How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22434
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
Type Your Vet Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now

Dear Sir, My cat came in with a pungent smell at his rear

This answer was rated:

Dear Sir,
My cat came in with a pungent smell at his rear end as if he had sat in something, which consequently matted the fur which I tried to come out. He didn't like that! He has been trying to clean himself constantly and is making it sore. What can I do. We made up a solution with tcp watered down well and sprayed a bit on the area.
Your comments would be gratefully received.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.


I would be highly suspicious that the pungent material is from his anal glands. These are glands that live at the 3 and 9 o'clock position just inside the rectum (diagram). Normally, they should be expressed when passing feces but we can see cats express them when stressed but we can also appreciate this odor alongside discomfort (if he was really adverse to handling there) if the anal glands are impacted, inflamed, infected or ruptured. And just to note any of the anal gland issues can lead to eventual rupture either into the rectum (where we may see blood in the stool) or out through the skin (causing wounds on either side of the rectum).


In this case, in regards XXXXX XXXXX back side, if he just isn't keen for you to clean the area since it is quite invasive in his opinion, then we can just salt water bathe (1tbsp salt to a pint warm water) the area. But if he seems more sore then one would expect with the state of his backside then I'd be concerned about the state of those internal glands. And in that case it would be advisable to have them expressed by his vet.


If they are expressed and the pressure is relieved, this often settles the issue for them. If the material expressed is infected or looks like pus, then his vet can dispense antibiotics to address this. And if he has a wound from a gland rupture or is very sore, then the vet can also dispense cat safe pain relief (ie metacam) to reduce inflammation and address the pain for him.


Overall, the odor and signs he is showing is very suspicious of anal gland based troubles. If he has managed to express them fully himself and is just resistant to cleaning, then you can salt water bathe the area and monitor. But if he is very sore, constantly grooming, and resistant to handling of his backside, then this does raise red flags that the glands are still overly full (possibly due to rupture) and it would be best to get these expressed for him to settle these signs and relieve his discomfort.



I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

Dr. B. and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you