Ass-dragging, or scooting, is not just a harmless quirk. Neither are offensive smells from ‘there’.
If your cat does one or both, then he/she might have anal-sac disease.
The little mystery of ass-draggin had us mildly confounded but not worried since we had no idea of the possible implications.
For us, we’ve seen frequent scooting from one of the Clan members – Marty, and two of our own – Philly and Rheilly. It’s also interesting that all three are related (Philly and Rheilly are litter-mates, and Marty is the strongly-suspect father of Philly).
We didn’t notice any odour issues though.
I read the info on the dr-dan page, and was troubled to note that it’s “This a very common problem in both dogs and cats. “
Very very interesting to also read this:
Why so many problems?
You will notice in the above description that the anal sphincter must squeeze the sac against hard feces to express the contents. My idea of why modern pets have so many problems is that the feces are just not hard enough. In ancient times, dogs and cats ate large quantities of meat and bone making their feces the consistency of concrete. Now, we feed diets with vegetable protein as the main ingredient. This produces a much softer stool so there is nothing for the glands to be squeezed against. The secretions build up and the pet has problems.
I think the part about vegetable protein is very significant. I’ve said this before, but most pet foods today uses a lot of fillers (vegetable fibre to bulk up the food), way too much imo, and this is not good for our cats. (brief primer on pet food contents and what to watch out for here)
After reading the page, I’m even more convinced that food is linked tightly with our cats’ health. And the link between nutrition and anal-sac problems is even more prominent.
You see, since we switched all our cats, including the homeless ones, to Natural Balance (no fillers, in addition to no by-products and no artificial preservatives and flavourings) last Aug/Sep, all three of our ‘scooters’ have, among other improvements, stopped scooting as much as before too. I’ve always thought this to be a very pleasant side-effect of the food switch, and now it’s all the more significant.
Our most avid scooter, Philly, who used to do it every other day, showed the most improvement. The most recent scooting he did was just once, last week.
This is of course, not to say NB is the only choice. Whether your cat will eat the food is another important consideration.
The truth is, there are probably other equitable foods out there, it just happens that happily, NB is the one that works for our cats – they love it, and which we support for various reasons.
So bottomline, don’t dismiss quirks as offbeatness.
(Thanks to HappySunshine_Cat for posting about his/her experience with this on singaporecats)
(Created: 24 May 06)