My Stinky Cat Smells Like Poop! How Can I Stop The Odor?

You just realized your cat has a nasty, particularly unflattering odor that happens to smell a lot like poop. Now what? Why does your pet smell like poop? What’s causing it? How do you get rid of the stench?

By default, cats are probably the cleanest animals of all domesticated pets. They constantly use their tongues, paws, and even teeth to keep their fluffy bodies clean. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t get dirty.

But why does my cat smell like poop?

Well, for starters, maybe it’s not the cat that’s producing the nasty odor. Chances are it’s something as simple as a diet change, dirty litter, or a stressful environment.

Change of diet

Feline creatures, especially indoor cats, have different nutritional needs than humans. As such, they need lots of meat, fats, oils, Vitamin A, and most importantly – taurine. Furthermore, their stomachs are quite sensitive. A sudden diet change could cause gases, flatulence, diarrhea, and unpleasant smells.

Feeding your furball with high-quality cat food is important for its well-being, so don’t ever opt for cheaper choices, and don’t make any drastic changes between the types of food you’re serving to your pet… if you do, take it slow!

Dirty litter

Maintaining the litter box is just as essential as maintaining your cat’s well-balanced diet.

This means cleaning up after your kitten and refilling its litter. That’s probably the last thing you want to do after a long day at work, but if you start neglecting it, your home will start smelling like poop pretty soon.

Many low-quality litter granules can’t absorb the odor and excrement properly, and if they get stuck to your kitty’s paws and fur, this will most definitely result in your cat smelling like poop. Fortunately, there are automatic self-cleaning litters. But if you can’t spend a small fortune on one of them, opt for quality litter granules.

Dirty cat

Even though cats constantly clean themselves, sometimes poo, especially runny poo, may get stuck on their fur around the rear area. If you happen to own a long-hair breed like the Persian or the Maine Coon, there’s a big chance the fur will attract nasty particles.

If your cat smells like poop, check the fur around its bottom for any pee or poo stains. You may need to trim it regularly to avoid such issues in the future.

Cats that are allowed to roam outside are less hygienic than indoor cats. Thus, it might have caught a feral cat’s smell or could have rolled in something nasty outside. If you’re allowing your pet to roam in the yard, make sure you treat it for fleas and parasites, use cat wipes, and bathe it regularly.

Infected anal glands

Felines are prone to developing a variety of issues with their anal glands. The glands are located near the bottom underneath their skin, and they may get infected, start leaking, or even develop an abscess. In this case, you’ll need to take your cat immediately for a thorough check-up at the vet’s office.

If your kitty is scooting on the floor, has trouble with doing its business, and is constantly licking or even biting the area around its rear end, it’s probably suffering from anal gland infection or inflammation. Your vet may prescribe antibiotics or, if needed, even empty the glands.

How to cope with the problem?

The first and most important step is to remain calm. Chances are that your cat isn’t suffering from leaking or infected anal glands, so the poop odor is either coming from its fur or from the litter box.

Before you rush to the vet, check whether everything is in order with its food (change back to the type of food you were buying before the cat started producing the smell), give your cat a bath, and gently clean the area around its bottom. If your pet still smells like poop after you’ve cleaned the litter and the cat, it’s time to seek a professional’s help.

Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

2 thoughts on “My Stinky Cat Smells Like Poop! How Can I Stop The Odor?”

  1. Thank you so much for the info on poop smelling kitty. I’ll be taking my cat Grey “C” to the vet tomorrow. She has been smelling for a couple of days now. She is 15 years old & has always be a sickly cat since birth.
    She also has one eye. After several eye infections, she had the right eye removed in 2007. She has gone into liver failure twice. Once in 2008 & again in 2010. She has survived many infections & I’m hoping & praying she comes out of this thing too. I had another cat, Mew Mew, who lived 19 years & was never sick a day in her life except the last week or so that she passed. I loved her as much as I love my Grey “C”.
    Thank you again,

  2. I’m just wondering why my cats breath is so offensive- Her litter definitely clean , as well as she. Her breath smells like poop- anything besides – changing her diet I can do for her breath..- It’s so BAD- she’s only 6 months old- I can’t even kiss her- it would be like kiss in her but( not to be crude)-Otherwise she’s fine and healthy happy and playful

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