(Cat Flatulence) Do Cats Fart?

Key takeaway

As many cat owners know, yes, cats do fart. Their flatulence is influenced by diet, fiber intake, food sensitivities, and medical issues.

Throughout history, cats have been revered. There are even some civilizations that have treated them like royalty. Because they’re such dignified creatures, you might be wondering, do cats fart?

Yes, like other animals, cats do fart. Like people, cat farts are a perfectly normal part of their existence. Furthermore, what you feed a cat can have an impact on the frequency and smelly composition of their gas.

Why do cat farts smell so bad, and what do you need to know about cat flatulence? 

What Is Flatulence?

Before diving further into this topic, it is critical to define flatulence. Medically, flatulence refers to air in the intestine that is passed through the rectum. If there is a lot of air in the intestine, it can make the person or animal uncomfortable, so it is better to get rid of this air via flatulence. If the air is still in the stomach, then it may come out in the form of a burp; however, if the air has already passed through the stomach, there is a greater chance of it coming out through the rectum.1

Flatulence also goes by a number of other names, including gas, flatus, and farts. Just like other animals, cats can fart. By taking a closer look at cat nutrition, you might have an impact on how cat farts smell.

Why Do Cats Fart?

Can cats fart? Yes, cats can fart, but you might still be wondering, why do cats fart? Could it be a sign of cat constipation? There are several possible reasons why cats fart, and they could have an impact on the smell of your cat’s flatulence.

Some of the most common reasons why cats fart include: 2

Changes In Diet

Why do cat farts smell so bad? One of the reasons why your cats might be passing gas is a change in diet. You might be wondering, what do cats eat? It is important for you to talk to a veterinarian to make sure you give your pet cat a healthy diet. If you make a change in your cat’s diet without going through a transition period first, you might find that your cat starts passing gas.

If you decide to make a change in your cat’s diet, including going from dry kibble to wet cat food, it is best to transition slowly, over a period of 7 to 10 days. If you transition your cat food slowly, you will have a greater chance of keeping your cat’s GI tract healthy.

Too Much Fiber

There is also a chance that your cat might be passing more gas because there is too much dietary fiber. There are different types of fiber, and if your cat consumes too much fiber, he or she could end up with a lot of flatulence. While fiber is important for your cat, you need to pay attention to nutritional recommendations. Too much fiber could make it difficult for your cat to digest his or her food, and it could result in flatulence.

Reasons why cats fart

Food Sensitivity

There is also a chance that your cat might have a food sensitivity issue. Like people, some cats handle different food better than others. There are even some cats that have food allergies. If you give your cat food that he or she is sensitive to, the end result could be flatulence. You need to pay attention to your cat carefully, particularly if you start him or her on a new diet. You should watch your cat carefully to make sure he or she tolerates the food, as sensitivity to certain proteins or carbohydrates could result in more flatulence.

Medical Issues

Finally, there is also a chance that your cat could have flatulence because of medical issues. A few examples of medical issues that could lead to flatulence include:

  • Your cat may have some intestinal parasites that have to be treated.
  • Your cat might be dealing with a bacterial or viral infection.
  • Your cat might have some microbial imbalance, which is also called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).
  • Your cat might also be suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, usually shortened to IBD.
  • Your cat might also have a metabolic issue that leads to malabsorption, meaning that your cat has a difficult time digesting certain nutrients.

These are all issues that need to be addressed by a trained veterinary professional. That way, you can make sure that your cat gets the care that he or she deserves.

Cats fart between 1-2 times per day

How Often Do Cats Fart?

Just like people, there is a lot of variation in how often your cat might fart. In general, the normal cat farts approximately 1 to 2 times per day; however, as mentioned above, there are a lot of factors that may play a role in how often your cat farts.2

In general, cats fart a lot less frequently than people. Many people do not realize that the average person passes gas 5-15 times per day.3 Cats generally fart less frequently than people because they have a different mechanism of producing energy. Cats do not rely on a diet that is high in cellulose. Because they don't rely on a lot of cellulose, they don't have as many bacteria in their gut.

Flatulence comes from bacteria breaking down food in the GI tract. When the bacteria break down food, they release gas as a by-product, and that is where the flatulence comes from. Because there aren't a lot of bacteria in the digestive tract pumping out gas, cats generally do not fart as often during the day.

Why Do My Cat's Farts Smell So Bad?

If you have ever been unlucky enough to be near your cat when he or she farts, you may notice that it smells terrible. Why do cat farts smell so bad? Cat farts smell bad because cats are obligate carnivores. This means that their bodies have been specifically designed to break down diets that are heavy in protein. When cats have a lot of filler, such as carbohydrates and vegetables, it takes them a lot more energy to break down this type of food. As a result, their stool is also extra soft and smelly.

How To Prevent Flatulence

If you are looking for a way to prevent flatulence, there are a few important points to keep in mind. Remember that it is perfectly normal for your cat to fart a few times during the day, so you do not necessarily need to interfere with his or her normal bodily functions.

If you want to reduce flatulence, some of the most important points to keep in mind include:

  • You may want to purchase a bowl. like an interactive puzzle bowl, that forces your cat to slow down while eating. That way, your cat doesn't ingest as much air during the feeding process, which means that your cat might not fart as much.
  • If you find that your cat is farting way too frequently, you might want to consider a change in his or her diet. For example, scaling back the carbohydrates and vegetables might be a good idea.
  • If you decide to make a transition, remember to transition slowly. If you transition your cat's food too quickly, he or she could end up farting more.
  • Another way to reduce flatulence in your cat is to consider adding a probiotic or fiber. Keep in mind that you need to reach out to a veterinary professional before doing so. If you don't select the right option, you could make the problem worse.

These are a few tips you may want to follow if you are interested in preventing flatulence in your cat. Just remember that flatulence is normal, so you do not necessarily need to intervene. 

Cat standing next to owner’s legs

Final Notes

Ultimately, it is normal for cats to fart, so you do not necessarily need to be concerned unless your cat is showing other symptoms. Your cat should fart a few times per day, and there are some basic steps you can take if you want to reduce cat flatulence.

There are lots of questions that cat owners have, from “how heavy should your cat be?” to “can cats eat carrots?”. There are other cat owners that have questions about cats eating cheese. If you have questions about the health of your cat, it is critical to rely on an expert who can help you.

At Dutch, we provide you with access to veterinary professionals who can help you plan your cat's diet. Furthermore, we can help you determine if your cat's diet is causing his or her health problems. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today to speak to a member of our team.

References

  1. “Gas - Flatulence.” Mount Sinai Health System, https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/symptoms/gas-flatulence.

  2. “Gas in Cats.” PetMD, https://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/digestive/c_ct_flatulence.

  3. “Why Am I Passing so Much Gas? Causes and Tips for Relief.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326332.