cat scared sitting next to man in sheet

Do Cats Fart When They’re Scared?

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If you’ve ever had a dog, you’ll know how powerful pet flatulence can be but have you ever noticed your cat passing gas?

It got us thinking: has our little darling been dropping silent bombs without us noticing?  And if so, what causes it and do cats fart when they’re scared (or happy or as a defence mechanism?).

Do Cats Fart?

Yes. Cats can fart.

There are several reasons why your cat might feel the need to pass wind during the day.

  • Often it’s dietary related. We were really surprised at the ingredients in the cat food we were buying from the store. The meat content was pretty low and contained a high grain content.When our cat started to get upset stomachs, we found out she was grain intolerant (a lot of cats are).  The wheat inside her wet food and kibble was affecting her digestion.  It was the first time we’d ever heard her fart. Our veterinarian advised us to put her onto a wheat-free diet. Once we did, her bad belly cleared up almost immediately. Now, we buy her grain-free high-meat cat food which keeps her healthier on the inside and the outside.

  • Changing a cat’s brand of food can also cause a sensitive stomach and flatulence. Think of what happens when humans go abroad and try a new diet: the body needs to adjust. We’d recommend gradually changing the cat’s food by mixing new with old and increasing the amount of new until it makes up the entire meal.
  • Cats that eat quickly swallow more air with their food and this can contribute to a build-up of gas that they’ll need to pass. This is something else our cat does. We think it’s from when she was a stray and food was scarce and eating quickly was the best way to ensure she got fed. We’ve started feeding her in smaller amounts and this has helped.

  • Cats may also fart when they’re scared or anxious. This might happen when you’re putting them into the carrier for the vets. You might relate to that as a human: the adrenaline in the system that makes your guts churn before an exam or during a scary situation. The same thing happens to cats.

  • Cats aren’t supposed to eat the same thing that humans do but sometimes we slip and let our cats eat something they shouldn’t, or behind our back, they find a way to devour something that wasn’t meant for them. Most cats are lactose intolerant but love the taste of milk or cream. You may find that if you’re giving them a saucer of milk that they’re farting because they can’t break down the enzyme.

  • Your cat might have picked up an illness or a parasite: something they’ve picked up outside or from another cat. If there’s a sudden increase in flatulence and you can’t trace it to diet, it’s worth taking your cat to the veterinarian.

  • Old food that’s been left out in the warm can go bad quickly and that can cause digestive problemsCats aren’t so unlike humans when it comes to passing gas. It’s a natural function but can be a sign of an intolerance to something in their diet or could be symptoms of an illness.

Do Cats Fart When They’re Scared?

It’s possible. Cats may also urinate or poop when they’re nervous or terrified. It’s not all that different from what happens to humans.  The brain sends a signal to the stomach and it responds – sometimes it’s controllable and sometimes it isn’t. 

Do Cats Fart as a Defensive Mechanism?

This question made us smile because, well, the mental image.  It’s unlikely your cat is farting as a defence mechanism. If you watch two cats circling for a fight, you’ll see a fine-tuned performance of aggression and appeasement rather than a farting contest for dominance!  It may be that your cat is scared and is exhibiting a fear response like me mentioned above.

Plenty of cats don’t like being handled or picked up and respond in more traditional ways: wriggling, scratching, biting, meowing, etc. If your cat is farting when they don’t want to be bothered or handled, it’s probably more to do with their diet and if you’re concerned you should look into going grain-free or consult a veterinarian. The pressure on the belly is more likely to responsible for any passing gas rather than a defence mechanism but cats do strange things, so we wouldn’t put it past some cats to do this!

Do Cats Fart When They’re Happy?

If a cat’s feeling very relaxed, they might.

Why Do Cats Fart When You Pick Them Up?

It’s likely to be the pressure on their belly when you lift them.  Be careful about handling cats after they’ve eaten.

Why Have I Never Heard My Cat Fart?

Your cat must have reasonable digestive health.  You can bet they’re farting but you can’t hear them.

Why Does My Cat Fart in my Face?

Mikel Delgado told Inverse that cats communicate more through smell than sight. He says that having a cat’s butt in your face is a hello, a friendly greeting and a sign of trust.  The fart is likely to be a coincidence that you’re noticing because it’s audible or has a smell.

Cats do fart but mostly we don’t notice.  If your cat is doing it regularly and if there’s a putrid smell to it, then it’s worth looking at the pet’s diet and asking your veterinarian if you should switch them to grain-free.  Excess farting can also be a sign of an illness and should be discussed with a vet for treatment.