What to Do if Your Cat Stinks

Cat Care

Tip to follow if your cat stinks
Did You Know?

Persian cats have trouble keeping themselves clean due to their thick, dense fur, which can be a reason for foul body odor.

It’s just not us human who require daily grooming, our pets also share the same requirement. Unlike humans, animals cannot tackle the situation if they stink. An exception to the rule are cats, they have a penchant for self-grooming and keeping themselves clean.

Now, cats being cats, they just head off where they wish to, no place is out-of-bounds for them. In spite of regular grooming, they do pick up foul smells and dirt on them. The fur can be cleaned for dirt and debris, but what about the foul odor? How do we eliminate that? And what causes cats to smell bad? Does it indicate any health issues? This Buzzle article tries to address all such queries and also provide you with certain remedies to eliminate cat stink. But first let us take a look at the probable cause of foul odor in cats.

Causes of a Smelly Cat

Skin Diseases
Cats tend to develop an offensive body odor if they have skin diseases or problems. Skin problems include infected wounds on your feline’s skin, infections due to yeast or bacteria, or a weakened immune system. Matted fur hair also produces a foul odor. Many times, our pets get infested by fleas, which can also be a likely cause for a stink. If your cat is suffering from skin disease, symptoms like hair loss, sores, and redness will be visible. Ear infections is also one of the major causes of a foul odor in cats.

Old Age and Obesity
When cats grow old, they find it hard to groom themselves. They may feel too weak to thoroughly clean itself. Subsequently, not only it smell bad, its fur too will lack shine and appear dirty. If your cat has become obese, it might not be able to reach certain areas for grooming leading to bad odor.

Dental Problems
Older cats tend to develop dental problems, which in turn results in bad breath, which affects the quality of their saliva. As a result, when they groom themselves, their bad breath is spread over their entire body. Moreover, if you have more than one cat and the same cat grooms them, all the cats will start stinking. Another probable cause for bad breath in cats is kidney failure. Foods which have high protein content and additives can also cause bad breath.

Anal Glands
While it is true that cats mark their territories by peeing or taking a dump. They also spray anal sac fluid to mark them. Cats have small sacs located right inside their anus. Generally, they secrete this fluid while answering nature’s call but when your cat gets scared or excited, it releases this fluid. This fluid could get on your cat’s backside, and may stay for short time making them smell bad.

Illness and Fur
Sometimes, your cat may fall sick, which can make it weak and tired to groom itself. In some cases, the illness itself may cause the cat to stink. Some cats, like a Persian cat, have high-maintenance fur. It has long fur which gets tangled easily, making it hard for it to groom itself thoroughly. Sometimes, the fur is really long and dry. Dryness can attract dirt which, again, is not easy to handle.


Some of the above issues can be corrected, of course with some patience from your side, don’t expect your cat to smell like roses in one day. You can keep your cat clean and odorless by:

Feed Premium Food
Cat food is one of the main reasons for bad breath. Switch to premium food and abstain from feeding your kitty wet food. Make sure it gets its daily supplements of dry cat food or treats. Dry cat food helps to clean the teeth and mouth. High quality food also contains less additives and color, which is a major contributor to tooth decay that leads to bad breath. Start brushing your kitty’s teeth with your finger. Once it gets comfortable with your finger, introduce it to a toothbrush.

Not letting it out
You can’t follow your cat everywhere, you don’t know what its doing outside. Cats that roam outside come in contact with garbage and feces, and their fur attracts the stench. You can keep your cat indoors, or maybe let it out just in your backyard, or wherever you go.

Cats are experts when it comes to cleaning, but not all cats are fond of keeping themselves clean. If you feel your cat is acting lazy, it’s time to take matter in your own hands. You may have to bathe your cat yourself, some cats despise water, you can try dry shampoo, or other available products, but consult your vet first. Make it a habit to brush your cat’s fur daily so that it stays clean and dirt free. If your cat has long fur, trim its fur to short layers near its tail area, as this is where feces buildup occurs the most leading to foul odor.

Go for Daily Checkups
Your cat may be stinking due to some serious health issues like an ear infection, swollen anal glands, oral problems, or infection. It is better to visit a vet and get its health checked to ensure that the smell is not a sign of any serious concern.

As mentioned earlier, your cat will spray when excited or nervous, but if its spraying too much and the smell is unbearable, consider taking it to a vet, he may diagnose if your furry friend has an upset stomach or an infection, which is causing the bad odor. He may even suggest emptying the stinky fluid inside the anal glands.

The best course of action always is to consult your vet before trying out any remedies on your beloved pet. Trying to find the root cause, taking proper remedies will make you and your pet happy, and your house stink free.

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Hi, I'm Jess and this is Nala.

I've loved cats since I was a child and over the years I became obsessed with them. I love all animals and pets, but I have studied cats with special passion. I’ve spent most of my life trying to understand them and why they are the best companions, if they ‘allow’ you to be their friend.

I put this blog together with the aim of sharing things about cats that interest me and that can help you to understand your own…

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you find something to interest you along the way.



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