Rainbow thanks for the relay of info re butternut squash
Originally Posted by MOOSEDRY
the areas to the right and left of her rectum feel hard and swollen. could her anal glands be impacted, and could this be part of the problem?
The anal glands are located to the left & right and slightly lower than the anus @ the 4 o'clock & 8 o'clock positions with ducts that open onto the anal surface. It is much more common for dogs to have anal gland issues but cats do get them as well.
If there is a very very strong fishy odor in the area of the anus then the glands are in need of expression either natually from the cat pooping or manually by the vet.
In order for her to natually express them she needs to have a normal to slightly hard poop, though they are not always expressed w/every poop.
It is possible though more likely the glands (if they are) are backed up because she's not pooping rather than the other way around, with impacted glands the cat will still try to poop but will be painful.
The glands are also sometimes expressed in situations where the cat is fearful/upset/surprised (similiar to skunks spraying)
Has Patsy been acting like she needs to poop? Straining at all?
Has she ever scooted her bum along the carpet? Showing discomfprt while trying to sit or Licking her anus excessively? These along with the odor will alert you to her need to have the anal glands looked @ by the vet.