Why Do My Cats Stink? – Ways To Stop Bad Odor

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Why Do My Cats Stink? – Ways To Stop Bad Odor

Wondering why your cat smells terrible is often a rare thing, as cat parents are well aware of their cat’s meticulous self-cleaning practices that leave no doubt about their cat’s hygiene.

So whenever a cat does start to smell bad, one cannot help but question if it is just something trivial or there needs to be proper attention brought forward.

Whatever the case, the first thing a cat parent concerned with their kitty’s bad odor must do is identify the cause. It is just a matter of how to eliminate the smell. This article will guide you through the various potential reasons your cats stink.

Why Do My Cats Stink?

Litter box – The very first place you should inquire is your cat’s litter box. This is particularly an obvious step if your cat smells similar to poop. Not to mention how common this reason is among cat parents and, fortunately, the easiest to resolve.

Litter boxes are not the hardest to clean, but it is your fault if you have been avoiding them. So make sure to remove your cat’s waste from the litter box at least once a day; more than once is usually more ideal but see what works best for you and your cat.

When it comes to replacing the litter itself, doing it once a week should be the standard. After all, a dirty litter box will only cause your cat to pass its waste somewhere outside the litter box leading to more mess and unpleasant smell around the house.

Special Litter

Additionally, litter is much better nowadays than before, some even releasing fragrance to counter the unpleasant smell.

However, if following the instructions above does not make much of a difference, you might want to consider opting for a different brand of litter. Find the ones that are more effective at absorbing the odor.

A bengal cat is coming out of a litter box

Smelly fur – If your cat’s smell is not similar to feces and is mainly stinking from its fur, your cat might have a yeast skin infection issue. Therefore, such a smell probably comes from the skin and not the fur itself.

Check for yellow or brown spots on your cat and try to identify if the skin is becoming flaky. In addition to that, see if your cat is beginning to lose hair as hair loss is a common symptom of skin yeast infection.

The infection may be caused by fleas and food allergies, along with the possibility of cat skincare products used for your feline buddy. Visiting the vet would be the wisest thing and should be the top priority.

A vet is examining cat's fur

Cats stink due to bad breath Bad breath can be a common issue that cat parents have to deal with. It is certainly not the least annoying as their breath can be extremely unpleasant, from smelling like fish to rotten meat and even feces.

Your cat stinks from bad breath could be due to several different causes, ranging from gum disease, bacteria, and other dental issues with your cat. It is considered a serious problem if your cat’s breath smells incredibly unpleasant, and you need to check your cat’s mouth for signs of swollen gums.

If you see redness and swelling in your cat’s gums, then it is inevitable that your cat has caught an infection, and the next thing to do would be to book an appointment with your vet. The vet may be able to clean your cat’s teeth and extract whatever the cause of the infection is.

Anal glands – Cats, like any other mammal, have anal glands, and they use them to mark their territory after they defecate. If your cat smells unpleasant from the rear end, its anal glands are likely blocked. This is the most common cause of why cats stink.

Your cat may leak from the back if they are stressed, which could lead to infection, making things worse. Again, the first thing you should do is get your cat examined by the vet. Fortunately, vets can treat the infection and even unblock the glands so that your cat is healthy again and does not emit any unpleasant odor.

How To Get Rid Of My Cats Smell

Washing detergent If your cat has developed the habit of spraying, you may tend to neuter but bear in mind that it may not solve the issue. Using your household washing detergent to clean the areas where they spray to get rid of the smell so that they don’t continue spraying in the same spot can be a good start.

Commercial cat cleaning spray If that doesn’t do the trick, try looking for commercial cat cleaning spray products that have been quite effective in removing the stubborn odor from your home. The spray contains proteins and bacteria that break down the organic compounds in your cat’s urine, essentially removing the strong smell.

Air purifier

Air purifiers – From electronic air purifiers to Himalayan salt lamps, many cat owners have positively reviewed these products that help remove the bad odor caused by cats stink. If you are a cat parent who constantly asks why your cat stinks, buying these products will help you get rid of your cat’s stink and odor.

Burning scented oils is another excellent way to cope with your cat’s stink and make your home smell good, so you don’t have to worry about upsetting visitors.


Cats stink for different reasons, each with its own set of treatments needed to combat the bad odor. Visiting the vet is your safest bet, covering any problem that may be causing your cat to smell bad.

So before you start to get annoyed when thinking why my cat stink, bear in mind that your cat is not purposely releasing the smell. It may have a medical condition that needs urgent attention.

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