How Do I Make My Cat’s Poop Less Smelly?

Cat looking up

We love our feline friends, their endearing eyes, soft purrs, and playful nature. But let’s be honest: nothing can ruin the allure of your adorable fur baby quite like a smelly litter box reeking of last night’s dinner. If you’d like to transform that nuclear waste site back into a standard litter box, you’re in the right place. Let’s dig into why your cat’s poop might stink so badly. But first, the short answer:

You can reduce your cat’s smelly poop by offering a high-quality, easily digestible diet, often high in protein and low in fillers. Regularly clean the litter box to maintain freshness. Some supplements like probiotics can support gut health, decreasing odor. If the smell persists, consult a vet for possible health issues.

Now, we’ll dive in a little deeper.

Understanding the Basics

The poop scoop starts with a simple understanding of your cat’s digestive system. Now, I promise not to turn this into a biology lecture. But the fundamentals here involve how your cat’s dinner becomes, well, poop. As we’ve mentioned before, cats are obligate carnivores. Their bodies are designed to digest meat more efficiently than other food. Now, a cat’s poop will have a natural odor (unfortunately, no roses here), but when it begins to smell like a garbage truck on a summer day, it’s time to investigate.

The gut microbiota residing in your cat’s intestines plays a key role here. These bacteria aid digestion, synthesize vitamins, and help with immune functions. An imbalance in this gut community can lead to some pretty stinky situations.

Several factors can contribute to a heightened smell, including diet, health issues, age, stress, and hydration levels. Yes, your cat’s lifestyle matters, just like yours!

Smelly Poop and Your Cat’s Health

Before you start blaming your cat’s food, it’s crucial to rule out potential health issues. Cats can be masters of disguise when it comes to hiding discomfort or illness. If your cat is experiencing constipation, diarrhea, parasites, or even inflammatory bowel disease, these conditions could be causing smelly feces.

Regular veterinary check-ups can ensure your cat is in top form or help catch any issues early. Warning signs like changes in appetite, weight loss, vomiting, or abnormal behavior warrant a trip to the vet.

Importance of a Proper Diet

Your cat’s diet plays a starring role in the aroma of its excrement. What goes in must come out, right? The types of food you feed your cat can have a significant impact on the smell factor. High-quality cat food with balanced nutrients can help produce less smelly waste.

Proteins should be top of the list in your cat’s diet since they are carnivores. However, not all proteins are created equal. Animal-based proteins are more digestible for them than plant-based ones.

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Fiber can help regulate your cat’s bowel movements, while probiotics (the good guys in gut bacteria we talked about earlier) aid in healthy digestion. Hydration, too, plays an important part in digestion. No, we’re not suggesting turning your cat into a camel, but adequate water intake is beneficial for their overall digestive health.

Remember, sudden diet changes can upset your cat’s tummy, leading to changes in their poop, and yes, smell. Gradually introducing new food can help prevent this.

Role of Hydration

Hydration is like the overlooked middle child of cat care. But it’s not just crucial for us humans, it’s also critical for our feline friends. Adequate hydration helps keep everything moving smoothly through the digestive tract, resulting in healthy, less smelly poop.

Cats don’t have a strong thirst drive. As such, it’s not enough to simply fill up a water bowl and call it a day. Try to make sure your cat is getting water from multiple sources like wet food or water fountains. Signs of dehydration in your cat include dry gums, lethargy, or decreased urine output.

Litter Box Maintenance

Ah, the litter box. That magical place where your cat does its business and where your dedication to pet parenthood is truly tested. Keeping a clean litter box isn’t just better for your nose; it’s also better for your cat’s health.

Regular cleaning is the first step in maintaining a less smelly box. As for the type of litter, it’s all about finding the right balance between what’s good for odor control and what your cat prefers. Keep enough litter in the box for your cat to dig and cover their waste, as this can also help contain smells.

Don’t forget the location and number of litter boxes matter too! As a rule of thumb, you should have one litter box for each cat, plus one extra. Be sure to place them in quiet, low-traffic areas where your cat feels comfortable.

Winston complaining about smelly poop

Dear Joey, You really need to do something about that, you know… that poop thing. I mean, it’s bad enough that you have such a hard time keeping it in the litter box, but the odor! How do you make such powerful smells? And for God’s sake, can you please bury that stuff when you’re done with it? There are others that have to breathe the same air, you know… #StinkyKitty #PleaseBuryYourPoop


Stress and its Impact on a Cat’s Digestive Health

Your cat may seem like the epitome of chill, casually lounging in sunbeams and all. But cats can get stressed too, and stress can wreak havoc on their digestive system. Changes in routine, new family members (pets or humans), or even a new piece of furniture can stress your cat, leading to digestive upsets and possibly smelly poop.

Watch out for signs of stress in your cat, like changes in eating or grooming habits, excessive meowing, or aggressive behavior. Provide a stable routine, plenty of playtime, and cozy hideaways for your feline friend to help reduce stress.

What Should I Feed My Cat So His Poop Doesn’t Stink?

Choosing the right food can make a significant difference in the smell of your cat’s poop. Here are a few tips on what to feed your cat to minimize the stink:

  1. High-quality, balanced cat food: High-quality cat foods, whether dry or wet, tend to contain fewer fillers and artificial ingredients, leading to better digestion and less smelly poop. They contain a balanced amount of proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins, and minerals, which are needed for a healthy cat.
  2. Animal-based proteins: Cats’ bodies are best suited to digest animal proteins. High-quality meat, poultry, or fish-based cat food can be more easily digested, resulting in less smelly poop.
  3. Fiber-rich foods: Adding a bit of fiber to your cat’s diet can help bulk up their stool and aid in digestion. This is particularly helpful for cats that are prone to diarrhea, which can be particularly ‘fragrant’.
  4. Probiotics: Foods that contain probiotics can help maintain a healthy gut flora, aiding digestion, and reducing the smell of their poop. You can also use probiotic supplements.
  5. Adequate hydration: Hydration plays a critical role in digestion. If your cat isn’t a big drinker, consider including wet food in their diet, which is typically about 70-80% water.
  6. Avoid sudden changes in diet: Cats have sensitive stomachs and rapidly changing their food can cause digestive upset, leading to smelly poop. Transition to new food gradually over a week or so, slowly mixing more of the new food with the old.


So, there you have it: a journey through the glamorous world of cat poop! Remember, managing the stench isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, and consistency is key. Working with your vet can help tailor a solution that suits your feline friend’s needs. Your nose (and surely your cat) will thank you!

A Vet’s Guide to Cat Poop

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