It seems like a pretty weird question, but since we don’t often see cats looked embarrassed over their elimination habits (probably something we humans can take to heart), it’s something that many pet owners wonder, debate, and ask their vets about:
Do my cats far and how often do cats fart?
It’s actually hard to say! Cats don’t generally let us know when they are letting off gas and they don’t get startled or embarrassed by it. And most cat flatulence is odorless, so no one will ever know.
The best estimate is that they do it as often as healthy humans do it, say multiple times a day, on average. However, there are a number of factors that go into how often cats fart, and how much it smells when they do.
Why Do Cats Fart?
For the same reason we humans do: to let off the gas that is produced when bacteria in the gut break down food. In the case of cats, there are a number of things that cause it:
- A high fiber diet (remember, cats don’t actually need much fiber to be healthy. Cat food with a lot of fillers and carbs can cause it too
- Eating dairy products like milk or cheese
- Eating too fast and swallowing too much air
- Sudden changes in food
- Eating spoiled food or garbage
- Eating too much human food
These are all fairly harmless reasons for cats to be letting off gas, but it’s still worth noting because the farting may be a precursor of things to come, such as vomiting or diarrhea.
Health Problems with Cat Farts
There are health problems that are tied to farting too much and it’s worth keeping track of additional symptoms and talking to a vet if you’re concerned. If your cat is letting off too much gas and has other symptoms such as:
- Decreased appetite
- Tummy rumbling
- Blood in the stool
- Excess drooling
Then it’s time to see your vet. The vet will ask about your cat’s diet, do an exam and look at doing blood work or an X-ray. There is any number of things that can cause these symptoms after all, from IBS to worms to cancer, so it’s important to be thorough and rule things out. It can even be caused by allergies, so it’s worth figuring it out.
On a note about health, deworming an outdoor or outdoor/indoor cat is important. Not only does it make sure your cat doesn’t pick up parasites, but excessive flatulence can be caused by worms or parasites, so regular deworming also gets rid of this possible reason for farting.
Preventing Cat Farts
Well, you cannot get rid of flatulence entirely; after all, it is the cat’s way of getting rid of extra gas in their system and your cat doesn’t want to have an uncomfortable stomach! But there are ways to bring the rate back to normal and get rid of any odor. None of these things are particularly hard to do, they just mean being patient.
1. If you’re switching your cat to new foods (high fiber, change of brand, etc), do the change slowly. The 80/20 rule works well here: 80% of your cat’s regular food with 20% and then slowly change the percent until the cat is transitioned to the new food entirely.
This rule also works well for you to track allergies and make sure that your cat will enjoy their new food. As a side note, changing food slowly also makes it more likely that your cat will eat the new food and won’t get sick from it.
2. Don’t let your cat have dairy products! Cute videos of cats drinking cream (and cats mooching) aside, pretty well all adult cats are lactose intolerant, and letting them have dairy generally leads to a lot of extra gas and general discomfort. This includes cream, milk, cheese, ice cream, and sour cream.
Oddly enough, quality yogurt made from goat’s milk doesn’t cause the same difficulties, though you should still only let cats have a little and supervise them.
3. If your cat is in the habit of eating too quickly, you can mitigate some of that by only giving them a small amount at a time and forcing them to take breaks between smaller meals. This cuts down on the amount of air they swallow.
You can also try to figure out why your cat is eating so fast – sometimes it’s caused by anxiety, being territorial over food, or worrying about other pets or children getting into their food. Feeding your cat somewhere quiet can cut down on this stress.
4. Don’t let your cat have your food. A lot of indigestion and flatulence is caused by cats eating human food, including table scraps and garbage. Keep these things away from your cat to help its stomach stay healthy. And make sure your cat always has access to fresh water as water helps to keep digestion moving and promotes a healthy gut.
5. Give your cat chances to exercise. Exercising helps promote good digestion!
And of course, if you notice other symptoms, talk to your vet as excessive flatulence can sometimes mean deeper health problems.
If your cat is farting, you probably don’t have to worry too much. Just like any other mammal, flatulence is a normal part of digestion and it doesn’t usually mean much more than the gut is doing what it does best. But if you notice other symptoms, talk to your vet.
And if your cart is letting loose gas a lot, but has no other symptoms, take a look at its eating habits, and make sure that it’s eating its own food, not getting into yours.
Fortunately, most cat farts are odorless and silent, so you probably won’t even realize your cat is doing it. Unlike dogs, they don’t tend to get startled passing their own gas and most humans wouldn’t even notice.
But if you notice excessive farting, a foul odor, and other symptoms like vomiting, noticeable stomach rumbling, or blood in the stool, talk to your vet right away.
Does your cat fart? Or did it never really occur to you that cats did this?!
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.