Many mammals, including cats , have special glands called anal glands or sacs located around their rectum. These glands typically go unnoticed until a cat owner smells the secretions from the glands or there is an issue with them. Knowing the purpose of these glands, as well as the potential issues that they can develop, will help you keep your cat happy and healthy. Both male and female cats have two pea-sized anal glands located around their rectal openings. These tiny, visible openings lead to the small, balloon-like anal glands that are under the skin of a cat. These glands naturally fill with a foul-smelling fluid that is naturally expressed when a cat defecates.
What’s That Smell? Anal Glands and Other Grooming Necessities for Pets
Smelly Cats & Other Questions About Cat Anal Glands | Hastings Veterinary Hospital
That intense metallic smell is likely ingrained in your memory! So what is the deal with anal glands and why do pets have them? Anal glands, sometimes referred to as anal sacs, are two small pouches just inside the rectum. These sacs contain a potent and smelly fluid that can range from watery to a toothpaste-like consistency and everything in between. Under normal circumstances the fluid is milked out when the pet has a bowel movement, which has the effect of scenting the stool. This unique scent is way to aid in communication amongst members of the same species. Some dogs, and less frequently cats, may need help expressing them, though.
Anal Glands in Cats
Scent emitted from anal sac secretions provides important signals for most Carnivora. Their secretions emit a variety of volatile compounds, some of which function as chemical signals with information about the scent owners. The domestic cat has a pair of anal sac glands to secrete a pungent liquid. Their anal sac secretions may give information about sex, reproductive state, and recognition of individuals.
Yes, just like dogs, cats can develop unpleasant, smelly odors. Are you a fan of the TV series Friends? How could a cat be smelly? As it turns out, it really can happen!