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Do cats fart: Feline flatulence and how to treat it

Do cats fart - cat in litterbox looking out
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Do cats fart? You've heard of cat grass but what about cat gas. Turns out, cats do fart, and while it could mean you should look for the best cat food for allergies or keep an eye out for underlying health issues, sometimes it's just a case of your cat having a gassy belly.

Flatulence occurs naturally in animals, and although your cat won't pass gas as often and as loudly as a dog might, it does still happen. There are several reasons why your cat may be passing gas, some more innocuous than others, which is why we'll break down everything you should know about feline flatulence here. 

We'll also give you advice on how to help with cat farts, including five ways to improve your cat's diet, but if your cat has a sudden onset of gas and seems to be uncomfortable, you should make sure you see a vet. So, while this isn't exactly the most polite of conversations, let's get into more about cat farts.

Why do cats fart? 

Flatulence is caused by gas building up in the system that eventually escapes from the body. Cat farts are usually caused by your cat swallowing too much air when they're eating (if your cat is a scarfer, you may notice this a lot), but in some cases, cat flatulence can be caused by allergies or their diet. 

Allergies to pollen, dust, and pests, such as ticks and fleas, can cause an upset stomach. Flea allergies are reportedly common amongst cats, so if you see your cat having diarrhea and vomiting, contact your vet. 

Your cat may also have a gassy belly because of food allergies or sensitivities – the World Small Animal Veterinary Association includes (opens in new tab) any sort of "altered gastrointestinal function" as an important part of nutritional assessments for cats. 

If you have recently changed your cat's food or are noticing other signs of gastrointestinal upset, contact your vet. You may have to slowly transition them to a food that will be gentler on their stomach.

Aside from farting, there may be other signs of cat gas, such as a bloated belly that your cat may not want to be touched at all. They may also be less playful because they're uncomfortable – being gassy isn't fun, after all. If there is any constipation present, you may notice some blood in their stool or a refusal to eat and drink. As always, contact your vet if this is the case.

How often do cats fart? 

Cats don't pass gas all that frequently – or at least it doesn't seem that way, since it's rarely audible or, um, smelly. But cats likely do fart as often as a healthy mammal would, we just aren't as aware of it as when, say, your English Bulldog lets one rip in the pet store.

do cats fart

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Do cat farts smell? 

Cat farts don't usually smell, but if they do, it may be a sign of an underlying condition. Here are a few reasons why your cat's farts may smell, and another gentle reminder to contact your vet if you notice changes in your cat's eating habits, bathroom habits, and demeanor.

Here are some reasons your cat's farts might smell:

  • Food allergies
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Ulcers
  • Gastrointestinal obstruction
  • Worms or other intestinal parasites
  • Cancer

It may be that your cat is just having a bout of a bad belly, but always keep an eye on them to make sure you notice any changes.

Cat eating a piece of watermelon

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Treatment of cat farts 

If your cat is farting more than usual or you believe there is an underlying health issue, there are a few things you can do. 

  • Check for fleas/ticks Make sure there isn't a pest problem in your house, as allergies to the little critters can often cause gastrointestinal upset.
  • Feed smaller meals If your cat scarfs their food down, they may be swallowing too much air when they eat. If you get them a slow feeder and decrease the amount of food they get, it will help ensure they don't scarf and/or get too full.
  • Change their diet If food allergies are suspected, you may need to change the kind of food and treats you give your cat. You can research good cat food for sensitive stomachs, and ask your vet how to make the best choice for your cat's belly. 
  • Make sure your cat isn't eating anything it's not supposed to If your cat gets into the trash or swipes food off the counter that isn't meant for them, they could have stomach issues after eating it. Keep an eye out to ensure they aren't eating human food.
  • Treat an illness. If you've made some changes and still notice an issue, or if your cat has had a major change in appetite, bathroom visits, and/or behavior, reach out to your vet. There may be an underlying issue.

Conclusion

Cats fart just like us, but it isn't often audible or smelly. Keep an eye out for any changes in your cat's gastrointestinal health or eating habits, and make sure their diet is consistent. As always, if you're concerned or confused, reach out to your vet to get some clarity and support.