Can Cats Burp? (Discover the Truth About Feline Belching)

Video why is my cat burping

Can cats burp? Yes and no.

Do you ever notice your cat finishing a meal and then emitting a peculiar sound from its mouth? The waft of cat food that follows quickly afterward can be quite overpowering, making you reach for a breath mint. If you’ve experienced this, then you’re familiar with the concept of cat burps. But are they really burps? Can cats burp? The answer is not as straightforward as you might think.

How It Happens

Cats can inadvertently swallow air during various activities like playing, sleeping, purring, or even while eating and drinking. Sometimes, this gas is released upwards instead of downwards, traveling up the esophagus and escaping in the form of a burp. While some cat burps may go unnoticed, others could have you darting in the opposite direction!

It’s worth noting that burping can sometimes indicate an underlying issue. It could be a sign of a hairball obstructing the digestive system, a suppressed cough, an allergic reaction to food, or a digestive problem. Certain veterinarians have even associated burping with heart conditions, checking for heart murmurs to rule out any potential concerns.

However, there are other veterinarians who staunchly argue that burping is an impossibility for cats. In this article, we will delve into both sides of the debate and allow you to form your own opinion.

No They Can’t

A cat owner once visited the vet, complaining that their feline companion frequently burps and hiccups. The vet promptly dismissed the notion, attributing these noises to regurgitation or attempts to dislodge a hairball. Although the root cause could be a secondary heart issue, a food allergy was suspected, prompting the owner to switch their cat’s diet.

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Yes They Can

On the other hand, many cat owners firmly believe that cats can indeed burp. These individuals passionately share their hilarious and sometimes stinky tales of their furry friends emitting various sounds and odors.

Prominent veterinarian Ron Hines, DVM, PhD, not only acknowledges the existence of cat burping but suggests that it may even play a critical role in bottle-feeding kittens. He advises gently patting a kitten after each feeding in an upright position against your shoulder until it burps, effectively releasing trapped air. Insufficient milk flow from nursing bottles often leads to more air being trapped as the kittens nurse.

Additionally, Dr. Jeff Thoren, state service representative for Hill’s Pet Products, and Dr. Alfred Plechner have both agreed that cats burp, specifically in relation to digestive issues. They note that excessive burping, gas expulsion, rumbling tummies, and loose stool are signs of an irritated intestine. Often, high-protein kibble is the culprit behind these symptoms, as it can be too coarse and incompatible with the cat’s digestive system.

To further shed light on this matter, take a look at these videos:

  • [Blair the cat demonstrates what her owner believes to be a burp.]
  • [An owner tries to identify an odd sound that her cat just made.]
  • [Blackjack the kitten showcases his burping capabilities.]

What Do You Think?

So, can cats burp? Has your feline companion ever exhibited what you thought was a burp? Your personal experiences and anecdotes are invaluable in this ongoing debate. While some veterinarians support the existence of cat burps, others remain skeptical. We invite you to share your thoughts, stories, and opinions in the comments below.

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Photo: austinpaulwhite/Flickr