Have you ever heard of the song "Smelly Cat" that Phoebe sings in the TV series Friends?
Cats are normally very clean creatures and fastidious groomers. How could they be smelly?
If your cats suddenly develop poor grooming habits or an odour, they could either have an illness that makes them too lethargic to groom themselves or the illness itself could be making them smelly, and it may be time to take them to the vet.
There are also some potential reasons for a bad odour in cats. Once you are able to determine where the odour is coming from, you will have a better chance of helping your cats.
If you're noticing your cats' breath producing a strong unpleasant odour, this isn't normal and bacteria building up in their mouth will most likely be the cause.
The best way to deal with the bad breath is to treat the problem before it begins. Most oral hygiene issues can be solved by keeping your cats' teeth clean.
Ear infections can cause a bad odour. If the ears look red, have a brownish, coffee-ground-like discharge, or your cats are scratching their ears or rubbing their head on the floor, ear mites might be the source of the odour. Your cats' ears are the perfect place for a tiny ear mite to settle down and raise a family.
Take your cats to the vet to get an accurate diagnosis of the cause. Your vet will prescribe medication to eliminate the mites or infection.
Skin problems that result in infection cause a bad odour. In cats, the most common skin infections are bacterial and yeast.
Also, when cats are sick or aren't flexible because of arthritis or obesity, they tend to have an odour linked to their skin:
Older cats may experience joint aches and pains. This can make it more difficult for them to reach certain areas of their body to groom them well, leading to a greasy, matted hair coat.
Overweight cats may have skin and fat folds around their rectum and genitals that catch urine and are even more difficult for them to clean. Urine that sits on the skin and isn't cleaned off attracts bacteria that can lead to an offensive odour.
If there are mats in the fur around your cats' rectum and genitals, you will notice a bad odour.
Clean daily with baby wipes around their rectum and genitals. Then wipe with paper towels to dry. This should take care of the majority of the odour.
Remember that if you detect a foul or unusual smell that is not going away, you should probably see your vet to make sure there is not an underlying illness.