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Cat with strange behaviors

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra,

My cat has started meowing much more frequently than usual and has been licking his rectum very often as well. His food and water intake has gone up but his stools seem normal…please help!!!

Jennifer Fenton


Hi – thanks for your email. When I hear about a cat that has been meowing and licking his rectum, the first thing I worry about is a urinary problem or urinary obstruction. This condition can be painful and they will meow and they will often lick wherever they can reach which can sometimes be near their rectum. The second thing I worry about is anal gland problems.

I’d recommend that you make sure that he is urinating normally, eating normally, and drinking well. I don’t know if it is possible to examine him at home but you can look to see if there are any obvious skin wounds or problems around or near his rectum.

Eating more and urinating more can be associated with a thyroid problem but is generally not associated with licking.

Your best bet might be to have him examined by your veterinarian. They can feel his bladder, examine his anal glands, examine his rectum and make sure there is not a bite wound abscess, or some other cause for the licking. They may also want to do blood work including a biochemical profile, complete blood count, urinalysis, and thyroid level (depending on your cats age).

A couple articles that might be helpful to you is on our is “Urinary Obstruction” and “Anal Gland Problems” . These articles might be a start but you want to have him examined just in case it is something serious.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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