Reasons Why Your Cat Smells Like Maple Syrup (And FAQs)

A cat will usually smell like itself, and the odor will be the same as the usual animal smell that you are aware of. Cats and other animals may produce certain substances from the scent glands (located on their body), which help them communicate with the others of their species. However, in certain conditions, the felines may have a specific and different smell. For instance, your cat may start to smell like maple syrup, delicious, perfumy, or cinnamony. If you are wondering why your cat smells like maple syrup, there can be many varied reasons for it. These reasons may include diabetes, kidney problems, metabolic conditions, a urinary tract infection, or simply that the cat has met some maple syrup.

Reasons Why a Cat Smells Like Maple Syrup

You need to take your pet to the veterinarian from time to time for the health checkup of the pet, vaccination, and other reasons. One of the causes of a cat smelling like a maple syrup or sweet can be that it is suffering from health conditions such as diabetes. Below are the prominent reasons why a cat may smell like maple syrup.

Diabetes Mellitus

Cats can develop diabetes mellitus or may inherit it just like humans. A cat that suffers from a medical condition may smell sweet and like maple syrup. While many may not know, it is one of the most common conditions that may affect pets. When the sugar in the body is not processed and metabolized properly, it accumulates in the bloodstream. Over a period, the excess sugar in the blood may cause damage to the organs and the nervous systems. Other serious health conditions may also occur. The excess sugar comes out from the urine of your pet as well, which may result in sweet-smelling urine.

If you go to your veterinarian in time, the disease may be treated fully. However, it can also be treated when it aggravates the later stages. The treatment is simple, and the pet may be required to live on a special and sugar-restricted diet. Food for pets and cats suffering from diabetes is also easily available online and in pet retailer stores.

Close-up portrait of green-eyed cat
Close-up portrait of green-eyed cat

Metabolic Conditions

Apart from problems with the glands and processing of sugar, the body of a cat may also face other metabolic conditions due to which they cannot process and digest the food they eat. While it is not diabetes, other conditions may also delay and prevent the metabolism of sugar. It causes a maple syrupy and sweet smell. To know more about the condition, your veterinarian will carry out a thorough medical and blood checkup on the pet and diagnose the underlying condition.

Medical Conditions affecting Kidney

The buildup of ketones in the blood can cause a maple syrupy smell in your pet. The ketones are the metabolic wastes that may gather in the body of the cat. The ketones will come out 0when the cat pees, and it has the smell of maple syrup.

There are both medications as well as diets available for managing kidney problems. However, a diagnosis and checkup should not be delayed as the kidney problems may aggravate and it may be fatal for the cats.

Urinary Disease

Sometimes a problem with the urinary function of the pet and the cat may result in urine that smells like maple syrup. The condition is also found in cattle and human beings. In cats, it occurs due to hereditary reasons. While no conclusive research proves it, you may still need to talk to your veterinarian to know why your cat’s urine is swelling like maple syrup and sweet.

UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)

Urinary tract infections are the most common cause of a cat smelling like maple syrup. Antibiotics can treat all kinds of urinary tract infections in humans as well as pets. However, the infections can be quite painful. If your cat is showing symptoms of pain and smells like maple syrup, you should take it to the veterinarian immediately. Delaying the process and diagnosis will aggravate the problem and the infection may spread further.

Contact with Maple Syrup

An obvious reason a cat may smell like maple syrup is that it may have met maple syrup directly or indirectly. For instance, the cat may have knocked one of the bottles containing sugar syrup or maple syrup may have started to smell sweet.

Dilute Dysfunction

The condition of dilute dysfunction is not a problem in most cats of cats. Most cats with this condition live a healthy and long life. It may occur due to the non-metabolism of amino acids. The amino acid may come out of the body of the cat through urine and has a maple syrup smell.

Cute Cat
Cute cat

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does a cat’s pee smell like maple syrup?

In many cases, the cat’s pee will smell like maple syrup if it is affected by a condition such as diabetes or kidney problems. A veterinarian can give better advice after conducting a diagnosis and running urine/blood tests on the pet. It may occur due to a non-problematic medical condition called dilute dysfunction, which is not bothersome in most cases.

Why does the fur of my cat have a smell of maple syrup?

It is due to a common condition that occurs in pets called dilute dysfunction. Pets and cats with this condition will fail to break down the amino acid phenylalanine. The substance may secrete itself out of the body through urine and it has a sweet maple syrup smell. The substance may also stick to the fur of the cat. However, most cats with this condition live a healthy/long life and there is nothing to worry about.


You need to know the reason your cat smells like maple syrup to overcome the condition. A veterinarian visit may reveal to you more information on the health of your cat and why it smells sweet. Timely medical intervention/treatment and dietary controls can ensure that your pets can live long and healthy life.

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