My cat's poop smells awful
Boy, I mean it… my cat’s poop smells REALLY bad.

A family adopts a cute, fluffy kitty and brings him into their home with a satisfied feeling that this is the right pet for them.

All is well, except for one upsetting fact — for some reason, the newest member of the family is practically ruining their comfy home life with the repugnant smell of her poop!

Realizing that normal feces should not have such a strong odor, this family wonders what this kitty’s problem could be.


“My Cat’s Poop Smells Awful!”

The first step in resolving this matter should be a visit to a veterinarian.

If there are no signs of weight loss or diarrhea, the veterinarian may suggest a change in the cat’s diet. Meat protein contains a large amount of amino acids containing sulfur. Once the meat protein in a food is ingested, it is broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream of the stomach and small intestines. The end product of this bacterial breakdown may result in stinky poop.

A more digestible diet consisting of milk proteins or absorbable carbohydrates usually produces less smelly bowel movements. But be cautious in choosing a source of milk protein, as many cats have trouble digesting lactose (milk sugar), which is found in regular milk.

When you’re changing foods, be sure to check the label for ingredients. The meat product should always be listed first.

Parasites & Cat Poop

Parasitic worms are another common cause of terrible smelling feces. Deworming at regular intervals, as determined by your veterinarian, is a must since these tiny parasites can lie dormant for long periods of time.

Chances are if kitty has worms once, they can make a comeback, so consistency in treatment is very important.

According to Jane A. Kelley, cat expert and animal communicator, many parasites can cause intestinal worries. Among these single-celled “stinkers” are the protozoa (including giardia, toxoplasma, cryptosporidium and coccidia). Coccidian parasites are the most common uninvited guests of animals’ intestinal tracts and often occur in young animals.

Protozoa, though sometimes hard to detect when testing for intestinal parasites, cannot be killed with standard dewormers. However, your veterinarian can prescribe special medications to treat infestations.

Anal Sac Infection in Cats

One last area to check when you think your cat’s poop smells awful is a possible anal sac infection. Although it’s more common in older cats, this problem is sometimes seen in kittens as well.

It can be easily treated via a trip to the veterinarian’s office. There the vet can draw out the infection from the anal sacs and prescribe the necessary antibiotics.

With a little loving care, diet upgrade and advice from your veterinarian, your little stinker can be the purr-fect addition to your home.

Additional Resources

Photo: Zanastardust/Flickr

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  • Roland N.

    Nobody resents those foul–bowel odors more than I do, but–hey–if you’re just concerned about the smell(s), raise roses–not cats!

    • Pets Adviser

      Haha, true. But the article’s talking about extra-extra-stinky.

    • Nathan

      No, moron, the point is not that it stinks. The point is ensuring that it doesn’t stink more than it should because of other unknown biological factors that might be harming the kitty.

    • rambunctiousexplorer

      That is, at minimum, a dismissive and unhelpful remark.

      • NK

        An idiotic remark to say the least. There are measures someone can take to minimize that. Buy hey there will always be internet trolls!

        • rambunctiousexplorer

          Lol. Yes, I’m still trying and don’t expect poop to smell like roses!

        • PoopMiner

          Good thing you realize that. I was about to make a dismissive and unhelpful remark that poop (surprise surprise) doesn’t smell like roses.

  • bellagrace

    my cat defecates at least 4-5 times a day. I have owned cats before and never had a problem with odor, it is so foul it over takes the entire house. I go through litter like crazy. I was given this cat at xmas 2013 and I love her. But this smell is horrible. I switched from dry to canned food and limited her portions and at first it seemed to work but now it is coming back. Any recommendations would be appreciated

  • rambunctiousexplorer

    Stray cat I just had neutered and dewormed 6 days ago stinks and the whole house reeks from each poop. And he poops 2-3 times a day. I gave him S Boulardii and Culturelle and acidophilus each meal yesterday, but that lingering stench continues. This is just like bellagrace’s problem. Thanks for the article, I guess I have to add on another vet visit to treat giardella/coccidiosis etc.

    This smell is NOT a normal smell. There’s poop smell and there’s this stench.

    • sarah

      What does it smell like? Almost sourish???

      • rambunctiousexplorer

        No, it’s a pervasive stench something like rotting meat. He’s now mine, no longer a stray. I have used various probiotics as well as enzymes. He is very healthy and peripatetic. And, except for the smell, the poop is normal. Thanks.

        • Cat Owner

          Try “Kocci Free”, a natural remedy. It worked wonders for my cat who had been prescribed an impossible-to-administer medicine by the vet (awful taste). I repeat the treatment every six months, just to be sure.

        • rambunctiousexplorer

          Thanks! Never heard of it and I will check it out.

  • Maureen

    The feces of feral cats don’t smell. Think about it, no carnivore wants to leave stinky spoor behind that a larger predator can trace back to them. The problem with stinky poop is the cat’s diet. The more meat a cat eats, the less stinky the poop. When my girl ate (premium grain-free) kibble you knew everywhere in the house when she used the kitty litter. Now she is on a high protein, very low carb canned food and hubby no longer knows when she has been in the litter. That said, foul smelling stools can be a sign of bacterial overgrowth in the intestine. You cat may need probiotics (feline not human) to balance things again. Best to have a fecal test done by the vet. Also 4-5 times seems excessive to me (but I’m not a vet) almost loose stools, so he might have an intestinal problem of some kind. Since this was posted 5 months ago I hope the situation has improved. If not, get your cat to a good cat only vet.

  • IowaGal

    I am a kitty foster and took in 11 kittens this past summer. 2 of those had REALLY bad smelling poop, they were all de-wormed 4 times. They get the best food, canned and dry, grain free or not grain free, same smell. The 3 I got later, had tapeworms, and were treated twice, so then all the others were also treated. I have seen no sign of worms, nor do any of their vet tests show any parasites. They are all very active and healthy, just the stinkiest smelling poo I’ve ever smelled! I have purchased more tapeworm pills to give them all, but now I’m second guessing myself. Please give any advice.