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My Cat’s Stomach Is Gurgling: When to Worry & Vet Approved FAQ

Codee Chessher

By Codee Chessher

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Vet approved

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Amanda Charles

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Derm) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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One thing that humans have in common with our pets is that our bodies can make some really embarrassing and even disconcerting noises sometimes. For instance, have you ever heard your cat’s stomach growling or grumbling? That sound is called borborygmus, a fancy medical term for the gurgle noise gas makes as it’s produced by and travels your cat’s digestive tract from the mouth to the litter box.

Most of the time, a small or moderate amount of gurgling is a normal part of digestion. It can mean that your cat is hungry or they recently ate, but in some cases it can be a sign they’re experiencing digestive difficulties or of other health concerns. So if the gurgling noises are accompanied by other signs, such as gastrointestinal upset, a reduced appetite or weight loss, then a visit to your vet is in order.

If you’re interested in finding out more, join us as we explore the topic in closer detail below.

Some Possible Reasons Your Cat’s Stomach is Gurgling

1. Irregular or upset diet

Cats that stray from their diet to scavenge or hunt are more at risk of suffering upset, gurgly stomachs.

2. Food allergies and intolerances

An important one to avoid is dairy, which most adult cats can’t process without gastric disaster due to lactose intolerance. Cats can experience food allergies in particular to animal protein sources such as chicken.

white cornish rex cat with amber eyes sitting before two bowls of kibble food
Image Credit: Spok83, Shutterstock

3. Internal parasites

Worms such as tapeworms can affect your cat’s gastrointestinal tract and cause upset stomachs and more gas.

4. Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Better known as IBD, this syndrome is characterized by long term inflammation of the mucosal lining of the intestinal tract.

vet listening to a cats chest with a stethoscope
Image Credit: Andy Gin, Shutterstock

5. Stress

Ordinary pent-up stress from events like moving can upset a kitty’s tummy and make it rumbly, just like it can make a person’s stomach gurgle with anxiety.

Other Possible Reasons Your Cat’s Stomach Is Gurgling

If your cat’s rumbly stomach is so persistent that you’re starting to wonder or worry, that’s only natural. We can assure you that most of the time it is normal gurgling, but there are some notable exceptions you should be aware of so you can have your bases covered, so to speak.

cat lying down with one eye closed
Image credit: Alisa Matthews, Unsplash

When to Be Worried About Your Cat’s Gurgling Stomach

If your cat’s stomach is gurgling but they are otherwise their normal selves, it is likely nothing to worry about and due to their normal digestive process. However, as there are some dangerous ailments that can present with super bubbly stomachs, if the excess noises are accompanied by other signs, then you should take your cat to your veterinarian. Check out some of those problem signs just below.

Signs to Watch For:
  • Upset stomach: If your cat eats something that disagrees with them, most of the time, they’ll experience some abdominal discomfort that can be visible in the way they act.
  • Diarrhea: A more obvious and serious sign of digestive issues, diarrhea can lead to dehydration if you don’t pinpoint its cause.
  • Vomiting: Excessive vomiting beyond your average hairballs is a cause for concern, especially if your cat has a habit of eating things they’re not supposed to.
  • Reduced appetite or weight loss: Both of these are signs you should get your cat checked out by your vet as soon as possible.

How to Help Your Cat’s Stomach

If your cat has a mildly upset stomach but is otherwise well you may be able to try some short term dietary changes to help settle it. If your cat is very young or old, or has other medical issues then you should contact your vet for advice sooner.

Tips for Soothing Your Cat's Stomach:
  • Feed a very bland diet of plain rice and lean chicken or deboned white fish when you notice your cat’s having lots of gas.
  • Offer more frequent but smaller portions to help avoid digestive overload.
  • Make sure your cat has clean, fresh water at all times, and encourage them to drink to help prevent dehydration.
  • Visit your vet immediately if your cat has watery or bloody diarrhea, can’t control their bowels/bladder, vomits more than once in a row, or refuses to eat and appears lethargic.


In the end, your cat’s stomach will always gurgle to some extent, and it even signals that they have healthy digestive systems. Too much gas or bubbling accompanied by painful signs, however, may call for a visit to your vet to get to the bottom of the issue.

Featured Image Credit: Zhuravlev Andrey, Shutterstock

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