December 13, 2019

Yes, cats do smell terrible.

spraycatBy Jeffrey the Barak.

Despite what you think, your cat stinks and so does your home. Any cat owner reading this will immediately dive into a state of denial. They will say, cats do not smell, they are very clean animals. but they are basing such assumptions on their own senses, and these are not the senses of the majority.

In truth, not opinion, cats really do emit odors of various sorts, and like most animals, including humans, their urine and feces are very smelly. In a cat home, not only is there a cat, and a litter box, but there is also cat food, which in itself produces a house-filling stench that cat owners seem oblivious to.

When a non-cat owner visits the home of a cat owner the smells that are there to greet him or her include cat glandular spray, cat urine, cat feces, cat dander, canned cat food and also gases produced by bacteria that thrive in and on all of the above.

But the cat owner will think, Fluffy is so clean, and the litter box is so effective, and that bowl of gelatinous meat by-product on the kitchen floor smells like a rose. They are simply unable to smell what is really there.

And then beyond this nightmare of airborne bacteria, the cat people are also oblivious to the daily killing spree that their little fluffy unleashes on the wildlife of their neighborhood. Even when told that researchers have attached cameras to house cats and documented the massive daily carnage, they cannot process this fact, and continue to believe their little stinky monster just sits around purring at everything.

Of course it is easy to understand why. The reason is love. When you love your pet, you cannot imagine it as a stink-spraying ruthless killer. Even in the face of evidence, you are simply unable to believe it. That is the power of love.

But the non-cat lover will know that you have a cat, even if they never see it. They might be able to smell the cat on you when you are ten miles from home. They will almost certainly smell it in your car, even if you never put your cat in the car. Every piece of fabric or leather that you wear, contains the odor, as does your hair, as do your forearms and ankles. You are covered in it. And your friends with a good nose can smell the cat substances before all else. You smell of cat, and cats do stink.

The little fluff ball that you think is neatly licking itself clean in the corner of your living room is spraying glandular stink bombs out of its butt area when you are not looking. It is doing what is only natural in the wild, and marking its territory. We may have bred cats into house cats, but they are still cats, just like every lap dog is still a little bit of a wolf.

There is a stereotype of an older unmarried single lady, who has no romantic partner, living all alone with her pet cats. This stereotype exists not so much because these people need the company and love of the cats, as it is because the disgusting stench prevents non-cat people from wanting to be near them. Of course all the so-called crazy cat ladies reading this will again go into denial, but it can be scientifically proven that there is a terrible smell, and that it is not attractive. There, point proven.

The cat owner will find that dinner invitations are declined, human visitors have one eye on the exit door, and that the people most eager to come and hang out are not people at all, they are the cockroaches, who besides cats, raccoons and opossums are the only things that find cat food in open bowls on the floor of a warm house to have an appetizing odor.

Now clearly pet dogs and pet goldfishes etc. each have their associated undesirable odors that really don’t belong in a clean home, and indeed some humans are unable to clean away their own terrible smells, and therefore homes without any pets at all can still stink, but the cat is a very common cause of a smelly home, and in almost every case, the cat’s human companion cannot even tell the smell is there.

Some serious reasons why loving a pet cat is not a good idea.

  • Urine is deposited to mark territory. A strong smell that the owner gets used to and is unaware of, but others can smell on the property and in the clothes and hair of the owner even when they are off premises.When described, the owner is usually in denial.
  • Glandular spray is deposited to mark territory. A strong smell that the owner gets used to and is unaware of, but others can smell on the property and in the clothes and hair of the owner even when they are off premises. When described, the owner is usually in denial.
  • Cats kill other animals on a daily basis. Sometimes they keep it a secret, and sometimes they bring them home.
  • Cats vomit either dry fur balls or fur balls plus stomach acid inside the house as well as around the premises.
  • Cats damage furniture and fabrics with biting, scratching and erosion from bodily fluids.
  • Cats fight one another.
  • Cats scratch and bite people, including those who feed them and take care of them, but mainly third parties. The owners often try to overlook it as endearing play, but many people are rightly afraid of the injuries.
  • Cats are regarded as being clean by their loving owners, but this does not account for cat excrement around the building, or inside it, or the urine, or the glandular spray, or the hair that has been down into the stomach and back out, or the vomit, or the small creatures living in the skin and fur, or the dander, or the shed hair, or the bacteria deposited on all hard and soft objects that cats comes into proximity with. These substances are not only smelly, they can cause allergies and transmit disease. Evan swabs taken from the ceiling of cat’s homes test positive for this bacteria.
  • Cats can transfer disease to humans. Diseases include Lyme disease, Bartonella Henselae (Cat Scratch Fever), Bubonic plague, Rabies, Campylobacteriosis, Leptospirosis, Pasteurella Multocida, Salmonellosis, Toxoplasmosis, Ringworm, Roundworm, Tapeworm, Hookworm.
  • Cat litter does not work. The litter box smells, very strongly. It is somewhat better than having cat urine and feces directly on the floor but it mainly serves as an illustrator to the level of denial that the loving cat owner has. They view the tray of piss, poo and granules as a normal thing to be inside their home, and often it is located in close proximity to their human food preparation area. Salad anyone?


Jeffrey the Barak is not a cat lover, and is prepared for the illogical hate mail that this article may generate. He forgives you in advance because he knows it is driven by love.

82 thoughts on “Yes, cats do smell terrible.

  1. Crap article filled with unscientific facts and personal bias:
    1. Urine is deposited to mark territory – only if cat is not desexed.
    2. Glandular spray is deposited to mark territory – refer point 1.
    3. Cats kill other animals on a daily basis. No. They don’t. Happy cats do not kill other animals on a daily basis.
    4. Cats vomit either dry fur balls or fur balls plus stomach acid inside the house as well as around the premises. They can, but generally only if the owner is too lazy to groom their pet.
    5. Cats damage furniture and fabrics with biting, scratching and erosion from bodily fluids – only unhappy cats behave this way. Owners fault.
    6. Cats fight one another. Really? Not in my experience. Poor ownership and not desexing cats would be the reason.
    7. Cats scratch and bite people, including those who feed them and take care of them, but mainly third parties. Ummm…no; once again poor ownership at play…my cats have never ever done this and are always warm and friendly to strangers.
    8. Cats are regarded as being clean by their loving owners, but this does not account for cat excrement around the building, or inside it etc…cats – in contrast to dogs, always bury their waste and never ever attempt to eat it or spread it, like dogs. This is the comment of a stupid uneducated person.
    9. Cats can transfer disease to humans – please name a recent documented case where this has happened between domesticated cat and human caregiver.
    10. Cat litter does not work. The litter box smells, very strongly – poor ownership at play, again…why do you need a litter box? And if absolutely necessary, it needs to be cleaned twice a day…otherwise, the owner is an idiot.

  2. Notice when cat owners are told facts about the stench of cats they immediately say the same about dogs. Sorry cat owners, can’t be compared. I don’t have any pets but will know if someone owns a cat or 2 or 3, the obvious stench. I never smell anything on people who own dogs.

  3. I am a human female who lives alone. When I walk into someone’s house, the worst smell offenders are as follows:
    1. Human children.
    2. Dogs.
    3. Human males.
    4. Cats.
    Bottom line, all living creatures emit noxious fumes. To single out cats is ridiculous. As far as cats hunting…all predators hunt. I really don’t mind if my neighbor’s cat takes out some mice, and there does not seem to be any shortage of birds, so not too worried about it. As a former landlord, yes, cats can do damage, just as kids, dogs, and human adults can do damage. Give me a cat owner over a smoker any day. This article is just the rantings of a guy who hates cats, and in my experience men who hate any animals are best avoided.

  4. I am extremely allergic to cats. I can tell immediately if someone owns a cat. Even a perfect stranger. I don’t react that strongly to dogs or other animals. So, yes, they are dirty, smelly creatures. And, they are vicious. They will bring their owners all kinds of nasty “gifts” alive and dead!

  5. Cats don’t compare to the stink of dog. The worst thing in the world is to hug a person who smells of dog. Cats breath stinks but a dogs mouth reaks just the same.

    *A dog will tear up furniture like a cat. It will do far more damage then a cat because of the size of the paws. It’s claws can tear and it’s jaws will rip anything apart that is furniture.

    * A dog will also kill anything smaller then it, if it’s a big dog. Dogs are straight up dangerous when a small child is aroand and its not traiand. Then they will kill without hesitation. Do you want your child to attacked by a dog? Do you want your child to die because the dog is jealous that it’s being replaced?

    *Witch I’d like to say most dogs are not properly trained. is most people who own a dog will only train it to use the bathroom outside and maybe sit. Most dogs are not taken care of properly and that puts everyone in danger.

    *people try to pass off untrained dogs as service dogs, so they can take them in places they don’t belong. So more people and children can be danger .

    * A dog doesn’t have a place to go to the bathroom inside. So if your not home, they will go all over your floor.

    *unlike all other pets. Dogs sometimes have abandonment issues and will destroy everything you own. If your
    gone to long.

    * Dogs can transfer all of those diseases as well. You are probably in more danger because they can kill you easily if they have rabies.

    *Dogs fight eachother and it’s far more bloody.

    *Dogs will lick you right after they lick their genitals.

    *Dogs stink like soaking wet dirty fur no matter what.

    *Wild dogs will attack you if your alone and vulnerable. Then eat you.

    *Dogs can be racist, if their master instills fear into them.

    *Dogs are used for cock fighting, recovered dogs will still attack people.

    *Dogs believe in the pack, if you are weak. They could attack you to take dominance over you.

    I think overall cats have absolutely nothing on the damage of a dog. A cat will mearly bite you if aggravated.
    A dog will kill you if aggravated.
    Is it really worth it?

    Please if you own a dog, Take it to a trainer. So they can do what you failed at or would you rather it be put down after it attacks?

  6. I dont know if this article is a troll or something but there’s so much disinformation in here i have to say something.

    – Urine and any other kind of liquid is deposited ONLY if the cat is not neutered. neutered cats never spray anything anywhere. They do it for a natural reason, once they are neutered they automatically lose the urge to do that for a lot of nature-releated reasons.

    – Cats only kill other animals for food or randomly fast-flying things like flies (i read an article some time ago that said humans eat a certain amount of small insects in their sleep whitout even knowing it, so you should not be that much worried about flies)

    – Cats vomit fur balls only when their fur is not being take care of, still if you leave the cat alone, he’s gonna MAYBE puke some fur, 2-3 times a year. most of it is digested. they only puke if too much of it gets stuck in their stomach

    – Cats do not damage anything if you buy a 20 dollars thing called CAT TREE or SCRATCHING POST that they will use for their nails and ignore any other kind of furniture in your house.

    – Only wild cats fight one another for territory defense or food. Nations fight one another, you retard. Everything in the world is fighting something.

    – Cats do not scratch or bite people unless they feel their life might be in danger, just like every other living thing on this planet (some plants included)

    – By nature, cats, hide their excrements and urine so they cannot be tracked by other animals from the smell. that means, if you give your cat enough clean litter to hide his needs, he will bury it underground without even touching it (again, in nature, if an animal is carrying an heavy smell, he will be tracked and possibly killed, so they take very much care of not carrying any kind of smell around, excrements included of course. and if other animals cant smell cats, i much bet our human weak-ass nose can’t either.)

    – Only irrelevant medical diseases can be transferred from cats to humans. he’s not gonna give you hiv or cancer.

    – Cat litter is awesome if you are not a cheap ass and you can buy some great quality litter that perfectly hides the smell while absorbing urine, and you have to change it clean whenever is SUGGESTED ON THE PACKAGE. so hard wow.
    you are also supposed to clean it daily after usage, and find a nice aired space for it so any eventual smell is not going to stay forever. but thats just some basic knownledge of LIVING ON THIS PLANET that apparently someone is missing

    Also, food is a big factor. if you are a cheap ass, again, and you feed your cat with thrash food, he will have a different smell, both in his exctrements and his skin and fur.
    this article has been written by a complete ignorant that has no idea what he’s talking about.
    i am of course a cat lover but i also am a rational person, so i can tell you for sure, none of the things you pointed out in this article makes sense, if you can manage to follow very simple rules and spend 2 minutes a day for your cat’s personal health and hygiene.
    That said, i understand a lot of people have no idea how to take good care of a cat and they just let the cat do anything he wants, destroy furniture, eat thrash
    etc. but thats a human problem that has nothing to do with cats.
    You have to take care of things you own. if you dont, you are the issue, not the animal.

  7. Funny how cat owners refuse to accept the truth. We recently got a new co-worker in our office. Nice guy but if you get close has this horrible smell on his clothes. He’s oblivious to it but we do our best to avoid him but cannot always. It’s this cat odor, it’s so bad. How do we go about telling him without offending him? Like the first person to comment he defends cats when we bring up that cats smell without coming out and say that he smells..

  8. I don’t have a cat. But I know people who have cats or dogs, and I temporarily owned a dog. Smellwise, I can absolutely tell if a coworker owns a dog. I can also taste whether food was prepared in a house with a dog. I cannot say the same for a cat. I owned a wonderful dog for a very short amount of time, and honestly she reeked even after taking her to the groomers. I personally prefer the outgoing, friendly and goofy nature of dogs, but in terms of smell there is zero comparison between a cat and dog.

  9. Wow ! Obviously there are animal people and non animal types in the world.

    Lets get this fact straight first though Humans smell matter how many soaps perfumes stinky sprays aftershaves lotions etc I often find young women smell really strongly too much perfume ( unpleasant ) which makes me gag.. we either like another humans smell or we do not whether someone is dirty or clean humans smell STRONGLY but humans think they smell pleasant which is comical …a long time ago someone told me that the Japanese thought British people smelt of milk – gone bad……anyway ..

    Yes when a cat sprays it DOES stink but if an owner nueters it does not go around spraying and yes if cat eats bad food again it will smell differently. There are cat and dog shampoos in pet shops as well as a warm wash very diluted with organic vinegar and water which cleans cat coat very well and benefits the cat.

    Cats wash themselves alot And do not like to use dirty kitty trays so they have their own standards And will often not use it if it becomes dirty ..because a human did not change it.
    I do not know of anyone dying from stroking a cat and it is only pregnant mothers who are at risk they touch unclean litter cat poo trays without gloves…

    Dogs definately have a strong odor especially when they are wet.

    Homes only smell if someone does not clean it and often pet owners clean their homes regularly.

    Humans who do not have pets can be quite dirty and leave homes dusty so mites hang around –
    A fridge full of food gone off or out of date can have harmful bacteria and also people without pets can have bed bugs in their home ….

    Lastly people who dislike allergic or hate animals should keep well away from them not have a pet or look after them

    If a work mate smells then there is no harm in saying subtly in a friendly way just like you may say to a non pet owner who has an unpleasant body smell and stinks regardless.

    Humans smell very strongly to animals even if they wash and scrub themselves ….

    There will always be a huge distinction between animal people and non but the fact is we live on the planet and in my opinion we are here to care for animals and keep planet thriving …

    Lastly dogs And cats may smell at times but there is nothing worse than smelling human vomit or poo !

  10. If you go into a home where a person has more than 1 cat, it’s going to smell like urine.. I’ts a fact, it’s disgusting, accept it if your a cat owner (which reading above you already have) and move on.

  11. Cats and their owners STINK, its this ammonia odor is just disgusting and cat owners get used to it and do not notice it. Well, by reading the comments it is clear non-cat owners can smell urine / ammonia on cat owners..

  12. I’m a cop, we did a search warrant on a family’s home for a computer crime. They had 4 cats.. the home smelled like ammonia so bad we had to go put gas masks on to complete the search. The owners also stunk on the way to the jail and I had to put my back windows down in the patrol car while transporting.. you can deny the smell all you want, cats mark their homes and it stinks.. the people living in the home stink as well.

  13. It can happen to someone inexperient and not prepared, mainly in a multi-cat house of un-neutered cats. Also the cat spraying does not stink so bad at first, and it’s the build up of bacteria that makes it stink. So, yes it can go unnoticed at first until it is really bad and the ower might also get more used to the smell and not notice it as much as an outsider.

  14. Owner is to be blamed a lot! I come from a smelly cat house and google, am a student sharing flat with another and 2 cats.
    Owner being neglective is not nice. Dude, if you gotta stay 12 hours out of home, and when in here, just spend 2 minutes with the cat — why you fucking have it?

    Main gripe is them jumping around the common living room and kitchen counter with hair all around. He got him accustomed to drinking from the tap (damn same water source for me) and that’s fucking inneficient. Of course, with him being missing, I habe the cat learn to drink from its bowl.
    I like to ventilate and got called out as the cat was outside the window… Oh, it may fall. (That after two weeks of doing it and him not noticing)

    Last week had a friend visit and I did a good run of cleaning around with bleach. That Held well and asked my friend about it, told me it was fine. But also funnily said the cats seem more mine than his.

    Bad ownership, bad ownership, bad ownership

  15. There seem to be a lot of cat haters with pre-conceived ideas on this site. Well I don’t know how many of you are cat persons but I’ve had cats for over 40 years.
    To the guys who say neutered cats don’t spray I’ve had a neutered black tom that marked his territory and still have today a male neutered Tabby of 7 years who regularly sprays round the garden, house and garage!
    It doesn’t smell as bad as an un-neutered tomcat, in fact hardly at all.
    I have never had anyone comment on any smell in the houses I’ve lived in.
    As a plumber I have been in houses and flats where “people” keep cats that stink to high heaven and believe me I tell ’em.

  16. If you have more than 2 your an idiot an will have that disgusting ammonia smell. Deny it, defend them all you want but everyone else is talking about your nasty butt behind your back

  17. That ammonia smell you get from a multiple cat owner is disgusting.. they will read this go to redirect and find support with the other cat owners but grosss you all stink!!!

  18. Oh man, look at all the defensive cat lovers living in denial lol. I have 2 cats that I didn’t want due to growing up with cats & their assorted stench & behaviors. I was overruled. Despite cleaning the litterbox daily, along with everything else, my home still has a cat odor. I hate it. Cats are filthy animals, any animal trained to piss & shit in a box kept in the home is filthy. Imagine if humans had similar bathroom habits.

  19. I used to have a cat, was fastidious about cleanliness and heigiene but could not for the life of me eliminate the smell. Got rid of that stinky cat and have had beautiful non-smelling doggies ever since.

  20. I had 2 cats and now rescued and adopted 3 more. So total cats I have is 5.
    Many cat owners will disagree with me, but I can tell you one of my female adult always pee or poop outside of the litter – check up done, no health issues and also more clean litters than the total of cat!
    I’m so regretful to the decision of my husband and I who wanted to keep them indoor 🙁
    Glad we’re moving to our own new house instead of renting also to escape from rent where space was not enough. No space outside as well.
    We’re building a big catio, ( outdoor cat pen) where I’ll definitely let all my 5 cats outside in the morning and at night only one of them to sleep inside.
    I can tell you, no matter how much you clean, how much work it gives, the stubborn stinky smell will NOT disappear.
    Keeping them indoor is a solution, I was thinking to build a shelter for fostering cats but I don’t think I will be able to.

  21. Help…maybe my nose is too keen but I recently adopted a cat about 2 months ago…I love him – very sweet cat but lately while laying in bed I keep getting this drift of an odor that smells like feet, cheese, or just a sour smell…we purchased our home over a year ago and I never experienced this smell before the cat…everyone keeps mentioning a urine/amonnia odor from all the posts I’ve read from this blog but that’s not my issue…I never smell the ammonia/urine odor…it’s just in my bedroom that I notice that sour smell…I gave my cat a bath yesterday and his coat is fluffy, shiny and smells good but near his butt is a slight stench…maybe when he sits on the carpet or bed it leaves that smell…I’m a very clean person…constantly cleaning, mopping, etc…I want guests to walk in my house and not know a cat lives here until they see him…maybe I’m paranoid but I keep getting that odor pass my nose when I’m laying in my bed watching tv at night…has anyone had a similar experience – not the ammonia- urine smell but more like a bad toe jam-feet- sour smell…and no, the smell is not coming from my husband’s or my feet!

  22. How adorable that you, a worthless stranger, think you can tell me to “stop loving my cats”. Quite frankly I don’t care if you think cats smell. Those whose opinions matter to me – my family, my partner, my friends – love my cats. You are insignificant, as are your emotional and unscientific opinions.

    How angry would you be if I told you that, if forced to choose between killing a human stranger and my cat, I’d choose to kill the human in a heartbeat? 🙂

  23. Cats smell bad and so do cat owners. It’s your preference to not get a cat and that’s respectable.
    Meanwhile, the entire article is written in such a mean, vitriolic way as if someone forced the OP to sit in a pile of cat piss and shit and be tortured. The whole tone reminds me of my malignant narcissistic mother. She talks in that tone for fat people, poor people, immigrants, cat owners, she has only poison to spout. No one told her to associate with said people if she doesn’t want to, yet she feels entitled to be rude and crude.
    You are right OP, cat owners stink and don’t have friends, but also your soul has a distinct stench, the one of an evil, bitter, old, fat hag and I am sure u have no friends either.

  24. True. Cats are nasty, stinky little creatures. I have hamsters, and sure their urine and feces smell,but their fur smells so good I wonder how it’s possible. I know that my hamsters emit an odor from their fecal matter and urine, but they’re way less stinky then cats.
    Cats walk over every surface with their nasty little poop covered paws and get litter everywhere. Dogs are much better! Sure, they have their issues, just as all pets do, but I can’t deal with a cats litter box smell. The smell is so bad that if you don’t clean it out immediately aafter they poop, the stench will be so bad that you will taste it when you try to eat.
    And they do mark.

  25. Loved this post! Very thoughtful and caring. But did you forget dogs that eat cat poop? And cats that eat puke? lol

  26. I bought a house in a really nice part of town. I visited the house a couple of times with a realtor. My wife commented on how there were Glade Plug-ins in every room, and air fresheners in closets and the laundry room.
    After we moved in, I found out that the slobs who owned the house had cats.
    Cats stink. I don’t care what cat owners say. They stink, and the homes they live in and the people who own them stink as well.
    Cat owners are in denial about the stench in their house, but it’s true. I worked as a cable installer in the 90’s, and from the driveway, I could tell if I was walking into a cat house. Every single one of them stink, and the owners were oblivious.
    At the house I moved from, the neighborhood cats decided to use my backyard as a venue to have f**kfests at night. They would howl and fight and spray on my deck. Cat owners also believe that all of their neighbors need to be bothered with their pet. The entire neighborhood needs to deal with the animals that were ‘let out’.
    I read on an Australian site that 50mg of acetaminophen mixed into cat food will put a cat to sleep PERMANENTLY.

  27. Editor note: we do not condone adding poison to pet food. The Sept 21 reader comment remains published, but clearly pet cats that are alive deserve to stay that way.

  28. Honestly, my cat is atypical. He comes when he’s called, he never hides, he loves people, he covers his poo and loves affection. He’s also not an outdoor cat. He’s neutered with front paws declawed. I clean his cat box twice a day. I feed him dry food. As a treat, when I give him some canned food, I don’t let it sit around. If he doesn’t finish it, it goes down the garbage disposal. He isn’t smelly and people marvel that you’d never know a cat lives in this house.

  29. @Janine your cat may not smell but how can you possibly justify something so inhumane as declawing? That’s the equivalent of someone chopping off your fingers at the last knuckle. It’s not something a cat lover would do! You have given your cat a lifetime of pain and future issues like arthritis. Declawing should be illegal and vets who do it ought to be stopped from practicing.

    As for the rest of you, what planet are you on??

    Cats can smell on occasion, as can people and just about every other animal on the planet!! Dogs smell just as much. (Bought a house some years ago and when it was empty and we walked in the smell of dog nearly smacked us in the face).

    I also find it beyond belief that a post has been allowed to remain which notes how to poison cats. Posting a disclaimer is pathetic and it’s disgusting that you have allowed the post to stay visible. At least edit the f*cking thing.

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