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Home > Cats > Why Does My Cat Fart on Me? 5 Vet-Approved Reasons

Why Does My Cat Fart on Me? 5 Vet-Approved Reasons

black and white cat sitting on the lap of its owner

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Dr. Alice Athow-Frost

Veterinarian, BVM BVS MRCVS

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It might sound fantastical, but there are plenty of stories out there telling of cats farting on their owners. People swear that their cat saunters up, puts its butt in their face, and lets one rip. Other people complain that their cats jump into their lap and start farting while they pet them. What gives? Why do cats fart on people? Is this normal, or is this strange behavior? The good news is that this kind of behavior is natural. Cats can fart on their owners for a number of reasons.

Here are some of the most common reasons that cats fart on people.


The 5 Reasons Why Your Cat Fart on You

1. Your Cat Is Simply Gass

Cats can get gas like a number of other animals, including dogs and humans. If you have a cat that eats very quickly, you might notice that they fart more often than other cats, as they might swallow more air while eating. In this case, your cat is not purposefully farting on you but is simply passing gas when they happen to be sitting on your lap. Cats can also develop gas from poor food, poor nutrition, intestinal diseases or even from intestinal parasites. Most of the time, gas is nothing to worry about, but some cats will develop gas more frequently than others.

2. They Want Attention

Some cats will do anything for attention. Many people feel like their cat is purposefully farting in their face for some bizarre reason. This is very unlikely to be the case.  More likely, your cat is simply looking for attention. When a cat puts their butt in your face, it is thought that it is their way of asking you to pet them. This is normal cat behavior and is seen in all breeds. When your cat farts in your face while they are doing this, they are simply doing their normal business while asking for attention.

owner holding cat with third eyelid visible
Image Credit: Me Gi, Shutterstock

3. Your Cat Is Scared

Have you ever heard the term “scared the poop out of” something or someone? That term comes from the fact that in moments of poignant fear, cortisol (a stress hormone) spikes which can affect the bowels. This may manifest as the release of unwanted gas. This happens in people, but it also happens in cats. If a cat is scared, their bowels can become more active, causing them to fart more often, as well as needing to defecate or urinate. Some cats may stick close to their humans when they are scared, so if you find your cat jumping on you and farting in your lap, it could be because something spooked them.  If your cat is one of those cats that tries to climb inside your skin when they are feeling anxious, you are much more likely to get farted on than other cat owners.

4. The Cat Is Unwell or is Allergic to Something

Lastly, allergies and infections can cause your cat to become more gassy than normal. Cats can be allergic to a number of different things, including food, medications, and even your detergent. If you find your cat climbing on you and suddenly farting on you, it might have nothing to do with you. They could be allergic to their new treats, or they could be reacting to your laundry detergent that is in your clothes. In rare cases, cats can become more flatulent due to an infectious agent such as Tritrichomonas foetus, a parasite that causes chronic diarrhea and increased gas.  Most of the time a fart is just a fart, but if your cat has other signs at the same time as increased gas, such as diarrhea, vomiting and/or weight loss, you should book an appointment with your vet for assessment.

veterinarian holds sick cat close-up
Image Credit: megaflopp, Shutterstock

5. Do Cats Fart When They’re Happy?

There is a myth that cats fart when they are happy. This myth likely started because of the strange tales people tell of their cats jumping on them and farting on them. Despite the persistence of this myth, there is no evidence to back it up. There are no studies or physiological reasons to back up this perception. Your cat is not farting on you because they are happy. They are farting on you due to one of these other reasons. Sure, cats can fart and be happy at the same time, but happiness is not the cause of the flatulence.



Cats pass wind just like other animals and it can feel like they sometimes fart on their owners for fun.  However, most of the time, the person is simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Cats can fart when they are having stomach trouble or are anxious or scared . Cats, however, do not fart because they are happy. Most of the time, your cat passes wind when it needs to,  and you are just unlucky to be in the line of fire.


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