If you want to give your vet a good challenge, throw him this question: do cats fart?
Yes, that is a question that may seem amusing at first, but actually, it bothers many cat owners. We all know it happens and asking this question isn't being sarcastic.
We want to know if cats do fart and why.
So Do Cats Fart? Ending the Debate
There are several schools of thought that are espoused on this matter. Believe it or not, the pet owners the world over takes this question seriously.
It has been the subject of many stories and research papers, ones that we will never see in the scientific journals, but are still interesting and enlightening, nonetheless.
Dr. Mickila Collins (DVM, Diplomate American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine) who belongs to the Animal Specialty Group in Southern California says that YES cats can indeed fart.
Dr. Collins is a specialist in gastroenterology, respiratory disorders, and endocrinology.
She is considered as an expert in the different systems of cats and dogs. Interestingly, veterinarians themselves chuckle whenever they get asked this question.
But scientifically speaking, breaking wind, flatulence, or farting is a simple bodily function that expels intestinal gasses via the anus.
It's something that happens naturally in people and animals, and most often than not, we don't have any control of it when it happens.
For people, farting in public can be an embarrassing situation, but we can imagine that isn't the same for our furry little friends.
Farts smell bad because of bacteria inside the stomach. But bacteria aren’t always bad.
They break down the food to ensure they are digested properly. Simply put, cat flatulence is all about expelling waste or waste by-products in the body.
Experts warn, though, that flatulence in cats, should it happen very often, and very noticeably, may also be an indication of an illness or a disease.
As the owner, you should be more observant of these things and take your pet to the vet so that he or she can be tested and a diagnosis can be made.
Sometimes what is perceived as a plain farting spell from a gassy cat is already a sign of a health issue that needs to be addressed before it worsens.
What Causes Cat Flatulence?
As we have already mentioned earlier, farting is a way to expel excess intestinal gas that occurs naturally in the process of digestion.
Like humans, cats sometimes eat food that causes them to be extra gassy than usual.
In humans, it can be caused by peppers or cruciferous vegetables. In cats, it can also be caused by something they have eaten.
Cheap cat food products are full of fillers and extenders that may be the culprit here.
A farting cat may indicate that he is not able to digest his food properly. Remember that before cats became pets, they would run after their prey and eat them.
But now their meal comes from a can or from a packet, and we’re not even sure what ingredients it contains.
They may be full of extenders or have too many carbohydrates. Fatty foods can also cause flatulence. And that’s not all. Some unhealthy cat food can also cause other health problems in your pet.
For example, rich and fatty foods also trigger high blood pressure, diabetes, and even liver and kidney problems.
Think of it this way – if bad food makes humans sick, don’t you think it’s going to cause the same effects in your cat as well?
Don’t be embarrassed to say “my cat keeps farting.” Some people who don’t have pets may wonder why such a trivial thing seems to bother you so much.
But the truth is, you’re just being a responsible and caring pet owner.
In any case, if you suspect that your cat's farting is diet-triggered, the simplest solution would be to try another brand of cat food. However, be very careful not to change his food right away.
Cats are known to suffer from indigestion or food intolerance. So if you're going to change their diet, do it slowly and in small quantities.
Farting may also be due to food allergy and if this is the case, here’s a possible solution you can try:
On Day 1, give your cat an 80/20 mix of their old cat food and the new brand you've just bought. On Day 2 it’s 70/30, followed by 60/40 and so on.
Mix the food thoroughly so that your cat will not be able to tell the difference.
More importantly, observe, if more farting occurs it means your remedy is not working. You should also watch out for other adverse effects such as vomiting or stomach pains.
Other Reasons For Cat Flatulence
- He or she swallowed too much air. Cats inhale air when they eat because they chomp and gulp down their food. When they swallow too much air while eating, then obviously it will exit through the other end – their backside. This farting spell will go away pretty soon, though, so don’t get too worked up about it.
- You feed your cat your food. Most websites devoted to cats tell us that human food is almost always bad for cats. The preservatives and flavorings we use to make our food taste better and keep longer are dangerous to them.
- Experts say that 9 times out of 10, cats suffer from flatulence or diarrhea after having ingested human food. So no no feeding your cat caviar or steak, OK?
- You gave him dairy products. Cats may seem to enjoy being given anything, but they actually have sensitive tummies. Dairy products and milk cause them to fart – a lot. You can give your cat milk provided it is milk that is specifically for cats.
- Indigestion. Cats can eat more than they can digest especially if it is meat or protein. Farting can be a sign of indigestion, and you may need to bring your cat to the vet if he exhibits signs of stomach pains. This may be caused by a blockage in his intestines. It’s a serious problem that should be addressed surgically.
These are just some of the possible reasons for cat farting. It’s not a complete list, but it should give you a general idea of what to watch out for. When you notice that your cat is farting non-stop and looks uncomfortable and pained, take him to the emergency room ASAP.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to cat flatulence treatment, not even something to cover up the smell.
If the cause is something simple such as his diet, we recommend giving them a healthy diet of cat food.
And as a reminder:
• Observe the reaction of your pet after the first few feedings and remember to mix the old cat food GRADUALLY with the new one. Any abrupt change may cause even more digestive problems.
• And to reiterate - never feed your cat human food.
• Dairy products are also a NO-NO. You can very well say that cats are lactose intolerant.
If you have any questions or have something to share regarding cat farting, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.