Why Does My Cat’s Fur Smell?

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Every time pet owners have this major complaint about the cat smell. Nothing can clear the room rather than a stinking cat or their messy litter box. They have a stinky smell compared to any other pet species. But you should know that cat is not only responsible for their foul-smelling. Many things contribute, such as diet, regular baths, hunting habits, and more.

If you are facing such issues and want to get rid of them, then it can be achieved with a few simple changes. Your feline friend will start smelling normal & you can quickly identify the difference. The major drawback is that the cats are never going to realize their odor. Even though they are known for smelling and sniffing around, usually, they don’t observe their smell. After all the changes made, if you still notice that they have a bad odor, then take them to the vet because there may be more than one reason. Check this article to find out why the cat’s fur smells. We are going to see what the possible reason is for your cat’s fur smelling bad.

What is the smell of your cat?

As you must know, cats are self-groomers. They thoroughly clean themselves by devoting an average of one hour every day. It is one of the priority tasks for them. However, the smell of the cat is different. Usually, they smell like fresh mud or grass. If you want to check this fact, you must smell a kitten. Because as they grow old, there come various reasons that contribute to their body odor. It is because they are prone to roll over everywhere, and it is part of their regular activities. And many owners bath them with different soaps and shampoos; hence their natural smell is lost.

What type of bad odor are you observing from the cat?

When we say bad odor, there are many types. Only based on this, we will be able to figure out what the problem is with your cat. Here are some of the types of odor one can observe in the cat.

Dead Fish: Even though the cat may consume fish every day, it should not smell like a fish. They can be the favorite food for cats, but that does not mean it is their signature scent; if the fur smells bad like a dead fish, it is a problem of sac glands. You may be surprised because gland problems are usually common among dogs. But from now on, realize that even cats have a similar problem.

When cats excrete, the sac located near their excretory parts will release a small pungent-smelling fluid. It is natural in them that they are trying to mark the territory—these fluids cause bad smells only when the glands get clogged. Otherwise, you may not even notice the fluid. You may give them some liquid foods for the release of fluid, but if you still couldn’t figure it out, then take them to the vet.

Urine Smell: This is a highly intolerable smell, but the problem might be because of the following reasons:

  • Often trips the litter box upon them
  • Unable to clean the bottom surface of the body
  • Rolling over the waste or garbage while playing outside

But if your cat behaves strangely along with the crying, then you may need professional help. The smell could be because of the urinary tract infection in them. They start crying out loud, and the frequency of peeing may increase. It is especially common among overweight cats. When they are bulkier, the cats will not be able to do any physical activities. They urinate before they reach the litter box. Hence the skin and fur start smelling bad.

Apart from the smell of fur, you need to have a concern when they have an odor from other parts, which is briefly given in the table.

Cat smelling parts Why do they smell bad?
Rear EndUnless they are emerging from the litter box, it is a dangerous smell. When they are old, you may consider this seriously. It is an early sign of obesity and arthritis. They slowly develop other problems like Diarrhea and urine infections as well.
MouthA healthy cat mouth never stinks. They cannot go wrong unless they have dental diseases. The vet says you can also consider that bad odors from the mouth are indicating kidney or intestinal diseases in cats. Check if they have any plaque or tartar and take the vet immediately.
EarsIf the smell s more like yeast, it is a bacterial or fungal infection. When they have some types of parasites growing over or under the surface, this is a clear sign of fungal infection. Also, you need to know that fungi can go grow on their surface easily. It is basically an ear mite that is the first thing to clear for a healthy cat to get rid of the smell.

How to prevent the foul-smelling fur in the cat?

The best way to control these types of odors is by offering them a well-balanced controlled diet. Just like humans, even for cats, every problem starts with what they eat. Look out for the balanced diet that they can have. When the digestive tract is under control, other problems are going to be resolved easily.

When you are feeding them, check ingredients that have only digestive proteins. The non-digestive elements not only lead to the cause of lousy smell but also other major health problems like kidney stones. If you are not sure about what you should be feeding them, it is always recommended to consult the doctor. Purina has launched a Pro Plan Dry cat food that is specifically made for the feline that has sensitive skin. They have all the nutrition necessary to keep the cats in a balanced health condition.

Based on your cat’s weight, the doctor can suggest you the best cat food along with some supplements. If your cat lacks any nutrition, then that becomes balanced with these supplements. The Greenies Smartbites supplements are one of the options that you can look for. You will see the difference in the smell after a small interval.

If you think everything is right, but still your cat smells terrible, then there is dedicated medicine for that. These medicines are made of extracts that have the potential to break down odor-causing proteins in cats. Consult the vet & ask for the dosage and other precautions.


Now you must understand that cat bad-smelling odor is not only because of them. The reasons listed above are important to consider. But never take the cat’s smell lightly as there may be an indication of other health problems and complications. Also, ensure that you are cleaning the place where your pet cat lives regularly. It will not only prevent the smell from the cats but also your home.

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