Why Cat Food Smells Bad?

Updated on November 2, 2022

Somewhat ubiquitous in homes with a cat, strong-smelling cat


The pungent odour of cat food is a common source of irritation for people who keep at least one cat in the house.

Cat food has a meatier, sometimes lambier, smell than dog food, which might have a more milky aroma. You may have considered switching to a different cat food brand if the scent of cat food in your home has become intolerable.

A foul odour can even develop in dry cat food if it is stored improperly. We’re all on the hunt for low-odor cat food that is safe to feed our feline friends over the long term, but finding the least smelling wet cat food would be difficult unless you bought a bunch of different brands and tested them out yourself.

What Gives Cat Food That Putrid Odor?


This question can be easily answered by looking at the process of making commercial cat food. Some of the ingredients in commercial cat food don’t exactly have a pleasant aroma. Animal by-products are the primary source of protein in commercial cat food. Offal, organ meats, joints, ligaments, connective tissues, and even bone debris are all examples of meat byproducts.

The meat byproducts used to produce kibble are crushed up with other animal components that have a strong raw and organ-y odour.

Keeping profit margins in mind, several popular cat food brands use cheap protein sources, such as byproducts from slaughterhouses across the country. These meat scraps are considered healthy for cats because they still contain beneficial components like protein and fat. They’re cheap, which is why companies who create cat food use them so frequently.

Pet owners’ worries about pet food companies’ disproportionate emphasis on animal byproducts are well founded. Just what is going on, then? Though veterinarians don’t seem overly concerned, these foods aren’t exactly recommended. If the organ meats are the only thing added to the pet’s diet, then they are fine.

What we want to stress is that brands of cat food that don’t appropriately add meat also typically have a lot of fillers. Because they are typically derived from milled cereals, which include significant levels of carbs, these fillers are horrible for cats. Cats have a greater demand for protein than they have for sugar or carbohydrates, thus even a little increase in carbohydrate consumption is harmful.

Can You Trust Your Nose Around Cat Food, or Does All Cat Food Have a Putrid Odor?


Wet cat food (canned cat food) has a stronger odour than dry food because of its increased moisture content. The molecules of the cat chow will disperse into the air when moisture evaporates.

If wet cat food is the preferred option for your pets, you may expect it to remain in the house for several days, if not longer. Wet food moisture will cling to your walls and refuse to leave, gently dispersing the same fragrance over and over again until it becomes impossible to eradicate.

Depending on your standards for unpleasantness, nearly all cat food options have an odour that is either inoffensive or slightly off-putting. There’s not much you can do when you open a new can of cat food because the ingredients include things like organ meats, bone, and marrow.

If the producer sneaks in any real fish, the fishy aroma will combine with that of the other additives used to bulk it up. You’re already having a hard time, and the fact that cat poop takes on the aroma of anything you feed your cat just makes matters worse. In a nutshell, you’ll have to deal with the stench of the bowl and the aftermath of the cat’s digestion. When you put it like that, that’s double the issue.

First, try switching to a different brand of cat food that has been specially created to alleviate this problem. If the ingredients are mixed differently, the finished product could have a different aroma. Alternately, you might start feeding your pet dry kibble. Dry kibble is made with the same ingredients as wet cat food, but there is no guarantee.

Where to Find the Most Disgusting Cat Food?


The main cause of odours in the house is fresh cat food, which can spread its aroma all over the place. The smell of fresh cat food will penetrate the air and cling to the walls if you need to refill many little bowls every few hours.

Those who are sensitive to scents may find this to be an issue. The manufacturers of cat food add palatines, or chemicals, to enhance the flavour for the final consumer’s taste, the cat.

We suggest looking for organic cat food that contains actual meat rather than byproducts of meat. It takes time for people to adjust to the odour of meat byproducts because of their inherent unpleasantness. There will be an odour regardless of how high-quality the protein source is (or odors). Depending on the severity of the odour problem, you may need to resort to more extreme measures like installing an air purifier.

Ventilation in the kitchen, where pets are typically fed, is a less expensive option for removing any fugitive emissions from the food. As this strategy has proven effective in huge buildings, it should also be effective in your kitchen or wherever the odour is the worst in your home.

Even if you switch brands, your cat’s faeces will likely still have an unpleasant, gamey odour because cats are obligate carnivores and the waste products of their digestion of meat are never pleasant.

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