Is your cat leaking brown fluid from their anus? If so, there are a few possible reasons for this, and some important things you need to be aware of.
For the most part, being a cat owner means we’re spoiled by fussing, love, hugs, and all the good things that come with living with a cat. But, we also need to be aware of possible health issues and do something about them as they arise.
That means being aware of anal health and taking a closer look at your cat when you notice any form of discharge coming from their bums.
This is something I have some first-hand experience with. Last year, my 18-year-old female cat has a brown liquid coming from her anus. I noticed it when she was either dragging her bottom across the floor or sometimes there was a brown patch where she had been sleeping.
After a couple of trips to the vet, we got the problem sorted and she made a 100% recovery as I’ll explain in this article. But it was certainly an interesting experience, and it opened my eyes to a number of possible health issues.
So, I hope the information in this article helps put your mind at ease, but please, do get your cat to a vet if you’re concerned.
Main Causes of Fluid Leaking from a Cat’s Anus
When we first took Rosie to our vet she talked us through a few of the most common reasons why cats leak fluid from their bums. These are:
Anal Sac Disorders
This was the issue our cat had. It broadly covers a few different health issues that can cause discharge. The color of the discharge can vary from brown to yellow, and even a clear liquid.
This might sound like an obvious one. If your cat has brown fluid leaking then there is a chance it is diarrhea. Cats usually have enough control to direct their poop into their litter box, so it’s severe if they aren’t.
The two main issues with diarrhea so bad that they can’t seem to contain it are; some kind of stomach bug, or they have eaten something that’s really not agreeing with them.
There is always a risk of dehydration when a cat has diarrhea. If the symptoms persist for more than 24 hours or you suspect they are not drinking enough, it’s best to get them to a vet.
Gastrointestinal Tract Issues
Internal parasites are fairly common in cats. Internal parasites can cause gastrointestinal tract issues and the discharge of fluid. If it’s brown or yellow it indicates diarrhea, if it’s red then it’s likely blood and there may be a more serious issue.
Symptoms of Anal Sac Disorders in Cats
If your cat is suffering from an anal sac disorder you will almost certainly notice a change in their behavior. Personally, seeing my cat dragging her bum across the floor was a red flag.
I’m sure you’ve seen this behavior and know what I’m talking about. Probably more so with a dog and on TV, but cats do it too. Most people find it funny, but the reality is that they are doing it because they are uncomfortable for some reason.
According to WebMD, the common signs of anal sac disorders include:
Butt Scooting – As I explained above, this is when you cat drags their heinie across the floor.
Licking and Biting – Look for signs your cat has been excessively grooming, licking, or even biting a lot near the base of their tail.
Pain – Look for signs of your cat being in pain. It’ll be most noticeable when they are pooping or sitting.
Chasing their Tail – Sudden movements towards their tail, chasing their tail, and any sign they are being bothered by the base of their tail.
Swelling – Take a look for visible signs of swelling on the side of your cat’s anus. You can even feel for hard masses if you’re comfortable doing so.
If you’ve been noticing, or now notice any of these signs relating to your cat then it’s time for a trip to the vet. Just don’t tell them they are going for a rectal exam – no one wants to know that’s coming!
What Causes Anal Sac Disorders and Brown Fluid to Leak?
There are few causes of anal sac disorders, which as I’ve explained in this article will cause brown fluid to Leek.
The most common cause is due to recently having diarrhea. After a cat has had a particularly bad bout of diarrhea, they will often get an infection in their anal glands due to the bacteria in their feces.
Another cause is impaction. Impaction is When a cat’s anal glands become blocked, which causes the gland to fill with fluid. Eventually, the fluid has to go somewhere and you’ll end up seeing it leaking from your cat.
Inflammation is another common cause. A cat’s glands can become inflamed and swell up for a number of reasons. Much like impaction, the excess fluid will end up seeping out at some point.
Treatment Options for Anal Sac Disorders
Your vet will talk you through two possible options depending on how serious the disorder is and what’s causing it. If the sacs are not ruptured and there are signs of visible swelling, the most likely treatment will be draining the sacs and flushing them out with antibiotics.
If your cat has a chronic infection or the sacs have already ruptured, there will likely require a surgical procedure to remove them.
Treatment options are something you will have to discuss with your vet as it’s going to be specific to your cat and their condition. I’m not qualified to give you advice on his matter. But I do know that these are the two main options.
I know how scary and concerning it is seeing your cat leaking brown fluid. Although anal sac disorders can be fairly serious, I hope I’ve helped ease your mind a little by talking you through the causes and treatments.
Our cat, Rosie, was fine after a course of antibiotics a couple of weeks with extra rest (it’s not like she doesn’t already get enough rest!) The most important thing is that you get your cat seen to by a vet sooner rather than later.