Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:
My female kitty, Mello, who is just under a year old, has been stinking up the whole house lately. I understand that poop is in no way supposed to smell like flowers, but her poop smells so awful that it makes me gag! We have three litter boxes, two downstairs and one upstairs, and we clean them all out multiple times a day, every day. Her brothers, from the same litter, do not have this problem, and up until a month ago neither did she. There haven’t been any changes in her diet, she hasn’t gotten into the garbage, she’s not on any new medications since we got her fixed (she does take a monthly wormer and a gets a flea dip and/or treatment every three months). She’s an indoor kitty, and neither she nor her brothers have ever been outside. We don’t have any parasites or pests, and she hasn’t shown any signs of fleas since she was two months old. Any advice on what we can do for my little princess?
Siouxsie: Well, Dia, there are a couple of things that could be happening here.
Thomas: First, we don’t know how long it’s been since Mello was spayed, but sometimes the hormone changes and the drugs used for anesthesia and pain management can change the chemical balance of the body, which can cause the odor of pee and poop to change.
Bella: But we think the most likely culprit is food.
Siouxsie: We know you said you haven’t changed Mello’s diet, but it’s not unheard of for manufacturers to change the formula or substitute ingredients in cat foods. Some cats can tolerate this better than others.
Thomas: It may be that Mello’s brothers have tougher digestive systems and so they’re not reacting in the same way to whatever changes might have been made in the food.
Bella: Whatever the case, it’s absolutely not normal for a cat to have such horrific-smelling poop that it makes you gag and makes her want to get away from it as fast as she can!
Siouxsie: We’d recommend that you call your vet. He or she might have some insights for you, or possibly a digestive supplement that might help Mello’s good gut bacteria to flourish and minimize the smell.
Thomas: Then you might want to try a different food — maybe a limited-ingredient diet, which might help to calm down her “grumpy guts.”
Bella: For odor control, there are a number of options you have. Do not use products like spray air fresheners because cats’ noses are very sensitive and they’re so strong that they could actually keep the cats away from the litter box.
Siouxsie: Baking soda is a great natural deodorant. A number of Mama’s friends have had good experiences keeping litter box odor under control with the Critterzone Air Naturalizer, too.
Thomas: The Critterzone’s not cheap, but if it does a good job, we figure it’s well worth the cost.
Bella: UV air sanitizers can also help. Those vary tremendously in price, but Mama has other friends who have had good luck with those as well.
Siouxsie: If you just want to get a regular air purifier and plug it in near the litter boxes, that would probably help, too.
Thomas: Keep your litter boxes in well-ventilated areas so you can open the windows and let the stink out.
Bella: What about you other readers? Have you had a cat with horrible-smelling poop? How did you keep the odor under control, and what did you do to help your cat deal with whatever was going on in their body that caused their poop to reek? Share your answers in the comments, please.
Thank you so much for the tips, I will most certainly be calling my vet, as well as their food company to see if they changed anything) soon.
Mello was spayed at four months of age, sorry I should have included that.
We probably won’t be looking into an air purifier anytime soon, but adding more baking soda is a can-do!
With a foot of snow on the ground and a weekly average of 17 degrees Fahrenheit right now the windows are closed and sealed and will be that way for a while, but something my best friend told me is to use granulated carbon. Her kitties are healthy and happy as can be, and her whole house smells like clean laundry any time I visit. (It is kind of embarrassing having her over, especially now).
I looked and it is not very cheap ( five pounds averaging out $20 ) but you only need to add a small amount to your litter, it absorbs the smell and is completely safe to cats ( says she, and most of the internet ). So long as you get the granulated one and not the powder it sucks the smell right up and doesn’t leave black paw prints everywhere. She gave me a cup and said to use one tsp. per cup of litter. It doesn’t suck up the smell immediately, but it does so quickly enough that I don’t have to drop what I’m doing and charge to the litter box with scooper in hand the moment Mello hears the call of nature. Even if she doesn’t cover it up, it doesn’t smell near as bad as before.
I’ll keep you posted! And thanks again! :D
I can think of two reasons the poo smells bad.
First, a kitty friend wouldn’t eat at all when his human was not at home. He would gobble the food as soon as she returned and when he went poo it stunk to high heaven.
Second, from my own personal experience, when one of my cats get sick, stinky poo is usually my first clue. Then I just have to figure out which of my four is sick since they hide it pretty good.
I would take the cat in for a fecal and ask the vet to look for coccidia . It causes horribly smelly poop. Usually with a yellowish loose stool but sometimes the stool looks normal. However it is highly contagious so I would think the other cats would have caught it by now. Coccidia requires a prescription medication and can take several rounds of treatment to defeat. I would also question the “monthly wormer”. Is this an over the counter product ? Did the vet recommend such frequent use ?
I agree that food is a likely culprit as well . If the other cats have a normal stool I would first eliminate the wormer and change to a limited ingredient or sensitive stomach diet. Of course changing food might cause digestive distress also, so she should transition to it slowly. I wish this meowmy luck – sometimes these problems require a lot of detective work and much trial and error !
I have change my cat food it has not help he poop smell so bad i have been for a year what do i do
Giardia could also be a culprit, though it is contagious as well. But, I have heard of only one having it so it’s possible. My cat had it and it took months and several treatments to get rid of it. It was so bad, I could smell when she went from my basement and the box she used is on the second floor. She also used to fart and they were wicked too.
If your cats says inside all the time, do they really need a wormer EVERY month?? i havent given my 2 a wormer tablet for well over a year and same with the flea spot-on… i only use them when i have to…
when Puss used to get sick, his poo would stink the house up, so i’d take him to the vet for his antibiotics and steroid inj (he was rather poorly) and then his poo would stop stinking as much!!
hope you find the answer soon xxx
I have a cat that, after all the stool samples, etc. and checking for all sorts of things at the vets…it was determined that he had trouble digesting fats and had a very slight case of irritable bowel syndrome….He had the terrible smelly poop thing.
We give him Hills Science Diet prescription WD dry mixed with water and a Vetasyl cap ( veterinary fiber ) that we buy at the vet’s or online.
This combination helps to firm up his stool and stop the bad soft stool and smelly poops. he is not perfect but he is much better. IBD apparently is a kind of bowel and intestinal irritation that causes this soft stool, bad smell and ultimately diarhhea.
And the WD food is a low fat type which helps a lot with IBD, etc. , because in his case, he can’t handle the fat content of many other foods.
He has to have food that is below 9% fat. Sometimes we give him a teaspoon of the WET WD, but that is 15% fat and I have to be careful because that can set him off into softer stool, too.
However, it is my understanding that the smelly poop thing is usually an infection, so he was treated for that first, but it kept coming back and it was determined that it was IBD, but a slight case of it.
When we put him on the fiber capsule and the WD, he was much better. But I can’t veer off that diet.
Another suggestion, after all the health issues are addressed: I swear by the ‘Worlds Best Kitty Litter.”
We use either the multi-cat formula in the red and black bag or the Forest Scent in the hunter green bag.
And I learned that I HAVE to scoop TWICE a day, no matter what. Since I have been ‘trained’ by my cat specialist to do that, I have had a lot less problems. And I am not allergic to this product like I am to the regular clay litters that have that clumping chemical in them.
And no matter what you use, you have to dump the whole box and start over about every 14-20 days. They say this stuff last a month, but it gets very funky smelling no matter what, if you push it past 14-20 days, in my opinion.
I have a big dog, so we have to keep him from eating the clumping litter because he could really run into trouble eating that stuff….so we appropriated a small bathroom that we don’t use, keep the door shut or cracked with a chain on the outside to keep it from opening and installed a pet door in the bottom of it, so they can go in and out without him getting in there.
We have a small, way high-up window in there, ( no way they can get up there ) and I keep that cracked at times, too.
I am wondering about the monthly wormer also. I don’t do that with my cats either. If they live inside is it really necessary to do that? I have heard that the worming medication can actually be bad if you aren’t careful. I have never asked any vet about this nor has any vet ever suggested that I do it. Does everyone else do this?
I have a mommy that started out as a stray and her 4 boys that were born on my porch. The boys are now nearly 2 and mommy is maybe about 3.
Mommy (Callie) and one of the boys (Quinn) typically have very ‘potent’ poops. The other 3, not so much. Sometimes it’s just how the body develops, but since you began to notice it AFTER spay surgery, I would think that hormonal changes are contributing here.
Drs. Foster & Smith have (had?) an odor absorptive product made from lava rock that you could hang near the box to absorb the odors. It only needs to be ‘recharged’ every several months by putting it out in the sun!
I have also seen food additives that can help with odors, but I would wait on that until she’s cleared by the vet. The monthly worming sounds terribly excessive and might be upsetting the bacterial balance in her digestive system, which COULD mean she’s not digesting her food properly — and the undigested portions are what’s causing the odor.
Has she had any weight or behavioral changes? Cats are the best at hiding illness, no question, but if she’s sleeping more or differently, short-tempered, eating differently – she could be trying to compensate for lost nutrition.
Hope it gets resolved quickly! This is no fun for anybody!!
A month ago, I adopted a 1 year old to bring in to my 8 year old. The 8 year old is on Purina Overweight Management formula per the vet. His stools do not stink. The vet did do a stool panel on the 1 year old (which came out with no medical issues), but his stool still stinks up the house. The vet said I could give him the overweight formula food, just more of it. He eats like there is no tomorrow! Cleans out the two bowls I have down. Love him to pieces, but his feces stinks! He’s my fourth cat and I seriously don’t recall dealing with stinky poop.
I have the same issue. I have two cats that hardly smell at all. I brought a new guy home who is also a year old and he smells SO BAD. His urine and bms. Did you find a solution? He smells like an alley cat.
try enzymes or change diet.not agreeing with the cat.
I sprinkle a little garlic powder on my kitties dry food and drop a little water in with it so the garlic sticks to the food. It works wonders!! I’m kitten-sitting and his first poop in our litter box nearly knocked me out?! He was a little reluctant to eat once he smelled the garlic but got over it. I don’t smell pee or poop now ?.
Garlic is toxic to cats…
STOP DIPPING HER IN A FLEA DIP! What are you thinking? Indoor cats don’t even need to be bathed! If you’re feeding her dry food…STOP! Dry food is the WORST for a cat and will make their poop smell worse. What’s with the monthly wormer? YOU’RE HURTING YOUR CAT!!! Stop the wormer and any and all other meds, buy a quality canned food that has limited ingredients (check out Nature’s Variety Limited Ingredient Rabbit/Turkey, etc. and check out Tiki Cat canned foods). Stop with the dry food…it’s like YOU getting your nutrition from pretzels! My cats eat five 1/2 can meals/day and their poop doesn’t smell AT ALL! You’re abusing your cat! And if your vet is recommending all this, CHANGE VETS to a holistic vet! I feel so sorry for your cat(s)!!!
That’s a pretty bold assertion, to say that’s abusing a cat, considering you don’t have the cat’s medical history or even seen the cat. You’re assuming just a huge amount of info and being kind of rude about it. Why?
Funny, but I have a friend whose cat’s poop was enough to make her want to leave the county, until she STOPPED CANNED FOOD. Like people, all cats don’t digest things the same way. And you might want to get off your high horse next time you post.
TRUE My cat food was really nice til Purina bought the company and startrd canning junk in the food and I mean junk intestines eyeballs gizzards bones Dont know what to feed her shes a great older female (14yo)
You’re kind of a bitch. She’s trying to figure it out.
what kind of punk ass man are you, calling a woman a bitch? You need to watch your mouth!
ps. your mom is a bitch for raising you like that
Bitch #2, come on down! You’re the next contestant on The Bitch is Right.
What was the point of the reply you sent?
I confirm, she was being a bitch!
Cynthia, you’re apparently too hateful and stupid to see that you just did the EXACT same thing you called David out for doing. And mighty brave of you to call somebody a punk ass over the internet. I bet you wouldn’t be so tough if he were close enough to knock your fucking tooth (yes, tooth. I’m sure your hillbilly ass only has one) out.
oh tom, nobody is going to knock anything out of my mouth. ever. and for you to even be fantasizing about it lets me know what kind of a failure your mommy was at raising a man. fail.
I got rid of the cat.
It kept backing up to the wall and letting rip with this thin watery brown diarrhea that looked like someone had thrown a bowl of gravy at the wall in anger. And it stunk so badly my wife vomited on three occasions and I threw up in my mouth chunky bits once. Then the cat would use its front legs to drag itself along our bed pillows to clean its rotten arsehole.
I got pink eye from it once and had to go on Clorsig medication to make the pink eye stop. It was an awful cat.
Just kyw, then kys