As cat owners, it is our responsibility and duty to make sure that our cat gets the love, care and attention that they need.
Just like in any healthy relationship, we take the good and the bad.
That being said, not many cat parents would take well when seeing their cat leak brown liquid. It can be a rather distressing experience for both the human and feline.
But why is your cat leaking brown fluid?
Does it indicate a serious health issue?
Let’s take a deeper look.
My Cat Is Leaking Smelly Fluid
First of all, don’t panic.
Chances are if something is leaking from your cat, it probably won’t smell or look very appealing.
Just like when you notice a leak coming from your car, it requires some diagnosing to ascertain the issue.
Here are some possible reasons as to what might be causing your cat to leak brown liquid.
Your Cat Is Having Anal Gland Problems
Cats have anal glands or anal sacs that are located in pairs near the cat’s anus. The anal sacs are able to secrete a fishy and pungent liquid that is used for marking territory.
This secretion is usually yellow or brownish in color and ranges from watery to mucousy in texture.
A cat’s anal glands when healthy will produce some yellow liquid when pooping. However, when your poop kitty is having an anal sac disorder, this liquid will most likely be brown in color and of a thicker viscosity.
Anal sac disorders can also cause brown fluid to leak out of your cat’s anus.
Symptoms Of Anal Sac Disorders
There are a couple of telltale signs that your cat will exhibit as well when its anal glands are acting up.
Cat Butt Scooting
This is something that you see more often in goods that have anal sac disorders. They will drag their butts on the floor when they are experiencing discomfort around the anal area. When doing so, your cat will tend to leave a trail of brown fluid on the ground.
Pain When Using The Litter Box
When your cat is meowing or letting out a blood-curdling growl while pooing, it is another red flag that it might be suffering from anal sac disorders. Weird litter box behavior might also be a clue like when you see your cat sitting in the litter box or going in and out numerous times.
If your cat’s litter box is placed on the carpet, it can leave many traces of wet and dry cat litter all over your carpet. Make sure you know how to remove cat litter from your carpet properly or it can damage your carpet fibers.
Licking And Biting
Cats have a tendency to constantly lick and bite an area that is causing them pain or discomfort. If you notice your cat grooming its anus area excessively, that is another sign that its anal glands are inflamed.
This excessive grooming can also cause your cat to lose hair at the base of its tail.
This is a rather straightforward red flag if you notice chronic swelling around your cat’s anus. Try pressing that area gently to see if they are any hard lumps as well.
Chasing Its Own Tail
Cats are funny creatures and can chase their own tails for a variety of weird reasons. But if your cat has been chasing its tail out of the blue then it deserves a closer look.
Causes Of Anal Glands Disorder
There are a number of causes as to why your cat is leaking brown fluid from its anus due to an anal gland disorder.
When your cat has diarrhea due to a stomach bug, it will result in loose and watery stools for a few days. And if you don’t clean up properly after your cat, there can be leftover feces stuck around its anus or to the fur surrounding the area.
This can cause fecal contamination of the anal glands if left uncleaned for too long.
Impacted Anal Glands
Impacted anal glands don’t necessarily mean blunt force trauma to its butt but due to a blockage of the anal sacs duct.
When the duct is blocked, the fluid in the anal sacs can’t flow out freely and can cause the glands to be swollen. You can even notice black spots on your cat’s anus which could mean a blockage.
It’s not painful for the cat but if left untreated for too long, it can lead to a painful infection.
Anal Gland Infection
Anal gland infection, also known as Saculitis is a painful inflammation of your cat’s anal sacs. This will cause swelling and also pus or brown anal fluid.
Your cat needs immediate medical attention if it has an anal gland infection as it can cause immense pain to your cat.
To make matters worse, your cat’s anal glands can also rupture which can lead to life-threatening health issues.
How To Tell If My Cat Needs Its Glands Expressed?
If your cat has been experiencing the symptoms like butt scooting, tail chasing, excessively grooming of the anal region, then it would be good to bring it to the vet to check. The vet will need to express your cat’s anal glands if necessary.
Your vet will probably ask you to manually express the glands at home over the next few days just to make sure the sacs are totally drained of any pus or fluid build-up.
It isn’t the most ideal of procedures for any cat owner but it needs to be done.
It is a relatively simple process once you get the hang of it.
- Wash your hands and wear gloves before starting
- Get someone to help hold down the cat in a standing position
- Located the anal glands (5 and 7 o’clock of the anal opening)
- Gently press each gland inward and upward until its empty
- Wipe and clean the secretion with an unscented wet wipe
The secretion from the cat’s anal glands isn’t the most pleasant thing to smell and I’ve had cat owners telling me how badly it made them gag.
It is best to be mentally prepared for the onslaught on your nostrils.
Female Cat Leaking Smelly Fluid
If you have a female cat at home and she’s leaking smelly fluid that isn’t anal fluid, she could be having a vaginal infection.
When a female cat is having a vaginal infection, there is usually some vaginal discharge in the form of blood, pus and mucus.
This can appear as brown fluid if there’s a mixture of these discharges.
There are a couple of causes that can cause your cat to leak smelly vaginal discharge.
The common reasons would be vaginal trauma or infection, a foreign object stuck in the vagina, urinary tract infection and abnormal cell growth in the vagina.
Diagnosis And Treatment
You will need to bring your cat to the vet for a proper check if there’s any form of abnormal vaginal discharge. The vet will further examine the vaginal discharge and vagina to see what’s causing it
Treatment will usually be in the form of antibiotics and vaginal douches.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
One effective way of preventing unwanted vaginal infections in your female cat is by spaying it. The process of spaying involves totally removing the uterus and ovaries to sterilize the cat.
If you don’t have any plans to use your cat as a breeder then spaying would help cut down the risk of such health issues in female cats.
Your Cat Is Having Bowel Incontinence
If your cat isn’t having an anal gland issue then the next possible reason is poo. Cats that are leaking poo all over the house can’t control their bowel movements.
This condition is called bowel or fecal incontinence.
There are many causes for such a medical condition ranging from inflammatory bowel diseases, food allergies, spinal cord damage, etc.
It can be a terrifying experience seeing brown and foul-smelling liquid discharge coming out from your cat’s butt or vagina.
Such disorders can be fairly serious but often completely treatable if brought to the vet sooner than later.
Your cat will be fine after a round of antibiotics.