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How can I cure my cat's flatulence?

Ginger cat laughing advice

A bland diet can help a cat's upset stomach.

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Is your cat suddenly farting more? If so, it could be due to a change in diet or even an infection.

By Dr Alice Watson MA VetMB MRCVS

Updated on the 20/11/2020, 22:45

If you have noticed smelly gas being produced from your cat’s rear end, you may be wondering how you can help. Flatulence is a build-up of gas within the intestines. In animals some gas is normal, but occasionally the amount of gas being produced can increase.

What can you do if your cat is farting?

If you have noticed that your cat is farting more than they used to, it is worth checking your cat's diet. Has this changed recently? Has the cat been outside where they may have eaten something different? If your cat is only farting occasionally, then it may be normal. The next thing to check is your cat’s stools (if you can). Ideally cat poo should be a dark-brown colour and firm in texture, although there will be some individual variation with this. If you are concerned about how much your cat is farting, especially if they also have diarrhoea, it is worth speaking to a vet.

What symptoms should I look out for if my cat is passing gas? 

If your cat’s intestines are producing more gas than normal, you may notice a smell coming from your furry friend. Alternatively, you may notice a sound associated with them passing gas – or their tummies gurgling more. Other things to check if your cat is producing more gas is if your cat’s diet changed recently. Has the stool consistency and colour changed? Is your cat being sick? If your cat is being sick, has diarrhoea or is losing weight, it is worth getting them checked over by a vet.

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What are the cause of farting in cats?

There are two main causes of your cat being flatulent. The first of these is diet, if there have been recent changes in the diet, or there is too much fibre in the diet your cat may produce more gas. It is always worth feeding your cat a good quality diet, and finding a diet that suits your cat. Another reason for producing excess gas is something going wrong in the intestines. This may be an infection (bacterial, viral or parasite) or a dietary intolerance or allergy. Occasionally these symptoms may be associated with something more serious. For this reason, if you are concerned about your cat or you have noticed a change in stool consistency, it may be worth taking your cat to a vet.

How do you diagnose excess gas in a cat?

To work out what is causing excess gas, the first port of call will be for a vet to take a history from you and then examine the cat. After this point further tests may be required. Sometimes a poo sample will be checked to look for harmful bacteria and parasites. Often a pooled sample is required for this. A pooled sample is essentially lumps (or splats) of poo collected over several days, and this can help detect bugs that may not be present in every poo that your cat does. Sometimes blood tests or imaging is also required. If you take your cat to a vet, they will tailor a plan to work out what is going on.

What treatment is there for cats with excess gas?

Treatment options will depend on the cause of the increased gas. Sometimes something as simple as changing your cat’s diet may make all the difference and get rid of the gas. In other cases a treatment specific to the problem that is going on may be required.

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Why is my cat passing gas?

Cats pass gas to relieve the buildup of gas within the intestines. Gas is produced in cats' intestines by the resident bugs (bacteria, yeasts etc.) as they ferment material within the intestines. You may not notice a cat passing gas as they are often quiet and odourless. Sometimes this gas production may increase or become more smelly, in which case you may start to notice when your cat passes gas.

Is it normal for a cat to fart?

It is normal for most animals to pass some gas, although often cats are discreet with their farting, so you may not even notice. Farts are a build up of gas within the cat’s intestines that are then released, and the gas in the intestines are produced by the bugs that live in the intestines.

How often do cats fart?

There is no rule as to how often a cat will fart. This will depend on the individual cat and the diet that it is fed. Diets that are higher in fibre are likely to cause cats to fart more often.

How can I settle my cat's stomach?

If your cat has an upset stomach, the first thing to do is to feed a bland diet that is easy for a cat to digest. The easiest homemade options are boiled white fish, boiled chicken or scrambled egg. You may like to add some rice, but cats need a higher protein content in their food than dogs, so don’t add too much. If your cat’s stomach is not settling or your cat is not eating or drinking, it may be worth taking your cat to see a vet.

How can I stop my cat and dog from farting?

If your cat or dog is farting because of an imbalance of the good and bad bacteria in the gut, a probiotic may help to stop them farting. Probiotics are live bugs that have a beneficial effect when fed to an animal. Some probiotics have been proven to work to clear up diarrhoea quicker than without the probiotic. Just bear in mind that it is always best to choose a product that has been tested to show that it works.

When should I contact a vet?

If you are worried about your cat, it is always best to speak to a vet. It is important to contact a vet if your cat isn’t eating or drinking, if your cat is very lethargic (not energetic) or if your cat isn’t improving. If your cat is vomiting, especially if this has gone on for more than 24 hours, it is worth contacting a vet. If your cat is losing weight and you have not meant for this to happen (e.g. by reducing how much they are being fed), it is also worth seeing a vet.

What should I ask a vet about probiotics and cat flatulence?

You may like to ask a vet, for example, about how probiotics can help cats and whether taking them is something worth trying for your pet.

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