Perianal fistula in cats

Although they are not very common in cats, perianal fistulas can also cause them a lot of pain and discomfort, so much so that they will need the help of a veterinary professional so that they can recover and lead a normal life.

For this reason, we are going to talk to you about what are the causes of perianal fistula in cats and what measures you should take to make them heal .

What are they and what are their causes?

Perianal fistulas are paths that originate in some internal part of the body and end in the area near the anus . In cats, the most common cause is anal glands or sacs. These, in normal situations, act as a lubricant since they help the animal to defecate without feeling pain when the feces are expelled.

The problem is when you have constipation or diarrhea, as it is when the liquid they contain cannot get out and, as a consequence, accumulates. Unless someone empties them, they could cause a fistula or infection.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of perianal fistulas in cats are as follows :

  • Excessive licking of the anal area
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Problems with defecation
  • Blood in the stool

How is it treated?

Treatment will depend on the cause. For example:

  • Weak immune system: You will be given drugs by mouth. It may also be advisable to put a cream that incorporates corticosteroids and antibiotics.
  • Anal sac pathologies: in this case, they will be given oral antibiotics and an ointment with corticosteroids will be applied.

In cases where treatment does not work, then the vet will recommend surgical removal of the glands.

How to empty the anal glands in cats?


Regardless of the cause, it is important to empty the anal glands when our cats have a problem with them. To do this, you have to follow this step by step :

  1. First, we lift the tail with one hand and with the other we will take a clean gauze.
  2. Second, we place the gauze just in front of the cat’s anus.
  3. Third, we locate the sacs -they are on both sides of the anus- applying pressure but avoiding damaging them. It is important not to be in front, since the liquid comes out with a lot of pressure.
  4. Finally, we will disinfect the area with an ointment that the veterinarian has recommended.



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