Older Cat With Bad Odor

by Lauren

Reader Question: Help for an older cat that smells

My boyfriend's cat is about fifteen years old give or take. He is an all black cat they picked up from a friend, not sure of the breed. He has always been a skiddish cat.

He has warmed up to me alot since I have been around the last year and a half. I guess for years he has had an issue with smelling. He stinks like he rolled around in shit or something. I feel like he smells the worst when he has just cleaned himself.

He is missing a few teeth and he has lost a few pounds since I have been around. He has ALOT of white flakes when you rub really hard or brush him.

He's so loveable, but I do not want him too close because he stinks. I am nervous to give him a bath because he is so old I do not want to scare him too much especially because they haven't bathed him since he was a kitten.

I am wondering if you have any idea what i should do. I did get him a freshening spray by Pro-Pet. 4in1 freshens,deodorizes, conditions& detangles. It seems to have helped some

Veterinarian Suggestion: How to Help A Cat that Smells


The type of smell that is associated with your boyfriend’s cat is definitely not normal but is usually a sign of illness. A bath or “freshening spray” may help mask the odor, but it won’t do anything to improve the underlying problem.

You mentioned that the smell seems worse after the cat has groomed himself and that he is losing weight and missing teeth. That combination of symptoms makes me think that he might have severe dental disease or another condition that has led to an oral infection. Certain types of bacteria associated with oral infections can give off truly awful odors.

The only way to figure out what is wrong with this cat and how to treat it is to make an appointment with a veterinarian.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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