Happy Silly Cat

Understanding Rectal Prolapse in Cats: Symptoms Causes and Treatment

Rectal prolapse is a condition that occurs when part of the cat’s rectum protrudes out of the anus. This can lead to discomfort, difficulty defecating, and even serious complications if left untreated.

As a cat parent, it is crucial to understand the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for rectal prolapse.

Types of Rectal Prolapse

Rectal prolapse can be categorized into two types: incomplete and complete. Incomplete prolapse refers to the protrusion of the rectal tissue only partially outside the anus.

On the other hand, complete prolapse occurs when the entire rectum protrudes outside the anus.

Symptoms of Rectal Prolapse in Cats

One of the most common symptoms of rectal prolapse in cats is discomfort. Cats experiencing rectal prolapse will often exhibit signs of pain and discomfort, along with straining to defecate.

Another symptom to look out for is a change in the color and appearance of the rectum. In some cases, the rectum may look swollen and reddish, indicating a potential prolapse.

Causes of Rectal Prolapse in Cats

Rectal prolapse in cats can have various causes. The most common cause is straining during defecation, which can be a sign of constipation or diarrhea.

Intestinal parasites or obstruction can also contribute to rectal prolapse. Finally, birth can also lead to rectal prolapse.

Diagnosing Rectal Prolapse in Cats

The diagnosis of rectal prolapse is typically carried out through a physical examination. During the examination, your veterinarian will look for a protruding mass or abnormal tissue protruding out of the anus.

X-rays and other imaging may also be used to confirm the diagnosis.

Treating Rectal Prolapse in Cats

The treatment of rectal prolapse in cats often requires surgery to return the rectum to its proper place. Colopexy is the surgical procedure most frequently used to treat rectal prolapse.

In some cases, additional treatments, such as stool softeners or medication for underlying conditions, may also be necessary.

Recovery and Management of Rectal Prolapse in Cats

Cats that have undergone rectal prolapse surgery typically require hospitalization, and a rest period thereafter. This will help them recover from the procedure while minimizing the risk of complications.

An E-collar is often used to prevent the cat from licking the surgery site. Soft foods are recommended to avoid increased colon pressure while stool softeners can aid in ease of defecation.

Maintaining good litter box care and monitoring your cat’s bowel movements are crucial to achieving a full recovery.

Treatment of Simple Rectal Prolapse

In some cases, a simple rectal prolapse may be treated without surgery. One such method is the manual reduction technique, which involves pushing the rectum back into place using gentle pressure while the cat is under anesthesia.

Another option is to clean the rectal area with warm water, apply a purse-string suture to keep the rectum in the correct position, and administer stool softeners.

Recovery after Simple Rectal Prolapse

Recovery after a simple rectal prolapse procedure may require E-collar use as well as adjustments to your cat’s diet. Soft foods and stool softeners may also be recommended.

In some cases, additional medication or monitoring may be required to ensure a full recovery. In conclusion, while rectal prolapse in cats is a challenging condition to deal with, early diagnosis and proper treatment can prevent the disorder from advancing further.

Understanding the causes and symptoms of rectal prolapse is necessary so that cat parents can identify potential problems promptly. As always, consulting with a veterinarian is necessary for a comprehensive and personalized treatment plan.

Rectal prolapse surgery is a common method used to treat cases of rectal prolapse in cats. Depending on the severity of the prolapse, surgery may involve the surgical removal of the prolapsed tissue, reattachment of the rectum to the anus, or a combination of both.

Rectal Prolapse Surgery

The surgical procedure typically involves a local anesthetic to help keep the cat comfortable. During the procedure, the surgeon will reposition and remove any excess tissue, then reattach the rectum to the anus.

The procedure may be performed via laparoscopy, a minimally invasive surgical technique, or open surgery, which involves a traditional incision.

Recovery After Prolapse Surgery

Following the procedure, the cat will typically require hospitalization for a few days or sometimes up to a week. During hospitalization, the cat will need to be monitored for any signs of post-operative complications and given pain medication.

An E-collar is often recommended to keep the cat from licking or chewing at the surgery site. Soft foods are recommended to reduce the buildup of undue pressure in the colon while stool softeners prevent constipation which can further irritate the surgical site.

Potential Complications of Prolapse Surgery

Despite the overall high success rate of rectal prolapse surgery, potential complications may include infection, recurrence of the prolapse, and fecal incontinence. Infections can be managed with antibiotics, while recurrence may require repeat surgery.

Fecal incontinence, while rare, is a possible complication that may require additional medical attention.

Recurrence of Prolapse

Unfortunately, the recurrence of a rectal prolapse is a possible complication following any surgery. Recurring prolapses can be identified based on their appearance, which often resembles that of the original form.

In the case of recurrence, the cat will have to undergo repeat surgery. To minimize the possibility of recurrence, all medical instructions in regards to litter box hygiene and dietary restrictions must be followed carefully.

Additionally, any underlying medical conditions they have must be addressed in order to prevent further straining in the case of constipation or diarrhoea. A recurrence can also potentially lead to infection and this risk increases the longer it remains untreated.

Should recurrence occur, it is important to contact your veterinarian immediately. If follow-up treatment is done in a timely manner, the cat’s chances of fully recovering are significantly heightened.

Fecal Incontinence

Fecal incontinence is one of the rarer complications of rectal prolapse surgery. It involves the cat’s inability to control their bowel movements leading to involuntary defecation.

This disorder can be caused by damage to the nerves and/or muscles around the rectum or anus during surgery. In such cases, fecal incontinence is managed through medications and ointments aimed at easing constipation.

In some rare cases, additional surgeries may be required to reconstruct damaged muscles.


It is important to follow all instructions given by your veterinarian and to keep a keen eye on your cat while recovering from prolapse surgery. The possibility of complications should be weighed against the benefits of the surgery, and all factors should be considered when deciding whether surgery is the right choice for your cat.

Ultimately, with timely treatment and careful management, cats with rectal prolapse can recover fully and return to their usual happy selves. Rectal prolapse in cats can be a concerning and challenging condition for cat owners to deal with.

As such, it is important to have knowledge about some frequently asked questions and their respective answers surrounding the disease. In this article, we will cover the healing process, the outcomes of untreated prolapse, and how to differentiate between rectal prolapse and hemorrhoids.

Rectal Prolapse Healing in Cats

It’s worth noting that rectal prolapse in cats often does not simply heal on its own. Although there are anecdotal cases of healing without medical attention, prompt veterinary care should be sought when a cat is experiencing rectal prolapse.

Medical attention is necessary not only for the treatment of symptoms but to also help prevent any further complications. Underlying causes such as parasitic infections should be treated in order to prevent constipation and straining.

Treatment steps may include any necessary surgery, stool softeners to help manage bowel movements, and dietary changes to reduce the likelihood of recurrence. Pain management and antibiotics may also be given to address any associated discomfort or infection.

Untreated Rectal Prolapse in Cats

Untreated rectal prolapse in cats can lead to severe complications and even death. Over time, recurrent prolapse can lead to inflammation, infection, and the likelihood of fecal incontinence.

This increases the overall chances of the cat’s life becoming in danger. As with any medical condition, it is important to address rectal prolapse with prompt veterinary care to help prevent potential complications.

Hemorrhoids vs. Rectal Prolapse in Cats

In many instances, hemorrhoids in cats may be mistaken for rectal prolapse, despite being different diseases.

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anus while rectal prolapse occurs when part of the rectum protrudes outside of the anus. While both diseases can cause discomfort and difficulty with defecation, it’s vital to differentiate between the two in order to properly treat the illness.

Hemorrhoids in cats usually present with inflammation and tiny red lumps around the anus. Treatment includes managing the symptoms.

Measures like taking care in cleaning and careful stool softening practices can help reduce irritation and promote healing. However, if symptoms persist, veterinary care should be sought.

Rectal prolapse, on the other hand, involves the protrusion of part of the rectum outside of the anus in cases that can include both the incomplete or complete forms. Advanced cases of rectal prolapse may even involve the entire rectum.

Veterinary care for rectal prolapse includes steps such as surgery, stool softeners, and dietary changes as needed. Recovery time can last between several days to a few weeks and it is advised that animals be closely monitored throughout.


The prompt treatment of rectal prolapse in cats can help prevent the development of some severe complications. Attention to any underlying causes and adhering to medical instructions including mitigation of bowel pressure will greatly increase the success of recovery.

Any rectal irregularities can cause discomfort for cats, and it is important to know the differences between rectal prolapse and hemorrhoids to ensure that medical care is received promptly. With the right care, some patience and a willingness to stick to any proposed treatments, rectal prolapse in cats can be effectively treated.

Rectal prolapse in cats can be a serious condition that requires prompt veterinary attention. Incomplete and complete prolapse of the anus result in discomfort and straining, along with changes in appearance.

Causes range from straining and intestinal parasite infections to obstruction and birth. Depending on the severity of the prolapse, treatment may require surgery, management of underlying conditions, and close monitoring during recovery.

Prioritizing litter box hygiene and following medical instructions can help prevent the recurrence of rectal prolapse. Hemorrhoids can be mistaken for rectal prolapse and require a separate treatment approach.

As a cat parent, it’s critical to be aware of the causes, potential outcomes of untreated prolapse, and steps to differentiate between rectal prolapse and hemorrhoids. Prompt medical attention to the problems surrounding rectal prolapse can go a long way in reducing the potential for complications.

Popular Posts