Does Certain Cat Food Make Cat Feces Smell Worse?

by Catherine Troiano, Demand Media
    If stinky stools chase you from the room, consider her diet.

    If stinky stools chase you from the room, consider her diet.

    Granted, nobody’s stool wafts the sweet, floral scent of roses. If the odor of your cat’s feces is particularly foul, it is important to determine why. There are several reasons why your cat may eliminate stinky stool presents in her litter box, and one possible explanation may be her diet.

    Let’s Talk About Poop

    When addressing any bowel movement activity with your kitty’s veterinarian, he likely will pose a few questions regarding the color, shape and quantity of her stools. Normal cat feces should not be hard, soft, runny or mushy. It should be formed and firm. There should be no blood or mucous seen on the stool. It should be dark brown in color and there should be minimal odor. If your kitty sends everyone gagging and running for an open window every time she has a bowel movement, it’s time to examine her stool, snatch a sample and visit her doctor to figure out why this little creature is creating such a big stink.

    The Protein Poop Problem

    One of the most common causes of odoriferous stool in cats is their diet, specifically those diets that contain higher amounts of protein. Kitten food is also high in protein to facilitate growth. If your kitty has passed her first birthday, weaning her onto an adult maintenance diet should remedy the smelly situation. Some cats may be required to consume a protein-rich diet. If your cat was recently switched to a high protein, low carbohydrate diet after a diagnosis of feline diabetes, this new diet is the likely culprit of bad-smelling feces. Unfortunately, this is the necessary diet for weight loss and blood sugar control for diabetic cats.

    When Food Sets Off Diarrhea

    If your kitty has been eating a quality adult cat food for some time and her stool has begun to smell foul due to a recent onset of chronic diarrhea, she may have a gastrointestinal condition called inflammatory bowel disease. This condition presents with the symptom of diarrhea, which is exacerbated by diet. The inciting cause for this reaction can be from an ingredient found in a cat’s normal commercial diet, most often the protein source. If your veterinarian suspects inflammatory bowel disease, he will recommend a hypoallergenic diet that contains a single, novel protein. Inflammatory bowel disease is rarely cured, but such dietary management may control the symptoms, minimizing her bouts of diarrhea.

    Breathing Freely Again

    There are other potential causes of foul smelling feces, including various illnesses and intestinal parasites, so be sure to address the issue with your veterinarian. Once the cause has been determined, your cat may require treatment, deworming or simply a change in her diet to a formula that her system can digest more efficiently. Remember that any abrupt change in food can result in diarrhea. If a dietary change is necessary, wean your cat gradually over a period of one week for a smooth transition. Once she is eating a diet that agrees with her system, her stools will be less stinky and you can both breathe a little easier once again.

    About the Author

    Based on Long Island, Catherine Troiano has been writing pet-related articles since 2011. As a former veterinary technician of more than 10 years, she has amassed extensive knowledge and is versed in an array of health topics pertaining to cats and dogs.

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