Do cats smell?

Generally cats don’t smell. Cats are fairly clean creatures because they are very particular in grooming themselves. They groom themselves by licking their fur. The cats tongue has a backward facing spine called Papillae that acts as a hair brush. The papilla helps clean and detangle the fur of a cat.

Some cats stink because they have a dental disease, an ear infection or an anal gland problem. The type of food that the cat eats can also be the reason for the cat’s less than pleasing smell. Dental disease is one of the common problems that veterinarians encounter with cats. Bad breath, lumps or bumps, reddened and inflamed bleeding gums are symptoms of a dental problem. Cats are food motivated but individuals with dental problems would be reluctant to eat. Cats with dental concerns would be less inclined to groom themselves. Another predisposing factor that helps a cat to smell is ear infections. Not many cat owners would take the time to clean the ears of the pet. The stink can be due to ear infections caused by an over growth of yeast or bacteria, wax buildup in the ear canal as well as thick hair in the ear canal. Health concerns like Diabetes mellitus and hypothyroidism are two of the health concerns that will make a cat smell. Anal sac disease is also a contributory factor in a cats’ unpleasant smell. It begins when the anal gland secretion is thickened and impacted. This causes the inflammation of the anal sac. If not treated infection can occur .The signs of impacted anal gland is when the cat is scooting its bottom along the floor, biting or licking around the anal region, straining while defecating, swelling in the anal area and rupture of the skin around the anal region. Most cats are lactose intolerant. Cats do not have large amount of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down the lactose found in milk products. Milk is one of the human foods that must not be given to cats as it can cause stomach upset.

The unwanted smell of the cat can be removed with regular grooming. Cats are just like humans. Cats are fastidious groomers but they would need regular dental care. Make sure that the treats are especially made for cats. Brush the cat’s teeth several times a week and use toothpaste designed for cats. Vet’s attention will be necessary if the pet has an ear infection. Monitoring your cat’s ears once a week for wax, debris and infection will help to make the sonar detectors stay alert. Anal sac disease such as impaction, it is treated by expressing the anal sac. Surgical removal of the anal sac may be necessary if the pet suffers from chronic anal sac impaction. Some veterinarians recommend increasing the fiber in the cat’s diet to prevent anal sac impaction. Make sure that you bathe and groom your cat. Grooming strengthens the bond between you and your cat. It is also the best time to check if your cat has lesions, wounds, and to check for fleas and other parasites. For a cat to be free from bad smell, constantly keep your cat clean and its litter box too. Don’t let your cat outside your house all the time, free roaming cat is a magnet for parasites, fleas, and ticks.

Although cats are considered a clean animal, it is still the owners responsibility to make them clean. Cat owners should also practice litter box management. Don’t try to bypass veterinary care, have the cat visit a veterinarian often. Especially when you notice that something is wrong with your cat.