Something is sticking out of your cat’s vagina 

What is that?

Is there something sticking out of your cat’s vagina? Then this is rarely anything other than a prolapse or a polyp. In this article we explain what these are and how to recognize them. And of course what to do when you see that something is sticking out of your cat’s vagina. 


Cat wit a newborn kitten is at risk for a uterus prolaps, that is where the uterus is sticking out of her vagina.

Exclude pregnancy

It seems a bit like an open goal. But is there anything sticking out of your cat’s vagina? Then of course it could also be a kitten that is born. In that case, you’ve probably noticed her gaining weight over the past few weeks and some agitation or abnormal behavior over the past few days. In addition, your cat is of course not (yet) neutered. This article is only about cats that are not pregnant and where something protrudes from the cat’s vagina. 

How do you recognize a protrusion from your cat’s vagina?

Is there something sticking out of your cat’s vagina? Then it usually looks slightly pink. If there is inflammation of the protrusion, it may also have become dark red in color. If it is really serious, the tissue may even be dying off a little and it will look dark purple to black. A prolapse in particular can sometimes be several centimeters in size. But if something sticks out of your cat’s vagina, it could also be very small. In addition, it may of course be the case that the protrusion you see does not come from the vagina, but is attached to the skin of the vagina.


Causes of a protrusion from your cat’s vagina

Basically, there are only two causes that we regularly see arise in the event that something is sticking out of your cat’s vagina. That is a uterine prolapse / vaginal prolapse or a polyp of the vaginal mucosa. Below we explain these causes of a protrusion from the vagina in your cat in more detail.

Schematic drawing of the uro-genital-system of a cat.

A uterine prolapse or vaginal prolapse

The uterus and vagina are a bit to be seen as a balloon. In cats, the uterus is split into 2 parts. So actually 2 balloons that come together in 1 vagina. You can imagine that (part of) the uterus or vagina can fold inside out. Then the inside of the uterus and/or vagina comes out through the vulva opening. Normally the uterus is firmly attached on the side of the ovaries. But if she has been pregnant, the uterus is quite stretched and a uterine prolapse occurs more easily. This almost only occurs if your cat has just given birth and she continues to strain without there being any kittens in her womb. A uterine prolapse can be half a centimeter in size, but it can also be several centimeters in size. The greater the prolapse, the further the uterus has turned inside out.

A fold of the vagina may also become so swollen that it emerges through the vulva. This is usually less extensive than with a uterine prolapse. Usually it is a maximum of half a centimeter in size.

In both cases, you will see a somewhat dark red coloured tissue sticking out of your cat’s vulva like a long stretched ball. This can be half a centimeter, but also 5 centimeters or more. This is a medical emergency as the blood circulation in the uterus and vulva is disrupted at that time. If nothing is done, the uterus will die off and an infection can easily occur in the uterus. This will spread through the body and ultimately lead to the death of your cat. And in the case of a uterine prolapse, the death of the mother can also lead to the death of her kittens as they will no longer be cared for.

A polyp

Older cats can develop polyps. You can compare that a bit with a wart-like growth. Not on the skin, but on the mucous membranes. In this case the mucous membrane of the vagina. But polyps can occur in all body cavities. It is possible for a polyp to become cancerous, but we don’t see that very often in the vagina of a cat. Fortunately, a vaginal polyp is not very common anyway.

You can recognise a polyp in the vagina as a small lump on a stem. A bit like a mushroom. This starts small as a little lump on the vagina, but you can’t see it there because it is inside her body. Only when it becomes larger a part of the polyp will stick out of your cat’s vagina. In that case, upon close examination you can see or feel that the lump is on a stem. Typically, these lumps are not inflamed and look slightly pink.

Cat is obcessively licking her vulva because something is sticking out of it.
cat looks annoyed because that thing on her vulva is not getting off by her obcessive licking.

What symptoms do you see when something sticks out of your cat’s vagina?

  • In principle, you may not see anything other than something protruding from your cat’s vagina.
  • But in some cases we also see that a cat starts to strain. This is because a different sensation has occurred in her pelvic cavity. This activates the straining reflex.
  • In addition, your cat may have difficulty urinating if something is sticking out of her vagina. This protrusion can block the opening of her urethra.
  • And we also regularly see that your cat will wash and lick her vulva region excessively.
  • It also scares some cats a bit because they can’t get that “thing” off of them.

Is it harmful to have something sticking out of your cat’s vagina?

Annoyingly enough, this can indeed be harmful. Especially when it comes to a uterine prolapse. In that case, the blood circulation in the part that protrudes is obstructed. As a result, the tissue does not receive enough blood to continue to perform its functions. And in severe cases, the tissue can die off, eventually causing your cat to die in a very unpleasant way. But a cat can also suffer a lot from a polyp. This can become infected or irritate the wall where the polyp rubs against.


What can you do if something is sticking out of your cat’s vagina?

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about it yourself. You will need to seek the help of your vet for this. Especially in the case of uterine prolapse, it is a medical emergency and you should therefore visit your vet as soon as possible. This means that it is also necessary to visit your vet in the evening, at night or at the weekend. He or she will examine your cat and make a diagnosis.

Is it really a uterine prolapse when something sticks out of your cat’s vagina? Your cat will then need to be anesthetised to return the vagina and uterus to their normal position. Did you still want to have your cat neutered after this? Then it is wise to have this done immediately. In that case, her entire uterus and ovaries will be removed so that no further complications can occur. After a uterus has returned to its original position, there is no guarantee that the blood circulation will turn to normal again. In that case, the uterus can still die in her abdomen and cause misery. And it is also possible that the uterus will come out again. You can prevent this by having your cat neutered immediately in the first place.