Select a Topic
- What Causes Cat Smells?
- Cat Smells and Bad Breath
- Cat Smells and Systemic Illness
- Cat Smells and Poor Hygiene
- Help for Cat Smells
What Causes Cat Smells?
Cats are very good groomers and rarely smell bad. Cat smells can have obvious causes such as being sprayed by a skunk, or more inexplicable and potentially serious reasons like systemic illness or infections. Treatment of any underlying health issues will typically resolve the problem with foul smells as well.
Cat Smells and Bad Breath
Halitosis in cats can be caused by gingivitis, tooth abscesses or mouth ulcers. Oral inflammatory diseases that lead to inflammation of the mucous linings of the mouth and gums are very common in cats. Most mouth disease is due to allergies, bacterial infections or viruses. In some instances, extremely foul breath is an indicator of kidney disease.
A fishy or meaty smell on the breath that is mild is normal. However, extremely foul-smelling or pungent breath should be investigated by a veterinarian to determine the cause.
Cat Smells and Systemic Illness
Strange smells emanating from a cat with no discernible source is cause for concern. This is usually due to systemic illness. Aging cats with arthritis often struggle to fully groom themselves, leaving behind bits of fecal matter and urine on their skin and fur. Over time, this develops into a greasy or waxy coating that is very foul-smelling.
Other conditions like hyperthyroidism and diabetes can cause a foul odor that seems to come through the pores of the skin. Skin diseases may also cause strong underlying odors even when regular grooming occurs. Additionally, a general bad smell can indicate a digestive problem or food intolerance. A change in diet may cure the problem.
Obese cats, like arthritic cats, may struggle to get themselves fully clean. Infected or swollen anal glands, ear mites and ear infections are other common sources of foul cat smells.
Cat Smells and Poor Hygiene
Cats groom themselves regularly and are usually very meticulous. Poor hygiene is rare, but can be caused due to injury, arthritis or the effects of old age that make it difficult to reach certain areas while grooming. Sometimes it may be necessary to bathe these cats gently to help them clean problem spots.
If your cat is normally very clean and suddenly stops grooming, it is a strong indication that something is wrong and he should be seen by a vet immediately.
Help for Cat Smells
Cats are excellent at self-grooming, but may require periodic bathing if they spend time outdoors, are elderly or get into something toxic that could make them ill when they groom themselves. Stinky Paws Pet Wash is completely natural, fragrance-free, pH neutral and biodegradable. It provides gentle yet effective cleansing for both cats and dogs.