Why Does Cat Poop Smell So Bad? (5 Common Causes and Solutions for Foul Smelling Poop)

Why Does Cat Poop Smell So Bad

Cat poop, or any poop for that matter never smells great. However, if you’re wondering why does cat poop smell so bad that it’s offending you whenever you cat takes a poop there might be an underlying issue with your cat.

Cat poop shouldn’t smell so bad that it’s bothering you the moment it lands in their litter box. In fact, most litter boxes will completely mask the smell of a healthy cat dropping off a normal poop.

If your cat has diarrhea there is an obvious issue there that needs addressing. If they are leaving solid stools and it’s still particularly smelly there is a less obvious issue, but you still need to find out why.

The good news is that it shouldn’t be too hard to sort out as I’ll explain by highlighting the common reasons for foul-smelling cat poop.

Why Does Cat Poop Smell So Bad? (5 Common Causes and Solutions)


looking at a cats diet to find cause of foul smelling poop

This will not come as a surprise. Just as a bad diet affects us and our own stool, it also causes smelly poop in cats.

It can be difficult to determine exactly what it is they’re eating causing the issue as some cats will have a sensitivity to an ingredient in their food.

Try switching up their food to see if it makes a huge difference. Always change their food gradually, start by combining the new food with their old for a few days for a smooth transition.

Stop giving your cats treat and scraps of human foods from your plate too. These foods are typically too rich for cats and cause digestive issues.


Cats have a habit of licking and eating things that may not be in their best interest sometimes and can pick up bacteria like E.coli or Salmonella that can cause some intestinal issues.

Not to mention they eat bugs like flies, grasshoppers, and such like that can carry bacteria. This is a common cause of smelly poops and your best course of action is a visit to the vets for some antibiotics.


Parasites are other nasties that live inside a cat’s intestines and cause smelly poop, along with some other health issues and discomfort so it needs addressing.

Giardia is one of the common parasites cats can pick up and causes diarrhea and really bad smelling poop.

Coccidia and Trichomonas are two more forms of parasites found in cats that cause similar issues. All of which need to be treated as soon as possible, so get yourself and your kitty off to the vet for a checkup!

Other Health Issues

older cat with health issues

It’s not just bacteria and parasites that may be causing the foul smelling poop from your kitty. There may be another underlying issue, and you’re only going to find out by taking them to a vet.

So, if you’ve changed their food, they are not taking any medications that may be causing the problem and still have really bad smelling poop it’s time for a checkup.


Older cats will sometimes have smellier poop. As a cat gets older their digestive system doesn’t process and break down food as efficiently as it once did.

Look for age-specific foods. They are usually called Senior foods or have an age range on the box.

These foods are a little higher in vitamins and nutrition to keep their immune systems healthy and should have a formula making the food easier to digest.

What to Do If Your Cat Has Diarrhea

If your cat has diarrhea their poop is going to smell really bad. Before taking them to the vet there are some steps you can take to see if you can clear this up.

For the next 24 hours don’t give your cat any food. Especially not any treats or food scraps from your plate!

Provide them with plenty of fresh water to rehydrate and keep them indoors. You’ll have to keep their litter tray clean every time they use it too, the last thing you want is your cat pooping outside their box!

If the symptoms persist for more than 24 hours take them to the vets for further advice.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully this article has helped you understand and find out the reason why your cat’s poop smells so bad.

There will always be a reason behind it, and it’s usually not that difficult to find and treat. Not only will you be happy when the foul cat poop smell goes away, your cat will be healthier and happier for it too.

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