Prolapsed Rectum in an Exotic Shorthair Kitten
by PAULINE RYAN, Bejeweled Exotics & Himalayans
Published September 2015

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GP, RW Bejeweled Sterling Silver

GP, RW Bejeweled Sterling Silver is a tortie lynxpoint female Exotic.

She is my first Grand, my first homebred Grand and my first regional winner.

Before she ever entered a show ring, however, she suffered from a recurring Prolapsed Rectum beginning at 10 weeks of age. 

When a rectum "prolapses", part of the lower intestine turns inside out or "inverts" and protrudes out of the cat's anus.

To correct the problem, the cat is put under anesthesia and the tissue is pushed back in to its normal position inside the body. To prevent it from being pushed out again during a bowel movement, several loose sutures are temporarily placed around the anus.

These "purse string" sutures allow stool to pass out but prevents the colon from inverting again.

Though the exact cause of a prolapsed rectum is not known, excess straining during a bowel movement either from constipation or diarrhea may be a contributing factor. 

Silver's medical history was somewhat unusual in that she actually had her rectum prolapse five times over a period of about one month. It was a difficult time for the kitten as she needed to be separated from her mom and littermates and confined so that we could monitor her food intake and her stool output. She was lonely, in pain and cried pitifully no matter how much attention we lavished on her.

At the same time, we spent an inordinate amount of time and money treating each successive prolapse. The question of whether she should be euthanized was always looming . . . however, we persevered . . . and it was a "happy ending" in more than one way.

Silver's Medical Case History

About an inch of rectum was protruding from the kitten's anus.



Day One

Initial Prolapse Rectum approximately 1”


Day 4

Checked Stitches
  • Continue daily regimen
  • Clean perineal area with warm water and baby shampoo.
  • Monitor food and water


Day 7

Recheck & Removed Stitches
  • Continued to monitor food and water.
  • Watch for relapse


Day 13
Early Morning 

  • Prolapsed rectum again prior evening but had receded this morning.
  • Kitten crying and in pain.
  • Intermittent soft stool, moderate full bladder
  • Inflammation of anus
  •  X-rays show firm feces in colon, distended loops.  
  • Discussed putting her down if this was to happen again.  
  • The vet advised if it happened again they could continue to secure it with sutures until we could get her big enough to do surgery to attach the colon to the body wall on the inside.


Day 13
Late Afternoon

Prolapsed again approximately 2 ½”
  • Re-did purse string again.
  • She spent the night at hospital for observation.


Day 14

Vet check in morning.
Purse string suture is holding in place well.
  • Continue all prescriptions and Albon at home
  • Keep her confined and monitor all food and water. 
  • Plan to remove suture in 1 week.


Day 24

  • Vet check sutures.
  • Everything looks good.
  • Sutures were removed.
  • Keep up all medications and instructions
  • Watch her for any relapse.


Day 26

Prolapsed rectum night before approximately 1”
but had receded by morning.
  • Vet checked her and sent her home.
  • Watch her for any change.


Day 27
Late Afternoon

Rectum prolapsed again
Remained at vets overnight to prep for surgery in the morning.


Day 28

  • Surgery replaced the prolapse and stitched internally to the left body wall to keep it in place.
  • She was also spayed at the same time.
  • Bladder was slightly shifted to the left and was described as having a midline defect. 
  •  Surgery went well and she was in recovery.  
  • Remained another night for observation.


Day 29

Took her home
  • No pain meds due to risk of constipation.
  • Wear an E-collar as long as we felt necessary.

Final Thoughts

Within days of her final surgery Silver was doing very well. There were no more issues with the prolapse. Sewing her colon in place internally was clearly the fix that was needed.

I wanted to share my experience so that if any reader has a kitten with a similar prolapse they would know that there is no need to give up — and certainly no reason for a kitten to be euthanized, even if it prolapses more than once.

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