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Do Cats Fart When They Are Scared? Causes & Treatment Options

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Scared cat'

Cats’ digestive systems are quite similar to those of people. Which means they can fart just the same as we do. In general, they fart from eating food too fast, and typically won’t fart from being scared.

It can also happen because they have eaten food that produces gas while in the gastrointestinal tract, or because the cat has a parasitic infection. Anxiety and nervousness may also cause a cat to swallow air which can be exhausted from the body either via farting or burping.

While farting isn’t usually a sign of illness or some other problem, you may want to keep an eye on your cat if it is more gassy than usual and consider taking it to the vet if the situation doesn’t improve.

hepper cat paw divider

Fear Reaction

While some cats are brave and seemingly take every encounter in their stride, others are more likely to be afraid when met with seemingly innocuous encounters. When they are afraid of something, there are physical signs that are usually easy to spot.

Some signs include:
  • Making themselves seem smaller
  • Making themselves appear bigger
  • Flattening their ears
  • Widened eyes
  • Rapid tail movements
  • Running
  • Hiding
  • Peeing or pooping

When your cat gets nervous, they will gulp down air, too, and this can lead to farting or burping as the body attempts to expel the excess air.

Other Causes of Cat Farts

Farting is a natural fear response and there isn’t anything you can do to prevent it, other than identifying the cause of your cat’s fear and preventing that. Other possible causes of farting include:

1. Anxiety

If your cat is anxious, rather than afraid, this can also cause ingestion of air and resulting farts. Causes of anxiety can range from inexplicable loud noises to the arrival of a new member of the household. If anxiety is the cause of your cat’s farting, stopping it will mean identifying the cause of anxiety and then taking steps to eliminate that cause.

sweet kitten peeking out from behind the door
Image Credit: Aloneontheroad, Shutterstock

2. High Fiber Diet

Fiber causes bacteria in the colon to produce gasses in a bid to aid the digestion of the fiber. Even with a perfectly balanced diet, a cat’s digestive system will naturally produce some gas, therefore. But much of this is expelled with feces and typically without you noticing. But if your cat has a diet that is especially high in fiber, this can cause an increase in farting.

Consider changing to a diet that is lower in fiber or cutting out fibrous treats.


3. Eating Garbage

Food that has gone bad or isn’t really meant to be eaten at all causes the digestive system to work harder to try and digest it. This means more gas is produced during the digestive process, and the extra gas needs to go somewhere. If this is the cause of your cat’s farting, you may be more likely to notice, too, because the farts will likely smell worse.

cat on top of trash can
Image Credit: helfei, Shutterstock

4. Lactose Intolerance

Many cats are lactose intolerant, and they are unable to properly digest the lactose found in dairy products like milk, cream, and cheese. Lactose intolerance can also cause stomach pain, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems including farting.

Cats don’t need to eat dairy products and if your feline friend has a poor reaction to any of these foods, you can eliminate them completely from the cat’s diet.


5. Illness

Various illnesses can cause an increase in farting and can make your cat’s farts smell worse than normal. Intestinal parasites such as roundworms and hookworms are some of the more common problems. Inflammatory bowel disease is another possible cause.

If your cat is showing any other signs or symptoms of illness, take them to the vet and have them checked because these conditions can lead to bigger problems than fragrant farts.

a sick or bored looking cat lying on the floor
Image Credit: Kginger, Shutterstock

How to Treat Cat Farts

It is perfectly natural for your cat to fart occasionally. If your cat has a good diet and is healthy, you likely won’t even notice. If you are noticing your cat tooting more frequently, there are some steps you can take that might potentially help control the problem.

1. Change Your Cat’s Diet

The most likely cause of cat farts is poor diet or an inappropriate diet. If you feed commercial food, ensure it isn’t too high in fiber. If you offer any other food, including treats and tidbits, cut these out, especially if they are high in fiber or contain lactose. Check other family members aren’t covertly giving your cat extra treats or other items, too.

Burmese cat eating homemade vet approved cat food beef and carrot
Image by Nicole Cosgrove | Hepper

2. Keep Them Out of the Trash

If your cat regularly rifles through the bins to find extra snacks, you need to find some way to stop it from happening. You should also consider that their diet might not be providing all the nutrients they need to be fulfilled at mealtimes. Change your cat’s diet, ensure the trash is properly covered, and prevent your cat from getting in the trash outside.


3. Treat Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal parasites are quite common in cats and while they’re easy to pick up, they can be more difficult to diagnose and treat. Other possible symptoms of intestinal parasites include diarrhea, vomiting, a loss of appetite, and even bloody feces.


4. Treat Other Intestinal Diseases

As well as intestinal parasites, other intestinal illnesses can cause farting and may make your cat’s gas smell stronger. Look for other signs and symptoms and consider taking your cat to the vet to have them diagnosed and treated.

hepper cat paw divider

Conclusion

Cats fart and it is natural for them to do so. It can be caused by illness or poor diet, but it can also be a natural response to fear or anxiety. It happens because they naturally swallow air when anxious and this air needs to come out.

Although gas is natural, you should pay attention when your cat is producing more gas than usual or if the farts smell more than normal because these can be signs of illness.


Featured Image Credit: SakSa, Shutterstock

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