First came the familiar sound. And then the unmistakable stench. And then the accusatory stare. Before you even say a word to your spouse, you realize that it was your kitten that dealt it. And that was not the first time your pet did that.
It may come as a surprise to new cat owners, but felines can and do fart occasionally. But if your kitten has been farting a lot lately, the underlying cause can range from his diet to parasites.
Why Does My Kitten Fart So Much?
A kitten farts a lot when they have digestive issues due to the food they are eating or also if their diet is changed.
The feline digestive system is similar to that of humans. And if humans fart, so can your little bundle of fur. As such, you should not be surprised if you hear (and smell) him farting.
When you and your cat eat, the food is initially broken down in your mouths before passing through the esophagus and later on, to the stomach. In the stomach, the food is broken down further to extract nutrients.
During this process, it is inevitable that gas is produced. As gas builds up, you or your cat needs to pass that gas out either in the form of a belch or a fart. If the gas cannot get out, you or your pet will experience discomfort.
As you can see, it is normal for cats to fart from time to time. But if your kitten has been farting a lot lately, it may be a sign that something is wrong.
If you suspect that something might be wrong with your little pet, there are a few signs to watch out for apart from flatulence.
First, you might notice that your pet is experiencing some discomfort, especially when you touch his tummy. Take a look at the litter box. Are his tools darker than usual or is he suffering from diarrhea?
Observe his food intake. Is he eating less than usual? Is he less active compared to his usual self?
Diagnosing your cat’s increased farting
If you have noticed some of these symptoms in your cat, it is best to consult the vet for confirmation and guidance.
Before going to the vet, collect a sample of your cat’s stool. This can aid the vet in determining what has been ailing your cat.
At the clinic, the vet will examine your cat’s stool to check if he is infested by parasites like hookworms, roundworms, or coccidia. These parasites can cause infected cats to produce excess gas which in turn leads to excessive farting.
If parasites are not the underlying cause behind your cat’s unusual farting volume, the next thing that the vet will look into is your cat’s digestive system. To do that, your cat needs to undergo a series of tests, including X-rays and blood tests. In some instances, the vet may also need to perform exploratory surgery to collect a tissue sample from the intestinal tract.
If this series of tests indicate that there is nothing physically wrong with your kitten, the final thing that needs to be evaluated is his diet, for example how much he eats wet vs dry cat food. Excessive farting can sometimes come as a result of a change in diet or when a cat eats something he should have not. Food allergies can also contribute to excessive gas production in a cat’s digestive system.
Solving your cat’s farting problem
If your kitten’s tummy is infested by parasites, the vet will prescribe a dewormer to kill these. However, be aware that some parasites are easier to kill than others.
For intestinal diseases or disorders, treatment will depend on the underlying cause. For example, if your cat’s excessive farting is caused by an imbalance in the intestinal flora, the vet will advise you to give your pet probiotics to restore the balance.
For more serious conditions like cancer, the vet will create a treatment plan that might include surgery and a specialized diet.
Finally, if your cat’s flatulence can be traced back to his diet, he will advise you to switch to a different kind of cat food. Although cats can benefit from foods with fibers and vegetables, these can also induce excessive farting.
Additionally, if your cat’s flatulence is food-related, you should avoid, or at least limit, feeding him with people food. Although some human foods are safe to give to cats, some can upset kitty tummies and cause problems like excessive farting.
Minimizing cat farts
Although it is impossible to totally prevent your kitten from farting, there are a few things that you can do to minimize his farts.
For starters, avoid giving him people food that can sometimes upset his stomach and cause farting. You might also want to prevent him from going outside. If your cat goes out, it is possible that he can eat something that is not good for him. Or if he strays into your neighbor’s property, someone can give him people food that can be bad for his stomach.
Although some people think that milk is beneficial for kittens, dairy products can cause problems for their digestive system. Instead of giving your cat milk, make sure that he always has access to clean and fresh water. That is the only liquid that your young cat should drink.
Consider feeding your cat the same amount of food but divide this into smaller portions. This will help prevent your kitten from eating too much too fast which can sometimes cause stomach problems like excessive farting.
If you must switch to a different brand of cat food, be sure to do this slowly to ease his stomach into the change. Start by adding a small portion of his new cat food to his old food. From there, increase the portion of the new food every mealtime until he eats the new one exclusively.
As you clean the litter box, check your cat’s stool for anything unusual like a change in color or an awful smell. Sometimes, intestinal problems can manifest themselves through a change in stool quality.
Finally, schedule regular visits to the vet to catch potential problems before they spiral into something worse. Kittens should also be regularly checked for parasites.
It is natural for cats to fart
Like people, cats fart. It is a natural offshoot of the digestion process. As such, there is not much to worry about the occasional passing of gas. But if you think that your pet is farting more than usual, do not hesitate to consult the vet to determine what is ailing your pet.
Image: istockphoto.com / MyImages_Micha