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Do Cats Burp?

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Published: 9/30/2021

Cats are pretty quiet critters when it comes to bodily functions. Felines rarely sneeze, hardly hiccup, and seldom fart. It's one of the reasons we think of domestic cats as being such refined felines. You might've also noticed your cat doesn't burp, despite passing gas from the other end. 

So, do cats burp? It's a complicated question, but the simple answer is no. That said, cats can burp — it's just uncommon. Let's take a look at if cats ever burp and why they don't burp as much as their pet parents.


Why do cats burp?

When we burp, it's to clear air trapped in our upper digestive tract. Air builds up in the esophagus, usually from eating too fast or drinking soda. This build-up of air leads to a release of air through the mouth, which some people find rude, and others find hilarious.

In this traditional sense, cats don't burp. That is to say, they don't get a build-up of air in the upper digestive tract. Cats breathe through their noses, making it very difficult for them to swallow air accidentally. Cats usually only burp if there's an underlying medical issue.


When do cats burp?

So, if cats don't burp the traditional way, when do they burp? A few minor health concerns, like acid reflux and hairballs, are possible causes for an out-of-the-blue belch. 

There are also a number of other, more serious health issues which could cause your cat to burp, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), esophagitis, and various forms of cancer. It's also possible for an anesthetic to cause your cat to burp immediately after surgery, but this should subside when the anesthetic wears off.


What should I do if my cat’s burping?

If you happen to hear your cat burping as a once-off, there's no need to worry. It's possible that your cat is burping from swallowing small amounts of air while eating.

This air swallowing could be due to your cat feeling uneasy and eating their food too quickly. Try moving your cat's bowl into another room to see if your cat is more comfortable. If that doesn't work, try feeding your cat several small meals throughout the day. You could also try elevating and tilting your cat's bowl, as it's proven to reduce digestive issues. 

If you notice your feline friend is frequently burping over an extended period, you should contact your vet as soon as possible. Try to get a recording of your cat burping so that you can show it to the vet. 

The chances are your cat won't burp during their examination, and having a video will make it easier to identify the issue. As mentioned, excessive burping could be a symptom of something more serious. If your cat has IBS, your vet may recommend you change their diet to improve digestion. 

IBS in cats can be expensive to treat. If you suspect your cat has IBS or is at risk, start searching for pet insurance today. Brought to you by Pet Insurer, Wag! Wellness lets pet parents compare insurance plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Trupanion. Find the “pawfect” plan for your pet in just a few clicks!

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