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Hi everyone. I recently got a cat from my friend and I am still struggling to learn how to take care of her properly. There are so many things I don’t know. But I want to learn. When it comes to my cat’s health, she is fine now. She has a skin rash currently, but today we went to the vet and he said we will be able to fix that quickly. I was chatting with the women I met there in the waiting room. Her cat has a problem with anal glands. It was only recently that I’ve heard of anal glands. Can somebody here explain to me what are the functions of these glands?

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Hi Ruby,

They help your cat mark his/her territory. 

Dogs tend to have more problems with their anal sacs than cats do.  I wouldn't really worry about it.  I'm a long time cat owner, 40+ years and none of them have had this problem - but yes it can happen.  A vet usually can "squeeze" them out.

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As a person whose cat has had long lasting problems with anal glands, I’ll try to explain you what they are and what is their function.

The only function of the anal glands that I am familiar with is to produce small amounts of secretions. They are usually yellow, brown or even gray. Dogs also have these glands and the fluids/secretions I mentioned are very smelly. The fluids can be watery to pasty. And a vet once told me that cats use these secretions to mark their territory. This identifies them to the other cats. The secretions may come out when the cat is frightened or upset. 

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Yes, it is true. One and only function of anal glands is to produce small amounts of secretions or somebody loves to say – yellow / brownish watery fluid. They use it to mark their territory, to forbid other cats to go to their territory. The anal sac secretion contains some chemicals that really do act as territorial markers. I really don’t know if there is some other function, but I think that there is not. A very small amount of anal fluid is usually squeezed out by muscular contractions during the bowel movements, but sometimes, you can do it as well. 

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I have a problem with this as well.Well, not me, but my sister. But, it is the same.Now….Male and female cats have anal sacs with glands. They secrete an oily and really strong, sometimes unsupportable smelling substance. At this way, they mark their stools and their territory. But, sometimes I think that they exist just to bother us and our pets, cats or dogs. My sister's cat have this problem like forever, and I know what can happen when they become impacted, infected and abscessed. A lot of people don’t understand anal glands at tall, but they are not so hard to understand, since you have a tons of articles. 

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The function of these glands is to bother me. That’s their main function.

I’ve had three dogs till now and every one of them had troubles with anal glands. The function is the same for both cats and dogs. Dogs also use it to mark their territory and it helps other dogs to recognize them. I’ve even tried  to empty those glands by myself and I succeeded. It’s incredibly smelly.

Now I have a cat for the first time in my life and it seems like she also has problems with anal glands. I guess I am meant to be leading the battle with these things. I am not sure I would know how to repeat the process with a cat so I am probably taking her to the vet.

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This really sucks. My cat is having problem with these anal glands since I have her. She is sometimes aggressive, sometimes she is really depressed, it depends. Marking territory is the main function, and I have to say that I really bother this smell and watery fluid. Maybe I am intolerable a little bit, but I don’t know how to deal with this problem anymore.

Yes, it is the main function to mark their territory, but anal glands are the main reason why I am visiting vet almost every month.  They should say some other functions, like – annoying lol :)

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Hello guys.

Since everyone here gave you great answers about functions of cat's anal glands (every single of them :) ), I can only suggest how to prevent these problems happening to your cat.

A regular check-ups with your vet is a must (you can choose its dynamic). Also, it is a good idea to take your cat to the groomer’s office and let him/her check it. You can learn how to do this on your own, but be prepared for some unpleasant job.

Remember, if problems with anal gland occur, use cleaners to remove unpleasant cat odors from carpets and upholstery. 

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