Last Updated: 6 months ago

Why does my cat smell like a baby?

You’ll be surprised to learn you’re not the only cat owner to say such a strange thing and compare cats to newborns. 

So, let’s discover together why your cat smells so good and unravel the mystery of what cats smell like. 

Why Does My Cat Smell Like a Baby?

Have you ever thought that your cat has a particular odor clinging to its skin? Many pet owners say that their kitties smell like candy, maple syrup, or fresh grass. 

lady smelling her kitty and asking "why does my cat smell like a baby ?"

But why does my cat smell like a baby?

Cats can smell like babies when they’re hanging around the crib or because you’ve used baby powder in the house.

However, sweet and foul odors can also be signs of an infection or underlying medical condition. So, let’s talk in detail about all the possible reasons why your cat smells like a baby.  

#1 Your Cat Has Been Around a Newborn

Your cat being near babies is the easiest answer to the question, “Why does my cat smell like a baby?”

While some cats stay away from newborns, others like to sneak in the nursery and cuddle in the crib with your child because it’s warm and soft. 

Moreover, some cats like to keep babies company. Cats know your baby is a baby, and they’re fascinated by the tiny human you’ve brought home. 

cat beside a newborn baby

So, it makes sense that the newborn’s unique aroma will rub off on your kitty. The same thing can happen if your cat hangs around while you’re taking care of the baby. 

#2 You’re Using Something That Smells Like a Baby

Are you using baby powder in the house to deal with skin rashes? Then it can be the reason why your cat smells like a baby. 

As you know, cats like to roll around in dirt and dust. So, if you leave the powder unattended, your cat might go through it or roll in it.

lady bathing her cat with baby shampoo

And some cat shampoos use talcum powder to protect and soothe your pet’s skin. So, bathing your cat with shampoo can make it smell like a baby. 

Moreover, some perfumes, candles, and cosmetic products are so sweet that it’s easy to mistake them for the scent of newborn babies. 

However, a baby powder containing talc can be dangerous to cats if they inhale it or ingest it. (1) Strong perfumes and essential oils can poison your pet or irritate your cat’s lungs.

So, be careful what you’re using inside the house.

#3 Congratulations! You’re a Crazy Cat Person

A newborn has such a strong and potent scent that some mothers can identify their child by smell alone or recognize their child’s clothes!

And the scent triggers the “happy” part of the brain whenever you get a whiff of it, helping mothers bond with their kids. 

Something similar happens to you when you love cats with all your heart and can’t get enough of them. After all, cats are so soft, vulnerable, and needy that they’re almost like a human baby! 

And some cats “imprint” on their human owner, thinking about their human as a large, clumsy mother cat, which they follow around.

As such, it’s only natural that you think that your cat smells like a newborn when you bury your head in its luxurious fur. 

#4 You’ve Got a Strange Sense of Smell

Ask a hundred people how babies smell, and you’ll receive tons of different answers. That’s because it’s hard to describe scents and our sense of smell is very subjective.

So, what you consider “baby scent” can be your cat’s natural skin odor, which is so pleasant to your senses you confuse it with a newborn’s smell.

lady cuddling with her cat on the bed

Moreover, cats are host to the Toxoplasma gondii, causing Toxoplasmosis in humans.

Scientists have discovered that this parasite changes how the brain works in rats and makes them less afraid of cats!

As such, some people speculate that Toxoplasmosis can make you obsessed with cats. While that’s highly unlikely, if the parasite affects the brain, it can influence your senses.

Toxoplasmosis is more common than you can imagine. According to scientists, “it infects 30–50% of the world’s human population.

#5 Your Cat Is Ill

Babies don’t smell like flowers all the time. So, what’s going on if your cat stinks like a newborn that needs a diaper change?

As specialists from PetMD explain, “Dental disease is the most common cause of unpleasant cat odors.” So, don’t ignore your cat’s bad breath!”

Besides gum disease, urinary tract infections, problems with anal glands, and litter box accidents can also make your cat stink.

Moreover, a sweet and fruity odor can be a sign of diabetes in cats, while a musky scent signals a yeast infection.

How Should Cats Smell?

Cats are one of the cleanest animals because they spend hours grooming their fur. As such, your cat shouldn’t reek or have any funky odor.


Many cats smell like laundry because they love to nap on freshly washed clothes. It’s your cat’s favorite sleeping place because they get to mark those clothes with pheromones and hairs all over again. 

cats sleeping on the washed clothes


As I already said, cats love rolling on the ground. So, it’s no surprise that they often smell like a freshly mown lawn after a walk outside.

Dust and Dirt

While cats clean their fur with care, they don’t always get all the dust and dirt out of their skin. That’s why some felines need a bath from time to time.


If your cat likes to snuggle in your arm or sleeps in your lap, then your feline likely smells like you or the perfume/cologne you’re using.


Since cats are carnivores, their breath often stinks like the dry cat food they’re eating. However, pungent smells like rotten meat, fish, and poop indicate dental disease.

Why Does My Cat Smell Like a Baby? FAQs

Why Does My Cat Smell So Cute?

Cats smell good because they spend a lot of time grooming and cleaning their fur to remove traces of dirt and unpleasant odors. 

Why Does My Cat Smell Like Baby Poop?

If your cat stinks like poop, you should check its fur. Sometimes cats get poop all over their body when using the litter box. Anal glands issues, food changes, and dirty litter can also cause foul odors. 

Do Kittens Have a Baby Smell?

Kittens have a particular odor, but it’s not the same as a human baby. But it’s no less potent, making you fall in love with your kitty the moment you take them in your arms. 


You’re not the only one to think cats smell like pure heaven and bliss. And there’s nothing wrong in cuddling your kitty and getting a good whiff of this irresistible scent.

What do you think about these 5 reasons why your cat smells like a baby? Have you noticed any strange odors around your cat? Share your experience in the comment section. 

However, you should be aware that bad or sweet odors can be a warning sign of illness.

owner kissing her cat
Olfa T
Olfa T

Olfa knows how to get things done and has a keen business sense that others admire. She’s always on the go, coming up with new ideas! Her ability to anticipate the needs of her readers and deliver information that they want is what makes CatVills such a success. She loves cuddling her cat Picaciu. He is her inspiration.