Most humans burp after taking a large meal or drinking beverages. Dogs also burp regularly after drinking so much water on a hot day. But burping in cats is often unexpected, and most cat owners don’t know if cats are even supposed to burp. So, do cats burp? And if they burp, does it signify that something is wrong with your cat? Read on for everything you need to know about cat burping, including what to do if your cat burps.
What Causes Burping?
Burping results from the build-up of gas consumed during eating, drinking, playing, or sleeping. The gas can be released by moving up through the esophagus or down the intestines. If the gas goes down the intestines, you won’t recognize it. However, when the gas build-up is released up the esophagus, it might be in the form of a burp. Some of the burps might be barely recognizable as they are caused by small amounts of air you have accidentally consumed. Other burps are considerably large and might be loud and annoying to the people around you.
So, Can Cats Burp?
It is unlikely for cats to burp. Burping in cats is rare and uncommonly seen daily. Typically, cats are not mouth breathers and prefer to breathe through their noses, unlike most humans. This means they hardly consume air when drinking or eating, forcing air down the esophagus and into their stomachs. This means that cats will have little air in the stomach that requires release, hence a little need to burp. With this, it’s not impossible for air to go down your cat’s esophagus. A cat might accidentally take in air while drinking or eating. If this happens, cats can have a small burp as the air is released. According to The Meow Pets, you might not even realize your cat has burped if it’s a small amount of air being released. It’s very unlikely for a cat to have a big burp as people do. The amount of gas build-up individuals need to burp loudly is considerably more than a cat is likely to experience. If cats burp regularly, it might signify more severe medical problems such as digestive issues causing excessive gas production or a blocked esophagus.
Common Reasons Why Cats Burp
Cats can burp for several reasons. While it is commonly nothing serious to worry about, cat burping can sometimes be a symptom of a medical issue. These include:
Like humans, cats can take excess air down to the stomach while drinking, eating, and sleeping. The excess air might be released upwards via the esophagus as a burp.
Cats can also experience stomach upset, causing gas build-up within the digestive system. Burping is one way for the cat to regulate the gas as well as flatulence. Some of the causes of an upset stomach include; parasites, bacteria, food allergies, stomach ulcers, and toxins. The burping will most likely stop when you treat the stomach upset.
According to ExcitedCats, hairballs mostly go together with gagging reflexes that sound like success in burps. Although most owners might differentiate between expelling hairballs and burping, hairballs often cause burping.
If your cat’s burping comes together with frequent lip-licking and swallowing, they might be suffering from esophagitis. The condition happens when the esophagus becomes inflamed and irritated because of untreated medication or heartburn. Esophagitis causes gastrointestinal irritation, which makes felines burp more regularly.
If your cat has acid reflux, stomach fluids go up the esophagus, irritating the lining and causing regurgitation. Like other digestive disorders, it’s treated with a combination of diet and medications to decrease acidity.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
IBD is another common medical cause of cat burping that affects the normal functioning of your feline’s digestive system. According to PETMD, the symptoms of this condition include; diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, burping, lethargy, and bloody stools.
What Does a Cat Burp Sound Like?
Now that you know cats might sometimes burp and why they do it, you might wonder what a burp sounds like? Imagine air coming out from your cat’s mouth as it makes a peculiar sound, similar to a hiccup. Therefore, a cat burp sounds like a hiccup. But most often, cats burp silently, and it’s not too noisy to catch the attention of individuals.
When Should You Be Concerned About Cats Bumping?
If you notice your cat burping regularly, it may not be anything serious to be concerned about. Cats can burp whenever they swallow excess air. Burping sound every once in a while is probably safe to monitor at home. Some felines might be more susceptible to burping if their daily activities or habits consume excess air. However, if you think your cat’s burping is not normal or is making the sound in excess, it is recommended that you seek veterinary services immediately. If your cat has other symptoms and frequent burping, such as hacking, nasal congestion, or gagging excessively, it means it has an underlying problem that requires treatment.
What Should You Do When Your Cat Burps?
If your cat is burping more often and has other signs of medical problems such as vomiting, gastrointestinal discomfort, or diarrhea, you should contact your vet as soon as possible to examine your cat to rule out any severe conditions. It’s recommendable to make a video recording of any potential symptom or unusual behavior to help your vet diagnose the problem. This is because pets often don’t display their symptoms once they get to the vet’s office. If the cat’s burping is due to esophagitis, food allergies, or IBD, they can benefit from easily digestible specialty food. A proper diet can help produce normal bowel movement consistency and frequency while eradicating the common causes of stomach upset or irritation. Your veterinarian can help recommend a great die specifically for your cat. Additionally, it’s essential to provide your cat with water with meals and avoid swallowing excess air when administering medications. Also, if your cat consumes large amounts of food, you should try and feed a small number of meals throughout the day to avoid swallowing excess air.
Although some cats might burp when they accidentally take in air in their stomach, the behavior is very rare. However, burping occasionally can be a sign of an underlying medical problem. Therefore, if belching becomes more regular and happens in line with other symptoms, it’s best to consult a professional.