Cat Health Care Tips : How to Express a Cat’s Anal Glands

Let’s talk about expressing a cat’s anal glands.
Anal glands should never be expressed on their own at home in a cat unless there’s a medical
reason for that. Cats typically are pretty good about keeping their anal glands expressed.
Now anal glands are actually attached to anal sacs that sit about four and eight o’clock
under the anus. So they have two on each side. And from time to time, these can get impacted,
full or infected and at the direction of your veterinary clinic, they may tell you to express
these from time to time. To do that, you need certain tools. Your best friend for expressing
anal glands is always going to be the rubber glove. Two, is have some gauze pads handy.
Three, baby wipes are always good to help clean that area after you’re done. And also,
it’s not a bad idea to have a nice little feline approved cologne or spray to help with
that odor because that odor is quite horrific sometimes. Anal glands sit at four and eight
o’clock. What you want to do is never want to go into the anus unless your veterinary
clinic teaches you how to do that or directs you to do that. The best way is actually squeeze
those anal glands from the outside right under the anus. And basically you use a pinching
motion very gently, and move your fingers upward to try to produce that fluid out just
below the anus. So you want to capture that in a gauze pad and then clean that area with
a baby wipe and then, lastly, you’re using the cologne to reduce that odor. Now, be very
careful. Cats do not typically like this or enjoy this and so you never want to put yourself
in harm’s way. You don’t want to do this by yourself. You want somebody to help you hold
that cat as well because they can turn around and bite you if they don’t like that, which
can be quite severe.

55 thoughts on “Cat Health Care Tips : How to Express a Cat’s Anal Glands

  1. My cat doesn't empty his…so it builds up and basically just stinks. We expressed a bit today, with a drop going on the floor…only for our other cat to come and eat it.


  2. Just an FYI: dogs don't like this either. 🙂 My chihuahua had trouble with his anal glands a couple of times and when the vet squeezed them, he got as vicious as a 6-pound dog can get without actually biting anyone. And MAN can he scream.

  3. You should not use baby wipes, because the cat/dog can get a tummy ache when they try to clean themselves down there. Just use a damp paper towel.

  4. how is it goign with your cat? I wonder if the vet just told you to keep the glands cleared? I use a warm papertowel and gently express them she is 15 and diabetic so she is a big heavy and cant clean her bottom herself.. lucky me! DAMN crappy cat food that could have caused her illness, Science Diet was all I fed my pets for 30 yrs only to find out the were changing it all the time until it had a LOT OF FILLERS and crap in it.. less of what my cat needed, GOOGLE IT.. damn S.D>!

  5. EVO dry is GREAT get a pet store save your cat from bad health.. canned food, no fillers no gluten.. either, GOOD LUCK

  6. just now i saw some yellow stuf[liquid] on my cat's annus ,
    what is it ? and warh must i doo
    please ,don't tell me to go to the vet

  7. I was wondering if cats secrete some kind of substance that looks like dried snot when it’s been left on bed clothing.
    Some kind of bodily substance was on my bed and it smelt like cat pee.

  8. Hi i lost 3 small cats because his mom is too young and cats don't out his had i help her because no veterenary here and than 1 alive for 2 days and died because his mom don't like it and don't give milk
    please whene someone touche the small cat when is new birth his mom be don't like it ?
    Aissa from algeria

  9. your cat most likely has a urinary tract infection. get it to the vet ASAP because this is an incredibly painful thing and you don't want your pet to suffer! just because a cat acts normal doesn't mean it's okay; cats are very good at masking pain.

  10. Hi moony239,

    Thanks for the advice, but my post was three months ago and all problems have now cleared up.

  11. This is a load of crap, no pun intended. If it was a problem then natural selection would have taken care of it.

  12. And here I thought he was going to show us… thanks for wasting my time. Gosh! We can't do ANYTHING without the help of our EXPENSIVE OVER PRICED Veterinarians!

  13. My wife and "I" have a dozen cats.  Even though the males have been neutered… they all spray!
    It's getting ridiculous inside the house.  Past controlling.  Any other advice?

  14. Could this be why my cat has Always appreciated when I apply some petroleum jelly or olive oil to her bum. She protests but when she feels relief she always calms down. And when i forget to do this she really bite the hell out of the underside of her tail by her anus and her tail k uncontrollably twitches at the base. Beinv a massage therapist I'm naturally aware of where the twitch or pulsating is coming from. And lately she goes in the box and seems to try but just howls and gets out and no poop is there..eventually she does really smelly poo.  Also a tad intermittent unexplainable diarrhea. She eats various high protien grain free dry food like Blue ? Or Call of the wild, that type. Wet food isn't always that caliber but is mixed between cans of friskies wet but no tuna. She is a bit overweight so she has difficulty reaching her bum for ckdaning. So if I'm able i will clean it for her. Which she also seems happy AFTER she realizes what I'm doing. So does it sound like this technique might be something I and my cat benefit from ? I think she would NOT let anything inside.  Thermometers take the vet me Nd 2 techs to accomplish. And this  may also be another symptom of hed glands needing to be expressed.  Thank you if you can answer my inquiry.  ?

  15. That makes no sense, if they are at 4 and 8 o'clock,  how can there be FOUR glands (You clearly said "2 on each side")  Nature would never do that, overly complicated.  There HAS to be 2 glands, ONE ON EACH SIDE.  No God would 'design' anything to have 4 where 2 would work.

  16. You mean I should wear gloves when handling fecal matter and wipe up afterwards? Oh my gracious that is such GENIUS advice that I don't even need to see you to show me how it's actually done!

  17. Don't be too hard on the guy – he is sharing his knowledge, and until I saw this video I had no idea about cat's anal glands. I know feel confident to gently massage the glands knowing that on balance I am probably doing more good than harm. He doesn't mention underlying constipation that leads to the problem – apart from persuading your cat to drink more (yes – er easily done, not 😉 ) does anyone have any suggestions about helping them with constipation – modern hygienic packet based cat diet is almost certainly the real problem?  

     I would like to encourage vetinarians to make more videos – so lets be nice to him and thank him graciously for this excellent little movie – Many thanks I did find it helpful ;))

  18. I don’t believe I could say the first line this guy stated with such a serious look on my face.
    That’s talent.

  19. I think this guy does his best. Some of the comments…. anal glands at 4o'clock position and 8o'clock position means sideways/just below the anus opening. You can only really do this if you have someone else holding the cat facing them, holding them firmly under the arms so their body won't move. To express the glands you have to push gently in and up with the thumb and forefinger with the rubber glove on it. ONLY NEEDS DOING IF A VET SAYS SO REALLY. If they are infected that means pus and possibly painful slow death of cat. I go to a vet who appears to hate doing this (easier than changing nappies, pal) because he makes very little money doing this. For constipated cats, a vet told me to mix about a third teaspoon of psyllium husks into food every morning. It is an excellent idea and my cats are not constipated.

  20. What I noticed on my cat with a history of loose stools (too soft the poo doesn't push on the glands) two little black threads coming out. Not infected, just junk coming out. I just wiped with a wipe and it looks better. gloves of course

  21. To all of you who want to bash veterinarians and their prices….do you have any idea how difficult it is to get into vet school?  Harder than medical school.  Do you have any idea how difficult it is to make it through vet school?  The stress, the sleepless nights, the endless days.  Studying, studying, studying.  Now lets talk about the cost of vet school.  My daughter is paying $70K a year. Times that by four years.  Not to mention the $250K we paid for her undergraduate degree.  She is a highly educated young woman and deserves to be paid as such.  Do you complain about the money you spend on your own medical care?Don't have pets if you do not want to take care of them properly but until you know what goes into a vet's education do not bash them because then you just make yourself look stupid.  Signed, the very proud mother of a veterinarian

  22. My cats were very well behaved. I do all 3 myself. Not fans, but they know I only do things I need to to them. So they let me. Nasty business though.

  23. My cat's needs anal glands expression twice a month. $20 each time is getting too much for me. I wish I could do it by myself but it's really hard… 🙁

  24. When my wife was pregnant she took our cat to the vet. He advised her ‘not to touch the cat’s anus under any circumstances’.

    Best ante-natal advice you can give any mum to be!

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