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Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:

My 11-week-old female kitten farts a lot. I give her wet and dry food from Royal Canin and no milk. I have had three cats in my time and none of them passed wind. I had them all from kittens, and only this onne does this. She is bright-eyed, active, playful and affectionate. She has been dewormed and has no fleas. By the way, it’s really, really smelly! What could be the problem?

~ Jan

Stray cat

Hunched cat, CC-BY by Jacopo Werther

Siouxsie: Well, Jan, all that gassy-ness is totally not normal!

Thomas: There are a couple of potential causes, but the most common of these is diet.

Bella: Sometimes cats can’t tolerate diets that are high in corn, wheat, soybeans or fiber. After all, we kitties are obligate carnivores and we’re not designed to digest grains!

Siouxsie: Check the ingredients on the food you’re feeding her, and if it has a lot of grains and fiber, maybe you can reduce or eliminate the high-grain formula.

Thomas: Usually, canned food tends to have less starch and grains than dry food, so you may want to eliminate the dry food and see what happens.

Bella: Does she eat really fast? I know I do! Mama even gave me a food dish designed to help me slow down. But anyway, if she eats too fast, that too could lead to gas.

Siouxsie: We’d definitely recommend that you talk to your vet, because he or she might have other ideas.

Thomas: Another thing — cats that have giardia or coccidia, which are intestinal protozoan parasites that don’t get killed by dewormers, also tend to have very runny and foul-smelling poop as well as nasty-smelling farts.

Siouxsie: And if for some reason your kitty can’t absorb food properly, like if she has a grain intolerance or some other bowel disorder, that can also lead to smelly poops. Right, Thomas?

Thomas: Oh, Siouxsie, don’t embarrass me.

Siouxsie: Boy, before Mama put us on a grain-free, low-carb diet, Thomas had the stinkiest, nastiest poops ever! They even woke me up from my naps!

Thomas: I’m sorry! I couldn’t help it! I can only eat what I’m fed! *sniffle*

Bella: There, there, Thomas. Don’t let that big old grumpster make you feel bad. Besides, you’re a lot better now ’cause you don’t fart at all.

Thomas: *sniffle* Thank you, Bella. Can we have a cuddle?

Bella: Of course, darling.

Siouxsie: So, Jan, the bottom line is, you might try eliminating grains from your kitten’s diet, or maybe even gradually switching to a different food, and you should definitely talk to your vet about her bad gas. We hope things get less stinky in your house.