My Cat Smells Like Poop: 6 Causes & Solutions

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Cats are known for being regal and well-groomed creatures. They spend much of their time throughout the day licking their fur clean. Not only that, but most cats absolutely hate the idea of getting dirty. They tend to avoid mud, moisture, and anything else that could ruin all the grooming they do!

So, it might come as a surprise whenever your feline friend starts to wreak of poop.

While you might be tempted to give your kitty a good bath, it’s important to find the root cause of the issue first. Understanding why your cat is smelling this way can help you address potentially serious problems before they have any long-term effects.

Here are some common causes why your cat may suddenly smell like poop and what you can do to solve the issue.

6 Reasons Why Your Cat May Smell Like Poop

#1. Gastrointestinal Problems

One of the most common causes of that foul-smell is an upset stomach. Cats are quite sensitive to food. Low-quality food filled with unnecessary fillers and a lack of essential vitamins can do a number on your cat’s system.

Felines are prone to experiencing flatulence, diarrhea, and a host of other unsettling problems. Not only can gas cause that smell to creep up every once in a while, but diarrhea can stick to the fur and leave a lasting odor.

– What You Can Do

Take a look at the litter box and see if you can see signs of diarrhea or vomiting. If you’re able to, take a look at your kitten’s bum as well. If there are bits of dried feces, you can use a moist towel to clean it off.

Then, consider changing their diet to high-quality food. Stick with natural protein-rich foods. Make the switch gradual. Introduce the new food slowly over the course of a week to ensure that the problem doesn’t worsen.

#2. Filthy Litter Box

Adult cats do a pretty good job of keeping their litter box clean. However, younger kittens haven’t learned those habits just yet. They are known to roll around the litter and play in the mess. I

f you haven’t cleaned out the box, they could be getting urine and feces in their fur!

– Possible Solutions

Your best bet would be to immediately clean out the litter box. It’s important to stay on top of a regular cleaning schedule if possible. Young kittens will take any opportunity they can to play in the litter.

While it’s frustrating now, they will eventually grow out of it. For now, just make sure to keep the litter box clean at all times.

#3. Anal Gland Problems

Sometimes, that awful smell is caused by swollen and infected anal glands. The anal glands are located around the anus. Whenever your cat does their business, the glands excrete fluids. Unfortunately, they can become infected. This prevents the glads from emptying as normal.

The good news is that this is a relatively common issue that can be taken care of. Many cats and dogs experience this problem from time to time.

– What You Can Do

We recommend taking your cat to the vet. While it is possible to relieve the glands at home, it can be a difficult task. It’s not a particularly enjoyable event for you or your cat. A vet can get the job done swiftly and efficiently to minimize discomfort for your cat.

#4. Grooming Difficulties

Does your cat have arthritis or mobility issues? What about long and thick fur? If so, your cat might be having difficulties performing their normal grooming activities.

Older cats aren’t as flexible as they once were. This makes it hard to reach those sensitive bits for cleaning. You might see bits of feces sticking to their fur, which is causing the smell.

The same goes for long-haired cats. Usually, these cats will learn how to groom themselves properly over time. However, that doesn’t stop the occasional mat from forming.

Mats around the bum are pretty common. When you throw poop into the mix, it’s just a nasty odor trap waiting to happen.

– Possible Solutions

If your cat is dealing with arthritis, consult with your vet. There are several things you can do to ease the pain.

Medications and supplements can help make your kitty more mobile, which will make it easier for them to groom.

As for mats and grooming difficulties, many owners recommend professional grooming. Groomers can shave the hair down on your cat’s rear end, which will reduce the risk of mats in the future.

#5. Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections are surprisingly common in cats. Bacteria can cause inflammation. It also happens to result in very strong odors.

– What You Can Do

The only thing you can do for cats with a urinary tract infection is to take them to a vet. This condition can be very painful for your feline, so don’t hesitate to get treatment.

Your vet will diagnose the problem and recommend medications to get rid of the infection quickly.

#6. Parasitic Infections

Finally, your cat may be experiencing a parasitic infection. Giardia and worms are known to wreak havoc on a feline’s body. These parasites will leach nutrients from your cat’s system and cause extreme diarrhea.

Gastrointestinal problems will result in diarrhea, bloating, and more.

– What to Do

Bring your kitty to a vet as soon as you start noticing signs of infection. You might see worms in the litter box. Greasy feces is another tell-tale sign of infection.

Your vet may require stool samples to determine what kind of parasite is affecting your cat. From there, they can prescribe medications to tackle the problem and provide relief.


Dealing with a smelly cat is never fun. However, you must address the problem as soon as possible. Treat that foul odor as a symptom. It’s not normal for cats to smell like feces. If they do, there could be a serious underlying cause.

Once you face the problem head-on, your cat should go back to their normal pristinely-groomed self.

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