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Home > Cats > Do Cats Fart? Causes of Flatulence & Treatment

Do Cats Fart? Causes of Flatulence & Treatment

young adult siamese cat standing on wooden floor

Understanding the function of the feline digestive system is essential for any cat parent. Flatulence is part of digestion and cats do fart. Many cat owners don’t notice their cats passing gas, and it’s true that they do it less often than many other species, but they still do it.

As with all mammals, cats fart when too much gas is built up in the abdomen, and it’s a more viable form of releasing gas than burping. While cats are physically capable of burping, it’s extremely rare. Most gas passes through the digestive system and out the anus.

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Causes of Cat Flatulence

There are many reasons that cats pass gas. Usually, it’s accidental from swallowing air. Gas can also get built up from internal bacteria in the colon. Excess amounts of bad gut flora can develop gas from your cat’s food and hairballs and even cause digestive disorders.

If your cat passes gas infrequently and it’s not overly smelly, it’s not likely a cause for concern. It happens easily when cats eat too fast or too much and swallow air along with their food.

If air swallowing doesn’t seem to be the cause, it’s likely related to their food. It’s important to evaluate how your cat feels anytime you change foods. If they start developing gas shortly after you change foods, there’s a good chance the food is the cause.

Many common ingredients in cat food cause gas for cats with sensitive stomachs. Avoiding cheap cat food is one way to avoid this. They often have highly processed, low-quality ingredients that are hard to digest. Cats can be sensitive to tuna and dairy too, both of which cause flatulence.

Human food consumption is another cause of flatulence in cats. Cats have uniquely designed digestive systems, and cat foods are designed to be easy to break down. Human foods can throw a cat’s delicate system out of whack, and one sign of this is excess flatulence.

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Image by: ANURAK PONGPATIMET, Shutterstock

How to Reduce Cat Flatulence

If your cat’s flatulence is caused by eating too fast and swallowing air, it may be helpful to use a slow feeder. Slow feeders not only turn dinner time into playtime, but they also force your cat to slow down. Eating slower can reduce air swallowing and, subsequently, the amount of gas buildup in your cat’s stomach.

If you suspect that your cat’s diet is at fault, it may take some trial and error to figure out what cat food causes less of a reaction.

High-fiber foods can help regulate your cat’s digestive system, but it’s important to make sure they’re not getting too much. Excessive fiber intake can actually make your cat’s flatulence problem worse, so it’s important to find a balance. Probiotics can be found in some varieties of cat food and can help regulate your cat’s gut flora.

Flatulence and Your Cat’s Health

If your cat is frequently passing foul-smelling gas, it can be a sign of a more serious digestive issue. If the flatulence is accompanied by diarrhea or vomiting, they should be examined by a veterinarian. Your vet will likely request that you bring a fresh stool sample to help them make a diagnosis.

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Final Thoughts

Most of the time, cat flatulence isn’t a cause for concern. Sometimes, it is a result of them swallowing air from eating too fast, and other times, it’s a sensitivity to a certain food in their diet. Occasionally, excess flatulence can be a sign of a more serious health problem, so it’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian to ensure your cat’s optimum health.

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Featured Image Credit: BearFotos, Shutterstock

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