Gas is a natural part of digestion. And one result of your body doing its job is – well – farts.
Stomach issues don’t discriminate. If you are a cat parent, you probably know your cat has her fair share of gas and bloating issues. But, do cats fart? Here’s everything you need to know about cat gas.
Do Cats Fart?
“Everybody farts, including cats. Most of it passes without notice, though,” says Dr. Julie Sanders, veterinarian and director of operations at Heart + Paw.
As for how often cats fart, that’s dependent on factors like your cat’s nature, as well as your cat’s diet.
“It’s no less common in cats than in dogs or people, but it tends to be less noticed, possibly because cats are a bit more private,” adds Dr. Sanders. “Cats, as obligate carnivores, also consume less fiber – which is one of the sources of healthy intestinal gas.”
What Causes Cat Gas?
If your cat is digesting her food properly, gas is a natural byproduct.
“Fiber is digested by ‘good’ gut bacteria, producing butyrate which feeds the cells of the colon,” explains Dr. Sanders. “The gasses passed from this part of a normal, healthy metabolism largely go unnoticed.”
One possible cause of cats farting more than normal could be due to a recent diet change.
“A sudden dietary change can be harmful despite the best of intentions,” says Dr. Sanders. “A gradual diet change and diet trial might be a useful part of diagnosing and/or treating excessive, malodorous gas, and should always involve a consultation with your veterinarian first.”
However, if your cat has particularly smelly farts, it could signal a more significant digestive issue.
“Malodorous (very smelly) or frequently noticeable farts from cats can be a sign of diseases ranging from intestinal parasites to dietary intolerance or inflammatory bowel disease,” says Dr. Sanders.
What to Do If Your Cat is Farting a Lot
If you notice your cat is excessively farting, it’s time to call or visit your vet.
“It may seem counterintuitive, but starting with diagnostics and finding the underlying cause can achieve comfort for your pet sooner, and ultimately save you time, money, and stress,” says Dr. Sanders. “If you have a good relationship with your vet and visit us for regular wellness care (at least every 6-12 months), we may even be able to start with a remote consultation (video or phone).”
Dr. Sanders notes that your vet may recommend:
- A thorough physical exam
- Testing a fecal sample for intestinal parasites
- Bloodwork (to look for conditions like thyroid disease, among others, that can affect digestion)
- Imaging, such as abdominal ultrasound (used to see changes consistent with inflammatory bowel disease, dietary intolerance, and cancer) or x-rays (to rule out foreign material and partial obstructions)
Digestive Supplements for Cat Gas
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If your cat has excessive gas, talk to your veterinarian about probiotics or supplements that may benefit your cat and cut back on gas and odors.
“Ultimately, a probiotic, fiber supplement or even a medication for gas may be part of the therapy, and none of them should be tried without consulting your vet,” says Dr. Sanders.
Cats with underlying health conditions may benefit from supplements once they are properly diagnosed.
“Probiotics are wonderful therapeutics when used appropriately,” says Dr. Sanders.
Here are a few of our favorite digestive supplements for cats.
This supplement contains fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics to keep your cat’s gut healthy – and to avoid constipation, bloating, and foul-smelling gas and stools. It comes in easy-to-take chew form, so you don’t have to worry about pouring it over your cat’s food (which often comes with extra mess). Plus, it’s chicken flavored and most cats will enjoy the taste.
- Made in the USA
- Contains 1 billion CFUs for plentiful gut bacteria
- 60-day supply per container
Things to Consider
- Not suitable for cats under 1 year
- Dosage based by cat weight
These powder supplement packets are flavored like liver, so your cat will love to eat it when sprinkled over food. Serving size is one packet per day, and the brand touts its proprietary microencapsulation process to enhance the survival of the microorganisms as they travel through your cat’s digestive tract for maximal absorption. The brand also has conducted studies on their probiotic and found it is proven to promote normal intestinal microflora in cats.
- Proprietary delivery system
- Safe for kittens and adults
- Can be taken for diarrhea
- Contains antioxidants for immune support
Things to Consider
- Powder form may be messy
- Serving size may differ depending on cat size – consult your vet
This formulation from Proviable has both prebiotics and probiotics for a total of 7 different strains of bacteria for a diverse makeup. It comes in a granular capsule meant to be opened and sprinkled over your cat’s food. It’s also made for cats and dogs, if you have both in your home and wish to supplement both at the same time. Just make sure to follow dosing guidelines accordingly.
- 5 billion CFUs for gut bacteria
- Contains prebiotics and probiotics
- Can be given to both cats and dogs
Things to Consider
- Come in granular capsules, so must be opened and sprinkled
- Some reviewers said that capsules break easily during shipping or when trying to get them out of the packaging