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My new cat stinks in every way possible!
184674_tn?1360864093
by AHP84, Nov 30, 2011
I adopted the absolute sweetest and most loving cat last month from the local animal shelter. My family and I love him to death, especially my two boys, ages 7 and 22 months. He's an orange and white male tabby, and I've been told he's probably half, or at least part, mang coon because he has six toes on each foot and he's about 20 lbs, or close to it, I'd guess.
But there is one thing about him that is just horrible. He STINKS.
We didn't really notice it until about a week into living with him--probably because we gave him a bath the first night I brought him home because he smelled terrible, but I attributed that to being at the shelter for I don't know how long and then spending a night at the vet to get neutered. After the bath, he smelled wonderful for another week.
However, I think the main issue of his stench source is his poop. Oh. my. gosh.
His poop!
I'm seriously in awe that the paint on the walls is not peeling off yet or my birds, who reside in the room with the litter box (which is unfortunately our living room because we have a tiny house with no basement or outdoor-type room attached, so the only place to put the litter box is in our living room), have not keeled over and died from the noxious cat poop vapors that permiate every fiber of that room when he dumps a load.
It's not that none of us can't take a mild odor of a litter box--we have another cat (female and about half the size of the new cat) who has never once come close to smelling this bad.
I've tried looking online for solutions, or maybe a problem with the cat, only to find advice on two issues: either change the food (in which most complaints came from people who fed their cats cheap food with meat by-products and corn, canned wet food, fish, and/or gave their cat milk), or change the litter brand and clean the litter box twice or more a week. Well, our cats eat dry cat food (turkey and chicken for sensitive stomachs) with no meat by-products or corn ingredients, no fish, no wet food, and we don't give them milk.
We have a covered litter box that we clean every other day now that we have the new cat because his stink is enough to make you literally gag once he uses the litter box. And when we clean the litter box, I don't mean that we scoop it out and keep the old litter--no, every time we clean it, it's a complete dump of the litter and replaced with new litter because the used litter is actually ruined from his stink and does not cover up his odor at all. So every two days--new litter. It's the clay, non-clumping litter that I've decided to go with because the clumping litter costs more and yes, we tried the clumping litter for multiple cats that's got the baking soda in it and whatnot--and found it covers the odor no better or worse than the cheaper clay litter.
He is attempting to bury his waste after going, but he's SO big that he barely fits in the litter box, so he does his business, then comes out, then only gets back into the litter box with his front half to bury his stuff with his front feet. In doing this, he makes a mess of nasty litter outside the litter box because then the door flap isn't keeping the litter from being flung out since he's standing under it. We are using the biggest litter box I could find, and he still barely fits in it.
Now, I've noticed after he uses the litter box that his stench is so unbelieveably, overwhelmingly strong that it's like it's "stuck" on him. His feet smell like his poop, and he's NOT stepping in it, I'm pretty sure. Then he wants to crawl in our laps for cuddles or curl up in our bed. I have honestly nearly barfed many times from his poopy smell being so overpowering once he gets close to me.
He seems 100% healthy--I mean, upon adopting him and having him go to the vet for neutering, he had a wellness exam and all his shots and de-worming. He has an appetite that's as big as he is and he drinks probably 12 ounces of water a day, so there is nothing about him that appears unhealthy that I can tell. He seems very happy in his new home.
I just don't know what to do about the smell! I'm desperate for some kind of solution. Is this just a male cat thing? I had a male cat years ago, and a few cats between then and now (all female), and I've NEVER smelled a stench from a cat like what comes from this guy--not even from any cat that a friend or family member owns.
Did I just get "lucky" enough to get the world's sweetest and best cat, with his one downside being comparable with a skunk's stench?
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Member Comments (20)
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by opus88Blank, Nov 30, 2011
hi and welcome to our forum..little stinker sounds like an otherwise beautiful kitty..lol

I hope we can help to allow the paint to remain on the walls......

I will give you a few suggestions. #1 it is VERY likely that his anal glands are plugged. have a Vet check this, its an easy manipulation to fix. this does cause very stinky poops.

#2. I prefer wet canned food.....esp for a male who can easily get FLUTD from dry foods esp if not drinking enough water..dry foods have only 10% moisture where wet has 78%.
but whatever canned or wet be very sure the food is GRAIN FREE....grains aren't good for cats, they can't digest them and this can cause 'gas'
two excellent varieties are Wellness and EVO. but there are others. I will give you a link to a site...look on the right hand side of her article for further links to 'commercial foods' this Vet gives a listing of all the best foods available on the market.
www.catinfo.org

#3. get rid of the lid on the litter box...too confining for him and the odor.
use an open box and be sure to sift the residue out at least once a day. with the closed in tight box, he probably is stepping on it.

but I really think the anal glands and grain free food will solve your problem..be sure to let us know. and best of luck-)
184674_tn?1360864093
by AHP84, Nov 30, 2011
Thank you! I will call the vet and see about getting his anal glands expressed. Another person I was talking to about this earlier mentioned the same thing about the anal glands.
I have been feeding them premium cat food, but I'll implement some wet food into their diet as well. He doesn't seem to have an issue with not getting enough water; he drinks a lot of water. We have to refill the water dish every morning, whereas before we got him, our little cat went through a dish of water maybe every day and a half to two days.
I don't think taking the lid off the litter box is an option right now though. With it being in the living room, and having a toddler...I just don't see that being a good combination. I wish we had somewhere else in the house to put the litter box--a more private place--but the only other options are the kitchen and bedrooms. I've tried getting it into the bathroom, but the space is too small. We have a REALLY small house.

The vet is definitely going to be my priority this weekend, though. I am desperate, lol. I have never in my life smelled anything like the smell he has, and I've encountered some pretty nasty smells--not to mention, some of even the nastiest smells don't trigger my gag reflex. But boy oh boy, this new cat has thrown me one stinky curve ball on this matter, lol.
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by Piparskeggr, Nov 30, 2011
Good evening;

All of our girls have been big, over 15# (except April Dancer who was about 6 - 7 pounds); current 4 average 17#...luckily we have a 3-bedroom, 2-bath house with basement...7 litter boxes, which we scoop every day.

That being said, we use one of the scent-free, multi-cat formula litters, plus we bought the biggest scratch boxes we could find.  3 of the pans are covered and have slitted grilles in the top for charcoal air filters.

Anita and I will also give the litter a shot with one of the enzymatic pet stain sprays when either of us scoops the poop and pee, which seems to help keep down the smell.

From your description, it reads like a second pan is not an option.  My hope is you are able to get a bigger place due to increase prosperity for your family.  We have always found that having one more pan that you have cats helps...

As for the other concerns, our Queen Victoria had impacted anal glands and one of her symptoms was horrible odor, both her and her stools.  This was hard, as she was my bed-time buddy.  Vet "expressed" the impaction and Victoria healed nicely.

Advice on adding wet food is good, too.  All our girls have eaten dry on their own in self-feeders, but look forward to splitting a can 4-ways twice a day.  As for which food, every cat I've ever had has done very well on the old standbys, Purina and Friskies.

If you look at a predator's natural diet (which kitties are), they go for the soft tissue before muscle meat...in other words, the by-products.  Take that for what it's worth...look for balance.

Take care and let us know how the big guy is doing.

You and your husband are champs for giving him a new home.
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by Jade59Blank, Nov 30, 2011
Hi AHP84.  I can totally relate to what you're saying as Jade had the same problem when we first met her.  She smelled so bad, I would wash my hands after touching her.  She smelled like poo and her breath was rotten.  We don't believe her anal glands were the problem however, that is a first thought when it comes to males and I will be hopeful that is the problem with your kitty and once expressed, he'll smell much better.  

Another thing that was wrong with Jade and contributing to her *stench* was her rotten teeth.  You might have the vet take a look at your kitty's teeth while there and consider a cleaning.  Even though she eventually had extractions, just the cleaning alone the first time did wonders for her breath and I mean, a major difference.  Over the span of the last 4yrs, I believe at least 9 of Jade's teeth have been pulled along with one fang that was abscessed, and now her breath is wonderful.  

She was also being fed something that looked like round cheese balls - not good -  so a healthier diet on a schedule helped overall, as well.  I won't elaborate since Opus has given you great advice on diet already.  Jade did have a bout with crystals - a condition much more prevalent in males so as Opus said, if you can get him on all wet food, will save you alot of money in the end...and pain for kitty.  

Good luck at the vet, AH.  We look forward to your update.  Here's to a sweeter smelling kitty and last but not least, congrats on your new addition to the family :)  
184674_tn?1360864093
by AHP84, Dec 05, 2011
Well, I'm at a loss. (I forgot to mention that my new cat's name is Beckett, by the way).
I got his anal glands expressed on Saturday, and the stench of his poop has not improved. We have also discovered that he is in fact not burying it--he's not stepping in it, but he's not burying it either. We are changing the cat box every other day. It's getting unbearable to even be in our living room anymore just from the lingering smell, even after the box is cleaned, and there is nowhere else to put the litter box.
We have noticed that he eats a lot, as I mentioned in my original post. I am sure he's put on weight since we brought him home last month. Compared to our other cat, he gorges. I got him the wet food this weekend too, and he gorged on that--stopped about ¾ of the way through eating the little can, dumped in the litter box--then came back to finish the rest of it, lol. Guess he had the extra room afterwards.
I think he might do better being fed once a day, but I don't know how easy that would be because our other cat, Sybil, free feeds and has never gorged or become overweight. In fact, she seems to have lost a little weight since we brought him home, although it still looks like she's eating the same amount and as often as she ate before. So now it seems we've got a predicament of needing to put a couple of pounds on Sybil and take about 3-4 lbs off Beckett.
But the litter box and stinky poo issue is our biggest concern, so I really don't know what to think now. For as healthy and happy as he seems, and as active as he is (he loves to play), could something be wrong with his gut? His breath does not smell bad at all, by the way...and his teeth are very white and his mouth looks clear.
We are seriously considering doing toilet training for the cats at this point. The stench the litter box is leaving to a room that is literally a quarter of the space of our home is intolerable. I'm embarrassed to even open our front door (which is in the living room) for a guest to come into our home because even when you walk in the door, the smell hits you like a truck right in the nose, and it's SO bad that at times, you can actually taste it.
I adore this cat and think the world of him, but I never in my wildest dreams imagined that a cat would be capable of making such loathesome stench. At least with toilet training, the smell can get flushed away and we can turn on the fan in the bathroom. We have no ventilation in the living room, not even a ceiling fan.
Moving into a bigger home won't be an option for us for another 2-3 years.

Please, any other suggestions that can help this matter would be greatly appreciated. I am on my knees begging and holding my nose with watery eyes and trying to hold back gagging.
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by opus88Blank, Dec 05, 2011
Oh thats terrible, I was hoping the anal sac expression would do the trick for Becket...love the name btw

the only other suggestions I can make to you is it could well be a parasite..coccidia in particular can cause smelly poo's. you don't need to take him back to the Vet to test for this just bring in a stool sample..

another thought is diet. you did say you just changed to wet food (great) but does the food still have grains? many cats can't tolerate grains...

there is something not right with his 'gut' either the parasites or a food intolerance of some sort....what is he eating?
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by AHP84, Dec 05, 2011
They eat the Authority cat food from Petsmart, the turkey flavor called Sensitive Solutions (for sensitive stomachs).

Here is the ingredients list:

Ingredients: Turkey, Turkey Meal, Brewers Rice, Oat Groats, Salmon Meal, Poultry Fat (Preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Rice Flour, Dried Beet Pulp, Dried Egg Product, Fructooligosaccharides, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamin Mononitrate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3 supplement, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein (not less than) 33.0%
Crude Fat (not less than) 12.0%
Crude Fat (not more than) 15.0%
Crude Fiber (not more than) 5.0%
Moisture (not more than) 10.0%
Ash (not more than) 6.5%
Linoleic Acid (not less than) 2.0%
Calcium (not less than) 0.95%
Phosphorus (not less than) 0.85%
Magnesium (not more than) 0.1%
Zinc (not less than) 225 mg/kg
Selenium (not less than) 0.2 mg/kg
Vitamin A (not less than) 25,000 IU/kg
Vitamin E (not less than) 250 IU/kg
Taurine (not less than) 0.15%
Omega-3 Fatty Acids (not less than) 2.8%*
Omega-6 Fatty Acids (not less than) 0.15%*
Carnitine (not less than) 100 mg/kg*

He is eating the same brand of wet food.
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by aligator79, Dec 05, 2011
I'm not sure if I missed it, but you haven't changed foods just added canned and they are both a good brand, correct?   If you have, sorry, you can ignore the rest.  :)

What about trying a food that didn't have turkey in it or not for sensitive stomachs?  When Lucy was little we couldn't give her anything with beef in it- she had HORRIBLE gas and the sensitive stomach food still makes her vomit, more than the non-sensitive stuff.  
874521_tn?1375890587
by opus88Blank, Dec 05, 2011
well I'm not familiar with that brand however it does have turkey as the top ingredient and not a by-product. and oats is the only grain I see listed. there are some things like dried beet pulp and dried eggs that maynot be beneficial. also the poultry fat.
It wouldn't hurt to try another grain free brand that isn't poultry...they aren't easy to come by b/c most foods have poultry or poultry base to them, and thats why many cats become sensitive to this overtime. there could be just one ingredient in that brand that is upsetting his gut...??

I will give you a site, read on the right hand side under 'commercial can foods' and this Vet lists all the good/best brands out there, she is very knowledgeable about nutrition.

www.catinfo.org

sorry I really don't have other suggestions for you. since its a digestive issue its likely either the food or a parasite, since its wasn't the anal glands those two are the only other alternatives that I can think of.....