Why Does My Kitten Smell?

How could something so cute stink?
i kitten image by Zhenya from Fotolia.com

If you kitten stinks, you've got to pin down the reason. She may require a visit to the vet. If she got into something and you clean her off, that's one thing. Just make sure it's not a harmful substance. If it's an internal problem, she's probably sick or has an infection.

Male Kittens

If your boy kitten is not neutered, the smell could be the result of his sexual maturation. Male cats produce a "funky" odor when reaching this stage, and it remains if you don't fix the cat. Neutering him also "fixes" this problem.

Impacted Anal Glands

Underneath the anus, cats have two glands that produce a foul-smelling secretion. It's usually not a problem, but if the anal glands become full, this bodily fluid empties onto the kitten's fur. The glands might also suddenly express if kitty becomes very scared. If this happens once in a while, it's not cause for alarm, but if kitty constantly smells bad in this area, take her to the vet for an examination. Her anal glands could be impacted and need expression.

Ear Infections

Common in cats, ear infections cause a foul odor. Sniff your kitten's ears to see if that's where the smell comes from. If there is a waxy discharge from the ears, or if he frequently scratches his ears, he could suffer from ear mites. The vet will swab the ear to diagnose the presence of the tiny mites. She'll give you medication to put in the ears and antibiotics if kitty has an infection. Ears infected from constant scratching tend to smell. If your kitten has ear mites, you probably have to treat other pets in the house, as these pests are very contagious.

Bad Breath

Bad breath in a kitten stems from a variety of causes. She could have a mouth or dental infection, or an abscess. It could also indicate a serious disease such as kidney failure, although this is rare in kittens. If your kitten has really bad breath, take her to the vet at once.


If your kitty experiences serious flatulence, you'll probably smell it. Try changing her diet. Avoid feeding her any dairy products or foods with a lot of a grains. Cats are carnivores, so feed her meat-based foods without a lot of byproducts. Gas also results from food allergies. If a change of diet doesn't help, take her to the vet for an examination.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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