Anal scooting is the term used to describe a cat (or dog) dragging their bottom across the floor. It is generally a sign of pain or itchiness around the anal region.
What causes anal scooting in cats?
The most common cause of anal scooting in cats is blocked and or infected anal glands, which are two pea-sized sacs located in the 5 o'clock and 7 o'clock positions besides your cat's anus. They 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. Impacted anal glands can be emptied by your veterinarian. Your cat may require a dose of antibiotics as well.
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. Treatment will depend on the cause. If it is a blocked anal gland it will need to be emptied and a course of antibiotics given. Constipation is treated with a high fibre diet or laxatives. Tumours will need to be surgically removed. Tapeworms can easily be treated with worming medications. As fleas are responsible for transmitting tapeworms, he may need to be de-flead as well.