What if your cat’s anus is protruding?– DIY solutions

In this article we discuss what to do if your cat’s anus is protruding. We discuss the possible causes, symptoms, and DIY solutions for this problem. Your cat’s anus protruding can have various causes, such as constipation, anal gland overfilling, anal prolapse, or tumors. We give you practical advice to help your cat, ranging from laxatives and fiber-rich food to emptying overcrowded anal glands. We also explain the importance of sufficient fluid intake, exercise, and special nutrition to prevent recurrence of the problem.

Anus van een kat steekt uit waardoor hij de behoefte voelt om eraan te likken.

What do you notice when your cat's anus is protruding?

When your cat’s anus is protruding, it is usually clearly visible. Your cat’s anus should fall slightly into the hole under his tail and between his two ischial tuberosities in his buttocks. If your cat’s anus protrudes a little more, in serious cases it is no longer in the hole, but forms a bump in that hole itself.

You often also see that the anus moves a little. So a little comes out, then a little pulls in and then comes out again. Your cat’s anus is also often a bit tense when it is protruding.

What symptoms can you notice if your cat's anus is protruding?

If your cat’s anus is protruding your cat may also have other symptoms. Commonly seen symptoms include:

    • Straining
    • Scooting (sliding his buttocks on the ground).
    • Pain in his anus
    • Swollen anus, along with the bulging anus
    • Less defecating or ability to poop
    • Excessive licking of his anus
    • Stomach ache
    • Little appetite

The symptoms you will see often also reveal something about why your cat’s anus is protruding.


Cat has a protruding anus. That is why he is hiding in shame behind a sign that says "some privacy please".

What causes your cat's anus to be protruding?

There are several possible causes why your cat’s anus might be protruding. This may involve constipation, anal gland overfilling, anal prolapse or tumors. We explain these causes in more detail below.


If constipation is the cause of your cat’s anus protruding, there is a lot of feces in the last part of his intestine. So his rectum can’t empty properly for some reason. The intestine stretches more and more and the more stool accumulates in it, the more filling there will be in his pelvic canal. At a certain point, your cat’s anus will also be pushed out more. You will then not only see the anus come out, but also the skin surrounding it. You can almost describe it as your cat’s anus being on a mountain. Just not so pleasant to think that it is a mountain of poop.

If there is constipation, many cats also have stomach pain and eat worse. Sometimes not even at all. And you may also see that their entire belly is a bit rounder, although many owners do not notice this themselves.

Anal gland overfilled

Anal glands are two small glands located on the side of the anus. They produce a smelly substance that your cat smears over his poop every time he poops. In this way it gives off its unique scent to the droppings. Other cats then know that this poop belongs to your cat and therefore that this is its territory. However, if this process does not go well, the anal gland fluid accumulates in the gland, which can cause it to become enlarged.

If your cat’s anus is protruding because it suffers from overfilled anal glands, only your cat’s anus protrudes. In principle you will not see any swelling around the anus. An exception is if the anal glands are inflamed. In rare cases, swelling of the skin in which the anal glands lie may occur.

Anal prolapse

With an anal prolapse, the anus does not actually protrude. No, the last part of the rectum is protruding through the anus. The rectum has, as it were, been turned inside out and now is protruding through the anus. You can recognize this by the fact that you clearly see a different colored tissue coming out through the anus. At first, that tissue looks slightly pink, like the color of your gums. Later this may turn darker red because the blood circulation in the rectum is not functioning properly. Eventually the tissue will die and turn dark purple to black. This is a medical emergency. In this case you should go to your vet immediately. Also in the evening or at the weekend!

Tumors and polyps

Fortunately, tumors of the anus do not occur very often in cats. Polyps are slightly more common, but usually do not cause too much harm. A polyp is a kind of mushroom-like growth of a few millimeters in size. A tumor can of course grow larger. Both can interfere with normal bowel movements. So do you have the feeling that something different is going on than what we described above? Then it is wise to ask your vet for advice or to take your cat to your vet.

How do you diagnose the cause of a protruding anus yourself?

In almost 95% of cases there is constipation or overfilled anal glands. In those cases you can clearly see a normal anus, but it is protruding further out than normal. If it only concerns the anus that is protruding , then it is usually an overfilling of the anal glands. Is the anus protruding outwards including the skin around it? Then there is probably constipation. In the latter case, the feces are often very hard, even if your cat has managed to eject a feces.

Do you see abnormal tissue protruding through the anus? Then there may be a tumor, polyp or anal prolapse. In this case, it is better to take your cat to your vet to have this assessed.

Cat with a bandaid over his anus to avoid it to protrude.

DIY treatment if your cat's anus is protruding

Treatment obviously depends on the cause of your cat’s anus protruding. If there is constipation (and possibly worse eating), it is best to give your cat a laxative for a few days. The accumulated stool will then come out more easily. In addition, it is important that your cat receives a fiber-rich diet to prevent recurrence. This fiber-rich diet does give him larger amounts of stool, but it does stimulate the intestines more to move the stool out of its body.

constipation relief cat
Royal Canin fibre response

If the anal glands are overfilled, it is necessary to empty them. This is a dirty job, but quite easy to do. Put on disposable gloves before doing this. The anal gland fluid is made to work for a long time and smells really bad. Washing your hands does not help. You will have smelly hands for another 3 days if you ignore this advice.

Once you have the gloves on, take a piece of toilet paper and fold it neatly. Then you can place this against the anus and, as it were, grab the anus with your fingers on the side of the anus. You then gently squeeze the anus as if you were squeezing a pimple. Now you should feel something flowing out of the anus on both sides. Once you know what to feel, you can squeeze the anal glands a little better. This process should not be painful for your cat. When you’re done, the anus should have returned to its normal shape.

How do you prevent your cat's anus from protruding?

Does your cat often suffer from a protruding anus? Then it is wise to permanently put him on a fiber-rich diet. Not only to prevent constipation, but also if his anal glands keep filling up. Because he has more stools with this food, the anal glands are also stimulated to empty more often.

Royal Canin fibre response

If its anal glands continue to fill, you can also give your cat Glandex daily. This natural medicine ensures that the anal glands become healthier and that the anal gland fluid is secreted more easily.

Glandex anal gland support

In addition, it is of course important that your cat drinks more. The more fluid he has in his intestines, the softer it is and therefore the less effort it takes to empty his intestines. However, you cannot force cats to drink extra. But in most cases, cats will drink more and more often if they have access to running water. You can use the tap for this, but (hopefully) you don’t leave it on all day so that your cat can reach it when he feels like it. In this case, it is better to use a drinking fountain for cats.

water fountain

And in addition to a fiber-rich diet and drinking enough water, exercise is also important. Every time your cat moves, its intestines are also massaged. This ensures that the intestines push the contents forward a little. This means it will remain in the intestines for less time and there will be less time for your cat’s body to remove water from the feces. The result is that the stool remains softer and will leave the body more quickly. Good luck!

cat automatic toy