Last Updated: 3 months ago

Stinky cat? There are several reasons why.

Cats are exceptionally clean creatures, so if your cat is smelly, it’s not something to look over.

If you’re wondering why your cat smells bad, it could be due to several different issues, and none of them are good.

I know, I sound like the voice of doom, but it comes from years of experience at the vet.

So let’s take a look at why your cat could be so smelly.

Why Does My Cat Smell Bad: A Stinky Cat Reasons

Why Does My Cat Smell Bad? 4 Surprising Reasons

When a cat smells bad, it’s generally an indication that there is a problem.

Whether their breath is exceptionally bad, their litter box is extra foul, or they are just overall smelly from not grooming, it all boils down to the same thing. Something’s up.

First thing’s first. Your cat needs to see a vet immediately. You’ll need a solid exam to figure out what the problem is and figure it out immediately.

The sooner you know, the sooner you can begin treating the problem.

1. Bad Breath

Bad breath can be an indicator of a severe problem with your cat.

From dental disease to issues with internal organs, bad breath can be a sign of some major problems, so it’s key to get your cat checked out.

In general, bd breath can indicate two things. These include:

Dental Disease

vet doing dental check on a cat

Let’s start with the obvious! If your cat has bad breath, your first order of business should be a dental exam.

Many cats are prone to severe dental disease. When a cat has prolonged dental disease, their gums can become inflamed and infected, leading to bad breath.

In addition, cats can develop a painful condition known as stomatitis. This involves exceptionally severe, painful inflammation, which leads to ulcers.

Organ Problems

Dental disease isn’t always the cause of stinky cat breath.

If your cat has breath that smells like urine—or, as some people say, death—your cat could be in active renal failure, also known as kidney disease.

Cats can have incredible results with proper treatment, so early detection and treatment are key. Foul breath may also be a sign of GI tract or liver disease.

2. Stinky Ears

The causes of stinky ears aren’t quite as terrifying as bad breath, but they definitely need to be checked out right away.

Cats with stinky ears could have an ear infection or mites. If you have an outdoor cat with stinky ears, get her to the vet right away to figure out what the problem is.

It’s important to treat ear infections early, as severe or chronic ear infections can lead to permanent damage.

Even if you have an indoor cat, stinky ears should be evaluated. Mites aren’t just dangerous to your cat’s hearing; they’re incredibly uncomfortable for your kitty!

3. Stinky Litter Box

How Often To Clean Litter Box?

We all know that cats have foul body waste. It’s an unfortunate result of their diets. All that protein and fat leads to some nasty by-products.

But if you notice that your cat’s litter box is exceptionally stinky, bite the bullet and examine what’s in there, especially if the smell has any sort of metallic or acrid smell to it.

You’ll want to be on the lookout for any changes to your cat’s urine color, as well as dark stools or red stools.

Red stool means fresh blood while defecating, and black stool means that there could be a GI bleed further up the digestive tract.

Whenever the contents of your cat’s litter box change unexpectedly, call your vet.

4. Stinky Cat in General

If you have an overall stinky cat, it’s probably due to poor grooming. While that may not seem so bad, in highly clean animals like cats, it could be indicative of a real problem.

While elderly cats generally don’t groom themselves as well as they did when they were young, they still mainly keep themselves in order.

If your elderly cat has really let herself go, it could be an indication that she has a problem brewing.

The same goes double for a young cat that stops grooming herself. Cats generally only stop grooming themselves when they are sick and just don’t have the energy for it.

A Stinky Cat is Most Likely a Sick Cat

If you have a stinky cat, call your vet immediately. Cats are extremely clean creatures, so if you notice a foul smell coming from any part of them, it’s important to see your vet immediately.

Remember, a stinky cat is most likely a sick cat. So don’t wait. Call your vet.

Have you ever dealt with a stinky cat? What was the culprit? Share your experiences below.

Ben Roberts
Ben Roberts

Ben is an animal lover, blogger, and all around geek. He divides his love equally between his family, his animals, and his video games. In his spare time he is attempting to get a blog off the ground. Boy, are they heavy!