indiana

Hi Karen,


How long does she have this swelling?


Is it swollen at the top or bottom if her tail?


Was the poo normal hard or loose?


What does she eat?






Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Swelling first noticed on Friday early morning (3am) ..I was not home after 8am Wed and cleaned litter box that morning but I put myself on alert because I found waste in the box to be not normal....small "mud pies" of urine and not a huge clump...and no she had to have had this since Tuesday (when everything seemed normal when I cleaned the litter box)...Swollen at bottom of tail and around anus swollen too...I just washed her off and she liked that and does not notice of any scabs or scratches; stool today was solid...I ensure it is not too solid as, if it is, I need to give her alittle Laculose...but I have stopped that for now...and stool is size of quarter or so in width...she had been eating (prior to this incident) only low fiber food (gosh..I threw bag away but it said Wilderness on bag and all was fine using this....the W/D vet food made Snowy severely constipated with stool reaching 2" or so round and plugging her I went to the lowest fiber food and with the Laculose approx. 4mm x 2 day....all has been fine since her last trip to vet to relieve constipation...a few months back...since she was not eating I gave her the treats she loves (Friskies Party Mix which I am so happy that it has no by-products in it and the first 3 ingrediants are chicken meal, brewers rice, beef tallow before..corn gluten meal...(which I try to avoid as corn meal is known to dry cat's skin and create more dander))....and I also bought a new food PetPride Natural and she has eaten a bit of that too the past 2 days...)....after the vet did a bottom wash with disinfectate....Snowy immediately ate a handful of nibbles (treats I had brought and some from the office ---because she was so hungry and feeling a bit better I guess and she did urinate when they did the was and it was a steady stream I was told...She is not trying to go into hiding anymore now...and sleeps on her blankets on the bed...but still puffy all around bottom and base of tail...(thank you very much for being there for us --- info on sites has been a life saver for me --- Snowy's liver had shut down last December and it took 7 weeks of high protien feeding through neck tube to get it to turn back on...but it did without any resulting liver damage...she is one of the 70% or so success stories...) Thanks again for your time. Karen
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I did forget to mention that Snowy is a scooter...and has been for approx. 6 months...I thought this was because she is 22lb and can't clean herself...I wash her daily and she cleans her front paws when I do...but...looking at "anal gland" info I found...that ----"When this occurs, the animal will sit down on its rear quarters and drag its anal area across the floor or ground. This is often called 'scooting.' Both cats and dogs may also lick the anal area excessively. (Snowy can't do his); Anal glands may also become infected and abscess. Bacteria make their way into the glands, probably through the ducts. This is a very painful condition, and the first sign you may see is that the animal attempts to bite or scratch when you touch the area near the tail. --- and in the past I have noticed a skunk smell to her this another sign of trouble with the anal glands? (Thank you so much!)

Dear friend,


I am sorry Snowy is having this trouble.


The best natural laxative is milk. It should bring on a BM in two hours or less. Older cats are often calcium deficient leading to hard dry stools.

Give her one to three ounces right away.

Most constipation is due to inadequate fluid in the bowel so your baby should eat food with a bit of water added to prevent this in the future.

If she is not diabetic, she can have droppers of unflavored pediayte to hydrate er and balance her electrolytes.

Yes, you can also put vaseline on her anus.

The average is one to two bowel movements a day. However, a cat can manage as long as they have a good defecation every other day. Any longer than that and the stool can become toxic in her system.


She may have a sprained tail or an anal sac issue like you you suspect:



Please compare your babys tail to these photos:

Most constipation is caused by inadequate fluid and fiber in the colon. A high fiber diet should help as long as she eats it.Never feed Science diet as it not a great food - vets push it because they sell it but there are much better ones.

A natural remedy is canned pumpkin (not pie filling) a teaspoon a day added to her food.

Some people also give an ounce of milk daily as most older cats are calcium deficient.There are also several vet scipted drugs like lactulose and cipracide. The problem with laxatives and enemas are the same with humans. These artificial stimulants interfere with the normal peristaltic waves of the intestine and repeated use can cause further constipation, obstipation and even megacolon.

Please refer to the following links and info:

"The causes of constipation and obstipation are many, including diet (ingested hair, foreign bodies, bones); environment (a dirty litter box, lack of exercise, hospitalization); painful defecation (anal abscesses from cat-fight bites or feces- matted hair [long-haired cats are particularly susceptible]); obstructions (tumors and improperly healed pelvic fractures that restrict movement through the intestines); and medications (for other conditions). And watch your cat's weight. Obese cats can become constipated.

Chronic constipation and obstipation from specific causes can result in a distended colon that has poor movement (megacolon). Sometimes, though, megacolon occurs when the muscular movement of the colon wall, which propels fecal material through the colon, diminishes for some unknown reason. As a result, fecal matter comes remains in the colon where it becomes drier and harder. Over time, the enlarged, impacted colon loses most of its muscular ability (motility) and becomes a loose pouch filled with dry, concrete like material. Unfortunately, veterinary science has yet to discover the causes of this condition known as idiopathic megacolon."

Here is the rest of the article:SOURCE:

Here are others I think will be helpful:


Please let me know how she is doing. I will always be here for both of you.

I hope she feels better very soon.

Sincerest best wishes,


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