Hairballs, anal glands, and possibly re-homing, even though I really don't want to

When I adopted my two longhaired tortie kittens from the humane society five months ago, I thought I was getting two normal, healthy cats, but they are *not*, IME.

First, should eight-month-old cats be having recurring anal gland problems? The vet's costing me $100 a pop for this, and I can't afford that kind of money, and I'm sorry, but expressing them on my own? Is not going to happen. If you're going to blame me for being squeamish, so be it. None of my dozen previous cats have had this problem, and unless something can be done to fix this once and for all that won't cost me an arm and a leg....

Second, both of them are having hairball problems, and I can't get either one of them to take any hairball remedy (one of them ended up with kitty litter on her paw because she wouldn't lick the remedy off, and I had to wash it off), and they both freak out if I try to brush them.

I really don't want to, but I think I'm going to have to rehome them. I have no *clue* how to go about doing *that*, either, that isn't going to cause me a lot more stress (and I have too much stress in the rest of my life right now).

I had their most recent predecessors for almost eighteen wonderful years. I'm a good cat person. It's not me.

Asked by Member 1097267 on Mar 4th 2012 Tagged analglands, hairballs, behavioralissues, rehoming in Other Health & Wellness
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You may very well be a good cat person, but not every person is compatible with every cat. These two have certain needs with which you are unable or unwilling to cope. This does not mean the cats are unhealty or defective in some way, just that you may not be the right person for them and they may not be the right cats for you. Longhaired cats need regular grooming and brushing, and these two obviously need assistance with their anal glands. Not their fault.

I don't believe from your question that you "really don't want" to rehome your cats. It sounds as if you do indeed want to rehome them, and you're trying to blame it entirely on the cats and to absolve yourself from any responsibility.
Knock it off. Contact the humane society from which you adopted these cats, and let them know you are unable to properly care for them. Perhaps they will take them back and relist them for adoption, or at least can give you advice on how to go about finding a more appropriate home for them.

Member 1046384 answered on 3/4/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


First of all for the hairball problem. A food that is higher in fiber should help with that and also help form nice solid poo that should help with the anal gland problem. If they have loose poo, then that may be contributing to that. The vet should have advised you on how to help it rather than just treating it repeatedly. I need to have at least 5% fiber or Allie will cough up hairballs every day. I have it down to just an occasional hairball now. You absolutely need to train them to be brushed. You can not have long haired cats that you can not brush. A metal toothed comb is best for long hair and you have to suck it up and make them deal with it. Several of mine are not angels about it either but it has to happen unless I want to pay a groomer when they get matted. However, if you are not willing to work on this, now is the time to contact the shelter before the Spring litters of kittens fill them up.

Allie answered on 3/5/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


A recurrent anal gland problem can be associated with food allergies, inhalant allergies or constant inflammation caused by frequent expressions. If there are repeated problems with the anal glands, weekly infusions or actually flushing the glands with an antibacterial solution may be required. This is done under light anesthesia in the vet’s office to prevent undue pain to your pet. Repeated or severe anal gland blockages often warrant surgical intervention. Surgical removal of anal glands can lead to complications which may include fecal incontinence if the nerves in the area of the anal glands are disrupted during the course of the surgery. This incontinence may be temporary or permanent. Perhaps all you may need to do is change the food you give them to stop this.

As for the hairball problems, try Pro Pet Hairball Gel. You can get it at Walmart. That's the only get that my cat will eat & i works great for her. Try distracting your cats with a toy while you brush them.

Twinkle answered on 3/6/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

When you adopted your cats, you were obviously not counselled on the responsibilities of being a cat owner. I fault the shelter as much as anything. If you've never had long-haired cats before, being responsible for them can be daunting. I have 2. Delilah and Lizzie both take brushing as often as 2-3 times a day. Lizzie must have her bottom trimmed and wiped regularly as she gets "Kling-ons". It's a constanly battle with matting. I don't blame you for being "squeamish", but I wonder if you didn't "impulse" adopt based on the appeal of these kittens and a misguided wish to destress your life by adopting new 'friends'. Do contact the shelter you adopted from. The one I worked with had a return policy that was good for the life of the animal. And please reconsider adopting any more animals until your life had settled down and you have more calm time to devote to one.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 3/6/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer