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What are Inflammation of the Rectum and Anus?

Proctitis could be caused by food allergies, internal parasites, infections, or an intestinal blockage. This condition is treatable, but because it is painful for your cat, it’s important to take him to a vet right away to make him more comfortable and treat the underlying cause of the condition.

The rectum and anus are both parts of the large intestine. The anus is the actual opening where feces is passed through, and the rectum connects the anus to the colon. If either the rectum or anus are inflamed, the condition is referred to as proctitis. If your cat has proctitis, you will probably notice him straining to defecate, or crying in pain while doing so. When feces does pass, it may be smaller than usual and could contain fresh, red blood. You may notice that the tissue appears swollen and bright red.

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Symptoms of Inflammation of the Rectum and Anus in Cats

Proctitis, or inflammation of the rectum and anus, can cause your cat a great deal of discomfort that is especially noticeable when he tries to defecate. Some of the symptoms you should keep an eye out for include:

  • Straining to defecate
  • Fresh blood in feces
  • Excessive licking of the back end
  • Scooting his bottom across the floor
  • Difficulty defecating
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Causes of Inflammation of the Rectum and Anus in Cats

There are a number of different factors that can cause a cat’s rectum and anus to become inflamed. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Food allergy
  • Tumors or polyps in the rectum
  • Inflammatory disease
  • Colon inflammation, also known as colitis
  • Parasites in the intestines, including tapeworms, whipworms and protozoa
  • Presence of a foreign object
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Diagnosis of Inflammation of the Rectum and Anus in Cats

If you spot any of the symptoms of proctitis, take your cat to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Talk to the vet about the symptoms you have observed and when they began. You should also provide the vet with a thorough medical history for your cat, and let the vet know if you have recently made any changes to your pet’s diet. If your cat lives outdoors, make sure you mention this to the vet as certain allergens could cause inflammation if ingested.

The vet will begin by performing a digital rectal examination, which will help assess the condition of the anal gland, and the quality of the stool in the intestines. The vet may also perform complete a blood count, urinalysis, and fecal flotation tests, which will help the vet eliminate possible causes of the symptoms. A stool sample may also be examined to check for the presence of parasites. 

If nothing turns up on these tests, the vet may perform an ultrasound or X-ray to assess the digestive system and to check for foreign objects that could be obstructing and irritating the cat’s rectum or anus.

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Treatment of Inflammation of the Rectum and Anus in Cats

Treatment will need to first focus on alleviating the discomfort, and then on treating the underlying cause of the symptoms. If the anus is inflamed, the vet may gently clean the area and apply a topical ointment to soothe the skin and reduce inflammation. If the cat has been licking, an Elizabethan collar will be provided.

If the underlying cause is a parasite or infection, the vet will prescribe medication that you must administer at home on a regular basis. Oral anti-inflammatory medication is usually prescribed even if the cause is not an inflammatory disease. This medication can help reduce the swelling in the rectum and anus and make your cat more comfortable. 

In some cases, the inflammation is caused by a foreign object or tumor inside the cat’s body. If this is the case with your cat, it is likely that the vet will perform emergency surgery to remove the foreign object or mass. 

While the underlying cause is being treated, the vet may recommend feeding your cat stool softeners or fiber supplements. Stool softeners will soften the feces and make it easier for your cat to defecate without pain. Fiber supplements will firm up loose stool, resulting in less straining in those with diarrhoea.

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Recovery of Inflammation of the Rectum and Anus in Cats

You will need to closely follow the vet’s instructions when it comes to administering medication to ensure your cat recovers well. If you miss even one dose of an antibiotic treatment, for example, the bacteria could become resistant to the medication, making it less effective.

If your cat has been licking the area, the vet may recommend putting an Elizabethan collar on him to stop this behavior. 

To combat any diarrhoea, the vet will most likely ask you to change your cat’s diet to include more fiber and easily digestible foods. Make sure you have this conversation with your vet prior to leaving the office, and follow his instructions closely. Monitor your cat as he heals and take him back to the vet if the symptoms are still present after treatment is over.

As long as your cat receives treatment in a timely manner,  rectal and anal inflammation is generally easily treatable by veterinarians.

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Inflammation of the Rectum and Anus Average Cost

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Average Cost

$250

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Written by hannah hollinger

Veterinary reviewed by: Linda S.

Published: 11/26/2016, edited: 03/16/2021

More articles by hannah hollinger

Inflammation of the Rectum and Anus Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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savannah kitten 9 weeks

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9 weeks

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Unknown severity

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None

9 week old kitten was accidentally given a second distemper shot today by vet. The cat breeder had already administered the first shot on 9/22/20. The vet did not look at health record I provided before giving it and did not ask me before giving. vet also said the kitten fecal test shows coccidia even though he was showing no symptoms of that. So the vet prescribed albon today. He said there should not be a problem with 2 distemper shots in one week time but described what to look for in case there was. He also said it was ok to give the Albon today. should I wait before starting it?

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Two FVRCP vaccines given very closely together should not cause any problems for your kitten, and you should only need to watch out for 'normal' vaccine reactions - swollen face, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy. Albon is not hard on the GI tract, and you should be able to start that any time, although if it makes you feel better, you can certainly wait until tomorrow. I hope that all goes well for your kitten.

Oct. 4, 2020

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Shorthair

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Fifteen Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Constipation

constipated, swollen anus when tries to defecate, vomitted while trying to defecate

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. Older cats can become so constipated that they need hospitalization, and it would be best for her to have her seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible, if she is to the point where it is making her vomit. They may be able to get her through this with fluids and enemas, but they will be able to let you know more once they see her. I hope that she is okay.

Oct. 5, 2020

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Half Persia

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Five Months

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Unknown severity

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pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Watery Stool,Anus Inflammation

We found out her watery stool on Wednesday Morning. The stool has grass on the Wednesday. The day before, she vomited and it also has grass in it. Her vomit was also watery.

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. Kittens are very prone to parasites and infectious diseases, as well as intestinal foreign bodies. If she is still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they will be able to examine them, see what might be going on, and get treatment for them.

Oct. 12, 2020

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mixed

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5 weeks

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Anus

red swollen anus. Severe discomfort if its touched. Diet, bathroom habits and general behavior seem normal. Anal area does have blueish dots here and there. Is this something i should just monitor? How can i help her?

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. . If she seems painful, and the are is bothering her, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and help get treatment if it is appropriate.

Oct. 13, 2020

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Mixed

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5 weeks

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Unknown severity

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Inflamation, Red Anus, Pain When Touched In Area

slightly swollen, red anal area that only seems to hurt when touched. She eats fine and doesn't have diarrhea nor does she seem to be constipated. Other than the obvious swelling, she appears normal and healthy.

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. . Kittens are prone to parasites that can cause GI upset. If she is still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and help get treatment if it is appropriate.

Oct. 13, 2020

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Zolah

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Dosmetic shorthair

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8 Weeks

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

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Swollen Rectum
Rectum Sticks Out

Im not sure if i need to be concerned. I dewormed my kitten about a week ago. No problems with defecating, eats and plays like a normal kitten but part of her rectum is sticking out. I haven't seen anything on the internet with the same description. Theres no diarrhea or abnormal symptoms except the rectum protruding on the bottom.

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Bella

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American Shorthair

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3 Years

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

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Swelling
Dandruff
Flaking Skin

Bella has what looked like a hot spot at the base of her tail and she had a leaking anus I thought when we first rescued her. If you would pet near her tail on the top side at the base of the tail she would make noise like a quiet yowl. Now if she is having a flare up and you pet near the base of her tail she will lick the air and make this noise that sounds like she’s saying yum yum yum yum something like that. The way her poop seems to collect around her bum I shave her area to keep it from sticking in her hair. I would describe it like she is too short and her poop gets smooshed between her and the litter pan but she never has any litter in her anal area with the poop. She is a fat bellied cat she has a slight side to side waddle when she walks. She can’t lick her own bum to clean it she tries but she has to pull her belly out of the way with her paw and use for leverage to pull her self down to reach it. Now I noticed it has had puss every 4-12 weeks. The first time I noticed it she smelled funny like poop of course but also like corn chips and whenever the puss comes back so does the dry skin issue. She has “dandruff” along her spine and the base of the tail gets to where you can’t pet her all at the same time, as if the anus is associated with the base of the tail which makes sense because it’s the top side of the colon/anal canal. She doesn’t like it to be even touched with a warm cloth let alone being wiped. It has to be done though but after I do it and I squeeze the puss out the first time I saw it she feels a lot better you can tell she just feels better. It does come back ever so often. The vet has no idea. I don’t change her food EVER she eats the same flavor and same cuts and all. She eats half can of soft food daily and I leave her hard food out for her and Minerva to eat whenever they want. Her poop is soft but isn’t runny it has shape she doesn’t bury hers it is loud smelling too regardless of litter brand. She had fleas when we got her the person that we rescued her from allowed her to come in and out of the house we don’t. She seemed to be allergic to the flea bites. When I got rid of the fleas she started to heal the dry skin area at the base of the tail. I put cortisone on it and hot spot medicine the hair fell out and healed. That’s when it was apparent she was leaking and it came and went. The puss didn’t show up until the first time it flared up after fleas were gone so 3 months after the first time it healed. Then we noticed it smelled like corn chips and the poop was smooshed looking around her anus. She is otherwise healthy and acts like it doesn’t bother her unless you pet her near the tail. This time it came back her whole spine seemed itchy or something she reacted to me petting her. I need to find out what it could be that would cause it to leak clear poop to smoosh onto her bum and her base of tail to make her lick rapidly in the air when it’s pet. If she sees me put rubber gloves on and wet a cloth she hauls. She likes to hide in the window and I noticed it seems to get bothersome when she gets hot maybe coincidence. I need it clean because she loves laying on my pillow and arm of my chair (soft leather recliner). I don’t want to run her off because she wasn’t a lap cat when we rescued her she stayed away from people because of how she was treated and I love that she loves to be pet now and lay with me. I don’t want it to change but I want it to stop itching burning leaking stinking.

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Whitey

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Domestic Short haired

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8 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Low Growling & Starts Licking His Which

My cat has been low growling and licking his butt. Gave some stool loosener Haleys MO. It helped and then few days later it started again. So gave him a larger amt and it's been fine for almost 2wks. He just did it again tonight. His appetite has not changed and he is not bleeding or swollen in the anal area as far as I can tell. I don't have money due to applying for disability and you can't work while doing this. So whatever advise you can give for now until I get some money to take to vet and get checked out. What's the best dewormer medicine to get that's cheap. He has never been sick. Please help. Thanks Twyla Deese

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Knewby

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tabby

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9 Years

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Fair severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Inflamed Anus

My cats anus is bright pink and it has like two white spots. He's a indoor/outdoor long haired older cat. I've washed and trimmed his fur because he has bad poop around it. I want to be able to bring him inside without him being uncomfortable, smelling like poop, and trailing poop around.

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Mandy

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Maincoon

dog-age-icon

9 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Itchy Aerated

Our cat mandy is licking her butt and cleaning her butt all the time it look ertated i clean it with baby wipes but dont get it as cleaned as weel as i like shes maincoon very hairy cat what recommendation does any one have thank you

Inflammation of the Rectum and Anus Average Cost

From 541 quotes ranging from $100 - $500

Average Cost

$250

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