My 18 month old common european short haired cat has developed a remarkable habit. she sits down and then drags her behind on the floor or on the bed or on the sofa, sort of as if she wants to polish her backside!
She doesn’t leave any marks or anything, so she’s not cleaning her behind, I get the impression more that maybe it’s itching. Before she came to live with me she was an orphan from the animal shelter, she was vaccinated (RCP and FeLV) and sterilised, and she has done this strange movement, on and off, since she first came to us. I thought it might be something that would go away when she was eating all raw, but she’s been eating raw 100% for 12 months and she still does this strange polishing movement. She has her ears back when she does it, so I don’t believe she does it for pleasure!
What could it be? Is there a homeopathic remedy I can use to alleviate it? Otherwise she is an active, playful, happy cat, who also loves her cuddles. She is an indoor only cat. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
ANSWER: While I cannot be sure, it sounds like problems with her anal glands. Your comments also demonstrate that every animal (and person) is unique. Some derive great benefits from a fresh diet, especially raw, and others still have problems that must be resolved by other healing methods.
Anal glands are located in two sacs on each side of the anus. If you are looking at the rear end of your dog or cat, the anal sac openings would be at 5 and 7 o’clock. These are normal, like a skunk’s scent glands. They secrete a substance that has an odor unique to each animal so it is used for marking. As the stool passes through the rectum and anus, the sacs are squeezed between the stool and the muscles to release some of the stinky material onto the stool. This is normal and you would not notice it nor smell it.
When the duct leading from the sac to the opening becomes blocked, the sac fills, causing some discomfort to the cat (or dog). To relieve the discomfort, the animals try to empty the sacs by licking the area, or by scooting on the ground, just like your cat is doing. Often we do see a brown streak on the floor, but not always (and you are not seeing anything). One way to test is to sniff her butt after she scoots and see if there is a pungent odor.
What you can do is to hot compress the rectal area, keeping it hot for 5 mins or so. Or soak her rear in hot water (101 deg) for 5 mins, whichever is easier. If you add 10 drops of rescue remedy and/or calendula tincture from the health food store it will help even more. Then you can gently squeeze at the 5 to 7 area and maybe it will discharge.
Repeatedly scooting is one of the early warning signs that there is an internal imbalance. Since homeopathy is based on individual prescribing and not “one size fits all”, there is not ONE remedy that would help your cat. You would need to consult with a homeopathic veterinarian (sounds like you live in England and there are some great ones there) who would help you keep this cat discomfort free for many years. At BrightHaven.org, a cat sanctuary in CA, one cat lived to 34!