Do Cats Fart?

Sorry cat, the secret is out.
Sorry cat, the secret is out. / by julie mcinnes/Moment/Getty Image

Certain philosophical questions can invade even the most disciplined of minds. Do aliens exist? Can a soul ever be measured? Do cats fart?

While the latter may not have weighed heavily on some of history’s great brains, it’s certainly no less deserving of an answer. And in contrast to existential queries, there’s a pretty definitive response: Yes, they do. We just don’t really hear it. “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” veterinarian Mickila Collins told Chewy. “I can’t say I have ever heard a cat fart but that doesn’t mean they don’t. I certainly think cats could!”

According to veterinarians who have realized their job sometimes involves answering inane questions about animals passing gas, cats have all the biological hardware necessary for a fart: a gastrointestinal system and an anus. When excess air builds up as a result of large inhales or gut bacteria, a pungent cloud will be released from their rear ends. Smell a kitten’s butt sometime and you’ll walk away convinced that cats fart.

The discretion, or lack of audible farts, is probably due to the fact that cats don’t gulp their food like dogs do, leading to less air accumulating in their digestive tract. If your cat seems unusually gassy, it’s best to consult their vet. “Sometimes cats can have excessive bloating, discomfort, and bad-smelling gas. Cats who have excessive gas or foul-smelling gas may suggest that there is a gastrointestinal disorder,” veterinarian Zac Pilossoph told Parade Pets.

So, yes, cats do fart. But they typically do it with the same grace and stealth they use to approach everything else. Think about that the next time you blame the dog.

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A version of this story originally ran in 2017; it has been updated for 2023.