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C2004-39

Dear Christopher Cat

Do cats pass gas? I say no, but my wife says yes. There’s a steak dinner riding on this, so please answer.

Christopher Responds

I certainly do not pass gas – how embarrassing that would be. Most healthy cats take after me.

However, the occasional cat is bothered by flatulence. Usually it is accompanied by diarrhea, constipation or vomiting, all of which suggest an intestinal or pancreatic disorder.

But sometimes, an otherwise healthy cat passes gas because of intestinal parasites or a diet with too much – or the wrong kind of – carbohydrate.

Carbohydrates are fermented by bacteria in the intestines, and gas is produced. If dietary carbs are the cause, a gradual transition to a low-carbohydrate cat food solves the problem.

If a diet change isn’t effective, a trip to the veterinarian is called for. The vet can deworm the cat and, if that doesn’t solve the problem, recommend testing to determine the cause of the flatulence.

The “bottom” line? I hope your wife enjoys her steak dinner. If you were going out for salmon, I’d ask you to bring me back a “kitty bag” of leftovers.

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