Cat's Stinky Poop

Archived Q&A and Reviews

New cat's poop has distinctive sour smell

June 2013

We recently adopted a cat from a shelter. Prior to the adoption the shelter dewormed him and tested for parasites. Within a week of bringing him home we noticed that his poop had a distinctive sour odor. Fast forward two months- we have sent the cat to live with a relative but now our other cat s' poop has a identical odor-it's unmistakeable and very unpleasant. Something has obviously been passed from cat to cat. Any idea what could be causing it? No other symptoms just stinky poop. Emlyn

It could be coccidia, which is an intestinal parasite which makes the poop have a distinctive bad smell- but they usually have diarrhea also. It is very hard to kill, and very contagious. It is shed in the cats poop, as spores that are ingested by a cat when cleaning themselves after coming in contact with the spores (microscopic.

The most common way of treating coccidia is to give them a medicine called Albon for 7 days. The dosage is 0.25 ml/per lb body weight, once a day. It is a very mild antibiotic that helps the cat's immune system fight off the infection. It won't hurt the cat even if it isn't coccidia that is causing the problem This must be combined with a thorough and frequent litter box cleaning, to prevent reinfection.

Being tested for parasites usually means that they did a fecal test. Fecal tests are not very good- they depend on the freshness of the sample, the technician's skill and experience, and a good dose of luck. Basically someone is looking in a microscope for critters in the feces, so if there aren't a ton of them at that moment, moving around, then you just won't see anything, so don't be to hard on the group you adopted from.

The cheapest rout to go is to take kitty to a PetVet store(there are 2 in the East Bay and 2 days a week they have a vet doing exams and filling prescriptions). Call first, you may not need a prescription. - cat lady

I don't have cats, but I have dogs and what goes in one end makes a difference to what comes out the other end. Have you tried changing the food that you are feeding the cat? Maybe something in the current food is making his poop stinky. I would change to something with a different main ingredient: if you are currently feeding fish, switch to chicken, etc. Sara

Check the food you feed the cat. This week's East Bay Express had a good article on feeding cats raw food. This simple change (really, not so simple but hunger is a great motivator) made a big difference in many things besides stool odor. Meanwhile, though, it would be good to recheck for parasites. It is very possible if they shared the box to have contracted one. Cat parent

I adopted a cat and a dog from a shelter and a rescue (on separate occasions). Both places told me the animals had been treated and dewormed. Turns out the cat had coccidia and the dog had tapeworms and demodex mange. Similar thing happened to a friend of mine. His adopted dog came with tapeworms. Even with the best of intentions, I think animals get reinfected at the shelter, or else the deworming pill they took was of the wrong type. Get both cats to the vet ASAP, bring a stool sample, and get them tested. Some parasites are infectious to humans.

Get the cat to the vet. This may not be something for guessing games. Your vet can test the poop and make sure that nothing was passed on which could be serious. It may be easily treatable, but you'll never know until you get the cat to the vet. Cat Lover

I had a cat with giardia and your situation sounds very familiar. It was a bugger to get rid of and I had to treat all the animals in my house. I would say get a stool sample to the vet. no poop expert