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The anal sac plays an important role in a cat’s survival in the wild, serving as her calling card wherever she goes. Cats usually don’t have problems with their anal sacs, but once in a while those little pockets can cause problems that result in pain. Home remedies for a cat’s anal sacs are relatively simple and will give your friend some welcome relief.
Making Her Mark Wherever She Goes
Despite her love of your couch, your cat has many of her natural tools for living life in the wild, including her anal sacs. A cat’s anal sacs allow her to leave her scent, marking her territory wherever she poops. Each anal sac’s walls contain glands that produce a stinky liquid. When your cat poops, a bit of this funky substance comes out as well, giving her waste its own distinct odor.
Anal Sac Issues
Occasionally a cat may have some trouble with her anal sacs and they become impacted, inflamed or infected. If your kitty’s been scooting across the floor on her butt or paying excessive attention to her bum, she should see a vet to confirm that her anal sacs are affected; antibiotics may be warranted, or her sacs may need to be expressed to release accumulated material.
Soothing Warm Compresses
You can give your cat some comfort from inflamed anal sacs. A warm compress will soothe her irritated hind end and soften the contents of her anal sacs, making them easier to express. Use a warm wash cloth as a compress, taking care that it’s not too hot for your cat, and hold it to your cat’s rear twice a day for up to five minutes. Try soaking the cloth in a solution of Epsom salts, calendula or red clover for additional comfort and to stimulate the anal glands. If your cat won't sit still for a warm compress, try diluting grapefruit seed extract or witch hazel in water, then applying it with a cotton ball to her inflamed sacs.
Time to Get Moving
Diet can make all the difference to a cat with anal sac problems. If kitty’s not getting enough fiber, her poop may not be firm enough to promote the natural expression of the liquid in her anal sacs. A tablespoon of canned pumpkin -- not pumpkin pie filling -- will get things moving in the right way. If she’s not crazy about pumpkin, try a teaspoon of minced carrot or oat bran, or even unflavored commercial fiber products such as Metamucil. Silica is an effective homeopathic remedy; a couple of drops or pellets twice a day for three days will free up the anal sacs. Do what you can to get your cat moving for 15 minutes twice a day, so break out the laser pointer if necessary. Regular exercise keeps your cat fit and in fine muscular form, and it helps keep the liquid in those anal sacs from building up and causing problems.
More Than Home Care
If, despite your best efforts, your cat stills shows signs of discomfort after three days, she should see a vet. As well, if she displays symptoms of abscessed anal sacs, such as bleeding or a discharge from her anal sac area, she’ll need professional attention. Left untreated, an abscessed anal sac may burst and spread infection to the surrounding tissues, which can cause serious damage.
- VetStreet.com: Does Your Cat Have Anal Gland Problems
- VCA Animal Hospitals: Anal Sac Disease in Cats
- PetRemedyCharts.com: Impacted Anal Glands (Sacs) -- Natural Treatments
- The Natural Remedy Book for Dogs and Cats; Diane Stein
- Natural Healing for Dogs and Cats; Prevention Health Books
- The Natural Way for Dogs and Cats: Natural Treatments, Remedies and Diet for Your Pet; Midi Fairgrieve
- The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat; Juliette de Baïracli Levy
- Astakhova/iStock/Getty Images