What Is Your Cat’s Odor Trying to Tell You?


Cats are essentially self-cleaning. They are fastidious groomers, and can usually take care of keeping themselves clean without human intervention. Their sandpaper tongue is perfectly equipped to take care of their cleaning and grooming needs.  For all of these reasons, it’s rare that a healthy cat emits a bad smell. If you notice a bad odor on your cat, it may be an indicator of an illness.

In a recent article for Answers.com, I explained what might be causing your cat to smell bad, and why the presence of an unusual odor is usually cause for concern. Click here to read the article.

7 Comments on What Is Your Cat’s Odor Trying to Tell You?

  1. Louise
    April 23, 2015 at 9:11 pm (2 years ago)

    This is a very helpful article, and I can attest to cat odor signifying a health problem. My tabby had kidney disease, and when she was diagnosed it was quite advanced. (She had hid her illness in typical cat fashion). I noticed her fur had a distinctive musky smell, which I assume was the uremic poisoning coming through.

  2. Sue Brandes
    April 22, 2015 at 11:25 am (2 years ago)

    Great article Ingrid. My cat had the anal gland issue and that is the first thing I noticed was the odor cause is a very clean cat.

  3. Alex
    April 22, 2015 at 8:30 am (2 years ago)

    I was actually wondering what was the reason for the mouth smell, it turned out it really needed a good cleaning at vet. But they are good points to remember. Thanks for the article.

  4. Robyn
    April 22, 2015 at 8:12 am (2 years ago)

    Hi Ingrid, smell can tell us so much about the health of our cats. Even the litter box smell! There is one smell that I’m afraid of, the smell of death. We recently lost our Mac, who was only 3. He woke me due to terrible pain. In a matter of a few hours the diagnosis was tongue cancer and of course there was no treatment other than euthanasia. There was no indication of his illness only until he had bit his tongue which probably caused the pain to manifest. Only then did I detect this odour that I cannot explain other than death. I asked my Vet if death did have a smell and after looking at me for a moment he said yes and that not everyone can smell it. It’s important to stay connected with your pet on every level.

    • Hailey
      December 20, 2016 at 6:11 pm (9 months ago)

      I’m so very sorry about your dog. 🙁 Best wishes to you and I hope your family is okay about it.

    • Kittyluv
      March 8, 2017 at 9:13 pm (7 months ago)

      So sorry to hear that. My poor kitty, passed away, he was barely 2. We noticed that he had gotten into some chemicals, and was vomiting. We brought him into the vet, and all the blood tests, barium tests, x-rays were all fine. He wasn’t eating, and we had to force feed him. My poor kitty, passed on his own. I think the chemicals that he had gotten into, killed him. There wasn’t anything else we could do. RIP kitty.

      • Louise K
        March 9, 2017 at 11:34 pm (6 months ago)

        I’m so sorry about your kitty. We love them to pieces, and it hurts when they’re gone.


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