My Cat Is Farting a Lot: Should I Worry?

Cat is farting

Nothing can clear a room more quickly than a pet that’s just passed wind. The sound and smell of dog or cat farts might make the kids scream and shout, but a gassy cat is a relatively uncommon phenomenon.

If your cat begins passing gas or starts farting more often than normal, there could be an underlying gastrointestinal (GI) problem that needs addressing.

Read on to find out the steps you should take if you think your cat is farting a lot.

Why Do Cats Fart?

Like lots of other animals, cats have gases in their digestive tracts. The gas gets expelled from the body through the rectum.

Cats typically pass gas silently and without too much smell. Sometimes though, a cat may suffer from bloating, and discomfort, along with a bad-smelling gas. 

The root causes can be a variety of different conditions. These can include relatively benign issues such as an intestinal upset due to a sudden change in diet. However, there can sometimes be a complex and at times life-threatening concern at play.  

The most usual reason for a gassy cat is changing the food you give your cat, without doing so gradually over a period of a week or so. In cats that are more sensitive, switching to a new pouch of the same food brand can trigger gas. This can happen even if the manufacturer changes the formula only slightly.

More Serious Reasons For a Gassy Cat

There’s also an association with dietary problems caused by an excess of fiber or a source of protein your cat finds hard to digest. However, if a cat is farting a lot, it may indicate a more serious issue. These could include: 

  • Parasites in the intestines
  • A bacterial or viral infection
  • A microbial imbalance, known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) or ulcers
  • Cancer
  • Nutrients that are not getting absorbed efficiently enough
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Symptoms of Gas in Cats

Sometimes the signs of gas are obvious. You might hear or smell when your cat has passed wind.

Other symptoms of gas can be less evident. For instance, you might notice that your cat’s stomach appears bloated when you stroke them. Your cat may also resist you touching them at all. This may make them less playful than usual because they’re in pain.

Gas occasionally becomes masked by other symptoms related to stomach upsets in cats. A cat could be suffering from bouts of diarrhea or vomiting that distract you from noticing that there is excess gas present too.

In certain instances, after examining their litter box, you might notice blood in your cat’s stool. A cat with a severe stomach ache may also refuse to drink or eat at all. 

Diagnosing Excess Gas in Cats

If you think your cat is experiencing a prolonged and unexplained period of excess gas, you should consult a vet. They will want to get a clear picture of your cat’s history. You should prepare for them to ask you about:

  • What you feed your cat, including any treats
  • How often and when your cat displays flatulence
  • Other symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and changes in stool color  
  • Any significant changes in your cat’s appetite or level of activity

Your vet will then carry out a physical examination to look for any potential underlying causes. This could include palpating or slightly squeezing your cat’s belly for signs of bloating, pain, discomfort, or other abnormalities. 

What happens after this will depend on your cat’s condition. Your vet might wish to carry out:

  • Abdominal X-rays or ultrasound
  • An endoscopy
  • Fecal flotation for parasites or fecal occult blood test 
  • An assessment of vitamin B12 levels

Treating Gas in Cats

The most appropriate treatment for cat farts is going to depend on their cause. If after conducting a variety of tests, your vet finds no real reason for concern, they may recommend a dietary trial along with probiotics and prebiotics to aid digestion.  

A dietary trial for gas would involve a gradual transition to new food over a period of a week to 10 days. The diet might include fewer carbohydrates and a different source of protein. 

The new diet is likely to come from a can, as canned food is usually lower in carbs and tends to be easier to digest. It’s normally wise to avoid diets that contain beans, lentils, and peas containing legumes. That’s because any of these ingredients could lead to increased flatulence in cats. 

Probiotic and prebiotic supplements can help restore healthy microbes in the GI tract. 

Medications that May Help with Excess Gas

Medicines like simethicone reduce the surface tension of gas bubbles and can help break them down. Your vet may prescribe this as a short-term measure to relieve any flatulence. However, it is not a long-term solution, as it may simply mask a more serious condition. 

If there’s a more serious GI condition at play, further medication may include:

  • Deworming tablets
  • Vitamin B12 injections
  • Antibiotics or medications that suppress the immune system  

My Cat is Farting a Lot: How Can I Help?

Flatulence may get better in a matter of a week or so if your cat responds well to a change in diet. If the condition was due to a rapid dietary change, it’s unlikely to return provided you make any further transitions to a new diet gradually

If the issue is due to a parasitic problem, then a full recovery is likely once you’ve treated your cat properly. 

Sometimes excessive flatulence is due to dietary intolerance or a more serious underlying gastrointestinal condition. In these cases, you may need to administer a special diet and daily medication for the rest of your cat’s life.

You should work with your vet to come up with a plan that you can revisit and adjust as necessary over time.  

Talk to A Qualified Vet Today!

If your cat is farting a lot, or you have concerns about the cat farts your pet is making, talk to a vet straight away. We have a team of highly qualified vets available to offer reassurance and advice.
Book a timeslot today with one of the team and get your gassy cat’s problems sorted.

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