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Why does cat smell bad?

(January 7, 2010)

Cats are considered to be one of the cleanest animals, simply because they clean themselves very often. Furthermore, unlike dogs, cats don’t like rolling around in dirt and muck. However, it is not uncommon for cats to develop a bad smell. Every animal has a particular scent or body odor. This odor is there for a reason and it actually serves a purpose. It is important for social interaction, mate selection and recognition. A foul smelling odor could be caused due a large number of reasons. Bad breath can at times lead to bad body odor. Diseases, kidney failure, diseased gums or teeth and infected gums, can all produce foul mouth odor. When the cat licks itself clean, this odor is transferred to the fur, causing it to smell bad too. Hence the only way of getting rid of the odor is to get rid of the bad breath. A visit to the vet will help in determining the cause of bad breath, after which the right kind of treatment can be administered.

An infection in the ears could also be the culprit behind this body odor in cats. Bacterial ear infections can actually prove to be quite smelly. If the cat keeps scratching its ears or if it keeps shaking its head, then it probably has an ear infection. This again, will need to be treated by a vet. Bad odor may also be caused if the cat is not cleaning itself. Obese or overweight cats may be unable to clean the genital or anal region, simply because the excess weight makes it difficult for them to reach these areas. Apart from this, medical conditions such as arthritis may also hamper the grooming or cleaning process. A cat that has stopped cleaning itself will develop a matted and greasy coat.

Feces and urine can also contribute towards animal odor. A cat could be soiling itself due to fecal or urinary incontinence, or it may be unable to remove the same from its hair-coat because of an inability to clean or groom itself properly. Another reason for cat odor is a skin disease or ailment. Yeast and bacterial infections of the skin, can lead to a foul smelling odor. Thus, to conclude, as cats are basically self cleaning and odor free animals, the presence of a bad smell could be the indication of an underlying condition. Hence, getting a vets opinion in this matter is always recommended.
Submitted by M A on January 7, 2010 at 05:33


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