Cat anal sac secretions contain 52 bacteria produced compounds

A recent study tentatively concluded that the secretions of the feline anal sacs contain 127 compounds of which 52 are produced by microbes, specifically bacteria. The compounds are volatile. They described the anal sacs as incubators for bacteria.

Position of anal sacs
Position of feline anal sacs
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

This may interest the scientifically inclined amongst the cat lovers of the world. It is rather specialist information. It’s interesting to me that there are so many compounds that make up the secretions of the cat’s anal sacs and so many different bacteria created compounds.

The secretions are liquid, malodorous and light grey to brown in colour. They can be thick, creamy or yellowish. Anal sacs are scent glands. They mark the cat’s stool with an odour which identifies the particular individual cat and thereby helps the cat to establish his territory. The material inside the anal sacs is gently expressed naturally when the cat defecates through rectal pressure.

In the study the owner of a Bengal cat allowed a veterinarian to manually express the contents of his/her cat’s anal sacs. Each cat has two anal sacs and they are located at about 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock in reference to the circumference of the anus.

Information about the location and the nature of the material produced by feline anal sacs comes from a book in my possession, Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook.

If you’d like to know the exact chemical composition of the secretions of the feline anal sacs you can click on this link to take a look at the results of the study published online. Note: the research is yet to be peer reviewed.

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