Fluid Concerns

Anal glands may be the cause of a cat's fluid leakage.

By J. Veronika Kiklevich, DVM | Posted: Mon Jan 24 00:00:00 PST 2005

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Q. I have a 9-year-old, 18-pound Maine Coon, and ever since we brought her home, several years ago, we noticed she leaks a reddish-brown, smelly liquid when she sleeps or relaxes. She doesn't even seem to notice when it happens. She is in good spirits and health otherwise. We have taken her to the vet on several occasions and all we found out is that she doesn't have crystals, infection or grit. Our veterinarian suggested an $800 ultrasound, and we still might not find the answer to her problem. All our furniture and beddings have been stained, and we are at our wits' end, but love her very much. What can we do?

A. I think that the first thing to determine is where the fluid is coming from. Your vet obviously thought that she was leaking urine with some blood in it, but the tests were negative for the routine diseases associated with the bladder. If this has been going on for years and your Maine Coon seems to be in good health, other than ruining your furniture, which is understandably upsetting, there is obviously no imminent danger to your cat.

There are not that many fluids in an animal that can end up easily on the outside. Cysts that rupture or abscesses can leak, but these are pretty obvious. Observe carefully and find the exact location of the leakage.

My guess, and this is truly a guess (as I would have to actually see your cat to make any sort of diagnosis), is that your cat's problem could be an anal gland issue. In my experience, I have found Maine Coons to often have problematic anal glands that need to either be treated or eventually removed. Because this can be a waxing and waning problem, wait until the next time it happens and then have the anal glands checked. Unfortunately, you will probably have to inspect the material to see if it matches what is ending up on your furniture. If that is the case, you may opt for removal of the glands.

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Reader Comments

sheri    ashevillle, NC

1/21/2013 5:59:36 PM

ive had my cats anal glands removed because she was leaking and she still leaks and idk why n cant find any answers

janet    Bethlehem, PA

7/13/2012 4:08:59 AM

good article, thank you

Matt    Ottawa, ON

1/24/2009 7:26:08 PM

My cat also does this i think. Mainly when she is being petted and when she is very relaxed a strange brownish red fluid will excreat from here bottom. She does not seem to notice except the smell intrests her. She will smell it all day. After she will attempet to clean her anus but she is unable to reach it anymore. I am conserned for her health. I am not super worried about it becouse she only does it every second or third month.

ann    delta, PA

5/24/2008 10:35:38 AM

sounds like anal gland leakage. my 8 yr old cat has the same problem. i am about to have them removed. my cat acts just fine also. no other problems either.

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