Signs Your Cat Needs Gland Expression: How to Tell if Your Feline Friend Needs Help

As a cat owner, it is essential to keep an eye on your feline friend’s health and hygiene. One aspect that often gets overlooked is the need for regular gland expression in cats. Anal glands are small sacs located on either side of a cat’s anus that produce and store a foul-smelling substance. This fluid can be expelled during defecation, but sometimes it may not get released naturally, leading to discomfort or infection in your kitty.

Signs That Your Cat Needs Glands Expressed

There are various signs that indicate when your cat needs their anal glands expressed. Some common symptoms include:

1) Scooting: If you notice your cat dragging its hindquarters across the floor or carpet frequently, it could mean they are trying to relieve irritation around their anal area caused by full glands.

2) Licking: Cats typically groom themselves regularly; however, excessive licking around the tail base might indicate an attempt to release pressure from full anal sacs.

3) Foul Odor: A strong unpleasant odor coming from your pet can also signal the need for gland expression. The smell will be particularly pungent if there is already an infection present.

4) Painful Defecation: If you hear vocalizations of pain when your kitty uses the litter box or notice them straining excessively while defecating; this might suggest issues with their anal glands.

How Often Should You Express Your Cat’s Anal Glands?

The frequency with which cats require gland expression varies depending on several factors such as breed, age, diet habits etc. Generally speaking though adult cats should have their glands checked every 3-6 months unless any problems arise before then.

If you have noticed any telltale signs indicating issues with gland expression mentioned above make sure to book an appointment with a veterinarian promptly; they can help you identify what’s causing these concerns and recommend treatment options best suited for your furry friend.

Can You Perform Gland Expression At Home?

While it is possible to express your cat’s glands at home, it is strongly recommended that you leave this task to a professional. Glands are delicate and require knowledge and care when expressing them; otherwise, you risk injuring the animal or causing an infection by not doing it correctly.


Regularly checking up on your feline friend’s health through grooming and veterinary visits are essential for their overall well-being. If you see any signs of discomfort in your kitty concerning gland expression, be sure to contact a veterinarian immediately before infections or further complications arise. As they say – prevention is better than cure!