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.

74 Replies to “Yes, cats do smell terrible.”

  1. I came here because of kick scooters. I caught one of our cats spraying the tv screen one when it thought no one was watching. I think it was news that was on.

  2. Yep ever since my sister in-law got her cat I’ve noticed her, her husband and 2 kids smell awful. I’ve refused to go round ever since, and when my daughter gets back from there as she is the same age as her cousin she stinks. I make her have a bath and wash her clothes straight away, it’s disgusting.

  3. Never forget: Cats – like most animals – dont know toilet paper and like licking your hands and face… Yummy!

  4. My cat sleeps all day and doesn’t do nothing this article says, we only have one cat and I made sure I got an old lazy one because I really only want a cat the play with when I feel like it lol

  5. I totally agree. The romantic notion of having a cat is very different from actually owning one. They are nasty little creatures that will ruin your house in no time at all….. I used to have one and I am really relived now that I got rid of it. Vermin…..

  6. People with cats say “Oh they are so clean. They don’t smell”. And yet if you go to their house you smell the urine, feces, the meat they eat, the dander and hair, and the house just stinks, as do all the soft furnishings, the clothes in the closets, the bedding, the upholstery out in the owner’s car. Total stink everywhere. but “Oh cats don’t smell, they are so clean”. Disgusting little animals.

  7. This article is written by people who hate cats. How about when they take a shit themselves, probably the smell stays on walls and the air and when they do not take a bath every day. It is disgusting the hatred for these animals. Some of them they do spray walls and furniture, but not all so in synthesis most this article is a piece of hateful garbage

  8. So true. Moved in girlfriend who had cat. Biggest mistake of my life. Her place smelled so bad I ended up moving out and leaving her filthy ass. Never date anyone who owns or likes cats.

  9. Well, cat smell is totaly nothink in compare with dog smell…That’s realy foul…and because most of the dogs aren’t castrated….yuck. Even properely bathed dogs smell as hell. Just try to pet a dog and than bring your hand to your nose. You are going to faint…
    Cat ownes who are not able to properely and reguraly clean have smelly houses, but all dog owners have smelly houses. Everything there smells. Even stuff like wood, fridge…
    Truth to be told I have been to many huses of cat owner and no smell at all, but all houses of dog owner I have ever visited smelled like…like dogs…even these peope smelled.

  10. Truer words could not have been spoken. Having said that i have three cats…and can not now bring myself to get rid of them. I do believe the cat food for one leaves a nasty odor. I smell it when i enter the kitchen. I also believe that the fur they shed has an odor.

  11. I was told by my boss that I have a hygiene problem. I smell like a cat. What can I do I will not let go of my cats but I was told I smell and could lose my job

  12. I’m not really sure what kind of cats you people have or what kind of people own them, but I’ve had a cat for about a year now and no one who came over ever complained about any kind of smell. I live in an apartment, and I’ve asked almost everyone whether they sense any kind of difference in the smell between now and the smell before getting the cat. Also, I’ve been in a lot of homes with cats and none smelled so bad so as to make you leave. Yes, the food does smell a little, but nothing to make you want to run out and never come back. If the litter box is kept clean and the litter is changed regularly, there should be no problem. As for the parts about scratching the furniture, it’s all about training the fuzzy ones. They do see when they do something wrong, so with a little persistence they will stop doing it. Cats are not evil and they definitely are not foul smelling gremlins come to torture anyone who hates them… They’re just like any other animals, once you take on the responsibility to look after them, you have to go through with it 🙂 They’re also loving (yes, they do show affection) and entertaining in their silliness.

  13. I don’t see how people think cats are clean when they dig in their poo and pee then jump up on tables, kitchen counters, computers, etc. They have poo bacteria all over their paws. Then cat people have the nerve to say they’re self cleaning and don’t need baths. *rolls eyes* Dogs are MUCH easier to keep smelling clean, and to train than cats are.

  14. Milton Jones (UK stand-up comic): “Anyone in the audience have a cat?” – (Muffled yeahs…) “Your houses stink.”

  15. I wanted a pet so bad and chose a cat over a dog. Reason being–dogs stink! Their breath and their fur. They suck at bathing. Cats bath themselves all the time! Dry cat food doesn’t stink. Most people use dry. The litter box does stink if not changed. You people are psycho!

  16. to Margaret……use Febreeze fabric refresher for pets….that seems to help me….my friends say that i smell of cat and i use that and it’s not as bad…..hope this helps you.

  17. Go fuck yourself. You smell worse, you fuck up the ozone layer with your car, you destroy the earth with your trash. Yet cats are bad? Drink bleach you filthy fucking scumbag.

  18. Also I guess you’d rather the plague get spread around by fucking mice running around than deal with cats in your neighborhood. God I wish I knew you in real life. Must suck to be as miserable and pathetic as you.

  19. This article is very true. My step-daughter just got a cat about a year ago. Now that she is living with us full time, her and the cat. I can’t stand it. Her cat has a litter box in her bedroom. We have to keep the door closed because the daughter refuses to take care of her own cats pee and poop. I made the mistake of feeling sorry for the cat today. I gave it fresh litter and now I am so stopped up it’s not even funny. I have a cat he comes in to eat. He only gets wet food in the morning and if he doesn’t finish it it gets tossed inside a bag which is filled before it goes in the trash. He also will ask to go outside to do his business. My house didn’t smell until we got this indoor house cat. Cats are stinky if not taken care of properly.

  20. What about your stinking, vile children? Anything can stink if you don’t take care of it.

  21. This dude is a troll. Dogs obviously smell way worse than cats… And the furniture argument? Are you kidding me?

  22. Love it… this is true and they get so defensive if you say something (my sister)… my other sister believe you can live with a dog that will never smell like dog. They don’t smell it because they live with it, but any pet has a distinctive smell.

  23. filthy little beasts. i met a guy online and i went for dinner at his house, it was so stinky i wanted to vomit from the stench. he had 3 cats and i could not wait for the date to be over. I found hair in my food and i puked right away. I never so him again although he kept apologizing and saying he will clean up. You cant get rid of that awful poop and urine smeall until you put those filthy beasts down or into the wild. aaaahhhh

  24. OMG so hilarious! An excellent piece of writing. I want to send it to all my friends with cats. I have my own cat and a rescue kitten. Ollie STINKS and I don’t know why. He smells like fart. Lucky still smells like a baby. So sweet.

  25. Although I would never harm an animal ( wouldn’t risk being close enough to one to do so) — I find them disgusting. I finally reached the point where if someone
    invites me to their home, I ask if they have an animal. If they do, I don’t go. Of course I recognize that animals can’t help themselves or their revolting behaviors, but that
    doesn’t mean I have to expose myself to their presence. I automatically cross the
    street if I see a dog coming my way.

  26. I find that most cat people themselves are dirty individuals.
    Cats smell horrible and spread that disgusting odor wherever they live.

  27. I think this article may be specifically about outdoor cats, and male cats allowed to roam outdoors, especially.

    Our family has always had cats, and surprise, our house always smells just fine – much better than 99% of all the other homes I’ve been in – and one of my favorite scents is the sweet smell of my cat’s fur. It’s almost a milky scent. Both cats (spayed females, kept indoors) smell so clean, because they constantly groom themselves and are very fastidious about their hygiene.

    The litter boxes are not kept in any “common areas” of the home, but down in the basement, much further away from the washer and dryer. And honestly, the whole business isn’t really that smelly, or gross to scoop. “Time to scoop the poop” — *groans* it’s not as though I am dreading the actual act of scooping their poop, more so it is just an inconvenience. We use a cat litter that works pretty well at blocking odors, so it really isn’t too gross.

    Very occasionally, they will have hairballs, but this is pretty uncommon. They’ve also both been declawed, so scratching furniture isn’t an issue. And honestly, I don’t know what self-respecting cat pees indoors, but I have never met a cat that does this – they always do their business in the litter box. The males spray, yes, but I heard that it isn’t an issue with fixed cats.

    I basically don’t know what the heck you’re talking about in this article, as I have very heightened and perceptive senses, including smell, and never noticed a strange smell from any cat I’ve been around. Actually, quite the opposite.

  28. It’s true, look at these stupid cat owners getting super defensive when they are probably gross idiots themselves.

  29. This is probably one of the dumbest things I have read today. All this bullshit you say against cats can be said about any other pet you have. You want to solve the problem? Don’t own a fucking pet. Maybe you should post an article about why dogs smell or farrets or guinea pigs or birds or any other fucking animal because the same can be said about all of them. Who gives a shit if they stink to other people. Don’t like it? Don’t have a fucking pet.

  30. This article made me laugh. Love my cat dearly but you are right in saying they are smelly. It doesn’t matter how much grooming she does when she pees and poos in a litter box that had pee and poo in it. I scoop daily and change the litter regularly. The hair on her backside gets pee and poo on it when she goes. So she needs her backside and paws wiped clean everyday. I know the house smells, I am not nose blind, I thought she was peeing outside the box but I have looked EVERYWHERE to no avail! ? Taking to candles and fabreeze, will start fabreezing my clothes too, I hopes it will help out a bit! In the meantime, cats are sweet and great companions. Remember, no home with any kind of animal living in it is a clean or odor free home. A dog pees and sits on the floor or you, a dog licks his butt and licks your hand or face or uses your furniture as a chew toy. Choose the pet that makes you happy and know that as pet owner you are not alone!

  31. My mom has 2 long haired cats. They always give me dirty looks and I hate them. The other day my grandma was eating a piece of toast and I told her : Grandma there’s a cat’s hair on it. She just ate it! lmao The cat’s hair are everywhere. EWW GROSS!

  32. I have two female cats.I adopted one from the street, the other someone left behind when they moved.I live in a one bedroom apartment.I have two litter boxes. I use scented litter. Twice a day I dump out the litter box. I have decided to make my cats indoor cats. Everyone that comes into my apartment says they could not tell I have a cat. Who ever wrote the article about smelly cats, I wish them well.

  33. I have two cats. I change their litter box twice a day with scented litter. No one who comes into my house complains about any smell. Usually they say if they did not see the cats, they would not know I have them.

  34. Keeping their nails trimmed = no scratches on the furniture
    Regular brushing, house cleaning, and using tools specific to pet owners, like sticky rollers for pet hair = very little for around your home (of course there’s the occasional strand)
    Spaying/Neutering while they’re still young = no spraying
    Keeping the litter box clean (daily) = no waste smells and no waste for them to contact when using the box. They avoid contact with their own waste at all costs.
    Disposing of used food cans with care (e.g. tying them off in used grocery bags) = no food odors
    Cats really are innately, obsessively clean. But like any other time you bring an animal (created for the wild) inside your home, you have to make adjustments and be diligent and responsible enough to not let your home become like the outside. If you’re lazy and you own a cat (or any other animal) there WILL be smells. Even a hamster cage or fish tank can stink up the joint if you don’t do your job as a responsible pet owner. Maybe the people here who say every cat owner they know has a funky smell are surrounded by lazy, irresponsible people. I didn’t own a cat until I was 28. But even before then, I knew plenty of people with cats and *most* kept clean, fresh smelling houses. Just saying…. btw, ANY carnivorous animal who spends significant time outside kills other animals sometimes. It’s what animals do, dummy. Turn on National Geographic sometime.

  35. Also, brushing their fur regularly greatly reduces how much hair they ingest when they preen. And this significantly cuts down on how often hairballs are coughed up. There’s a solution for every concern. Many people just don’t dedicate the time and energy necessary.

  36. I have a new roommate that is in total denial of how bad her two male cats smell. I believe I will be forced to move from the smell. The cats go right beside kitchen to a litter box. They might as well go in my cereal bowl. Her level of denial about the odor is absolutely incredible. And she states ” You knew I had cats” True but I had no idea they basically are eating and shitting machines. They refuse to go outside normally and when they do-come inside to shit. OMG OMG. Hell on Earth. My neighbor has two young cats that do not smell bad. Hustle & Ore-the cats names are the nastiest smelling cats in the U.S. She obviously doesn’t have the money to have them groomed or sent to Vet. Both seem very sickly to me. I love animals but dont want them indoors. I dare anyone to spend 24 hours with these cats. Cat lovers wake up. Alot of them stink beyond belief.

  37. This article is truely hateful. I love all animals but would much prefer a cat over a dog due to the smells of dogs. Poor cats get such a bad wrap because of things like this.

  38. All animals stink, but cats’ odors are truly gross. I know there is something psychologically wrong with animal lovers and I think someday we’ll understand it better than we do now.

  39. Hilarious article. As a cat foster with a local rescue and cats of my own, I know my house smells like cat no matter how much I clean, scoop, brush, sweep, groom, etc. I love my cats for their amazing personalities, watching their interactions and seeing how they resolve conflicts and demonstrate affection. All pets have a smell and so do us humans but the rewards of having pets far outweighs the smell and is a choice that I have happily made.

  40. Humans are animals too. You breath approximatly 1 liter of farts each day. You know why the toilet smells like shit when you’re crapping? Cuz you’re breathing shit. If I can breathe shit I can breathe cat. And dog. And nature. Remember that time you visited the ocean? Ohhh the fish sperm. You don’t swim in oceans? You’ve swum in piss, whether you like it or not. Isn’t changed by the fact that there’s chlorine in pools. It’s water+chlorine+piss, sweat, dead skin particles, genital hair, you name it. Humans are animals, but I think we can be more disgusting sometimes.

  41. I din’t think my cats are terribly clean. I have many and several have minor issues. There is also the cat box issue..I can certainly tell that I have cats when I come in from otside. However…I love each and every one of my cats that I overlook the issues. It is no reason to not love them. Does anyone love you? Perhaps you have a foul odor? I’m sure you have many faults that need to be overlooked.

  42. I hate to feed the troll, but I really liked the comment about children. Spot on! Filthy little things. Then they grow up to be filthyer big things. Ever look or smell in a teen’s room, especially males? GG!!

  43. It’s amazing to read all the hatred this article generated – even moreso the read all the excuses (well my cat doesn’t xyz.) You, your house, and everything you own reeks of cat. I don’t care how “hygenic” your cat is (really. Licking itself is hygenic? When you need a bath, do you spit on yourself?) I don’t care how much you clean, you smell. I’ve never met anyone who owns a cat that I was unaware of when standing 5ft from them. They smell and yes, it’s a problem. I work in an environment where hygiene is critical and I’ve had to FIRE cat owners because of poor hygeine – it doesn’t matter if they showered, they put on hairy clothes and smelly shoes.

    Dog owners have the same problem, its just that Dog owners aren’t in denial. They get their clothing dry cleaned and shower/dress at work, away from the literal crap their pets track around.

    If you own a pet, you stink. If you own a cat, you really stink. This is why people dont want to hang out.

  44. My step daughter just moved back home with her 2 overweight long haired cats. They are completely indoor cats she never lets them outside.
    I have several allergies biggest one is cats. First thing I noticed is a over powering ordor they put out that seems to be taking over the house. Also I get headaches and then feel like there is hair ball in my lungs.
    We seldom see the cats, they like to hang out in her bedroom. Occasionally they run through the living on their way to the basement where I have my photo studio, cake decorator supplies and art supplies. She says they like it down there because there are lots of places to hide.
    My husband knows that I have a problem with it but doesn’t want to hurt his daughter’s feelings so he does nothing. Except he did give me money to purchase a air cleaner which does help some. I also run my Rexair Rainbow when Ever I can.
    I try to stay out of the house as much as possible, My only indoor safe spot is our bedroom. I rented a storage unit so that I can move my crafting supplies util the basement is safe or I find another place to create.
    Truthfully I don’t think my husband or step son are excited about the cats but they don’t want to make her mad. She gets really mean when she is pissed off.
    I love my husband very much and he a great guy. His first wife died when they were little and 25 years later he still feels he must give into them.
    I tried to defer the cats out the basement with moth balls but they just ran past them. I have ordered a ultrasonic cat repellent. wondering is there something Like frebreeze that I can spray on them for Odor control.

  45. Wow, look at all the people who harbor an unreasonable amount of hate. One thing I’ve learned in my many years is that you can never trust a cat hater. If you keep a cat, it’s excellent asshole repellant. Cheers, d-bags.

  46. I just had a friend move in with two cats three weeks ago. I can’t take it anymore. He’s got to go and the cats. They stink so bad. And they jump on every surface in the condo with their poopy little paws. And they claw at my beautiful Furniture my drapes and the carpet and rugs. The litter box smells so bad. He’ll change it one day, and the next day my whole place smells. I don’t know why anybody would want a cat. I’m kicking them out. I refuse to let my house turn into a dump. I thought it wouldn’t be very bad, but it’s horrible. I can’t deal. I didn’t know that all cats spray. I thought only male cats spray. Regardless, I’m kicking them all out. Dogs are so much better. At least if my roommate had a dog I could at least enjoy it and pet it. Cats completely change the energy in the house. They make it unwelcoming. Thanks for an awesome article

  47. A lot of people suffer from denial, laziness, and sensory adaptation. Not all pets smell but when a family member, friend, or stranger tells you yours does…GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER! Go be smelly somewhere else. Finally, don’t get mad that someone doesn’t want to smell pee, poop, & dander. And at least have the decency to pass out lint rollers to your guests.

    Funny and true article

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