While not something your cat may find embarrassing, as a pet parent you may be wondering if cats fart? And if they do, do cats fart loud? In this article, we will look at the reasons why your cat farts so much and if there is something you can do to help your cat.
Why does my cat fart when I pick him up?
Your cat farts when you pick him up due to the extra pressure from picking it squeezes the gas out. This is not something to be worried about if it happens occasionally. Cats fart due to the buildup of gas in their digestive system which is released later through the anus.
Flatulence in cats can occur due to any of the following reasons,
- Your cat swallowing too much air
- A high-fiber diet
- By-product of intestinal bacteria.
Why does my cat fart so much?
In cats, food is considered one of the major causes of farts. Allergies or sensitivity to certain types of food cause excessive gas.
Certain cats are allergic to dust and pollen. This along with pests like fleas and ticks can cause distress to a cat’s digestive system resulting in vomiting, flatulence, and diarrhea.
Other reasons for farting in cats are dairy-based foods, high-fiber cat food, or hairballs.
How often do cats fart?
Flatulence in animals is a natural phenomenon caused due to gases in the digestive tract and cats are no exception.
A cat farting once or twice a day, or once every couple of days or every few weeks is not a matter of concern.
Farting is mostly involuntary, and your cat is not farting on purpose. Your cat may not feel the difference between the urge to poop and the need to fart.
If you observe frequent farting in your cat, or if your cat farts every time you pick them up, this indicates that they are having excess gas.
A number of factors can contribute to the production of excess gases in the digestive system leading to flatulence.
Some of the common causes of flatulence in cats are,
High fiber cat food
In many cases, cat food includes fiber to help with digestive functions and to relieve constipation in cats. But one of the side effects of high-fiber cat food is flatulence.
The fiber in the food is not digested effectively in the stomach and when it reaches the intestines, healthy bacteria in the gut try to break down the fiber which can result in the production of gases.
Also, some cat food includes soy and other plant-based protein sources rather than meat which are not digested properly by the cat’s digestive system. Cats being compulsive carnivores are meant to source their protein needs from meat. Hence, their digestive systems lack the enzymes to break down and digest plant-based protein.
If your cat is farting a lot, try switching its diet to cat food with no fiber in it. Also, if your brand of cat food contains plant-based protein, switch to an all-meat variety.
The age-old assumption that cats love milk is a myth. Like all infant animals, kittens are able to digest lactose in milk. As they grow up, the enzyme which helps them to digest it, lactase begins to disappear from a cat’s gut. As a result, they become lactose intolerant and lose the ability to digest milk completely.
This indigestible lactose in the cat’s stomach may start to ferment and produce gases leading to flatulence and other stomach disorders.
If your cat is suffering from flatulence, stop giving it milk, even the lactose-free varieties.
Eating too fast
While cats do not gulp down their food as dogs do, some cats may try to finish their meal quickly. This can make them swallow too much air which simply passes through their digestive system and is expelled as a gas.
Using a slow feeder cat bowl can help slow down your cat if it tries to finish its meal quickly.
Also, switch to wet cat food instead of dry cat food as cats finish wet food slower than dry food as they tend to clean their mouth in between.
You may have noticed your cat coughing up and vomiting a hairball occasionally.
Hairballs are caused by hair that your cat may be swallowing while grooming and licking its fur. Some of the hair passes through your cat’s digestive tract and is expelled through its feces.
In some cats, the hair collects in their stomach, and over a period of time, a hairball is formed. Most cats can cough this hairball and vomit it, which comes out as a long, tube-like hair mass because of its passage through the food pipe.
While hairballs are a normal phenomenon in some cats, frequent episodes should not be ignored. Since the hairs are not digested by the cat, they can remain as insoluble matter in the stomach and cause flatulence.
If your cat is frequently coughing up hairballs, you have treatment options available to help reduce their occurrence,
- Laxatone: It is an oral gel that can help bind hair in the stomach and make it easier for the hair to pass through your cat’s digestive tract. This gel can help reduce the occurrence of hairballs in your cat.
- Over-the-Counter hairball diets: Some cat food formulas are specifically developed to help prevent or control hairballs. These diets are usually high in fiber and help with expelling the hairs through feces. Purina Pro Plan Hairball Management cat food and Royal Canin Hairball Care Dry Cat Food are good examples of such diet.
- But note that a high-fiber diet can also cause flatulence, so if your cat is gas prone due to a high-fiber diet, avoid them or you may worsen your problem.
Sometimes gas in cats may be a symptom of something more serious. Your cat may have an underlying gastrointestinal issue like inflammatory bowel disease or ulcers. Your cat may also be infested by worms or other intestinal parasites.
You should check with your vet if your cat is farting frequently, is feeling bloated, is vomiting, has blood in its stool, appears to be in visible pain if you lift it, or is refusing to eat or drink.
Though farting in cats may appear as a normal phenomenon, in some cases it may denote an underlying problem with the cat’s diet, habit, or health.
As a responsible pet parent, you should make yourself aware of what may be contributing to the formation of excess gas in your cat and remedy the situation or treat the underlying problem.