Cats who frequently pass gas
can embarrass or distress their owners. Flatulence is caused by eating highly fermentable
foods, such as beans, cauliflower, cabbage, and soybeans; drinking large
quantities of milk; and swallowing large amounts of air during meals. Diets
high in carbohydrates and fiber contribute to it. Flatulence also occurs with
malabsorption. This is related to incomplete digestion of carbohydrates.
Treatment: It’s important to first rule out any malabsorption
syndrome. Change the cat’s food to a highly digestible, low-fiber diet, and
avoid giving table scraps. If dietary manipulation fails to control the
problem, switch from commercial food to a highly digestible prescription diet,
such as Science Diet i/d or one of the diets for food allergy or intolerance.
Low-carbohydrate diets are often helpful. Free feed to prevent greedy eating
and gulping air, unless your cat is overweight. A medication combining
simethicone and activated charcoal (Flatulex) is available for people and can
be used in cats. This medication should not be given to cats with liver or
The most common behavior problem reported by pet parents of cats is inappropriate elimination. It’s estimated that 10% of all cats will eliminate outside their litter box at some point in their lives. Quite a few of these cats have issues with some characteristic of their litter box (please see our article on Litter Box Problems for more information on litter box problems), but approximately 30% don’t have litter box problems at all. These cats are urine marking, and urine marking isn’t a litter...