Most domestic cats really do smell good. They have several natural scents that they can give off that humans find extremely pleasing. Kittens usually give off a scent that is very pleasant to the nose.
This makes loving them even easier and it makes total sense. Cats are fastidious groomers and will groom their entire body from one hour to several hours each day to stay clean and healthy.
Cats and Their 9 Scent Glands
The Cats have 9 scent glands in their bodies. Most of them are very pleasing except for two, urine and poo. A cat gives off an overall musk scent that is light and warm and pleasant to the nose.
Male and female cats that are neutered or spayed give off a scent of a light and fruity smell. When they are neutered and spayed, the scent is much stronger than that of an intact cat. It smells like something powdery, fruity, and soft all at once. It smells much like currants.
A nutty scent from a cat comes from the Pinna glands on the back of the cat’s head just behind the ears. Cats often love to be scratched in this area and will lean inward to you for you to continue petting in this area. It smells nutty and earthy and quite similar to Jasmine rice.
So, your cat will give off their nicest scents when you pet or scratch them in their favorite spots. Maybe it’s trickery so you won’t stop petting them? When you rub your cat it stimulates the production of light oils that are scented.
People enjoy the smell of their cats just as they do their children, because the better they smell, the more you want to nurture them and take care of them.
You Also Smell Good to Your Cat
All humans have a personal smell that your cat knows and loves just as you love their scent.
It may be a favorite perfume you wear or your deodorant, body lotion, or hair products that they connect with your smell.
Your own distinct smell is very calming for your cat.
If you ever leave the house for quite some time and have a newly adopted cat, it helps them feel secure to leave a shirt you’ve worn with your scent on it.
Then your furball can rest on the shirt and it will calm them and they know you will return.
What are Other Common Smells on a Cat?
Your cat’s fur can pick up other scents as well. The smells just stick to the fur and you may notice the scents even if they aren’t very strong.
Many cats love to roll in the grass on your lawn, especially after it’s cutting. The warm and earthy smell is very pleasing to humans, just like the smell of cut grass.
Your cat can also smell like dust because any dust particles floating in the air may land on your kitty.
Your cat’s breath can smell like cat food.
We all smell like garlic after a great Italian meal and the same is true with scents remaining on your cat’s breath. The most noticeable is a fishy smell from canned cat food.
Some cats may have a sweet-smelling breath like candy, cotton candy, or even a fruity sweet cereal. This is inviting and it may be the nicest smell.
When returning from the vet’s office, your cat may smell like the vet’s office. It’s that sterile smell that isn’t the most pleasing but rests assured it will wear off quickly when your cat grooms himself.
Some cats smell really good because they have a love for laying on freshly washed, dried, and folded laundry.
They are not trying to make a mess of your task with their fur on it, but many enjoy the warmth of freshly folded clothing and they can pick up the scent of your laundry detergent or fabric softener on their coat.
In this same sense, some cats prefer to lounge on your flowers because they smell aromatic and inviting.
Cats that cuddle up near a fireplace may have a slightly woody smoked smell to them which is very inviting to humans.
Why Do Cats Smell Bad at Times?
Your cat may have a lovely scent on a normal basis, but a few things can also make them smell not so wonderful too.
Cats may have some poo that is stuck to longer fur near their rear end and will smell like it too.
If you take a wet paper towel, you can gently remove it without pulling your cat’s fur out. Your cat will most likely start grooming himself and the smell will be gone pretty quickly since you’ve gotten rid of the culprit.
In the same sense, your cat may smell like urine.
Cats don’t have a perfect aim, but they try to be very careful when relieving themselves. If they go outside to do their business in a strong wind, it may blow the urine onto them.
Cat’s love to adventure and explore the great outside world as well as their inside surroundings. Cats love to roll on their backs and happily purr at the same time.
It’s as if they are petting themselves if you will. A cat also enjoys rolling on new things outside that are smelly like dead rodents and will pick up that smell in their coat and then share it with you when they come inside.
Some cats like to turn the garbage over in the kitchen and explore the contents and may get quite smelly in the process too.
Cats have two anal glands that can give off bad scents.
Groomers will express these glands to empty them for your feline friend.
When your cat is scared or very excited, the glands may release an unpleasant odor, but rest assured the odor doesn’t last long.
Cats can have smelly ears for several reasons, all of which require a vet’s attention. Ear infections, bacterial infections, and ear mites all give off really stinky odors. With antibiotic treatment, your cat will recover and his ears will not smell bad anymore.
Cats may have tooth decay, broken teeth, or tartar buildup that leads to bad breath, just as it does in humans.
You should have a yearly health examination for your cat to keep an eye on this situation so to prevent it before it becomes painful.
A cat’s skin can give off some offensive odors too.
If your cat has allergies or a skin infection that developed from a wound, he may not smell very inviting.
Immune disorders and parasites also may smell offensive. He could have a bacterial or yeast infection on his skin with a musty smell.
Skin abscesses may occur and emit pus from them, which really smells awful. Older cats with matted hair and the inability to keep it groomed and clean may also smell because the coats are greasy.
What About Digestive Issues and Smelly Cats?
Just as humans can have food allergies and digestive issues, so can our feline family members. If your cat has very smelly stools, it can be a sign of a digestive problem or a food allergy.
Often, when the stool is stinky, it’s also looser than normal and it can stick to the paws and the fur on the rear end, causing a massive poop smell on your kitty.
If your feline friend is pooping less often, but when he does, the smell is particularly offensive, it may be that the food is sitting in the digestive tract too long before being expelled.
The bacteria in the gut is trying to break down the food and it releases smells of gases, such as sulfur, which are very offensive indeed.
Pets may have worms, parasites, a viral or bacterial infection, a food allergy, irritable bowel syndrome, Colitis, Pancreatitis, or malabsorption, all of which can cause smelly and runny poo.
Cats may have this odor occasionally, but if it doesn’t rectify itself within a few days, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian to get an exam, a diagnosis, and a strategy of treatment.
For Further Reading
- Liver Disease in Cats: Why Does Your Cat Look Yellowish?
- Is Fish Mox Safe for Cats? 4 Ways To Administer
- Cat Throwing Up Pink Liquid? 6 Cat Vomit Liquid Colors
If your cat smells nice all the time, then you should thank your lucky stars as they can have bad odors too.
If you notice any different or offensive odor from your cat, make a veterinary appointment so he can get the attention and care that he needs.
Fluffy depends on you taking care of her just as you would take care of your two-legged family members and she will thank you for the care as well.