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Everyone lets a little gas loose now and then – even your cat. Occasional gas in your cat usually isn’t a problem. But if your cat has become increasingly gassy, and that gas is accompanied by other digestive symptoms like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or vomiting, you’ll want to be proactive about solving this smelly problem.
Increased gassiness could mean your cat needs a change of diet, and possibly some veterinary care, to get its digestive tract back to normal. Here, we discuss the causes of flatulence in cats and provide recommendations for the best cat food for gassy cats.
At a Glance: Best Cat Food for Gassy Cats to Buy in 2023
- Primarily animal-based
- Rich in hydrating moisture
- Low carbohydrate content
- Blend of muscle meat, organs, and bone
- Single source of animal protein
- Rich in animal-sourced omega-3s
- Very low carb content for a dry food
- Made with a single source of animal protein
- Very nutrient-dense
- Single source of novel animal protein
- Made with 98% meat, organs, and ground bone
- Prepared in small batches
- High in digestible animal protein
- Hydrating source of moisture
- Relatively low phosphorus content
A little gas is natural. But excessive gas, especially if it’s smelly, can indicate that something is wrong in the digestive tract.
Flatulence can be caused by a number of things, including lactose intolerance, hairballs, excessive fiber intake, and food allergies. An inappropriate diet or overindulgence in greasy table scraps can contribute to gassiness as well. So, although you may not particularly enjoy it when your cat passes gas, that gas doesn’t automatically mean you have a major problem on your hands.
Treatment for gas in cats varies according to the gas’s underlying cause. For example, your vet may recommend a change of diet or a change in eating habits. They may also recommend increased physical activity, which helps to keep things moving along in the digestive tract.
Do not try to fix your cat’s gassiness on your own. Getting an accurate diagnosis is essential, and your vet’s treatment recommendations can go a long way toward getting rid of the gassiness.
Why Trust Cats.com?
Having evaluated hundreds of cat food brands and tested countless recipes, we’ve acquired an understanding of what makes a product worth putting in your cat’s bowl. In this case, we performed in-depth research to determine the common dietary causes of gassiness before making selections that adhere to our standards for quality ingredients, species-appropriate nutrition, and general appeal for cats.
In addition to personally purchasing and testing the products on this list, we sent several recipes to an ISO 17025-certified food testing and analysis lab. This testing reveals the precise macronutrient and micronutrient content of the food, as well as undesirable content of yeast, mold, and heavy metals.
Finally, we consulted veterinary experts to get their professional opinion on what makes a cat food appropriate for gassy cats.
Our Veterinary Advisors:
- Joanna Pendergrass, DVM
- Sarah Wooten, DVM, CVJ
- Chris Vanderhoof, DVM, MPH
- Sarah Reidenbach, DVM
- Chyrle Bonk, DVM
In addition to performing our own qualitative analysis of the brands reviewed here, we submitted samples for analysis at an ISO 17025 certified food testing and analysis lab.
We bought the products at full retail price, and the entire testing process was funded by Cats.com without direct input or influence from the companies involved.
Analytical testing in a food chemistry lab gives us the exact macronutrient and micronutrient content of each recipe. The tests also look at microbial content, yeast, mold, and heavy metals, helping you ensure that you’re only putting the best in your cat’s bowl.
The 9 Best Cat Foods for Gassy Cats
We’ve assembled a list of the best cat foods for gassy cats, categorized by food type, preference, price, and other key considerations. Our selections are based on a variety of criteria, including quality of ingredients, popularity, species appropriateness, and more.
While Smalls Fresh Ground Bird is our top pick for its meat-centric, easily digestible formula, it’s not ideal for every cat. If your cat has specific food allergies, you’ll need to choose wisely. Talk to your veterinarian about dietary changes that could help resolve your cat’s gassiness.
What Causes Flatulence in Cats?
Although cat food allergies are a common cause of flatulence, it’s wise to consider all the possibilities and talk to your veterinarian before making changes to your cat’s diet or lifestyle. Let’s take a look at a few of the more prevalent causes behind cat gassiness:
- High-fiber diet: Cats have a limited ability to digest plant matter, especially plant fiber, so a high-fiber diet could cause gassiness.
- Food allergies: If your cat is having trouble digesting a specific ingredient in their food, it could lead to gassiness and other digestive symptoms.
- Intestinal parasites: Various intestinal parasites can wreak havoc on your cat’s digestive system and cause a wide range of symptoms, including gas.
- Lack of exercise: Regular exercise is essential for overall health and supports your cat’s digestion. Lack of exercise can lead to constipation and gassiness.
- Eating spoiled food or garbage: Consuming inappropriate foods, like garbage or spoiled food, can lead to indigestion and gassiness.
For the most part, occasional gas will pass on its own. If you notice an increase in your cat’s flatulence or it is accompanied by other digestive problems, we recommend contacting your veterinarian as soon as possible to have your cat examined.
What to Look for in Food for Gassy Cats
While you shouldn’t attempt to treat digestive problems without your veterinarian’s guidance, certain types of food are more likely to contribute to gas than others. If your vet rules out underlying conditions, switching your cat to a more easily digestible diet may help resolve issues with gassiness. Here are some qualities to look for.
Made with Digestible Animal Ingredients
As obligate carnivores, cats are designed to process animal products more efficiently than plants. An ideal feline diet relies on animal-sourced protein and fat with limited carbohydrate content. Look for a recipe that lists an animal ingredient first and focuses on fresh meat and meat meals rather than plant protein concentrates.
Free from Hard-to-Digest Legumes
Though protein is always the priority, cats have a limited ability to absorb nutrients from certain plant foods. Digestibility is key, however. Cats have fewer of the enzymes required to digest plant foods and legumes are particularly resistant to digestion. Foods that pass relatively undigested through the small intestine will be fermented by bacteria in the colon—a process that produces gasses that contribute to fecal odor and flatulence.
Limited Fiber Content
While high-fiber diets are often recommended for overweight pets, they can contribute to digestive issues including flatulence. Cats don’t need a significant amount of fiber in their carnivorous diet. When fiber is included, it’s important to balance the soluble and insoluble fiber ratio. Excessive intake of soluble fiber, in particular, may cause gassiness. Examples of soluble fiber in pet food include gums, inulin, and prebiotics like dried beet pulp.
We all experience flatulence from time to time, and your cat is no exception. In many cases, it’s just a little digestive upset, and it will pass on its own. If your cat experiences frequent gas, however, a dietary change might be needed. Giving your cat a healthy, easily digestible diet can reduce gas, improve energy levels, boost immunity, and support long-term health and wellness.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does wet cat food make cats gassy?
Every cat is unique, so some cats may have less gas on dry food versus wet food, or they might do better with certain ingredients than others. Typically, it’s the ingredients that are the problem. Some of the top gas-producing foods are legumes and cruciferous vegetables.
What do you feed a cat that has gas?
If your cat has frequent gas, you might try reducing the fiber content and improving the digestibility of his diet. Try feeding smaller, more frequent meals and consider an elimination diet if you suspect that your cat has developed food allergies.