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Proctitis in Cats

By: Dr. Bari Spielman

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Proctitis is an inflammation of the rectum. The large intestine is composed of the colon, rectum and anus. The colon extends from the end of the small intestine to the rectum. The rectum is the last part of the large intestine just before the anal opening. The anus is the opening of the large intestine to the exterior.


  • Extension of colitis (inflammation of the colon)
  • Gastrointestinal parasites like tapeworms or whipworms
  • Trauma (abrasion, foreign body)
  • Allergic disease
  • Inflammatory disease
  • Masses (tumors, polyps)

    What to Watch For

  • Excessive straining to defecate
  • Blood in stool
  • Constipation
  • Scooting
  • Excessive licking
  • Pain associated with defecation


    A thorough knowledge of history and clinical signs is very important and is most often helpful in the diagnosis of proctitis. A digital rectal examination should be performed in all cases. Diagnostic tests are necessary to confirm a definitive diagnosis. They include:

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Biochemical profile
  • Urinalysis
  • Fecal flotation
  • Abdominal radiographs (X-rays)
  • Proctoscopy with biopsy


    Treatment for proctitis should be directed at the underlying disease or associated condition.

  • All patients should be thoroughly dewormed.

  • In cases where infection is likely, antibiotic therapy is recommended.

  • If inflammatory or allergic disease is confirmed, anti-inflammatory agents (most often prednisone) is recommended. Hydrocortisone enemas may be of benefit as well.

  • Stool softeners and low residue (fiber) diets may aid in creating a smaller, easier-to-eliminate stool.

    Home Care and Prevention

    Administer prescribed medication and pay close attention to the comfort of the individual. If your pet is in extreme distress, contact your veterinarian.

    Prevent foreign body ingestion and stay on top of parasite control.

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