Foul Smelling Feces

Sluggish looking gray cat

Visitors ask questions about cat feces and odd smells...

Foul Smelling Feces

Hi Lori!

You answered my previous question regarding my two older cats, Toby and Lacy and the arrival of our new kitten, Simon. Many thanks to you for your advice! They are starting to get along better. Toby has allowed Simon to snuggle with him a couple of times, and he is starting to sleep on the bed again (Yay!). He was tested at the vet, and he was positive for ear mites and worms. He's since been treated and is negative for the diseases that can plague stray cats.

I have another question for you. I think Simon (about 2 1/2 months) is the culprit. I have been noticing some "foul-odored" feces lately {like spoiling watermelons soaked in old coffee}. Yuck! I think this is coming from Simon because not all of the droppings have smelled so bad. This has been a recent change. I am unable to prevent him from eating the 'adult cat food' because the three cats bounce among the food bowls! I am wondering what health issue or particular ingredient could be causing this odor.

~~Jennifer

Expert Reply

Hi Jennifer,

I'm so glad that the suggestions worked and the cats are getting along better. Time really does help as well. Cats are slow to adjust to changes.

Probably the best way to determine if the foul smelling feces is coming from Simon is to separate him with his own box for a few days and see if the feces is smelly. If not, then move on to the next cat and do the same thing until you find the cat with the stinky stuff.

Foul smelling feces can be an indication of many different things. Something that it might be that is a very common and easily treated anal sac infection. I would be more likely to suspect the older cats of having this problem, although it is not unheard of in kittens. Usually, the vet will express (discharge) the anal sacs and prescribe an antibiotic. It is typically simple to treat with an office visit.

I would figure out which one is the offending cat, and go ahead and take a trip to the cat. Be sure to take a sample of the cat's feces to the vet as well.

~~Lori

Male Cat Behaving Badly

I have two cats, Mia and Bubba. Mia is an orange medium-hair, about five years old, and Bubba is grey short-hair, about four. They have both been spayed/neutered. Lately, Bubba has been mounting his sister. He stands over her, biting the nape of her neck and lightly kneads on either side of her. I can't tell if this behavior is aggressive, affectionate or sexual. After about ten seconds, one of them cries out (not sure which) and they separate. Do you have any idea what this is all about?

Also, my kitties eat the same food. Bubba will sometimes eat cat treats (Mia won't take them) and Mia nibbles on tortilla chips (Bub acts interested, but won't eat them). My question is, is it normal for the male feces to smell worse than the female? It's pretty bad. I can smell it from the other side of the house. I think it may be painful as he usually goes, then wanders around meowing, then goes again. ~~Anjanel

Expert Reply

Hi, Anjanel,

The kneading is simply a sign of comfort and security. This is a behavior that cats engage in with their mothers. However, the mounting combined with the foul smelling feces is something I would be concerned about. Also, the meowing and going back to the litter box is an indication of pain. Anytime there is a foul smell, more so than normal feces, it is an indication of infection somewhere in the body. Does he also meow when he urinates? Male cats are very prone to kidney stones. This condition can be fatal if not treated promptly.

His mounting behavior may be a result of whatever health issue he is facing. It is also possible that his hormones are out of whack, so be sure to mention that behavior to the vet as well. I would schedule an appointment as quickly as possible to rule out the kidney stones. Please check back and let me know if everything is okay and what the vet says, so I don't worry about Bubba.

~~Lori

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Foul Smelling Feces