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What Causes a Cat’s Butt to Stink? – 7 Top Reasons

What causes a cat's butt to stink?

Most of us who have cats at home might have found these furry animals sitting idle and cleaning themselves all day long. So it might come as a surprise when your cat’s butt starts to stink. What causes a cat’s butt to stink? Every cat is at risk of suffering from stinky rears at some point in their life. Sit up and take notice as it is an indication that something’s gone wrong.  The best way to reverse it is to focus on the exact source that’s causing it to smell and to eliminate it.

What Causes a Cat’s Butt to Stink?

1. Matting of Fur:

Long fur around your cat’s rear, especially those seen in Persian cats and other species, can accumulate excreta deposits. Urine and feces tend to stick on to the fur, causing a bad smell.  Curvy cats with fluffy tails can face the problem of a smelly butt. It happens when the fur is glued together with the cat’s feces. The best way to resolve it is to clean the area with a disinfectant regularly.  Brushing out your cat’s fur evenly, while focusing on the rear end can help.  It eliminates painful and unhygienic fur matting.

2. Rear Wounds:

If your cat has wounds, scrapes, broken skin in the rear, or surrounding parts, this can cause it to smell. There might also be a build-up of fungi and harmful bacteria that might make the area itchy and unhealthy for your cat.

3. Absence of Regular Grooming:

In case your cat has stopped grooming and cleaning itself regularly, then it loses touch. Overweight cats are unable to reach behind and groom themselves.  Such a situation is also common amongst all the cats who suffer from arthritis and other illnesses.

4. Urinary Tract Infection:

Smelly rear odor can also be due to a urinary tract infection.  Bacteria present in an infected area can cause havoc to your cat’s health, urine and excreta.  Urinary tract infection causes painful symptoms and the need for the cat to urinate frequently.  They are unable to control the bladders and tend to accidentally dribble urine on to the flooring, carpets, and their fur.  The part around the urethra gives out a bad stinky odor that gets you cringing.  In case you have reason to believe that your cat is suffering from urinary tract infection, contact a vet immediately. Only a good veterinarian doctor will be able to detect the cause, source, and prescribe a treatment for the urinary tract infection. If left untreated, it might cause blockage of the urinary tracts and other chronic complications and emergencies.

5. Arthritis:

Aged and older cats generally suffer from arthritis, body pains, and joint aches. The condition can be critical and quite painful. It prevents the cat from being able to clean itself and reaching the rear parts for grooming.  It leads to a build-up of urine or fecal particles, bacteria, dust, and germs. As a cat becomes older, they need assistance with grooming. Do a regular brushing of its fur to avoid the build-up of bacteria and matting. Use a clean cloth, disinfectant, sanitizers or baby wipes to clean your cat’s butt and keep it healthy and comfortable. Avoid administering treatments to your cat using over the counter medications to treat rear infections or pain. A visit to the vet is the best solution.

6. Obesity in Cats:

Cats that overeat and are overweight can develop the condition of smelly butts. The following are the reasons why this happens.

Obese cats are unable to reach their butts and clean and groom them well. The urine and feces mat the fur, and it becomes dried up, leading to the growth and spreading of bacteria and germs.

Fatty skin folds as a result of obesity, prevents the cat from reaching its curves and genital area.  It is also the perfect spot for bacteria to thrive with the accumulation of urine.

Urine that sticks to the cat skin and is left unattended grows bacteria and gives out a bad smell. In addition to this, the cat also gets uncomfortable with the infections and itchiness.

Just like an aged cat, an obese one also needs the attention that it deserves.  Clean the rectum and genital area of the cat with special wipes, tissue, and cotton dipped in disinfectant or sanitizer.  It can go a long way in enabling your cat to enjoy an infection-free healthy life till his old age. Get your cat to exercise a bit and eat less to reduce some of those extra pounds.  Begin by giving fewer treats and encourage a lot of activity.  If you are unsure of what needs to be done, you can get the help of a veterinarian who can prescribe the type of food and how much to feed your cat.

7. Stinky Anal Glands:

Scent glands are a part of the cat’s digestive system that functions at the time of defecation. However, these glands give out a smelly odor not just during the elimination of urine and feces. It also happens when a cat confronts danger, is frightened, and is giving out a strong stink as a way of marking out its space.  The stench is meant to disgust the attacker.  At times the anal glands of the cat can also be infected with bacteria and leaked out secretions that went unnoticed. 

If you think your cat might be suffering from an anal gland complication, contact your veterinarian immediately.


Several reasons cause a cat to have a stinky butt. Each case and situation might be unique depending on the age of the cat, hygiene, and eating habits. All of these can significantly affect its day to day activities and those around it, without the proper regular care and grooming.