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This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

Despite the name of this condition it can be seen in neutered cats and females as well as in entire male cats !

The condition commonly called "stud tail" is actually an accumulation of large amounts of greasy (waxy) secretions from glands located on top of the tail. A correct description  for the condition is hyperplasia (over-development) of the sebaceous and/or apocrine glands of the skin along the tail. Sebaceous glands are known to increase their secretion in response to male hormones - called androgens, hence a possible link for the disease being more common in stud cats.

The secretions matt the hair and then dry to produce scales and crusting. Complications include :

  • Thinning of the hair
  • Black pigmentation of the skin - typically seen with chronic inflammation
  • Bacterial infection involving the hair follicles (uncommon)
  • Formation of sinuses in the skin (uncommon)

A variety of treatments can be used including :

  • Clipping off hair over the affected area
  • Combing and grooming the hair to remove debris
  • Shampoos (eg anti-seborrhoeic shampoos - benzoyl peroxide, sulphur-salicylic acid)
  • Cleansing the area with antiseptic solutions (eg chlorhexidine)
  • Providing free access to the outside environment - confined cats have greater difficulty getting rid of the problem, suggesting that fresh air and/or exposure to sunlight may be beneficial
  • Castration - does not necessarily cure the condition, but might improve it in some cases
  • The use of female hormones (oestrogens or progestogens ) may be helpful in some cases, but these drugs do have potential side-effects


Updated October 2013