Why Does Your Cat Have Gas And How To Help Her
OK, this is an embarrassing topic, but one every pet parent has to handle at some point. Your cat has a digestive system and like anything else with a digestive system might need to pass a little gas every now and then. Usually, it’s just a harmless if embarrassing part of being a member of Kingdom Animalia. But, sometimes, Kitty might be passing more than her due.
How can you tell if it’s just a harmless little toot or something serious that requires a veterinarian to be involved?
Symptoms of Gas in Cats
Cats can be described as “Silent but deadly” when they pass gas. It can be a very nasty smell; the exact description will vary between cats and what was eaten. In any case, it won’t be pleasant. There might not be a full “fart” (if we really must use the juvenile term) but there could be some rumbling sounds in the abdomen.
If this is excessive or accompanied by abdominal bloating, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, bloody stools or decreased appetite, it may be a more serious problem.
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Causes of Gas in Cats
It may be easier to stop gas from forming than to stop it. Here are some reasons Kitty might have gas. They’re not very different from the reasons a person or other animal might have gas. The first three are relatively easy to solve. Flatulence caused by an infection requires medical care.
Cats need protein, but they don’t need the fiber and carbohydrates in low grade cat food. A lot of people foods (particularly grains) can give your cat gas and just aren’t good for her. Adult cats tend to be lactose intolerant so don’t let them have dairy products. If Kitty’s been rummaging through the garbage, she may have eaten something spoiled that’s giving her gas among other problems. Sudden changes in diet can lead to tummy troubles.
A lot of things can cause a cat to have gas if she’s allergic. Unusual chemicals, cigarette smoke, plants, molds and various food items can cause gas in cats who are allergic. It could be an additive in your cat’s food that gives her problems. You may have to do some detective work to see if there’s anything your cat’s been exposed to that could cause an allergic reaction.
– Swallowed Air
If your cat gulps down food without chewing well, she may swallow some air, creating gas in the intestines. Do you have multiple cats? She may be eating fast to keep the other cats from stealing her food. Feed your cats separately and in private to prevent this behavior. If Kitty has to eat somewhere that’s stressful or uncomfortable, she may feel she has to rush through eating. If Kitty eats in a relaxed environment, she will take her time.
If your cat has intestinal parasites, an inflamed pancreas or colitis, gas will be the least of your worries. While passing gas is a symptom of these ailments, it’s usually accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, constipation or bloody stools. If you notice any of these accompanying symptoms, Kitty needs to see the vet. Her digestive tract could possibly be inflamed due to a parasitic infection, ingestion of something toxic, extreme stress or food allergies.
Your cat has two glands near her anus that she uses to mark her territory. (Both male and female cats have this.) They may become impacted, infected or abscessed. If she scoots, frequently chases her tail or licks or bites at her rear end, the anal glands might be to blame. Take Kitty to the vet for an anal exam.
Diagnosis of Gas in Cats
In the event that you’ve decided Kitty’s flatulence isn’t normal, it’s time to take her to a vet. The vet will need Kitty’s full medical history with special attention to eating habits. You will need to tell the vet what your cat eats, when and how much. The vet will recommend possible tests and treatments to consider.
You may be asked to bring in a stool sample. Have an open dialogue with your vet to come up with the best solution for Kitty’s problem. The solution could be as simple as a hypoallergenic diet or as complicated as abdominal surgery.
Treatment of Gas in Cats
Changing the cat’s diet is the easiest way to treat gas. Do this gradually, or you may only make the problem worse. Small but frequent meals plus a calm eating environment can prevent over eating or eating too fast. If you do find you need help from a vet listen to and obey all instructions regarding feeding and medication.
Particular care should be taken when giving Kitty antibiotics. Parasitical treatments must be administered as instructed to prevent re-infection.
It may take a long while to determine if your cat’s medical problem is fully solved, but it’s worth it. You may need to make some changes around the house so that Kitty’s litter box is clean and there’s no garbage she can get into. Also, your cat may need more exercise to keep gas from forming. The laser pointer and chasing toys are good standbys. Keep a vigilant eye on your cat’s health and your nose may thank you.