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anal gland "spraying" while purring. help!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello!
I've read several posts about this phenomenon, and I want to ask a few questions.
One of my cats "expresses" her anal glad (emitting that horrible stench and a small spray of brown nasty-ness) when she is purring. This doesn't happen all of the time, maybe once every three weeks. However, today it happened twice. Once when I was sleeping (EWW!) and I woke up to the odor and a spray on the wall. I had to immediately get up and wash the sheets, the wall, and spray "odor away" on my pillow... Then, after her morning nap, she came to me purring. When I picked her up, BAM she sprayed again! This is the first time it's happened twice in one day.
She is a little bit overweight (her sister is not). They are 2 years old, spayed, and they both eat dry food: Wellness Indoor Health. I tried feeding them wet food. They both refused it a bunch of times. BTW, her sister has never done this (as far as I can remember).

Anyway, my questions are:
1. Is this a health concern that I need to take her to the vet for? I'm not being cheap, originally, I thought it was a normal occurrence for some cats... but now I'm getting concerned.
2. I've read on this site about manually expressing the anal glad on cats. If my cat is squirting like this from time to time, do I need to do this for her? If so, how and when do I do it.
3. Are there any other things I can do to prevent this from happening?
I have no problem taking her to the vet for this. I just wanted to get some opinions in case I'm just being a "nervous mommy."

Thanks in advance for your help.
post #2 of 13
I have a kitty who's sacs plug...
kind of the opposite problem.

Rather than guessing, to be safe, I would have my vet check her, to be sure her scent sacs are normal.
post #3 of 13
It may be more due to her being overweight and not being able to clean properly. You can either express them yourself (have two tissues in your hand!) or have the vet do it.
post #4 of 13
You can either have them expressed/learn to express them say once a week.

Or you could have them removed although it depends on your area. You want to use a doctor expirienced in the surgery.
post #5 of 13
It sounds like you need to learn how to express it for her - it is really easy, but I advise you going to your vet so he can show you how to do it the first time. And yes, tissue, tissue - that thing squirts!
post #6 of 13
Please keep in mind that cats sometimes purr when they are distressed.

I urge you to see your vet to rule out a problem with her sacs.
If they are OK, with the help of your vet or your vet's technician, you can decide if you want to learn to express them yourself, or have your vet's tech do it.

Surgery is a last resort that should only be done by an experienced specialist.
Serious permanent problems can result from their removal.
Anal incontinence is always a possiblity....
that would make your scent sac issue seem minor.

If you see your vet, be sure to let us know what you found out.
post #7 of 13
Yes, I would also encourage you to discuss this issue with your vet.

For the first time in my life of having cats, I had a problem with Gigi and her anal glands. I took her to the vet and he said that it was probably a problem with the food that I was feeding her. When a cat has softer stools, the anal glands do not properly express themselves. Therefore, the fluid builds up and then has to come out at some point in the most unfortunate of places.

For Gigi, the vet expressed the glands and then we did a trial of cutting back on the wet food (now she only gets one feeding of wet food a day). That was about 4/5 months ago and not a problem since.

So, I would suggest to examine what foods you are feeding and if a change in diet might help. Also, being overweight might be an issue which is another reason to look at her diet.

Talk to the vet regarding her anal glands and weight issue. Maybe some simple changes in her diet could solve the problem. Good luck!
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russian Blue View Post
I took her to the vet and he said that it was probably a problem with the food that I was feeding her. When a cat has softer stools, the anal glands do not properly express themselves. Therefore, the fluid builds up and then has to come out at some point in the most unfortunate of places.
That is a very good point...
after disease was ruled out for Dexter's plugging problem, our vet had us change his diet to a higher fiber kibble.
The theory was that a larger stool would help express his sacs.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for your input! I have an appointment with the vet tomorrow at 12:30pm. I'll let you know what happens.
Thanks again!
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by LondonKat View Post
Thank you everyone for your input! I have an appointment with the vet tomorrow at 12:30pm. I'll let you know what happens.
Thanks again!
Sending calming vibes for your sweetie's appointment tomorrow.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone!
Thanks again for your help. The vet checked over my kitty and expressed her anal glands. She said there is no infection and everything looks good. We also talked about her weight. The vet recommended a high-fiber food (she gave me Royal Canin Calorie Control CC: High Fiber, which is only available by prescription). She said that the high fiber food would firm up my cat's stool and she'd be less likely to have the "squirting" problem (just like you said, xocats!). She also recommended 3/4 a cup per day (divided into 2 feedings) for weight loss I'm going to transition them onto this food any we'll see what happens.

The food I usually give the girls is Wellness, which is an all-natural food (without the gluten, and whatever other stuff that's not recommended for cats). I am a little concerned that Royal Canin isn't as natural... or whatever you want to call it. Anyone have any input on this? I'm going to use this bag for now, but might research other high fiber options in the future. Any advice will be much appreciated!

Thanks again! I just love cat-lovers!
post #12 of 13
Glad you went to see the vet and will be trying to change the diet and feeding schedule. I'll soon have to split the food into scheduled feedings since my male cat Steve is getting too large. He eats both his portion, then if he hears Gigi eating, he'll push her out of the way to get to the food.

Wellness is a good food, but can be too rich for some cats. I've had two cats do well on it but my current two cats do not.

Steve, my male cat with a bit of a sensitive stomach, could not tolerate any cat food that did not contain corn! For the first 5 months, while he was a kitten I could only feed him dry foods that contained corn. As soon as I took him off them, he would have the loose stool.

Then, I switched him over to California Natural (chicken/rice) and he did well. Now that he's older, I have also added a grainless dry food to the mix and he's still doing ok, so we're sticking with that.

I gave that example, since everyone always says to stay away from corn etc. but if your cat doesn't do well on the other foods, it doesn't make sense to avoid it. Do what's best for your cat through your own food trials.

I can't make any recommendations for high fibre foods since I've never had to look at that item.

Maybe Sharky can respond with suggestions.
post #13 of 13
Hooray, having a physical problem ruled out is excellent news.

Looking for the right food can be complicated...
it can drive you nuts. I know because I am doing just that with Isis right now.
If I were you, I would start a new thread about her food, in the Cat Nutrition forum.
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