As much as we all love our cats, cleaning out their litter trays is unlikely to top any cat lover’s list of favorite tasks. If your cat’s poop happens to start smelling worse than usual, this can make this job even worse!
Bad-smelling poop can be a sign that something’s wrong with your cat, so it’s important to get to the bottom of the problem, so to speak! We’ve collected the top six reasons that your cat’s poop might be smelling so bad and more importantly, what you can do about it.
First, though, if your cat’s stinky poop hasn’t freshened up after a couple of days, seek veterinary advice. If their bad-smelling poop is accompanied by vomiting or blood or has a diarrhea consistency, seek an emergency veterinarian.
The 8 Reasons Your Cat’s Poop Smells So Bad
Introducing a new food to your cat’s diet can sometimes lead to smelly poop, often with a loose consistency. If you plan to change your cat’s diet without a specific medical reason for it, you should always try to do it gradually. You can change to the new diet over a period of 10 days by adding 10% of the new diet every day. This will allow your cat’s digestive system to adapt to the new diet.
Your cat might have eaten something that disagreed with them, like a mouse or something else that they managed to catch. Cats are carnivores, but protein-rich foods can also cause smelly poop. Cats can develop intolerances to grains or sensitivity to any of the ingredients in a formula, both of which can cause smelly poop as a result.
If your cat eats something that’s been contaminated with bacteria like E. coli or Salmonella spp., this may cause smelly poop, as well as indigestion, inflammation, and diarrhea. Some cats love to hunt for food (even if they don’t need to!), and eating rodents or birds can put them at risk of a bacterial infection.
Certain types of intestinal parasites can cause excessive gas, diarrhea, and stinky poop. Giardia, coccidia, and trichomonas infestations can all result in your cat’s intestines becoming inflamed, too.
4. Digestive issues
If your cat’s digestive system is unable to digest or absorb fats and starches within their diet, this can result in particularly stinky poop. The technical terms for these digestive issues are maldigestion and malabsorption. Cats can also suffer from specific food sensitivities and intolerances. All of these digestive issues can result in bloating, gas, and stinky poop.
Certain medications, including hormonal medication and pain relievers, can cause smelly poop. Some vitamin and mineral supplements can also cause stinky poop.
6. Anal gland infection
If your cat’s anal glands become infected, they might not drain properly. This can result in a foul-smelling discharge that can end up covering their poop and elsewhere!
7. Cat litter
Natural cat litters like paper, unscented clay, and wood pellets often hold onto the smell of cat poop, even after you’ve cleaned the tray. Your cat’s poop might not smell any worse than normal, but that lingering smell can soon become unpleasant.
Even the best cat litter can quickly start smelling bad. To avoid the expense and inconvenience of constantly replacing your litter, you can try a great litter additive like Hepper's Advanced Bio-Enzyme Cat Litter Deodorizer, a natural product that uses bio-enzymes to neutralize odors.
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8. Not covering up their poop or pooping outside the litter tray
Even if your cat’s poop isn’t any smellier than usual, if they’re not covering it up in the litter tray, then it’s going to start to smell bad. This may be a sign that the litter is hurting your cat’s paws, or they don’t like the texture or smell of the litter. Cats pooping outside the litter tray may be having trouble accessing a tray with high sides, or the tray is too small.
Wrapping it up
If your cat’s smelly poop is also diarrhea-like in consistency, it’s doubly important to get them checked by a vet as soon as possible. Ongoing or recurrent diarrhea can be the result of an underlying condition, like kidney disease, liver disease, or a hyperactive thyroid. Your vet will need to run tests to determine the exact cause.
If smelly poop is combined with lethargy, lack of appetite, or vomiting, call your vet as a matter of urgency.
Always keep your cat’s litter tray as clean as possible, and monitor your cat’s poop so you can quickly tell if something is wrong. You may smell it before you see it, and that’s always a sign that something isn’t quite right!
If your cat’s stinky poop is combined with other issues, like pooping outside the litter box, your cat may be suffering from an underlying health condition. Speaking to your vet as soon as possible is the best course of action.
Certain stinky poop problems can easily be solved by changing the type of litter that you use or adjusting your cat’s diet. Others may need medication and ongoing treatment. Whatever the issue, seeking advice from your vet is essential, and then you can start looking forward to a happier cat and a pleasant-smelling home once again!
You might also like:
- My Cat Smells Like Poop: 5 Vet Approved Reasons & Solutions
- 9 Best Cat Foods for Diarrhea: Reviews & Top Picks
Featured Image: catinsyrup, Shutterstock