Although considered the cleanest animal in the world, the cat also stinks. Let’s see what are the causes and remedies to combat feline bad smell.
A cat that stinks? It seems impossible and yet it can happen that the animal that spends most of its time cleaning its fur with its tongue may give off a bad smell.
It is a rather rare event, it is true, but it can happen: therefore we need to understand what are the causes of the cat smell. As usual, to solve a problem, it will be necessary to evaluate the general health of the feline and take care, perhaps relying on the opinion of an expert.
Bad smell in cats and felines
The problem of bad smell is much more frequent in dogs, we have dedicated an in-depth page where you can find out how to remove bad smell from dogs.
But despite this it can happen that a cat gives off bad smells. Sometimes these are imperceptible to the human sense of smell, other times they can be felt and how!
Anyone who has a cat at home can confirm this: it smells like hay. It is produced by the salivary glands, while all the other aromas of his body are eliminated by the passage of his tongue precisely to avoid attracting predators. Other times a bad smell can have causes related to a wrong diet or to a health problem that it would be better to investigate.
If the bad smell resembles a stink of feces, then we need to check the anal part of the feline as it will probably need cleaning. Shortening the coat can sometimes help keep the area cleaner, especially in the case of long-haired cats such as the Persian and Maine Coon.
The situation changes for stray cats or for domestic cats accustomed to living not only in the space outside the house, but also to take long walks in the street and in the countryside. Here the opportunities to get dirty are innumerable and it is essential to take the necessary precautions, and wash it on his return home.
In addition, we check its litter and always buy excellent quality sand, able to absorb smells and moods released by the feline, without releasing them outside.
Why the cat stinks: the causes
Before we immediately think about a health problem, let’s think that it is not all the result of our distraction or neglect. In fact, if we are not attentive to the hygiene of its litter and the environments that the cat usually frequent, the fault is ours. So let’s make a distinction between the causes that we may unintentionally and not have created ourselves and those that depend on the cat’s compromised state of health.
When the responsibility lies with the owner
If we have changed his diet, preferring poor food and that do not take into account the needs and nutrients of the cat, the bad smell could be due to that. Eating excellent quality food is essential for your health: cheap food can have serious repercussions on your well-being in the long run and permanently compromise it.
If, on the other hand, the problem is with cleaning, it may be that the cat’s litter box has not been cleaned often and thoroughly. It must be cleaned and filled with good quality sand and granules, to prevent it from stinking, not to mention that residues of feces and more can remain attached to its body if not absorbed by the layer that covers the litter.
When it comes to a health problem
Here the discussion becomes more complex as the bad smell of the cat could precisely hide a health problem, more or less serious. Here they are all.
- Poor digestion: an inadequate diet can lead to evacuation problems and cause the release of unpleasant odors, especially if too rich in cereals. Flatulence in cats can become a serious problem as it indicates an amount of gas in their stomach that needs to be expelled.
- Sexual maturity: In this period, cats give off a strong smell of urine. To avoid this, just sterilize the cat: in this way you will prevent the cat from releasing its ‘souvenir’ in every corner of the house.
- Paranal glands: if they work properly they do not release any odor. In an adverse case then, in case of strong emotions or fear or excitement, they could produce a really unpleasant smell.
- Halitosis: the mouth area must also be refreshed and often, perhaps with the help of catnip. Furthermore, if the teeth are not cleaned regularly, they can create tartar problems on the teeth, or give way to infections such as ulcers, stomatitis and gingivitis. In case of kidney failure, bad breath will be one of the most troubling symptoms.
- Ear infections: if we notice that the cat often scratches his ear with his paw, there could be an infection inside them.
- Bacteria, fungi and parasites: they can affect the skin, even causing visible spots on their coat.
How to solve bad smell in cats
Relying on the expert’s opinion is always an excellent idea, but first we must be able to explain the cat’s health as a whole, including the various signals (not just odorous) that it sends us. It is obvious that if it is a hygiene problem it will not be necessary to run to the vet: a more thorough washing will suffice. Here’s how to keep a clean ‘nose-proof’ cat.
- Take care of the hair: brushing it will not only eliminate the dead hair that is about to fall, but also shortening it will ensure that residues of feces or other dirt remain attached.
- Products suitable for his bath: it is fine to wash him but with specific products, made especially for him. Often these are also dry products, which do not require water, therefore very practical to use.
- Always clean teeth: there are practical tooth cleaning systems on the market, but catnip is always the best ally. In addition to giving a fresh breath, chewing it helps the cat to eliminate any food residues from the teeth.
- Cleaning the litter box: although it is a long and tiring task, it must be done and always use high quality sand and pebbles.
- Suitable diet: The cat needs fats, oils, vitamin A and taurine. If the foods we buy for your diet do not contain these nutrients, we risk compromising your health.