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Why Does My Cat's Poop Smell So Bad? Causes And Remedies - Guest Blog Courtesy Jackie Johnston, Cat World

Remy Bibaud | 18 August, 2020 | 3 Comments

            Courtesy luuup.com Cat Litter Photo

This article is a combined effort by Pet Perennials and Cat world! If you found this article interesting please head over to www.petperennials.com to see more awesome stories like these and also to learn about the amazing pet milestone gifts we have to offer! From pet birthday cards, to pet memorial gifts we have a unique selection of gifting options for any pet occasion!

Original post found on Cat World.  Cat World is a community of crazy cat enthusiasts who all share a passion for staying up to date with what's happening in the kitty circles as well as staying on top of new tricks, tips, advice, and more.

PLEASE NOTE: This blog is sharing of information only, and not meant as veterinary/medical advice. If your cat(s) experience issues, please consult with your local vet office.

The exact cause of why your cat's poop can smell so bad can vary greatly. It's important to have the foul smelling stool checked by a veterinarian if the odor of your cat's feces is really bad. You can find that the stink is really from something they ate, or it can be a more serious matter. Your cats foul smelling stools should be taken seriously if the feces' odor is ongoing.

Naturally, stool has an unpleasant smell. But, sometimes it can have a strong foul smell. Just like human stool, cat’s poop can smell horrible for the same reasons. But sometimes it makes you ask "why does my cat's poop smell so bad?" and we have answers.

Serious medical conditions, bacteria not good for feline's health present in the colon and food consumed are some reasons your kitty’s poop can smell so bad. Moreover, excess gas and diarrhea also tend to cause it to stink.

Many kitty disorders often result in stool with a stinking smell and diarrhea. However, most of the conditions either self-remedy or disappear with a change in diet.

 According to Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine’s Tom Ewing, diarrhea in your cat could point to an underlying, life-threatening condition.


So, What Causes A Foul Smell In Cats' Poop?

Introducing new foods to your kitty’s diet or parasite-related inflammation can cause your cat’s stool to stink in the litter box. Gastrointestinal tract, infectious diseases, inflammation and cancer are often attributed to adult kitty fecal abnormality. A vet can help determine the actual cause of foul smell in your pet’s droppings for prompt treatment.

Cats dislike water, but are generally clean animals. They work hard to smell good and stay clean even if they rarely get baths. On the converse, litter boxes start smelling as soon as their poop drops in them, unless of course you have an automatic litter box, which cleans itself. However, a sudden change in the smell of feces is a cause for concern, especially if it has an abnormal, strong pungent smell.

What’s good about all these is that you can feed your cat with cats food for smelly fecal matter to get rid of the bad smell. Here’re a few reasons why your cat’s feces could be smelling foul:

Top 7 Reasons Feline Feces Stinks

Cat poop can suddenly start smelling foul just like human defecation. It indicates that something isn’t right with your best friend. And it can be anything from bacteria and diet to parasites and a critical health condition.

1) Diet

Just like humans, cats are sensitive to certain foods or specific things found in particular foods. For instance, your kitty could be sensitive to grains or foods with high vitamin content.

Diet elimination can help you determine the specific foods causing your cat digestive issues and thus "go to the bathroom" with a foul smell. Cut out vitamin supplements or give a grain-free diet to get rid of these issues.

2) Bacteria

Cats are naturally carnivores. They prey on other small animals to eat as food. Their natural drive for prey can result in them eating what’s not right or healthy. This is more so true if your cat spends a lot of time outdoors.

They can eat meat infected with salmonella or E. coli bacteria, causing them digestive discomfort, inflammation or sudden stinking smell in feces as well as diarrhea.

3) Medications And Hormonal Changes

Certain medications for pain and those with an effect on hormones can alter your cat’s natural chemical balance. Depending on the duration the chemical changes have occurred, your cat can suddenly defecate foul-smelling poop.

4) Digestive Disorders

Digestive disorders and related problems can wreak havoc in your cat’s gastrointestinal tract as it does in humans. The result would be strong pungent odors, usually very smelly. Most issues with the digestive tract often result from poor digestion and absorption of starches and fats.

5) Anal Glands Infections

Every mammal, including cats, have anal glands. They often drain through gland ducts. However, sometimes they clog and call for manual draining. If the glands get infected, your cat can produce a runny discharge that smells so bad and lingers all over the litter box.

6) Protein-Rich Foods

Cats are carnivores naturally. That means their food is often rich in proteins, specifically animal proteins they source outdoors. As a result, the high protein content in your cat’s diet causes it to defecate stool that smells horrible and smelly. Although you can’t do much about the smell in your cat’s droppings, a change in diet can do wonders.

7) Parasites

A parasitic infection can upset the stomach of your cat, causing serious diarrhea and feces that smell so bad that you'll have to go to a veterinarian. Coccidian and Trichomonas are some parasites that often cause serious issues in animals, including cats that are smelly. However, antibiotics and other veterinarian interventions can treat conditions the parasites cause in your cat or cats.

How To Remedy Your Kitty's Foul-Smelling Stool

Nobody likes the smell of cats’ feces. It gets even worse when the already bad smell becomes difficult to withstand from cats. But, since an infection, an inflammatory disease, gastrointestinal tract and cancer can cause discomfort and stinking feces in your best friend, it becomes necessary to treat all underlying conditions. Here’s how to deal with the issues:

1) Disinfect The Litter Box And Keep It Clean

Scoop poop from the cats litter box on a daily basis; you can create a schedule for that. Sprinkle baking soda on the litter box floor to eliminate bad odor and kill germs and other forms of bacteria. Change the cats litter as often as possible to keep it fresh and clean, especially if you have CatSpot coconut cat litter.

Scrub the litter box at least twice every month, from top to bottom, especially for plastic litter boxes; they easily harbor bacteria and produce a foul smell. Many owners have also considered a special litter that changes colors depending on your cat's health.

2) Changing The Diet

Upon determining the foods your cat is sensitive to, put them on a new diet and feeding routine for your cats health, according to any veterinarian you ask. Make sure you consult a veterinarian to help come up with a proper diet and feeding routine for your cats. Digestive supplements can reduce the number of bacteria present in the body of your cat, with is necessary for your pet health.

Choose cat food brands that use a few ingredients to produce their cat foods. Check online articles, journals or literature resources on the best foods for cat with foul-smelling stool. Use the phrase “the best cat food for foul-smelling or stinking fecal matter.”

3) Cat Grooming

Groom your cat to remove any foul smell on its body. Wash it with cat shampoo and comb the hairs to remove loose ones.

4) Vacuum Your House

Vacuum your draperies, area rugs, carpets, couches and chairs as often as possible, including other areas your cat frequents. It’ll help eliminate dander and loose hairs from your cats body, leaving it smelling fresh and not smelly.

Consider using furnace filters, air purifiers, blankets and beds for cats to keep foul smell of your cat’s feces out of your house.

Jackie Johnston


Jackie Johnston is the founder of Cat Word – a community of cat enthusiasts with a mission to spread as much knowledge as they can throughout the world on every aspect of raising and nurturing cats! In her spare time, Jackie loves reading and spending time with her two sons Logan and Christopher, and of course with their furry felines Simba and Max.


Comments (3 Responses)

06 September, 2022

Altaa Fulton

Hello Carla,
I am not the author of this article I have just read it myself and Saw your comment. Please don’t give your cat away! Someone else may not be able to handle the problem and she could end up in a bad situation. A veterinarian could help you figure this out. Perhaps the sneezing indicates a bacterial infection somewhere in her body.
My very best wishes to you.

03 March, 2022

Pauline johnson

Really good advice. Thank you

03 March, 2022


my car stinks soo bad it makes me think of finding her another home!!even the litter box it’s self after cleaning still stinks. her farts stink! i’m sick of it!! she acts healthy i have changed her diet from taste of the wild to purina one natural dry kitten food as she isn’t a year yet. I have noticed she sneezes more often than i would consider normal. but very active and healthy bengal. help!

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