Do Cats Release a Scent When Scared?

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Sure, when scared cats might categorical fluid from their anal glands and this has a powerful, disagreeable, musky or fishy scent.

The fluid can spray or drip from their glands and is commonly launched in response to worry or stress, though it could possibly generally occur when cats are excited too. 

A Cat’s Anal Glands

There are two small glands positioned simply inside a cat’s anus, these are much like the glands skunks use for defence.

cat sanding withbottom towards camera

Usually, your cat will emit the fluid from these glands once they cross faeces and this can be a method of speaking to different cats that the territory is taken. 

When a cat is scared they might launch their anal glands releasing an disagreeable scent.

The scent lingers for a couple of hours and may make your cat scent musky.

This will additionally occur when your cat is worked up.

Though uncommon, some cats have overactive anal glands and a few cats’ anal glands develop into impacted, which might occur if the cat usually has unfastened stools that means the faeces don’t put sufficient strain on the glands to launch the fluid. 

cat pooping in litter tray

The anal glands can even develop into infected or contaminated and will likely be swollen and tender, that is uncomfortable for cats they usually might attempt to ease the irritation by licking and biting the world or by scooting their rear finish on the bottom.

How & Why Do Cats Launch Pheromones?

A cat has scent glands positioned on their head, paw pads, pores and skin, and anal glands.

cat paw pads

These scent glands secrete pheromones to speak with different cats and the setting they’re in. Pheromones will also be launched by means of urine.

Pheromones are launched from these glands round your cat’s physique by way of a variety of behaviours.

For instance, pheromones are launched when your cat scratches objects, rubs their head or physique in opposition to objects, and once they spray urine.  

Pheromones may be launched for a wide range of causes together with:

  • Mark territory 
  • Create familiarity 
  • Determine different cats 
  • Enhance bonds 
  • Discover sexual companions 
  • Construct bonds between mom cats and their kittens 
  • Point out contentment 
  • Point out stress/ worry

The particular chemical alerts of the pheromone emitted by your cat will rely upon the scenario. 

Normally, the glands in your cat’s face launch pleasant pheromone messages so when your cat rubs their head or face in opposition to you they’re releasing low-intensity pheromones that point out bonding and characterize consolation and familiarity. 

cat rubbing against leg

Cats can even rub their head in opposition to you when they’re getting their favorite meals or treats.

It’s these pleasant pheromones which might be usually replicated in artificial pheromone merchandise corresponding to Feliway as a result of the pheromones are reassuring and calming to cats.

On the opposite aspect of issues, the pheromones from a cat’s anal glands are high-intensity and are used to precise worry or stress, for marking territory, and for sexual viability.

As well as, worry pheromones may be launched by means of the pores and skin. 

What do cat pheromones scent like?

Nothing!

Cat pheromones would not have a scent.

Fairly than being a scent, pheromones are an odourless mixture of chemical compounds that cats are capable of interpret utilizing their vomeronasal organ (AKA Jacobson’s organ). 

Apparently, cat pheromones don’t scent of something to cats both.

big cat sniffing a small toy car

Nevertheless cats can determine and interpret pheromones and the pheromones may be detected weeks after being launched – though they’ll develop into weaker as time goes on. 

People can not scent cat pheromones and should not affected by them.

The scent of a cat marking their territory with urine comes from the ammonia within the urine relatively than the presence of pheromones. 

Fairly than counting on scent, the chemical alerts of pheromones are interpreted and recognized by the vomeronasal organ.

When your cat is figuring out pheromones they’ll exhibit the Flehmen’s behaviour.

That is when their higher lip retracts, the nostril closes they usually inhale quickly permitting the pheromones to maneuver to the Jacobson’s organ.

Do Cats Specific Glands When Joyful?

Whereas cats will often categorical their glands when they’re frightened, it could additionally occur when they’re excited.

The scent that comes from the expressed glands tends to be musky or fishy and may linger for a couple of hours. 

Typically cats categorical their anal glands when they’re doing constructive issues that present they’re completely happy and content material.

Though this isn’t as widespread as expressing their anal glands on account of worry or stress, it does occur.

For instance, your cat could also be kneading their blanket once they categorical their glands. 

It’s not identified precisely why a cat might categorical their glands when they’re completely happy, though it may be a method of marking territory. 

There could possibly be a medical rationalization, for instance, their glands could also be full and should not being emptied commonly on account of often passing unfastened stools.

Whether it is occurring usually and also you’re involved, it’s value taking your cat to the vet for a check-up.


Ask a Vet

In case your cat is often emptying their glands we advocate you converse with a vet ASAP.

JustAnswer means that you can discuss in real-time to veterinary specialists for a small charge.


The vet will have the ability to guarantee there may be not a medical trigger and can examine the anal glands should not contaminated or impacted.

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