When people visit a cat breeder’s home, the automatic expectation is that it will stink. We have visitors frequently as people come over to pick out and pick up their kittens. It always makes our day when people ask, “how come it doesn’t smell here?” Here is our secret.
Cat poop should not stink. Period. End of story. If it stinks, something is not right.
Several medical reasons may cause an unpleasant odor in cat feces: parasites, bacterial infections, medication, IBD, and liver or gallbladder disease. When the cause of the smell is medical, other symptoms often accompany the foul-smelling poo: weight loss, butt scooting, separated hair, fever, or overgrooming. If your cat is experiencing any accompanying symptoms, you should consult your veterinarian about potential causes.
The most common cause of offensive-smelling cat poo is diet. Cats are obligate carnivores with no dietary need for plant-based ingredients. Many plant ingredients pass through the cat without being digested, fermenting as they go through the digestive tract.
The most effective step you can take to eliminate odors is to switch your cat over to food with ingredients that are all animals based. To switch a cat from its current diet to raw food, we recommend you first switch to an all-canned diet. We have successfully used Fancy Feast Pate Varieties to switch cats to raw food. Once the cat is happily eating the Fancy Feast, add raw food. Start with a quarter of raw food with three-quarters of canned food. If the cat eats this, add a teaspoon more raw food the next day. If the cat rejects the food at some point, revert to the previously successful ratio for a couple of days, then move forward. Continue in this manner until the cat has fully transitioned.
Most people prefer to purchase raw food before venturing out to make their own. We like Viva Raw’s protein variety and shipping reliability and recommend people start with it along with the NuVet Supplement. For an explanation of why we recommend these products, please read Why We Recommend Viva Raw along with NuVet for Bengal Cat Food.
Another contributing factor to unpleasant smells is cat litter itself. Many have perfumes added which don’t always mix well with cat urine. The fragrances added to cat litter are added for people’s benefit; cats do not like fragrances. They intend to mask order, but they are rarely successful. We recommend using unscented litter, but not all unscented litters are the same. We use Dr. Elsey’s Unscented litter in our house. Dr. Elsey’s litter contains Fuller’s Earth, also known as bentonite clay, a natural clay that absorbs moisture and forms a sealant. This same clay is used to seal natural ponds for livestock animals, which means it is safe for animals. When your cat urinates or defecates, it naturally covers it up. Dr. Elsey’s litter immediately begins to seal and encapsulate the waste. In addition, Fuller’s Earth has natural antibacterial properties, effectively breaking down bacteria or preventing their formation. Dr. Elsey’s litter is, according to Dr. Addie’s clinical study, the best for clumping, so if you maintain three to four inches of litter in the box, all the smells will be sealed into Dr. Elsey’s litter.
It takes two simple steps to have an odor-free house - feed raw food and use Dr. Elsey’s Unscented cat litter.
Addie, Diane D. Ph.D., BVMS, MRCVS. “Dr. Addie - How to prevent FCoV transmission.” Feline Infectious Peritonitis and Coronavirus Website, 14 May 2019, https://www.catvirus.com/PreventionS1.htm#CatLitter. Accessed 27 December 2022.