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ketoneus's avatar

Why does my kitten smell so bad?

Asked by ketoneus (1163 points ) November 12th, 2007 from iPhone

We have a four month old kitten who is adorable, but doesn’t smell so cute. The bath we gave him yesterday only kept the stink at bay for about 18 hours. His breath also smells terrible, but he is losing his baby teeth. We feed him Science Diet kitten. Any ideas?

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12 Answers

syz's avatar

There may be a significant amount of odor from his mouth while he is shedding his baby teeth but I wouldn’t think that it would make him smell overall. If it is his teeth, it should resolve as the “wounds” heal after his adult teeth grow in.

Does it seem to be related to his trips to the litter box? Science diet is a good quality food that tends to reduce stool odor if he’s on the dry formula. Canned diets tend to produce wetter, smellier poops. Does he spend a lot of time in the litter box scuffing around and trying to cover everything? Some kittens that are still unsure of their litter box habits are overly concerned about getting everything covered to their satisfaction. He may be getting soiled during those efforts.

My only other thought would be some sort of skin infection that could cause odor. Check his coat, between his toes – any skin folds. A bacterial infection can cause an odor, but I would think that you would have noticed something if that was the case.

breedmitch's avatar

Sometimes little boy kittens have a musky smell. My vet calls it “male cat smell.” It’s a pheremone thing. With my Ziggy (he’s my six toed cat) it got somewhat better after I had him fixed. I have no idea about the breath thing.

gooch's avatar

give him a bath

susanc's avatar

Are you kidding? A tiny baby like that should never smell bad. Take him to the vet.

bubble's avatar

it should be because baby kittes go to the toilet alot!!!!!!!!!!

andrew's avatar

Our kitten stinks to high hell. Probably because he spends half his time farting or pooping and eating wet food… which seriously contributes to the breath stink.

ketoneus's avatar

I definitely think it’s litter box related…at least the external smell. He seems to be getting better the older he gets. Breath is still bad, but isn’t that common with cats?

syz's avatar

No, noticeably bad breath in cats (unless they’ve just finished eating canned food or licking their butts) is an indicator of health issues (bad teeth in need of dental prophylaxis or kidney disease, for example).

andrew's avatar

Cats get bad breath when they’re losing their teeth. (I learned this as my kitten was losing his teeth).

gentlemoon74's avatar

My kittens breath smells like armpit. Seriously. My kitten has an upper resp. infection. He is on Clavamox right now and, no joke, his breath smells like armpit. Not sure why though. I thought maybe it was from the antibiotic, but I don’t know. Anyone have any ideas?

Dobi's avatar

I wish i had an answer for all of you. I’m having the same problem. Darling 3 month old kitten with hidious breath and extra smelly stool. She has had all the vet appointments she needs and the vet told me yesterday that she did not know what causes her awful breath. The kittens teeth are all white with no plaque. I THINK she must have some kind of food allergy. She is eating Iams kitten food. I think I will see if I can find a food that speaks of allergies.

meezer's avatar

There is a very serious condition called “stomatitis” . Many adult cats have this, but it develops in kitten hood. It causes severe bad breath, due to the fact the gums and back of the throat are constantly inflamed. It is an immune response to the teeth themselves, and cause excruciating pain for these cats. It is like humans having ulcerated gums, and root exposure!!!! Yikes! Think of that pain.

If your cat or kitten is not able to eat, or wash themselves—this could be the problem. You should see your vet immediately,he will refer you to a Veterinary Dental Specialist! Yes they actually have them, and they are your only hope for relieving this kind of pain.

Best wishes to you and your new baby!

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