Foul Smell From Cat


I have a year old, inside cat. I have recently noticed a foul odor left behind on my shirt after I have had her on my chest petting her. It seems to be around the area where her mouth/nose was resting.

I have picked her up and tried to see if something on her was foul smelling and picked up a slight hint of it around her neck.

I remember the smell from when another cat I was around that liked to "nest" in people's hair would leave behind on the person's hair. It seemed as if the cat's drool/nose drip was causing the smell. Is this the cause of the smell my cat leaves behind? Is there something I can do about that?

She just had a vet check-up last week and everything was fine. I am worried about the smell getting on furniture fabric and other items. Thanks for the help!


Obvious odor from a cat usually involves their breath, an infection in an ear or anywhere on the body, or anal sac secretions.

Cats can have very bad breath if they have plaque build-up or gingivitis. A kitty her age does not usually have that problem yet. Therefore, if she is drooling, there shouldn't be a bad odor. However, there's always exceptions. If she will let you, you should try to open her mouth and smell her breath and if possible, look at her gums and teeth.

Cats ordinarily do not have nasal secretions that you're going to see or get on your clothing so it isn't likely that it has anything to do with her nose.

If she was just seen by the vet, I wouldn't think she would have an ear problem.

Since she stays indoors, it is unlikely she has any wounds on her body that are infected and causing an odor.

It is always possible for secretions to be discharged from a cat's anal sacs. However, if that is what you're smelling, I would imagine you would sound more upset about the odor. The smell of a cat's anal sac secretions is one of the foulest odors known to man.

Those are the major possibilities and I can't know, of course, what you're smelling since I can't examine her. I hope this has been of some help. Thank you,
Dr. Neely

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