Do Cats Fart? All You Need To Know About Feline Flatulence

Yes.

Like many animals, cats do fart.

Although their farts may not make a noise, they can certainly pack a punch when it comes to smell.

There are a number of answers to the question “do cats fart?”, the most commons reasons for feline flatulence are:

  • allergies
  • the type of food they are eating
  • dietary changes
  • parasites
  • hairballs

While a fart here and there is normal, there are times when they could indicate a more serious problem.

Is It Normal for a Cat to Fart?

Feline flatulence is completely normal, it may not be as common as flatulence in dogs and many times you probably won’t even notice that your cat has farted but it does happen. A cat will fart in order to expel excess air from their digestive system.

There may be excess gas due to food fermenting within the digestive tract, your cat eating either too fast or too much or because of an underlying health issue.

A small amount of farting is normal for your cat but if it is excessive, it may be worth looking at what could be causing the gas.

Why is My Cat Farting?

It’s important to know the cause of your cat’s flatulence in order to be able to effectively treat and prevent it.

There are many potential causes, below are the most common:

Food

tabby cat eating from a food bowl

As gas is an issue related to the digestive tract, it is no surprise that the majority of the causes are related to food and diet.

Sudden changes in diet, poor quality food and eating ‘human food’ such as scraps from the table can all contribute to your felines flatulence.

Overeating/ Eating Too Fast

Excess gas in the digestive system can be caused by simply swallowing a lot of air when eating too much or too quickly.

It can also be because food has begun to ferment within the cat’s digestive tract which is often linked to the type of food that is consumed being difficult to digest. Your cat may feel they need to eat fast due to competition for food with other cats within the house.

Consumption of Dairy

young kitten looking at party cheese

Many cats are intolerant to lactose, so shouldn’t eat things like cheese or milk. For many cats, consuming dairy products can result in stomach issues including gas and diarrhoea.

Remember, dairy is not a natural part of a cat’s diet and as a general rule it should not be offered to them.

High Fibre Diet

Some cat foods are bulked up using carbohydrates, this often causes an increase in flatulence in our feline friends.

If you think the cat food you’re feeding may be the source of the problem, you can slowly switch to another brand.

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  • Pet food for Cats
  • Dry food
  • Recommended for Cats above 12 months

It is important not to switch food suddenly as this in itself can cause stomach upsets and issues.

Consumption of Spoiled Food

Your cat may have managed to sneak a snack out of the rubbish bin or found something nasty on their latest outdoor adventures.

Eating old or spoiled food can result in an increase in farting. Securely closing rubbish bins can help avoid your cat grabbing an unsavoury snack. Be sure to check the use by dates of the cat food too.

Sudden changes in diet, poor quality food and eating ‘human food’ such as scraps from the table can all contribute to your felines flatulence.

Food allergies

Allergies can present themselves in many ways, increased flatulence, diarrhoea and vomiting in particular are linked to food allergies.

If you think your cat may be allergic to certain foods, take them to the vet for a check-up. Your vet can advise you on what to do and will recommend what diet to try.

cat eating food from a bowl

When allergies are suspected a hypoallergenic diet is often temporarily fed to see if the symptoms improve or change (See our recommendation for the best hypoallergenic cat food).

This helps to determine whether it is an allergy or if there is another reason for the issues and it will also help you determine the food type that is causing the reaction if it is an allergy.

Hairballs

a cat looks at a beer with it's tongue poking out of it's mouth

A hairball is loose hair that is swallowed by your cat during grooming.

This hair travels through the intestines and is expelled via the faeces.

They are often not problematic but if your cat is older, is excessively grooming or their diet is lacking in fibre hairballs might play a role in your cat’s gas.

You can help reduce hairballs by grooming your cat regularly.

Parasites

Intestinal parasites such as hookworms or roundworms may be the cause of your cat’s issues.

These parasites can be picked up almost anywhere, they are often picked up when your cat is exposed to faeces from another animal that has parasites.

Can I give Paracetamol to cats?

It is recommended you take your cat to the vet for prevention and treatment advice, if parasites are believed to be the cause then a stool sample will be needed in order to confirm this theory.

Should I Be Concerned if my Cat is Farting?

Although passing gas is normal, there are times when it is a sign of a bigger problem. If your cat is passing particularly bad smelling gas or they are experiencing other symptoms it may be a sign of a health problem. Other symptoms to watch out for include;

  • Bloating
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Reduced appetite
  • Blood in bowel movements
  • Drooling excessively
  • Dragging their rear-end along the floor

Feline Flatulence Related Health Issues

If you have noticed any of the above symptoms or you are concerned because of your cat’s flatulence you should take them to your local veterinarian. Your cat could be suffering from a health problem such as:

  • Parasites such as worms
  • Dietary sensitivity
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intestinal virus
  • Pancreas problems

Can Cat Farts Be Prevented?

a small kitten in a garden smelling flower

The first thing is to identify the cause of the gas.

Once you know the reason behind it you can make changes to prevent it from happening.

Take the following steps to reduce and even prevent your cat from farting:

  1. If your cat is eating too much or too fast, try offering smaller meals throughout the course of the day rather than offering larger meals once or twice a day.
    This helps give your cats digestive system a chance to work properly.
  2. It is also important to feed cats away from each other as otherwise they will feel like they are competing which results in wolfing down the food as quickly as they can.
    By separating them during feeding time, your cats can eat slower which will help their digestion and reduce the likelihood of gas.
  3. If you think your cat is farting lots because of the type of food they are eating, you can (slowly) change their diet.
    Try offering a low carbohydrate, high protein diet.
    A vet will be able to help advise with this if you are unsure what to offer your kitty.
    You may also decide to choose a higher quality cat food as the lower quality foods tend to have a lot of carbohydrate fillers.
  4. Cat allergies can be difficult to identify, it tends to be a case of trial and error.
    Generally, a hypoallergenic diet is fed and symptoms are monitored, then foods are slowly introduced to identify what causes ill-effects.
    Lactose intolerance is a well-known issue so make sure you don’t give your cats dairy.
  5. When it comes to parasites, preventative medication and deworming is the best route.
    Your vet can offer advice on preventing and treating parasites.
  6. Keeping your cat active with regular exercise (check out these cat wheels) may also help to reduce gas.
    Encouraging your cat to play each day can help improve their health and digestion.

Summary

No matter how high and mighty cats may act at times, they still pass gas.

This is completely normal so most of the time you can let it go with nothing more than a side glance.

However, it is important to pay attention to your kitty as if the farts are excessive or are present alongside other symptoms it may be a sign of a more serious health problem.


References:

https://pets.webmd.com/cats/cat-allergy-symptoms-triggers#1

https://www.petmd.com/blogs/fullyvetted/dr-coates/2014/june/should-i-be-worried-about-my-cats-hairballs-31788

https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/gastrointestinal-parasites-cats

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