Do Cats Fart?

helloBARK!
By helloBARK!
Updated on 26 October 2020
Expert Content

Does your cat fart a lot?

You may associate farting with dogs more than cats given that our feline friends are usually stereotyped as clean and fastidious animals.

However, feline flatulence can be a problem for some cats.

It’s more like that mature or old cats will struggle with feline flatulence.

It could be a sign of potential disease so you should speak to your local vet about the problem to make sure nothing sinister is going on.

Your cat could be farting because of a change to their diet or if you regularly change their food.

If you’re looking for custom cat food using fresh ingredients that are balanced and fresh, we’ve reviewed some of the leading options on the market.

We spoke to three experts to find out: do cats fart?

Intestinal Disease Conditions Can Cause Flatulence In Cats

Cats licking the window (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Cats licking the window (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Dr Shadi J. Ireifej, Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine and Expert at Vet Triage

Feline flatulence is either due to enterocolic pathology or spontaneous gas emittance. The former is of medical concern while the latter is considered normal, relatively speaking. Flatulence itself is not a common reason why pet parents bring their cats into the vet office, but it does occur often enough to be discussed!

Discussion

Enterocolic pathology is a complex topic because it comprises all the possible diseases affecting the small intestinal (hence the “entero-” portion of the word) and large intestinal (hence the “-colic” portion of the word) tracts. Basically, any imbalance in the homeostasis within the lumens of these visceral structures can result in a bacterial imbalance, a malabsorption condition, an abnormal intestinal transit time and secretory abnormality that causes flatulence. Frequently, a combination of these reasons is involved with virtually any feline intestinal disorder. Let’s look at two common diseases.

Inflammatory intestinal disease

Feline inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a very common condition in which a cat’s gastrointestinal tract becomes chronically irritated and inflamed due to inflammatory cells resulting in poor food digestion and absorption. IBD is a multifactorial disease with an unknown cause but many interacting theories. It is categorized by the inflammatory cells involved and the portion(s) of the gastrointestinal tract affected. It is seen in middle-aged to older cats, causing a wide variety of clinical signs. Ultimately, the diagnosis is based on collecting biopsies of the gastrointestinal tract. Treatment options may include diet change and/or medications.

Neoplastic disease (cancer)

The most common intestinal cancer of cats is lymphosarcoma, also known as lymphoma or malignant lymphoma, and abbreviated LSA. LSA makes up 33% of all feline tumors. The case incidence in cats is 114 to 200 per 100,000 cats. In the United States, the incidence of LSA in cats has decreased by 50% in the past 20 years (1 to 3% of the total population). The most commonly affected patients are middle to older aged cats. The causes of LSA is multifactorial. Potential causes include infection (which may be a form of biological carcinogenesis), genetics, environmental, immunologic, chronic inflammation and toxic. Diagnosis is based on either cytologic or histological evaluation of gastrointestinal tissue samples. Treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. The prognosis ties into many different factors.

Spontaneous gas emittance

Dietary indiscretion or bacterial imbalances happen to everyone, including cats. Sometimes these can be managed by finding out the ideal diet as to minimize the production of gas or bacterial imbalances. Other times, intestinal support with nutraceuticals such as probiotics may be of help.

If your cat is exhibiting flatulence, then seeking veterinary attention is recommended to rule-out the various pathologies prior to settling on the diagnosis of spontaneous gas emittance.

Self-diagnosing and self-treating is not recommended. Of the two broad categories of conditions that caused flatulence in cats, this is the preferred diagnosis! Unfortunately there may not be a straight-forward test to be certain this is the cause, so ruling out pathology is the first step.

Conclusion

IBD and LSA are just two of the many different intestinal disease conditions that can cause flatulence in cats. A through diagnostic workup is required to differentiate between all the different diseases. Whether flatulence is the marker of a more serious underlying problem or a simple case of dietary indiscretion/bacterial imbalance, is difficult to say without a veterinary consultation.

A Rare Occurrence

Cat in a box (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Cat in a box (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Sara Ochoa, Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine and Consultant for doglab.com

Yes, cats can fart. While this is a rare occurrence, some cats can be very
gassy and fart.

Most of the time, these are silent and usually do not smell, but there are a few occasions that you may smell their horrible gas.

This is usually due to dietary issues such as a sudden change in diet, or your cat ate something that they should not have.

They will usually have a lot of gas build up from this diet issues that cause them to fat.

Some Cats Give Off Gas Because Of Fear

Cat tucks into dinner (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Cat tucks into dinner (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Yvette Berke, The Little Angels Project

Cat farts, silent but deadly. Some are so bad you wonder if you need to contact the air quality management board to report a noxious gas leak.

What causes this issue? Diet can be an issue. If you change foods frequently or are feeding a food that might be hard to digest it causes gas just like in humans. Foods that are high in fiber – particularly vegetable matter that isn’t normal to a cat’s diet can also be a contributor.

Some types of cat food add peas, carrots, potatoes, and corn as well as certain grains. If we look at their feline family – unless the bird or rat they ate had those items inside already, they are not seeking out the cornfield and it might be difficult for them to digest.

Although we’ve all seen cats lapping up a bowl of cream or milk on TV or in the movies, that is something they truly don’t need. It can cause diarrhea and significant gas.

Most cats are lactose intolerant and the dairy product that kittens require is Kitten Milk Replacement not cows milk if you find ones that are without a mother.

Some cats can give off gas because of fear – like when they are going to the vet, while others will do so as a result of aging and may require a different diet appropriate to their age group.

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