Why Does My Cats Poop Smell?Should You Panic?

Stool, by nature, smells. So if my cat’s poop smells, I am not at all surprised by it. However, I also know that if my cat’s poop has a strong foul odor, there must be a reason to it. And I lose no time in finding out why the smell is unusually strong and bad. 

Your cat’s poop is a good indicator of his health. Smelly faeces is usually a sign of bad bacteria in the stomach or intestines caused by digestive issues, poor diet or a few other factors

If you find yourself in the same situation, it is important to consider the causes of your cat’s smelly poop.

Why Does My Cat’s Faeces Smell Horrible?

Why Does My Cats Poop Smell

When I scoop out my feline friend’s litter box and something seems off with how the poop smells or looks like, I see that as a serious concern. I look for reason for it.

Of course, you have to first know what normal poop is.

Your cat should be pooping once a day, at least. His poop should be deep brown in shade. It should have a just-right texture; it should be firm but not hard like rocks, yielding but not too soft or runny. It will have some odor, as poop does, but it should not have a strong, peculiarly foul smell.  

The reasons for an abnormal stench in your cat’s poop may vary. If the unpleasant smell comes from something that your cat ate, the unusual stench will go away on its own (remedy itself) after a couple of days.

It can disappear when your cat stops eating whatever it is that has caused the strong and strange poop smell. 

If the poop continues to smell abnormally bad for quite some time, it is better to consult a veterinarian so he can rule out serious concerns or recommend solutions to any health issue or problem associated with the foul-smelling poop.

7 Possible Reasons Why Your Cat’s Poop Smells

When you notice that your cat’s poop does not smell the way it usually does, it tells you that something is not quite right with your feline buddy. The smell can also be attributed to parasites, bacteria, or a health issue that needs to be checked. On the other hand, it may just be something that your cat ate. 

The following are common reasons why a cat’s poop smells really bad:

Something He Ate

Just like you, a cat can be sensitive to a whole range of things. He can be sensitive to overly rich food, inappropriate table scraps, meat in rich sauces, grains, and food like cake or certain fruits. 

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These foods are likely to give him indigestion; his poop is likely to smell rancid. 

Too Much Protein In The Diet

Cats are carnivores. This means that their diet is usually heavy in protein. When your cat has too much protein in his diet, his poop is likely to smell horrible. 

Poor Digestion

Some cats find it difficult to digest and absorb starchy and fatty food. If your cat eats food rich in fats and starches, he is likely to suffer from gastrointestinal disorders. As a result, his feces are likely to reflect the digestive problems – and come out with an overpowering pungent smell.


If your cat is taking pain medications for some health concerns, the drugs are likely to cause a chemical imbalance in your cat’s system. These chemical changes may result in poop that smells foul.

Infection in the anal glands

Your cat uses the secretions from his anal glands to mark his territory. When he defecates or becomes frightened or nervous, he also secretes some of this fluid. 

When the anal glands become clogged or infected, your cat’s poop is likely to be runny. It also tends to have a persistent foul odor.


Your cat has an “inner tiger” living in him. He loves to hunt – to stalk after prey, to chase, catch, and eat them. He loves to go after birds, mice, rats, and even bugs. 

Being a carnivore, he is likely to eat the insects or small animals that he preys on – even when you keep his food dish filled. 

This natural drive can sometimes lead your cat to eat what is not healthy or appropriate, especially when he is outdoors. His prey (or even the meat you feed him) can have E. coli bacteria or salmonella.

The bacteria can cause stomach upset or inflammation of the digestive track resulting in diarrhea, as well as in the terrible smell in his poop.


Trichomonas and Coccidian are examples of parasites that usually result in serious stomach problems for your cat. These parasites can cause your cat to suffer from digestive infections which, in turn, result in stool that smells really bad. 

How To Get Rid Of Cat Poop Smell

[Related Article: Why Would A Cat Be Gagging and Dry Heaving?]

How To Get Rid Of Cat Poop Smell

Nobody likes the smell of cats’ feces. I don’t find the smell of my cat’s poop pleasant, either. The fact that the stink can be a result of something more serious than what my cat ate gives me even greater discomfort. It causes me to worry. 

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Whether the bad smell is caused by plain indigestion or something more worrisome like parasites, bacteria, or infection, there are certain helpful ways to deal with the problem of smelly cat poop.

Clean And Disinfect Your Cat’s Litter Box

I get rid of the poop in the litter box every day. I also use baking soda to help get rid of the stink and to kill bacteria and germs. I change the litter and scour the box when necessary so that it is always clean, safe, and fresh. 

Groom Your Cat Diligently

Small Pet Select - Hair Buster Comb

I don’t want my cat to smell the way his poop does. I wash him with cat shampoo on a regular basis. I also groom his coat using the hair buster to get rid of loose or dead hair easily, and make his coat shine.

Vacuum The House Frequently

I vacuum the house, especially the spaces that my feline friend frequents. I go over the chairs, couches, carpets, draperies, and rugs to eliminate loose hair and unpleasant smells.

Introduce New Food Gradually

I don’t want my cat to have stomach problems by giving him food that he is not used to. When I add something new to his diet, I do so gradually. I keep close tabs on his reactions to the new food.

Monitor Your Cat’s Diet Closely

I keep a close tab on my cat’s diet. When my cat’s poop smells abnormally horrible, I monitor my cat’s diet, as well as his feeding routine, to find out the cause.

I always check the ingredients that make up the cat food I give my pet to make sure that I am not giving him anything that is bad for him. 

Prevent Your Cat Being Unsupervised For Long Periods Of Time Outdoors

I supervise my cat’s outdoor activities to prevent him from preying on rodents, insects, and bugs that may cause stomach problems and smelly poop.

Regularly Checkups With Veterinarian

I bring my cat for regular health checkups and consult my cat’s veterinarian when something seems wrong with my cat’s poop. Getting expert advice makes me feel more secure about my cat’s health.

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