Ever heard your cat fart? Is your cat farting a lot more than you think? Curious to know if cats can fart? Keep reading to find out more.
Yes, cats can indeed fart much like all animals can. The more scientific term for this is feline flatulence which simply means that your cat’s body is getting rid of any excess gas from their GI tract.
What you didn’t know is that farting frequency and even the smell of your cats’ fart can actually dictate what’s really going on in your cat’s gastrointestinal tract.
In this article, we’ll cover:
It’s perfectly normal for a cat to fart. But you might be wondering, why do they fart? In order to better understand this concept, we need to take a look at our feline physiology.
Cats have a range of microflora inhabiting their gastrointestinal tract. Many of this microflora include species from families such as bacteria, archaea, fungi, and protozoa. In herbivores, the role of this microflora is to break down and ferment food that enters.
In carnivores, such as your cat, the microflora aids to help destroy pathogenic bacteria that may be present, aids in creating vitamins for the body and possibly aids in the breakdown of certain food matter.
As these microflorae have a lot of biological and physiological roles, they tend to conduct various chemical reactions that release gases as an end-product. This is what causes a cat to fart! The build-up of these gases created by microflora in the system.
No study has been done to test the variable amount of gases found in feline farting. Nevertheless, one study suggests that feline microflora may be most similar to human and canine microflora.
Thus, through extrapolated information it can be speculated that the following gases are found in your cat’s farts: Hydrogen gas, small amounts of methane, Nitrogen gas, Carbon Dioxide, small amounts of Oxygen, and various sulfide-based gases that causes the stinky smell.
Additionally, another major component of feline gas is simply excess gas that may be consumed when your cat takes a few bites of their food.
Cats fart for many reasons, some of the most common causes of gas buildup include:
From this list, it’s been observed that changes in diet seem to be a common cause owners face with their gassy kitty.
Cats tend to lose the enzyme lactase as they grow older. This enzyme is important for catalyzing a reaction which breaks down lactose into sugars. Owners who feed cats dairy-rich diets can disrupt their cat’s intestinal tract as once lactose passes through the colon.
Certain bacteria will begin to ferment the milk which will generate high levels of gas in your cat’s body resulting in the production of carbon dioxide. The high levels of protein found in milk are what may lead to a stinkier fart.
Another important common dietary factor may be associated with feeding cats grain and a corn-based diet. Corn-based diets are high in starch and fiber. Feeding diets high in corn can result in the increased fermentation of starch in the colon, thus resulting in the gas build up. In my previous article, I’ve already discussed the detrimental effects excessive corn can have in a cats diet.
The same principle can be implied when feeding cats kibble that is high in complex carbohydrates or high in fiber. These diets may be composed of highly fermentable food matter thus resulting in colonic bacteria over-producing gas.
The video below briefly explains the production of gas. Though it talks about gas production in humans.
The concept is essentially the same process as shown in the video below:
Same as in the adult cat, kittens fart as a result of bacterial fermentation and degradation.
Most often farting may be associated with sudden dietary changes such as going from milk feed to soft or dry kitten feed. Any sudden changes in diet can result in the microflora not having enough time to adapt to the changes in feed.
Yes, all cats fart and this is a natural way of letting out the gases the microflora in the colon may produce during the process of digestion and fermentation. Sometimes, they may fart excessively and this can indicate the possibility of an underlying health issue.
Got a few questions about your farting cat? Leave us a comment below
I began my studies in zoology and realized I wanted to work more in the medical field and so I applied to the Veterinary program at Massey University in New Zealand and was accepted. Throughout my student life, I’ve worked as a veterinarian assistant in my hometown pet hospital. At present, I work intensively rotating to and from veterinary hospitals, dairy and sheep farms.