Anal scooting is the term used to describe a cat (or dog) who drags their bottom across the floor. It is generally a sign of pain or itchiness around the anal region.
Blocked or infected anal glands are the most common cause of anal scooting in cats. The anal glands are two pea-sized sacs located at the 5 o’clock and 7 o’clock position beside your cat’s anus and contain a foul-smelling substance which is used for identification between cats. From time to time these glands become impacted, causing symptoms including scooting along the floor, pain, redness, and inflammation around the area and reluctance/refusal to use a litter tray. Your veterinarian can empty impacted anal glands, a course of antibiotics may be necessary after treatment.
Other causes of anal scooting include:
- Parasitic worms, tapeworms, in particular, can cause irritation around the anus
- Anal tumours
If you notice your cat scooting his bottom along the floor it is important to have him seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. He will perform a physical examination of your cat and obtain a medical history from you.
Your veterinarian may take a fecal sample to look for worm eggs or segments.
Treatment will depend on the cause and may include:
- Empty blocked anal glands and give antibiotics.
- High fibre diet, laxatives, and stool softeners to relieve constipation.
- Surgical removal of tumours.
- Worming medication to kill tapeworm as well. Treat the cat for fleas at the same time as fleas are responsible for transmitting tapeworm.