Dear Tabby,

We adopted a kitten recently and his poop stinks so bad! Why does kitten poop smell so bad and is there anything we can do to help?

Stinky Kitten in Garden Oaks

Dear Stinky Kitten,

Congratulations on your new addition! Maybe I’m biased, but there is nothing cuter than a kitten! In fact, kittens are so “stinkin’ cute” that sometimes it’s easy to overlook how (literally) stinky they can be--especially their poops. Let’s discuss why your kitten’s poop might be so stinky and then we’ll tackle the cures for your stinkin’ cute pet.

Parasites

The first place to look when addressing stinky poops in kittens is to make sure he doesn’t have worms or parasites. If your kitten hasn’t been to the vet yet, take him in and have a fecal test done (which should be a standard test that a vet will do on a kitten). Many kittens end up with a parasite -- often passed along from mom or littermates. Worms and other parasites are usually easy to get rid of and might help your kitten’s poop to become more normal over the course of the next couple of weeks. It’s important to make sure your kitten doesn’t have a parasite early because, if left untreated, intestinal parasites can make a kitten very sick very quickly.

Food

Cats are carnivores and in the wild, they seldom eat grains. Commercial, highly processed cat food sometimes contains grains and other fillers that can upset feline tummies. The first thing to do if your kitten is eating food that contains grains is to try an elimination diet. Buy grain-free food and see if that helps the situation. With a little creative elimination, you might be able to pinpoint exactly what is causing the stinky poops and eliminate the culprit from your kitten’s diet.

Tummy troubles

Once you’ve ruled out a parasite, and while investigating food as the culprit, also look for foods that contain fewer fillers. Cat foods that contain lots of fillers will cause your cat’s poop to be smellier and sometimes runny. Seek your vet’s help in getting your kitten on a high-quality, species-appropriate diet. Cats who are on good diets tend to have less smelly poop and are generally healthier. The less processed the food, the better.

If your kitten’s poop situation doesn’t seem to resolve itself with a change in food and a trip to the vet, keep a watchful eye on his litter box activities. If you see a change in the consistency of his stool, discolored poop or other changes, head back to the vet. But take heart: kittens tend to have stinky poop -- especially as their tummies are adjusting to a new diet (and a new home). Have patience with your “little stinker” and learn to love him, gross poop and all!

Do you have a question for Tabby? Email her at deartabbyquestions@gmail.com.

Pet of the Week

Why does kitten poop smell so bad?

Meet Nelson. Nelson is a 4-month-old cutie who is ready for a home with other pets to romp with, and humans with warm laps for napping. Poor Nelson’s elderly owner never came home from the hospital, leaving him all alone. Thankfully, he landed in a foster home where he is learning to live the good life. Nelson is ready for his new life to begin and he’d really like it to begin with you! To learn more, go to www.saveacatrescue.org.

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