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Is Normal Cat Poop Extremely Offensive & Smelly?

Smelly cat poop


 Cat Poop:  A smelly subject

Poop.  It’s not a subject you probably talk regularly about with your friends.  After all, it’s rather embarrassing, and most people would probably rather just keep that information to themselves.  Bathroom talk should be kept in the bathroom, right?  Actually, no!  Believe it or not, elimination habits and characteristics can tell you a lot about your health, and the same goes for your cat.  But how bad should normal cat poop smell? 

Today I will touch on odor because let’s face it, poop smells!  Some poop smells a LOT more than others, but do you know why?  Before you run to the store and buy some super duper odor controlling litter and toxic air fresheners, take a minute to think about what could be causing the offensive odor!  

Causes of bad smelling cat poop

According to Dr. Mike Paul, DVM, cats’ poop can smell extremely noxious for several reasons:  diet, bacteria, parasites, and digestive disorders.


Certain ingredients in your cat’s food may be the culprit, including supplements.  Perhaps it’s a food sensitivity, which can be quite common in cats who eat a limited ingredient diet, are extremely picky, and don’t eat a variety of proteins.  As a result, gas and vomiting are more common; however, some cats can develop diarrhea from food sensitivities. 


Bacteria like E.coli, salmonella, or even some viruses can settle in your cat’s digestive tract and cause inflammation, which may result in diarrhea and gas.  When toxins like these are eliminated with poop the smell can be extremely atrocious. 


Intestinal parasites like Giardia, Coccidia, and Trichomonas can cause intestinal inflammation. Once again, the toxins that develop in the intestines and colon from parasites develops some seriously foul odor and diarrhea.

Digestive disorders

Did you know that processed pet food contains ingredients like corn, wheat, rice, potatoes and legumes?  Furthermore, did you know that plant proteins such as these are not very bioavailable to cats and end up getting eliminated in the poop?  When your cat’s gut is having trouble digesting and/or absorbing food this can also lead to rancid, smelly stools.  Most often it’s due to undigested and unabsorbed fats and starches (kibble).   As a result, these kinds of ingredients can cause the worst smelling poop!

Diet and cat poop

Diagnosing the problem of smelly cat poop

Using a technique called muscle testing, along with blood tests and fecal tests you can very quickly get to the root cause of the smelly poop.  Dr. Paul also suggests that

Depending on the cat’s age, the duration of the problem and other clinical signs, more tests may be necessary to evaluate digestion, the possibility of retrovirus infections—such as FIV and FeLV—and the possibility of hormonal abnormalities like excess thyroid production.

In most cases smelly stools of a few days duration in an otherwise healthy cat are not serious, but if diarrhea and foul odors persist or are accompanied by listlessness, blood in stools, vomiting or diarrhea, it could be an emergency. You should consult your veterinarian at once.

A species appropriate diet and cat poop

In my experience as a holistic health coach for cats I find in most cases the diet is causing the health issue.  In cats who are fed a kibble-based diet it’s not uncommon to have large, very smelly stools.  Why?  Dr Karen Becker, DVM, shares this interesting fact: 

Most kibble manufacturers add unnaturally high amounts of fiber (beet pulp, soybean, and rice hulls, as well as “cellulose,” otherwise known as wood fiber, or sawdust). The normal fiber content of the ancestral diet is between 4 and 6 percent. The fiber content of many dry foods is greater than 15 percent, and most “diet” or “lite” foods contain more than 28 percent fiber.”  Cat’s bodies aren’t designed to absorb nutrients like the grains and starches, so it makes poop stinkier. 

If your pet’s poop seems fouler smelling than it should, my first recommendation is to transition your dog or cat to a balanced, species-appropriate, organic, and GMO-free diet.  When healthy pets are fed a balanced, natural, fresh diet, excess fecal odor shouldn’t occur, and there will also be a smaller volume of poop.

Foods will be healthfully broken down, digested, and absorbed as nature intended, resulting in the production of feces that aren’t that big a deal (literally). Not big and not stinky.

Chaz’s smelly poop

Chaz’s mom, Pam, reached out to me because his poop began to smell up the whole house.  Clearly something had changed as this was not the norm.  I began by evaluating the ingredients in his food and found that the new food he was eating had dried egg product.  Eggs contain sulfur…and sulfur is offensively stinky!  Muscle testing showed that this particular ingredient was not agreeing with his digestive tract and was making life miserable in his household.  Finally, I’m happy to report that once Chaz was switched off the egg product his poop no longer smelled up the house!  He’s now eating a raw and freeze-dried diet.  His stools are much smaller and they don’t smell anything close to what they used to! 

To learn more about optimal nutrition for cats check out this page.

Updated 2/2/20












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Pam has helped us through months of struggle with foods, remedies and setbacks. She never waivers. The thing I love most about Pam is that she is incredibly compassionate but also has strong boundaries. It made me feel instantly that we were in good hands. And she knows her stuff. Her instincts and skill with muscle testing do not fail. My cats’ wellbeing and health keep improving. Thank you, Pam! We are forever in your debt!

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