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Can Cats Burp?

Burping after consuming carbonated beverages is a gross but common occurrence in humans. But what about cats? Can your kitty release a belch before she settles in for a nap? While countless cat owners say yes, some veterinarians disagree.

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Why Burping Happens

cat burping_Adina Voicu_Pixabay
Image Credit: Adina Voicu, Pixabay

Burping is your body’s way of removing excess air from your upper digestive tract. It’s commonly caused by swallowing too much air and having it accumulate in your esophagus.

You can consume excess air by drinking or eating too fast, talking while you chew, drinking carbonated beverages, or smoking. Medical conditions such as acid reflux, inflammation of the stomach lining, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can also cause chronic burping.

Cat burps can be caused by swallowing air, upset tummies, or hairballs.

However, some vets say that burping is simply impossible for felines to do.

Cats Can’t Burp

cat and vet. II_Stock-Asso_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Stock-Asso, Shutterstock

A cat parent may have scheduled a vet appointment after they noticed their pet constantly hiccupping or burping. Once at the vet clinic, the vet examines the feline and states that the symptoms the owner noticed are more likely potential digestion or heart issues since cats can’t burp.

However, after seeking a second opinion, the next vet tells the cat owner that the strange sounds emanating from the feline could be related to hairballs or regurgitation. The owner is advised to slowly change their pet’s diet. And don’t forget to fully clean up after your cat vomits or spits up a hairball!

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Reasons Behind Cat Burping

 cat burping II_Milada Vigerova_Pixabay
Image Credit: Milada Vigerova, Pixabay

If your vet thinks that your cat has a burping problem, it may be caused by the following issues:

Swallowing Excess Air: As cats eat, they’ll typically ingest small amounts of air too. If your cat is guilty of quickly gobbling up her meal, she may consume too much air. Your pet will release the excess air by belching. She may also release it by flatulence up to 30 minutes after eating. To reduce your cat’s need to rapidly eat, feed her in a secluded area that is separate from all other pets.

Digestive Troubles: Another culprit behind feline burping is excess gas in your cat’s digestive tract. This can be caused by spoiled food, food allergies, hairballs, parasites, intestinal obstruction, inflammatory bowel disease, or gastrointestinal cancer. If you notice your pet experiencing vomiting or diarrhea in addition to burping, bring her to the vet right away.

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Image Credit: NeydtStock, Shutterstock

Vet Care for Feline Burping

The vet will perform a physical exam of your cat’s stomach. They may also take blood and perform X-rays to determine the cause of her burping. If they can’t find any medical issues, your vet may recommend switching your cat to hypoallergenic cat food to rule out any possible food allergies. Activated charcoal might be used to help calm her tummy troubles if your cat consumed something toxic. Once all gastrointestinal issues are properly treated, whether, through surgery or medication, your pet’s burping should stop.

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The Bottom Line on Cat Burping

While some vets may believe that cats cannot burp, many other vets and pet parents think they can. If your cat is frequently burping, it may be a sign of an underlying medical issue. Schedule an appointment with your vet to determine the cause and effectively treat the symptoms.

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Featured Image Credit: Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay

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