Cats have digestive tracts very similar to a human or a dog so they are not exempt from passing gas. But if a cat is farting more than you think is normal it may be an indication of something else going on inside its body. Regular monitoring of your cat's normal gastrointestinal functions will help you be a better pet owner and know when your cat may need to some veterinary attention.
Why Do Cats Fart?
When a cat eats food it travels through the digestive tract so that it can be broken down, have nutrients be absorbed, and then eliminated from the body. Food starts in the mouth, travels down the esophagus and into the stomach, enters the small intestine, goes to the large intestine, and then exits the body in the form of feces. In the stomach and intestines, excess gas may be produced from eating certain gas-producing foods, diseases, or parasite infestations. The gas will build up and eventually exits the body in the form of a fart. If a cat doesn't fart, pressure in the intestines causes discomfort.
Treatment of Cat Farts
If your cat is farting more than you feel is normal, it may have a digestive issue. Depending on the underlying reason for the gas, treatments will vary.
- Eradicate intestinal parasites - If your cat has intestinal parasites then medication to kill the invaders will be prescribed by your veterinarian. Some parasites are easier to eradicate than others and some over the counter dewormers may be all your cat needs.
- Assess your cat's diet - Some cats have less gas on wet or dry food or do better with different proteins than others. Grain-free diets that contain large amounts of common gas-producing foods, such as legumes, or cruciferous vegetables, may also be contributing reasons for a cat farting too much. Switching foods may help decrease farting in cats.
- Treat intestinal diseases - Many different intestinal disorders can cause gas. Dysbiosis, or an imbalance of the good bacteria in the gut, is a common cause that is often corrected with probiotics. More serious diseases include cancers and inflammatory issues but diarrhea is usually evident alongside the flatulence. Medications may be prescribed to combat the disease and its symptoms, surgery may be recommended to remove diseased portions of the intestinal tract, and special diets may be discussed to improve the health of the intestinal tract.
How to Prevent Cat Farts
The best way to keep your cat's farts to a minimum is to feed a quality cat food and minimize dietary changes. Regular administration of probiotics may also help promote a healthier, balanced gastrointestinal tract and diminish the likelihood of gas-producing toxins from flourishing. Avoid giving your cat items containing lactose, such as milk, and take it in for regular check-ups with your veterinarian to catch any intestinal problems early. Regular administration of intestinal parasite preventatives are also recommended.
Diagnosing the Problem
One of the first things you should do if you think your cat has too much gas is to bring in a fecal sample to be checked for parasites at the animal hospital. The fecal sample will look for parasites such as coccidia, roundworms, and hookworms that could be causing the excessive gas. This is a simple and routine test that should also be done on a yearly basis, especially if your cat goes outdoors.
If the fecal sample is negative for parasites then you should also look at your cat's diet. Ask yourself, has there been a recent dietary change or indiscretion? Did you change your cat's food or treats? Did your cat get into something it shouldn't have eaten? Any of these things may be causing the excessive gas. If your cat gets different flavors of wet foods on a regular basis, consider keeping a food journal to track the relationship between diet and your cat's gas.
If parasites and diet are not the reasons for excessive farting, your cat may have an intestinal disease. These may be diagnosed through the use of biopsies, X-rays, ultrasounds, blood tests, and even examinations of the fecal to assess what types of bacteria it contains. A full physical examination will include your veterinarian feeling the intestines to see if anything feels abnormal. Exploratory surgery is sometimes the only way to retrieve appropriate samples and visualize the intestinal tract once other methods of diagnosis have been exhausted.