Cat Gas Problems

Cat gas can be a problem for many owners. When a cat is suffering from excess flatulence, it puts a strain on the relationship between you and your pet and limits your socializing. It's hard to have company over or introduce someone new to your cat without being embarrassed of his odor. The first step in treatment is to identify the cause. Gas in cats is very similar to gas in humans. Air becomes trapped in the digestive system through swallowing. It can also become trapped when oxygen is released from digested foods. Approximately 99% of the gas your cat releases is odorless, however, the 1% that isn't can cause many problems for a cat and his owner.

What Causes Gas?

If a cat eats too quickly, air is swallowed along with the food. These swallowed air bubbles are then released through burping or flatulence. If your cat eats quickly, ration out his daily food intake into smaller portions and feed 4 to 5 times per day. Since the cat is not as hungry, this method will lessen his natural instinct to eat quickly. It will also provide for shorter meal times which translates to less time for air to be swallowed.

A cat who is fed human food or table scraps is prone to flatulence. Human food does not provide adequate nutrients for a cat. Human food may also be difficult for a cat's digestive system to break down causing stomach and intestinal upset and flatulence. If your cat’s food is a generic brand, consider switching to a name brand or one that is specifically made for your cat’s breed. If your cat is over 8 years of age, consider switching to wet food or mixing wet with dry. As cat's age, they have more difficulty digesting hard foods causing flatulence. Substituting with a wet food makes digestion easier for your cat.

Cat's can also produce excess flatulence if they have a food allergy. Consult your veterinarian and try switching your cat's food by mixing a small amount of the new food in with the old, gradually increasing the new and decreasing the old over a period of two weeks. Switching a cat's diet suddenly can cause vomiting and diarrhea so it is best to do it slowly. Pinpointing the exact ingredient your cat is allergic to is difficult, therefore, if you suspect your cat has food allergies, it is best to consult your veterinarian.

How to Treat a Cat With Gas

If adjusting your cat's diet and meal times doesn't help, and you have ruled out any possible food allergies, there are products designed to help cat's flatulence. Many brands have specialized foods with probiotics that help reduce the amount of air that is released during digestion. Regular exercise is not only necessary for your cat's health, it can help with the amount of flatulence. Provide plenty of toys and cat furniture as well as room for play. Playing with your cat is not only great for bonding, it provides great exercise for your cat. Your local veterinarian may also offer advice on prescription medications for your cat.