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9 Best Cat Foods for Smelly Poop in 2024: Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on June 6, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat wet and dry food_Nils Jacobi_Shutterstock

9 Best Cat Foods for Smelly Poop in 2024: Reviews & Top Picks

cat wet and dry food_Nils Jacobi_Shutterstock If you’re being chased out of the room every time your cat uses the litter box, it may not be their cat litter to blame but their food. What your cat eats directly affects what their stool smells like. Some cats have iron stomachs and don’t seem bothered by anything. Others have digestive problems with an even smaller number of fillers.

These cats may need higher-quality cat food made explicitly for smelly feces. While most cat foods aren’t marketed to fix the problem directly, quite a few brands can help. We’ve done all the hard work for you by finding and reviewing the best cat food for smelly poop on the market. Let’s take a look!

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A Quick Look at Our Winners of 2024

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Cat Food Subscription Service Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Cat Food Subscription Service
  • Nutrient density decreases poop odors and excessive waste
  • Multiple recipes and textures available
  • Limited ingredients
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Dry Cat Food Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Dry Cat Food
  • Tasty
  • Made in the USA
  • Omega fatty acids
  • Third place
    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Cat Food Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
  • High protein
  • Grain-free
  • Included omega fatty acids
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food
  • Duck
  • Grain-free
  • Limited ingredient
  • Taste of the Wild Canyon River Grain-Free Dry Cat Food Taste of the Wild Canyon River Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
  • Salmon, trout, and ocean fish included
  • Antioxidants and omega fatty acids added
  • No grain, corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • The 9 Best Cat Food for Smelly Poop

    1. Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Cat Food Subscription Service – Best Overall

    Smalls is a subscription-based cat food company that offers not only convenience but also high-quality food to keep your kitty healthy. One excellent side effect of the nutrient-dense foods by Smalls is that your cat’s poops will start to be less stinky over time. That’s not to say that the unpleasant odor of your cat’s stool will be permanently eliminated, but Smalls will help decrease the unpleasant odor and the amount of waste your cat produces.

    As a nutrient-dense formula free of fillers, your kitty can get maximum nutrition without increasing their litter box visits. Smalls is available in a variety of protein options, as well as in multiple wet food textures. All the recipes and textures are limited ingredient recipes, which can make these foods a good option for cats with food sensitivities, which may be making their poop smell worse.

    Smalls has a variety of extras you can add to your subscription, which can be updated at any time. They even produce cat litter, making it even easier to control unpleasant litter box odors. This food retails for a premium price.

    Pros
    • Subscription-based food option
    • Nutrient density decreases poop odors and excessive waste production
    • Multiple recipes and textures available
    • Limited ingredient
    • Add-ons to subscription include cat litter
    Cons
    • Premium price

    2. Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Dry Cat Food – Budget Buy

    Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Dry Cat Food

    If you’re looking for something cheaper, Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Dry Cat Food is the best cat food for smelly poop for the money. It includes chicken as the first ingredient. As long as your feline isn’t sensitive to chicken, it is a solid option. While Tender Selects isn’t as high-protein as other brands, it includes 34% protein, which is still pretty high.

    While the first ingredient is chicken, the other ingredients are sub-par. For instance, rice flour is the second ingredient, with corn gluten meal as the third. This makes the formula a bit lower quality than other formulas. However, it also helps keep the cost down, which is one reason it is so much cheaper than the other brands.

    Omega fatty acids are included to help support your cat’s skin and coat, and all Purina foods are made in the USA. It is also reported to be tastier than other options and may be particularly suitable for picky cats.

    Pros
    • Includes chicken as the first ingredient
    • Inexpensive
    • Omega fatty acids
    • Made in the USA
    • Tasty
    Cons
    • Includes some sub-par ingredients

    3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    For most felines, Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is a good option. It is a high-protein diet and completely grain-free. In other words, it matches what your feline would eat naturally in the wild, which tends to make it easier on a cat’s stomach. If your cat is having digestive issues like smelly poop, this food may be the saving grace you’ve been looking for.

    The first ingredient is deboned chicken, with the second ingredient is chicken meal. Both of these are high-quality options. The third ingredient is pea protein. This increases the protein content of this food substantially. However, the protein is lower quality than animal-based protein. That’s something to remember when looking at Blue Buffalo Wilderness’s protein content.

    However, it’s free from by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives. It includes high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which can help protect your cat’s coat and skin. A blend of antioxidants is also included, though it appears that they are from artificial sources. If you’re looking for a great pick, we think this is one of the best cat foods to avoid stinky deposits.

    Pros
    • High protein
    • Chicken as the first ingredient
    • Grain-free
    • Free of corn, wheat, soy, and artificial flavors
    • Included omega fatty acids
    Cons
    • Includes pea protein
    • Expensive

    4. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food

    Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food

    For felines with severe digestive issues, it may be in your cat’s best interest to choose food like Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food. This limited-ingredient formula contains very few ingredients, so there are fewer things for your feline to have a problem with. This food is mainly made out of duck, so it will also be suitable for cats with chicken allergies. Duck is considered a “novel” protein because it is not found in many cat foods. For this reason, cats are rarely allergic to it.

    This food is 100% grain-free and does not include corn, wheat, or soy. These things can directly affect a cat’s digestive system, which is mainly made to digest protein. For this reason, food that doesn’t include these things may be gentler on a cat’s stomach.

    Blue Buffalo Basics includes omega fatty acids, amino acids, and antioxidants. It is a complete diet that has everything your feline needs. Most of the ingredients are high-quality. However, peas are included. While they aren’t necessarily bad ingredients, they artificially raise the food’s protein content.

    Pros
    • Limited ingredient
    • Duck
    • Grain-free
    • Free of corn, wheat, and soy
    Cons
    • Includes peas
    • A bit expensive

    5. Taste of the Wild Canyon River Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Taste of the Wild Canyon River Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Taste of the Wild Canyon River Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is a solid option for many felines. It includes fish as the first few ingredients, including trout and ocean fish meal. Smoked salmon is also included but much lower on the ingredient list. Peas and pea protein are included, which signals that much of the included protein may not come from animal sources.

    This formula is grain-free, and it may be gentler on your feline’s stomach. This can lead to less digestive upset and less foul-smelling excrement. Vitamins and antioxidants are added, including omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. These help support healthy skin and coat.

    Taste of the Wild includes absolutely no grain, corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives—perfect for sensitive felines. It is nutrient-dense and quite digestible, so it should fix that stinky poop issue. Plus, it’s made in the USA in facilities that follow strict safety protocols.

    Taste of the Wild isn’t for picky cats. There are many reports of pickier cats not liking the flavor and refusing to eat it. You may want to look elsewhere if your cat is a bit picky.

    Pros
    • Salmon, trout, and ocean fish included
    • Antioxidants and omega fatty acids added
    • No grain, corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
    Cons
    • Not for picky cats
    • Includes pea protein

    6. American Journey Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    American Journey Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    American Journey Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is another great option on the market. It is very high in protein (40%). Most of the protein comes from meat products, not pea protein, like many other cat foods. The first few ingredients are duck and chicken products. Eggs are included as the fifth ingredient, which is a high-quality option.

    American Journey has pea protein, but it is further down on the list and surrounded by meat. Therefore, very little protein is likely from a veggie source. It is completely grain-free and free from corn, wheat, and soy. This makes it easier on felines’ stomachs and may prevent some of the stink from their litter box.

    American Journey is also made in the USA, though it uses ingredients from around the world. Many essential amino acids are added in case your cat needs more. It also helps offset the use of peas.

    Pros
    • Duck and chicken as main ingredients
    • Includes eggs
    • Grain-free
    • Added amino acids
    • Made in the USA
    Cons
    • Includes peas

    7. Rachael Ray Nutrish Dry Cat Food

    Rachael Ray Nutrish Dry Cat Food

    While this is a newer cat food brand, Rachael Ray Nutrish Dry Cat Food has gained traction. It is inexpensive compared to some other brands, which is one reason for its popularity. Farm-raised chicken is the first ingredient, with chicken meal as the second. However, after that, the ingredients get a bit low-quality. The third ingredient is corn gluten meal, followed by brown rice and brewer’s rice.

    Nutrish contains no corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-product meal, or artificial flavors. For this reason, it may be a bit gentler on your feline’s stomach. The yeast is a natural source of B vitamins, proteins, biotin, and zinc. Omega fatty acids are included as well. Beet pulp is included, which is a source of fiber. Fiber is essential for your cat’s digestive system.

    The main problem with this cat food is that not all ingredients are high-quality. It isn’t grain-free, which may be a problem for some cats. Felines with chicken sensitives can’t eat this food either. If your cat is fine with grains and chicken, Nutrish may be suitable.

    Pros
    • Chicken as the first ingredient
    • Doesn’t include corn, wheat, or soy
    • Omega fatty acids added
    • Prebiotics included
    Cons
    • Includes some lower-quality ingredients
    • Not grain-free

    8. FirstMate Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    FirstMate Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    FirstMate Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is rated low due to its expensive cost. It is about double what you’ll pay for other foods. Some pet parents may find it worth it, especially if their felines are sensitive to a variety of different ingredients. However, many won’t find the added cost worth the benefit. You can likely choose a food that is just as good for your feline for a much smaller cost.

    Chicken meal is the first ingredient. Overall, FirstMate has only four natural ingredients before it shifts to added vitamins and minerals. Pea protein is not included, though potatoes are the second ingredient. Chicken fat and whole blueberries take up the rest of the ingredient list. It contains 36% protein, which is decently high. It doesn’t include any veggie protein concentrates, and much of the protein is from animal products.

    FirstMate is grain and gluten-free. The limited-ingredient diet is helpful for felines with digestive problems. Blueberries work as an antioxidant and a source of fiber, which is very important for digestive health. Free-range chicken is the only protein source.

    Pros
    • Chicken meal as the first ingredient
    • No pea protein
    • Limited ingredient
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Some cats won’t like the flavor

    9. Royal Canin Feline Digestive Care Dry Cat Food

    Royal Canin Feline Digestive Care Dry Cat Food

    Royal Canin Feline Digestive Care Dry Cat Food is designed for digestive problems. It can prevent smelly stools, as well as frequent vomiting. It includes plenty of prebiotics, which are essential for your feline’s gut. The ring-shaped kibble is designed to slow down your cat’s feasting and encourage complete chewing.

    However, Royal Canin is one of the lower-quality options on the market. The first ingredient is not a meat product but brewer’s rice, and the second ingredient is wheat gluten. Chicken meal is the third ingredient, but that’s the only animal product in the whole food besides fish oil, which is mainly included in omega fatty acids.

    Plus, this cat food for low-odor feces is exceedingly expensive. You’re better off purchasing cheaper food that is higher quality.

    Pros
    • Prebiotics included
    • Explicitly designed for digestive problems
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Low in animal products
    • Includes sub-par ingredients, like wheat gluten

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    Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Cat Food for Smelly Poop

    When your cat is having digestive problems, it’s essential to ensure that you choose the perfect food. Felines can’t thrive on just any food. They need one made with the right ingredients so that their digestive system isn’t irritated even more than it already is. Typically, these cats are sensitive to specific ingredients. It can be challenging to figure out what they’re sensitive to, so you will likely need to try multiple foods.

    We recommend sticking with a particular food for about 3 months before deciding whether to switch again. A new food may take some time to calm down your feline’s digestive tract, so don’t give up after only a week or two.

    Ingredients

    When it comes to cats with digestive problems, the ingredients are the essential thing to consider. You should preferably choose a food that contains high-quality animal products. You may want to avoid chicken, as this is one of the ingredients that cats are more likely to be sensitive to. However, just because your cat has smelly stools doesn’t mean they’re sensitive to chicken.

    You may want to avoid foods that contain grains, corn, wheat, and soy. These ingredients can cause issues in cats with sensitive stomachs. Some felines may be sensitive to one particular ingredient or sensitive to all of these ingredients. Luckily, foods that are made explicitly without one often don’t include the others either.

    Next, you may want to consider ingredients that can help your feline’s digestive system. This includes things like probiotics and prebiotics, which are essential for your feline’s gut biome.

    While veggies are not necessarily bad, you need to remember that certain veggies are quite high in protein. These foods can raise the protein content of the overall food, which can decrease the percentage of the protein that comes from meat. Just because a food contains a high protein percentage doesn’t mean all that protein comes from meat. Check the ingredient list for veggies like peas and potatoes.

    Some formulas even include things like pea protein, which are even more concentrated forms of veggie protein.

    Macronutrients

    Macronutrients are protein, fat, and carbohydrates. All food is made out of these three components. Cats need food that is exceptionally high in protein and fat. They are obligate carnivores, which means that they were designed to live on meat—which is made up of protein and fat.

    Preferably, any food you purchase should be made out of mostly these ingredients. A minimal amount of carbohydrates is okay, but you should aim for lots of protein.

    As we previously stated, you must be careful about choosing cat foods with ingredients like pea protein. They may seem like they contain a lot of protein, but much of it will be veggie protein. It may be low in certain amino acids, which are essential for your feline’s health.

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    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    What can I give my cat so his poop doesn’t smell so bad?

    A cat’s feces will smell based on what the cat eats. Indigestible ingredients and sensitivities may cause the stool to smell particularly bad. If a cat has digestive problems, then it may cause the stool to become smelly. Sometimes, smelly stool is a sign of an underlying problem, like an allergy.

    Luckily, much of this problem can be fixed by choosing the correct food. This will likely involve selecting one that is free from common allergens and fillers.

    What foods make cats’ poop stink?

    This often depends on the cat. Foods that your cat doesn’t digest all the way can make their stool stinky. If your cat has allergies, they may be unable to digest certain foods all the way. Sensitivities to wheat, corn, and soy can also cause problems. Cats are often sensitive to these ingredients, as they didn’t evolve to consume them.

    Your first step should be to cut out these common problems. Cats can also become sensitive to proteins like chicken. If your feline’s feces continue to stink, you may want to switch to a food with a different protein source. For example, if your feline is currently eating chicken, we recommend switching to fish or some other protein source.

    Be sure to check the ingredient list. Some foods will be labeled as fish flavor but have plenty of chicken in them.

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    Final Thoughts

    There are many cat food brands for felines that have sensitive stomachs and stinky stools. Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Food is the best option on the market. It is made with novel proteins, so your feline is less likely to react.

    As a cheaper option, we also recommend Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Dry Cat Food. It is much cheaper than other brands but still includes chicken as the first ingredient. It is tasty and is suitable for picky cats.

    Hopefully, this article made choosing the best food for your feline a bit easier. Our reviews should make choosing which food would be best for you less challenging, while our buyer’s guide should help you navigate the sea of features.


    Featured Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

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