Cuddling up with your feline best friend is undoubtedly one of the best parts of being the parent of a cat. When you have had a long day, there is little better than snuggling up on the couch with your furbaby on your lap. Running your fingers through her coat and giving her love and affection is very soothing, and spending time petting an animal is proven to lower stress levels, reduce anxiety and help someone to feel calmer and more relaxed.

However, there is one thing that can make snuggle time a less than perfect experience – an unpleasant or foul odor. Although cats are well known for their fastidious grooming routine and like to be clean, they are not immune to becoming a bit stinky from time to time.

Cats don’t smell bad for no reason
The important thing to remember is that it is generally not normal for a cat to smell icky. If your furbaby is suddenly smelling less than fresh, it is important to determine the underlying cause of the odor. In many cases, it may be as simple as her having come into contact with something that smells bad, but in others, it could indicate something more serious is going on with her.

Causes of cat odors and how to address them
Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes for a feline to develop an unpleasant odor, and what you can do to make your cat smell better.

She may not be grooming herself properly
While most cats are very capable of keeping themselves clean, a few felines struggle with this task. Often this is due to problems such as arthritis, which may mean she can’t bend and twist the way she needs to in order to get herself fully clean.

Check her fur for signs of dirt and grime, or possible ticks. Ideally, you should brush her fur at least once a week, or if she is long-haired, daily, which will help keep her coat healthy and shiny. Occasionally, feces may build up in the fur under the tail and this may need to be trimmed away.

She may have poor dental health
If the odor is predominantly coming from her mouth, she may need better dental care. Periodontal disease is a serious problem that affects the majority of cats during their lifetime and can cause bad breath.

Regular brushing of her teeth ensures that bacteria that builds on her teeth is removed, and this can keep decay and periodontal disease at bay. Ask your veterinarian for a demonstration as to the best way to brush your cat’s teeth.

He may be marking his territory
Cats who remain un-neutered are almost certain to take up spraying/urine marking inside and outside your home. This can make both them and your property smell less than delightful. Spaying/neutering usually eliminates the problem.

He may have an underlying health problem
In some instances, a bad smell may point to an underlying health problem. Some potential health problems that can cause a feline to develop an odor include:

– Infected anal glands

– Skin or ear infections

– Kidney problems/bladder stones

– Some cancers

If you are unable to pinpoint any other reason why there is a bad smell emanating from your pet, then it is always worth booking an appointment with your vet to rule out a possible medical cause.

If your kitty has developed a pungent odor and you would like further advice, our expert team are on hand to help. Please give us a call or pop into our offices.