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There are many animal behaviors that seem disturbing to caregivers. Luge in a cat is one of them. It goes without saying that cats sled for a variety of reasons that can be a cause for concern – but they don’t always have to. Check why!
Among the many behaviors that irritate or bother owners, tobogganing ranks high in a cat. All because it seems unnatural. Meanwhile, this is how many animals deal with both itching and pain symptoms. Sometimes this behavior is completely natural. For this reason, it is worth understanding its causes and background.
Luge in a cat
Among the many physiological and behavioral problems, cat sledding is very common. It can affect virtually any pet, regardless of its age. In itself, it is not a symptom indicative of a specific medical condition. It can have both behavioral and health grounds. Sometimes these two aspects overlap. Moreover, sometimes a cat’s tobogganing is natural and results from species atavism.
It cannot be denied that this behavior seems disturbing. The cat rubs the area of the anus against surfaces such as carpets, less often floors. Sometimes she is able to drag her body through a long room this way – in an unnatural position. The caretaker is worried because it seems that the animal is suffering. For this reason, it is very important to react to individual episodes so that the behavior does not get stronger. Otherwise, it will become a habit that is much more difficult to eliminate from a cat’s life.
Luge in a cat is a problem that it may be physical or psychological in nature. This does not mean that it is always negative. It happens that it imitates the natural, atavistic behavior of wild cats. Often, however, to recognize it, an expert opinion is needed.
Also read: Pain position in a cat. How to recognize it and how to help the cat?
Luge in a cat – causes
A cat luge can have different reasons. Each owner should be aware of them in order to know when to react and when to observe the situation.
Luge and internal parasites
It happens that a cat’s tobogganing is caused internal parasites. Usually, these worms live in the intestines of cats, such as roundworms and tapeworms. Some of them are also dangerous to humans, which is why regular deworming is so important. Sometimes you’ll just see them just coming out of the cat’s anus. In other cases, you will definitely find them in the feces. If you have any doubts about the cause of your cat’s tobogganing, have her stool sample tested for three consecutive days.
A problem with the perianal sinuses
When it comes to tobogganing a cat, the reasons may be the same as that of dogs – obstructed perianal sinuses. These are the sinuses where the sebaceous glands are located. Both are located at the anus, on its two sides. The glands produce a greasy, unpleasant-smelling discharge that is generally not noticeable by humans. All because in a healthy cat the glands empty themselves when passing feces. Sometimes a cat is able to empty them spontaneously, which will be discussed in a moment.
If the glands become clogged for any reason – for example due to an individual’s disposition, certain diseases or loose faeces that passes over a long period of time – it becomes inflamed. In this case, they begin to itch and slightly hurt at first, which is why the cat may meow when visiting the litter box. Then the area of the anus swells and the cat tries to get rid of the problem mechanically – by sledging. If left untreated, inflammation of the glands leads not only to pain and discomfort, but also to the development of severe inflammation throughout the body.
An infection of the genital tract, urinary tract or anus
There are times when a cat’s tobogganing is associated with felt pain or itching around the anus, urethral and vaginal mouths – in a kitten. In this case, the animal sleds to relieve its ailments. Less frequently, due to the structure of external organs, it occurs in males. Typically, this condition may be accompanied by other symptoms, for example, disturbing, unpleasant-smelling discharge from the areas described, or polyuria or oliguria.
Also read: Cat’s dirty anus – see what to do!
The cat also sledges when it has been the victim of an allergy. It can be a food allergy on the one hand, and a contact allergy on the other. The former occurs when a cat regularly eats something to which it is simply allergic. The second is rather the result of skin contact with unfavorable factors, for example household chemicals. In both cases, anal pruritus – because it is responsible for the cat’s tobogganing – is usually accompanied by other symptoms, for example diarrhea, deterioration of the skin condition, scratching.
Prolonged diarrhea and constipation
Any gastric problems in cats can cause severe anal itching. In this case, a cat’s tobogganing is an attempt to deal with the pain and itching that the animal experiences on a daily basis. Importantly, the cat can sledge anytime or just right after disposing of itself. Apart from this symptom, which is the result of a disturbing health condition, any prolonged or repeated indisposition in the form of constipation or diarrhea should be consulted with a specialist.
Relieving stress and habits
In some cases, the problem in itself is not the cat’s luge. The causes lie elsewhere, such as chronic stress. The situation is similar if the cat was sick for a long time and sledging was one of the symptoms of the disease, and now it has become a habit. This is where behavioral therapy is usually helpful.
The aforementioned anal glands produce a secretion which is a specific identification symbol of a cat. There is a reason both cats and dogs sniff each other around the tail – this is where the glands are located that allow them to obtain the greatest amount of information about the other individual. Accordingly, if your cat sleds only temporarily and intermittently, think about whether it is marking territory. While this is a less common tagging practice – usually cats scratch objects or mark them with urine – it does happen. It can worsen when a new household member appears, both human and animal.
Also read: Skin diseases in a cat – symptoms, treatment
Cat sledding – what to do?
Fortunately, sledging a cat is not a dead end. There are several solutions you can choose to tackle this problem. Here they are.
Separating a cat’s territory
If several cats live in your home, it may be that this behavior is simply because you are trying to mark your territory. The luge of a cat is then burdensome mainly for human households. It is worth considering what went wrong at the stage of introducing the cats to each other – maybe the process was carried out too violently? Or maybe one of the animals is simply fearful and sledging a cat is an attempt to arrange a hierarchy between the animals?
Separating separate territories is definitely a good choice. It is very important to put two litter boxes for catsthat the animals will be able to use. Usually, each cat chooses a place that is not marked by the smell of its opponent. In addition, it is worth taking care of space for each of the animals. Remember that getting to know cats can take up to several months if it is carried out in accordance with their needs! If necessary, you can apply for example Over Zoo Neutralizator higienic dry 500gwhich prevents attempts to make a meaning around the cat’s toilet.
Reduction of stress and stressors
If your cat is behaving this way because of the stress associated with it, removing any potential stressors from its environment is essential. This usually means considering what is making your cat feel unwell and how it might minimize the effect of this factor. Some can be removed immediately, others cannot – but you can give your cat a sense of security. Various things are then a very important element dietary supplements for catsthat reduce stress levels chemically. Cortisol reduction always helps to change the behavioral pattern in this case.
Visit to the veterinarian
When you notice a cat sledding, it is worth going to the veterinarian. It will be able to assess the condition of your pet during the examination. This is how you will find out if the problem is physical or if it is more mental. In the first case, you will receive support in the form of treatment tailored to the cat’s needs. In the second – you will find out where to go next with the problem.
Remember that when your cat sledges with parasites in its faeces, they are probably all over your home. Therefore, it is worth not only cleaning the cat, but also taking care of your own deworming and disinfection of various surfaces at home. Some parasites are also dangerous to humans, so instead of treating the cat when there are worming symptoms, it is worth simply deworming it regularly. Thanks to this, you will be able to prevent the development of dangerous diseases more easily.
If you suspect your cat has a gastric problem and any tests have ruled out more serious problems, such as pancreas or liver problems, invest in a good quality food. Due to the natural reluctance to drink, it is worth choosing a wet food such as Farmina N&D Cat Pumpkin 80g x 12. Always choose products with a high content of animal ingredients. Remember also that in case of suspicion of allergy, it is worth choosing an elimination diet, that is, give food that is devoid of all the ingredients that have so far appeared in cat’s nutrition. Thanks to this, you will be able to assess whether it is actually the underlying problem.
Visit to a behaviorist
Sometimes a cat’s tobogganing is not related to any aspect of physical health. In such a situation, it is often just about mental conditions. The only solution is then to introduce a therapy, which, however, is often impossible to be arranged by the caregiver himself. You need a third party who has the knowledge to judge what exactly needs to change to make the cat feel more comfortable.
Both when the cause is excessive stress and when it comes to habitual behavior, it is worth investing in the help of a behaviorist. A specialist can look at the situation at home and the cat problem through the eyes of an expert and a person who is not emotionally prejudiced against the situation. Thanks to this, you will learn how to proceed to improve the cat’s comfort – and thus also of all people who live with it.
Regularly worming a cat, taking care of its diet, and caring for its health are the basic values that should be remembered when living with this animal. Remember that – although cats are considered animals that follow their own paths and are very independent – they are in fact very sensitive, especially to screaming and changes in their environment. For this reason, you need to remember that sledding a cat is worth noting during the first episodes of this behavior and reacting immediately.
In some cases, stress-reducing preparations are a great support, thanks to which your cat will feel more comfortable. You will find in the store Apetete.pl. Do you have any curiosities about your cat’s tobogganing? Share them in the comment and you may be able to help someone looking for a solution to this problem!