Why Does My Cat Smell Bad All of a Sudden?

A bad smell can cause major discomfort. Especially, if your beloved cat is the source of the odor.

A kitty that’s simply dirty won’t smell nice; however, if you can’t get rid of the odor by bathing the cat, then it might be caused by a medical condition (dental diseases, infections, allergies, etc.). Cats can also spray a scented fluid from their anal glands if they get scared. 

Why Does My Cat Smell Bad All of a Sudden?

The most common reasons for bad odors in cats include:

  • Dental diseases, oral tumors, kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, liver disease, and intestinal blockage can make your cat’s mouth stink
  • Bacterial and yeast infections and an abscess can make the kitty’s skin smell bad, as well as allergies, wounds, and skin parasites
  • Ear infections and mite infestations will cause the ears to have a nasty odor
  • A urinary tract infection can make your cat’s rear end smell especially strong
  • Any conditions that affect the anal glands can also cause the rear end to smell
  • Fecal material that has accumulated in the cat’s fur (that’s especially common in long-haired breeds)

Why Does My Cat Smell Like He’s Rotting?

A rotting smell might be coming from the kitty’s mouth if it is suffering from dental disease.

Tartar and plaque can accumulate on the little guy’s teeth. The teeth then might become loose as the gums become inflamed which creates the perfect breeding ground for various bacteria. 

Read: Do Bengal Cats Need Special Care?

Why Does My Cat Smell Like Death?

An abscess that is full of puss might be to blame. Cats will also smell extremely bad if they are experiencing stress.

Why Does My Cat Smell Musty?

Yeast infections that can affect the cat’s skin usually have a musty smell. If your cat is sneezing, has polyps, nasal discharge, a hard swelling over the bridge of the nose, and the pet smells strange, then the chances are high that it has a yeast infection.

Why Does My Cat Smell Like Fish?

Not a lot of cat owners know that their pets have two anal glands (one on either side of the anus). These glands contain an oily substance that often has a fish-like smell.

Normally, the kitty expresses the fluid during pooping, but acute stress, fear, or even excitement can make the cat release the substance.

Anal glands can become infected or inflamed and that might also lead to an unpleasant smell.

Read: Do Savannah Cats Need Lots of Attention?

Why Does My Cat Stink Like Poop?

Digestive issues and a change of diet can cause diarrhea in the kitty. It is much easier for runny poop to get stuck in the poor guy’s fur, so make sure to bathe a cat if there is such a need. 

Read: Should I Bathe My Cat?

Why Does My Cat Smell Sour?

The kitty might be suffering from a dental issue or it has kidney disease. The latter will make its breath smell like urine.

Diabetes can sometimes lead to a nail polish-like smell.

Why Does My Cat Smell Like Cheese?

If you’re sure that the kitty wasn’t nibbling on actual cheese, then a yeast infection might be to blame.

Why Does My Cat Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

At times, your kitty can let off a rotten egg-smelling stink bomb and that is completely normal (the cat simply ate something that caused the smell). But if that happens way too often, then there might be something wrong with the little guy’s health.

All the conditions mentioned above are accompanied by rotten egg-smelling farts.

Read: Why Does My Cat Bring Me Toys?

Do Cats Smell Different When They Are Sick?

Sick cats can have strange odors in any body part.

If there is something wrong with the cat’s teeth and gums, then it’ll have a bad smell in its mouth. Kitties that are suffering from cancer will also have an unpleasant odor, and so on.

Do Cats Smell When They Are Dying?

When a cat is reaching the end of its life, it might not have any energy to groom itself. So, the bad smell will first emerge simply because the kitty is no longer able to keep itself clean.

In a lot of cases, cats will also develop an unpleasant odor because of the toxins that start building in the body of a dying animal. 

Why Does My Cat Smell Bad After a Bath?

If your kitty is simply dirty or its fur is covered in poop, then the bad smell should fade as soon as you give the little guy a bath.

However, if the cat is ill, no bath will make the smell go away.

Read: Why Does My Cat Meow After Pooping?

Do Cats Secrete Odor When Scared?

Cats can start giving off a strong, unpleasant smell if they get scared. In this particular case, the fluid in the kitty’s anal glands is to blame.

Felines have two anal glands that are full of a special fluid. When the kitty poops, the scented fluid marks the feces – this is one of the cat’s ways of marking its territory.

The liquid inside the glands is extremely odorous, and if the cat gets scared, then it will ‘spray’ the fluid from the anal glands (just like a skunk would do). In the wild, this smell lets the predators or other cats know that they should not come close to the area.

Read: Is Rehoming a Cat Cruel?

My Cat Smells Bad and Is Losing Weight

Kidney disease can make the cat’s breath smell terrible. Other symptoms include lethargy, increased thirst and urination, and weight loss.

Old Cat Smells Bad

Senior cats can develop arthritis or simply not have enough energy left for grooming. Very soon the old guy might become dirty and stinky.

If your cat can no longer take care of itself, you would have to handle the grooming process all on your own.

How Do I Clean a Stinky Cat?

If your cat is stinky for no obvious reason, then you would have to take the fluffy ball to the vet. While you’re there, ask the vet to pick a special diet (some foods can affect how the kitty smells).

You should also:

  • Clean the litter box and toys on a regular basis
  • Brush the cat a few times per week
  • Give the kitty a tooth massage and a little bath from time to time

Can You Bathe a Smelly Cat?

You should bathe your kitty if it’s covered in something that makes it smell bad.

However, if the odor is caused by a health condition, a lush bath will not help.

How Do You Know If Your Cat Needs Glands Expressed?

There are cases when the owner would have to manually express their kitty’s anal glands. Do not do that without first consulting with your vet though.

If you have noticed these signs, then it looks like you would have to ‘get dirty’:

  • Redness in the area
  • Cat scooting around 
  • Cat licking the area excessively

Read: Why Does Cat Sit On Me?

How Often Do Cats Need Their Anals Expressed?

The glands should be moderately full before being expressed. On average, you might have to manually express the anals every 6-8 weeks

How Much Does It Cost to Express Cat Glands?

It can cost up to $50 to express your cat’s anal glands.