Why Does My Cat's Poop Smell So Bad? Causes & Remedies


Naturally, stool has an unpleasant smell. But, sometimes it can have a strong foul smell. Just like human stool, cat’s poop can stink 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 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 poop to stink.

Many cat 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.

cat pooping

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. Gastrointestinal tract, infectious diseases, inflammation and cancer are often attributed to adult cat fecal abnormality. A vet can help determine the actual cause of foul smell in your pet’s poop 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 poop 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 kitty food for smelly poop to get rid of the bad smell. Here’re a few reasons why your cat’s poop could be smelling foul:

Top 7 Reasons Cat Poop 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 poop 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. 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. Although you can’t do much about the smell in your cat’s poop, 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. Coccidian and Trichomonas are some parasites that often cause serious issues in animals, including cats. However, antibiotics and other veterinarian interventions can treat conditions the parasites cause in your cat.

How To Remedy Your Cat's Foul-Smelling Stool

Nobody likes the smell of cats’ poop. It gets even worse when the already bad smell becomes difficult to withstand. But, since an infection, an inflammatory disease, gastrointestinal tract and cancer can cause discomfort and stinking poop 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 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 litter as often as possible to keep it fresh and clean.

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.

2) Changing The Diet

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

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 poop.”

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 kitty’s body, leaving it smelling fresh.

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

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