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Why Does My Kitten’s Poop Smell So Bad? 16 Possible Causes

Why Does My Kitten’s Poop Smell So Bad? 16 Possible Causes

“Feces naturally has a foul smell, I’m aware of that. But if it’s unbearable, I guess there might be something going on with my kitten. Is it normal for the scent to be so intense that it’s raising eyebrows? Why does my kitten’s poop smell so bad? Should I be worried?”

It’s not that uncommon for feline feces to change based on their diet and health. A smelly poop can be a sign of a medical issue or the food she’s been eating. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons behind smelly stools.

Why does my kitten’s poop smell so bad? What should it look like?

Why Does My Kitten's Poop Smell So Bad? 16 Possible Causes

Normal feces should be firm without being overly hard. And it shouldn’t be runny or have a particularly bad smell. Normal cat feces is typically a dark brown and any change in the form, color, and smell could be pointing to a problem.

The best way to know what’s going on for sure is to get a sample. Take it to a veterinarian for testing. Professionals will always be able to tell you exactly what’s wrong with your kitten. As well as how to fix it. But let’s take a look at some possible issues.

1. Low-quality food

The food that your kitten consumes plays a huge role in what their stool is going to look like. A feline’s stool can become overly stinky because of diet changes and low-quality food.

Not all brands of cat food have the same quality. Their nutritional value varies greatly from product to product. And some companies use a lot more “filler” ingredients to make the food cheaper.

Most cats have no problem digesting these foods. But they might be a bit hard on your kitten’s tummy and cause a stinky poop. That’s why you need to get the best quality food that you can afford. A vet will be able to give you some recommendations.

2. Dietary changes

It’s no secret that cats love routine. Anything that strays from their usual habits can cause them stress. So, it’s no surprise that the same applies to their meals. Changing the food that you give to your kitten might cause a temporary change in feces.

Their stool should be normal after a while though. Their body just needs time to adjust. Monitor them closely and if the poop stays stinky, consider taking them to the vet for more information. Vomiting can also occur, so don’t be scared if it happens.

3. Medications and supplements

Has your kitten been sick recently? You might’ve been prescribed certain medications or even dietary supplements. These all affect your feline’s digestion and can change the look of her stool. They can also cause a pretty pungent smell.

You should know that well-balanced meals are normally enough for a cat. So, you shouldn’t decide to give her supplements on your own. They can be introduced to a feline’s diet only if the vet instructed you to do so.

If your cat has been taking antibiotics, you could ask your vet about including some probiotics. They aid in and stimulate proper digestion which can be a great help in getting rid of smelly poop. Just don’t ever give them to her of your own accord.

4. Allergies

Why Does My Kitten's Poop Smell So Bad? 16 Possible Causes

Allergies and food sensitivities are very common in cats. Felines can be sensitive to just about anything. Sometimes even the main ingredients of the food they eat, such as beef or chicken. If this is the case, removing those foods from their diet can fix the issue.

However, this can be really difficult when you’re unsure of just what your kitten is allergic to. You could perform an elimination test guided by your vet, but this takes a lot of time and patience. However, if it allows you to make sure that your feline has no digestive issues, it’s worth it!

5. Parasites

Intestinal worms are a very common occurrence in cats, especially in kittens. They usually get them from their mothers. And their mothers can pick them up from other cats, fleas, or rodents. The infection happens when cats ingest the worm eggs that hatch in their intestines.

To be sure that your kitten has intestinal worms, you’ll need to save a poop sample. Your veterinarian will examine the sample and will be able to tell you for sure if there are any worms. He’ll prescribe you the right medication and the issue will be fixed.

6. Infection

Bacterial infections can often cause things like diarrhea and gas. And they can also be the reason why your kitten’s poop smell so bad. Some of the most common infections are Salmonella and E. coli. But there are numerous others as well.

Felines typically get infected by eating raw meat or hunting rodents. A fecal exam will tell you just which infection it could be. So, if you notice her stool smells horrid, contact a veterinarian.

7. Digestive disorders

Digestive disorders happen when your kitten has issues digesting food and absorbing nutrients from it. This can lead to your kitten’s poop smelling bad, vomiting, and diarrhea. A way to differentiate between digestive disorders and other problems is if your feline is losing weight.

These can be extremely dangerous because they put your kitten at risk of dehydration, exhaustion, and malnutrition. It’s important to get a diagnosis as soon as possible to avoid these things. Take your kitten to see a professional.

Some of these conditions can be very complex, so your vet might refer you to a veterinary internal medicine specialist. Follow all the instructions that they give you exactly how they tell you to avoid further complications.

8. Swollen anal glands

Why Does My Kitten's Poop Smell So Bad? 16 Possible Causes

Anal glands are small glands that are filled with a liquid that has a very strong scent. When cats do their business the liquid expresses itself. However, in case of infection or abscess, it develops an extremely foul smell.

This can often make people mistake the poop for being the smelly one. If your kitten has swollen anal glands, take her to the vet. The problem needs to be fixed because it could cause bloody discharge as well.

9. Uncovered poop

“Why does my kitten’s poop smell so bad? I can’t figure out the reason!” Well, maybe it’s just uncovered? Cats have a tendency to cover their feces with litter after they do their job. But sometimes, they may choose to leave it out in the open. This makes the smell much more noticeable.

Why would your cat do this? There are a number of reasons. Whatever’s behind the behavior, you need to contact a vet. He’ll be able to tell you exactly what the problem is and how to fix it. Still, let’s take a look at some of the common reasons.

10. Medical issues

There are boundless possible medical issues that might be troubling your cat. Before assuming any other reason for her smelly stool, take her to the vet. You need to rule out any possible illnesses first, so you can avoid her state worsening.

These can range anywhere from digestive problems to genetic issues that affect the way your cat uses the litter. She could be in serious pain, so never ignore any strange behaviors that your kitten might display.

11. The wrong litter box

It could be that you bought a litter box that’s not the right shape and size. If your cat has trouble moving around in it, she might give up on covering her poop. Her only concern will be getting out of that uncomfortable space as quickly as she can.

The ideal litter box should be open, so without a lid. It should be low and close to the ground, so she has easy access. And it should be wide and spacious so your feline has enough room to finish her job completely. Which includes having space to cover her poop.

12. Bad litter

Why Does My Kitten's Poop Smell So Bad? 16 Possible Causes

The litter itself could also be the reason why your cat rushes to get it over with. There are several different types of litter and some aren’t appropriate for felines. These tend to be rough and sharp or scented.

Since your cat has a sharp sense of smell, this can make it uncomfortable to finish her job in peace. Try substituting your current litter with a finer kind that has no added smells. This will help make the experience much less stressful for your cat. And she’ll start covering her poop.

13. Territoriality

One of the main reasons why cats cover up their feces is to hide from potential predators. The dirt covers up their smell and other animals have a harder time tracking them down. So, when they leave it uncovered, they could be announcing their presence.

Your feline is probably just marking the house as her territory. In reality, you’re lucky she’s doing it in her litter box and not on your carpet. Housecats generally feel safer than wildcats, so they often feel no need to cover their feces.

14. A household with multiple pets

Cats need a safe place to get rid of waste without feeling rushed. However, if you own multiple pets, this becomes a problem. Especially if you have a dog. She might feel unsafe with a dog around. So, she tries to get it over with as quickly as possible which leads to uncovered poop.

One way to fix this is to have the litter box put in some corner or room away from the other pets. If your dog is all up in your feline’s business, she won’t have time to even think about covering her feces. Let alone actually doing it.

15. Senior felines

The older a cat gets, the more medical issues she develops. These can often make it very difficult for her to remain as active as before. It limits her flexibility and her energy levels drop. This creates problems even with the simplest of tasks like passing waste.

Senior cats find it difficult to just climb into the litter box. So, to bother covering up their feces is just a hassle they aren’t willing to go through. You should try to find the lowest litter box possible for her, so she doesn’t have too much trouble.

16. Type of litter

Why Does My Kitten's Poop Smell So Bad? 16 Possible Causes

We’ve already mentioned how the type of litter can cause your feline to not cover her feces. But did you know that it can also affect the way it smells? If you own cat litter that’s scented, chances are that the chemicals inside it are reacting with the poop.

So, why does your kitten’s poop smell so bad? Likely because of this! A lot of owners rush to get the scented litter to ease the cleaning process and make it smell more pleasant. However, this ends up creating the opposite effect.

So, both for the sake of your kitten and your own, don’t get scented litter! The smell will become unbearable for both of you. It’s easier to put up with the normal smell of feces than the pungent odor of the mix of poop and chemicals.

Give a go to the unscented cat litter like this one from Fresh Step. It’s recommended by vets since it’s dust-free and doesn’t contain any of the added fragrances or dyes which is amazing.

Fresh Step Clumping Cat Litter, Advanced, Unscented, 18.5 lbs
$32.39 ($0.11 / Fl Oz)
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03/17/2024 09:13 pm GMT

How to put an end to stinky poop?

If you notice that your kitten’s poop smells bad, the first thing you need to do is consult a veterinarian. You have to be able to rule out any illnesses and conditions first before moving on to other reasons. Be sure to take a sample of the stool, so your vet has something to work with.

Once you check your kitten for any possible medical issues, you can check the litter and the litter box. Issues with these are one of the most common reasons behind feces issues. And it’s also the easiest problem to fix. You just need to get some new litter and a better box.

And lastly, you can check if your kitten has problems with food. These can be difficult to pinpoint because there’s a wide range of possibilities. It can be anything from food sensitivities to the very quality of the individual ingredients. But, it’s all worth it for a healthy kitty!

Read more: 3 Answers To One Question – Why Does My Cat Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

Why Does My Kitten's Poop Smell So Bad? 16 Possible Causes