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The 5 Best Cat Foods For Smelly Poop

August 1, 2019

The 5 Best Cat Foods For Smelly Poop

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The best cat foods for smelly poop are low-waste products that support digestive health. They’re rich in bioavailable protein and don’t contain any fillers or irritating ingredients. That’s why we recommend Stella & Chewy’s Chick Chick Chicken Dinner. It’s a freeze-dried food made from ultra-digestible animal protein and fortified with probiotics to support a healthy gut.

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Primarily made from highly-digestible fresh muscle meat, organs, and bones
  • Contains prebiotics and probiotics to support a healthy microbiome
  • Free of fillers that could cause excessive waste
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  • Made from high-quality, easily-digestible ingredients
  • Primarily made from nourishing animal ingredients
  • Species-appropriate macronutrient distribution
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  • Rich in ultra-digestible animal protein
  • Minimal ingredient list reduces your cat’s exposure to allergens and irritants
  • Features herring oil as a source of nourishing omega-3 fatty acids
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  • Primarily made from highly-digestible turkey muscle meat and liver
  • Contains salmon oil and green-lipped mussel, sources of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Low-glycemic recipe
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  • An excellent alternative to high-carbohydrate, high-waste kibble
  • Primarily made from low-residue animal ingredients
  • Contains salmon oil, a species-appropriate source of omega-3 fatty acids
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Here’s What We Look For In The Best Cat Foods For Smelly Poop.

While diet can help, changing your cat’s food isn’t always the answer.

Ultra-odoriferous waste can stem from anything from bacterial imbalance to parasites to the fact that some people are unusually sensitive to smells. We’ll go into more depth on the other things that can cause abnormal fecal smell later—just bear that in mind while we discuss how the right food can help.

Fortunately, the best cat food for smelly poop is a good option for any cat, regardless of the end goal for the litter box. As it turns out, choosing food to make your cat’s waste better is about the same as choosing food for any other digestive issue.

Think clean.

Clean food digests efficiently with minimal waste. Of course, there’s still going to be some waste regardless of how you feed your cat, but you can keep it minimal by feeding your cat an efficient diet.

Feed Your Cat What His Body Is Best-equipped To Digest.

By feeding your cat a high-quality, optimally-digestible diet that is efficiently utilized by the body, you can cut back on overall waste output and odors.

As carnivores, cats are efficient animal processing plants, utilizing almost every part of their prey. A whole mouse provides a full array of essential amino acids, fatty acids, minerals, and even fermentable hair, skin, and nails to support healthy digestion.

Cat guardians frequently report smaller, less smelly stools after converting to raw, meat-based food. This diet is optimally suited to the feline digestive system.

Remember—you’re Not Just Feeding Your Cat. You’re Feeding His Intestinal Microbiota.

Though the feline gut microbiome isn’t fully understood, we do know that what your cat eats influences the demographics of his gut microbial population. The idea here is to feed the right gut bacteria, which can help to reduce smelly poop and support overall digestive health.

A species-appropriate diet and probiotic supplementation can help to maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria.

Avoid Allergenic Or Irritating Ingredients.

An unusually reeky litter box could mean that your cat is allergic or has an intolerance to something in his diet. The most common food allergens are the ingredients cats eat most often—chicken, beef, fish, and dairy ingredients top the list.

True food allergies are rare among cats, but if you suspect that your cat is sensitive to something he’s been eating, try switching to a limited ingredient diet. A simpler diet will help you identify any irritants or allergens.

Best Cat Food For Smelly Poop: Our Top 5 Picks

Overall Best: Stella & Chewy's Chick Chick Chicken Dinner Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Protein: 45% Min
  • Fat: 25% Min
  • Fiber: 5.0% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Freeze-Dried
  • Made In: United States

Pros:

  • Primarily made from highly-digestible fresh muscle meat, organs, and bones
  • Contains prebiotics and probiotics to support a healthy microbiome
  • Free of fillers that could cause excessive waste

Cons:

  • Stella & Chewy’s foods tend to contain a lot of bone and might be too high in phosphorus
  • Contains chicken, to which many cats are sensitive

When done right, raw cat food is the ultimate in species-appropriate simplicity. According to the people who feed raw, it can help to make your cat’s waste smaller, less smelly, and generally easier to deal with.

This food isn’t quite raw—it’s been freeze-dried to kill pathogens and make it shelf-stable—but it retains the essential nutritional value and digestibility of raw muscle meat, organs, and bones. The food is supplemented with a mix of prebiotics and probiotics, which may help healthy gut bacteria to flourish.

Stella & Chewy’s food is a good option for cats with smelly poop, but it isn’t the right choice for every cat. Older cats, for example, may want to try another raw or freeze-dried food. Stella & Chewy’s foods tend to contain too much bone and excessive minerals.

Runner-Up: NomNomNow Chicken Chow Meow Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Protein: 56% Min
  • Fat: 34% Min
  • Fiber: 0.8% Max
  • Life Stage: All Life Stages
  • Type: Fresh
  • Made In: United States

Pros:

  • Made from high-quality, easily-digestible ingredients
  • Primarily made from nourishing animal ingredients
  • Species-appropriate macronutrient distribution

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Only available with a subscription, you can’t get just one / several portions
  • Contains some fruit and vegetable ingredients

NomNomNow cat food excels in ingredient quality and digestibility. While most cat foods are made from questionably-digestible animal by-products, NomNomNow contains select cuts of human-grade meats.

This recipe is primarily made from chicken breast, thigh, and liver, all of which are protein-rich, easy-to-digest ingredients that deliver a lot of nutrition without a lot of waste.

NomNomNow is available through a subscription, so you’ll enter information about your cat and select a delivery schedule when you sign up. This makes it both convenient and a little bit higher-commitment than most foods. If you’re not into the subscription model, this brand probably isn’t for you.

Best for Food Sensitivities: Vital Cat Freeze-Dried Mini Patties Grain Free Limited Ingredient Cat Entrée

Product Info:

  • Protein: 52% Min
  • Fat: 15% Min
  • Fiber: 3.0% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Freeze-Dried
  • Made In: United States

Pros:

  • Rich in ultra-digestible animal protein
  • Minimal ingredient list reduces your cat’s exposure to allergens and irritants
  • Features herring oil as a source of nourishing omega-3 fatty acids

Cons:

  • Some cats dislike the rabbit flavor

If you suspect your cat is sensitive to something in his diet, you might want to choose a limited-ingredient food. These freeze-dried patties combine odor-reducing simplicity with a single-protein format. Highly-digestible rabbit muscle meat, heart, liver, lungs, and other animal parts sit front and center in this recipe.

Though cats with smelly poop should generally avoid dairy, the raw goat’s milk in this recipe shouldn’t cause problems. Raw milk contains lactase. This enzyme helps to digest lactose, making the milk appropriate for lactose-intolerant cats.

Overall, this food is a good option whether your cat has food intolerances or not.

Best Canned: Dr. Elsey's cleanprotein Turkey Formula Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Protein: 11% Min
  • Fat: 9.0% Min
  • Fiber: 1.5% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Wet/Canned
  • Made In: United States

Pros:

  • Primarily made from highly-digestible turkey muscle meat and liver
  • Contains salmon oil and green-lipped mussel, sources of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Low-glycemic recipe

Cons:

  • Contains agar-agar, which some may prefer to avoid

If your cat’s not a fan of fresh or freeze-dried food and prefers to eat meals out of a can, this food from Dr. Elsey’s is a good option to consider.

Like all Dr. Elsey’s foods, this product prioritizes protein quality. The food’s primarily made from highly-digestible turkey and features turkey liver and dried egg product as additional sources of species-appropriate nutrition. Unlike most of the other foods on this list, the food contains agar-agar as a thickener. Like other thickeners, it’s a soluble fiber that may increase fecal odor.

Overall, it’s a protein-rich recipe with clean ingredients that should help to improve your cat’s digestive health and reduce odors.

Best Dry: Dr. Elsey's cleanprotein Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Protein: 59% Min
  • Fat: 18% Min
  • Fiber: 4.0% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Dry
  • Made In: United States

Pros:

  • An excellent alternative to high-carbohydrate, high-waste kibble
  • Primarily made from low-residue animal ingredients
  • Contains salmon oil, a species-appropriate source of omega-3 fatty acids

Cons:

  • Contains flaxseed, which may increase fecal odor
  • No dry food delivers the moisture your cat needs

If your cat loves dry food, this recipe from Dr. Elsey’s is one of the best you can buy. It has some interesting qualities that both set it apart from dry foods in general and make it a standout option for reducing smelly poop.

First, this food isn’t like most kibble. While most dry food contains potatoes, corn, wheat, rice, and other starchy ingredients as binding agents, this food uses gelatin as a low-carbohydrate way to keep the kibble together.

The food is primarily made from easy-to-digest, low-residue animal ingredients, including chicken, dried egg product, and pork protein isolate.

The food contains prebiotics to feed good bacteria in your cat’s gut.

Food Isn’t Always The Solution, Especially If It Isn’t The Root Of The Problem.

Your cat’s fecal odor is influenced by what he eats, but it is also affected by his health, the population of microorganisms in his gut, the type of litter you use, and, yes, the way you perceive it.

Aside from what he eats, here are a few reasons your cat’s poop might reek more than the average cat’s.

An abnormally intense smell could be due to parasites, a bacterial infection, or a digestive disorder. If there’s a health problem involved, you’re going to notice more than a pong around the litter box. Cats with these issues will be vomiting, having diarrhea, and exhibiting other symptoms of illness. Otherwise, the problem could be a bad bathroom. You may need to start with the litter box and your cleaning skills, not with the cat.

But if diligent cleaning and good health haven’t stopped the smell, diet can help—a lot. By choosing a meaty, carnivore-appropriate diet that boosts good gut bacteria, you ensure that your cat’s waste doesn’t smell any worse than it has to.

Mallory Crusta

Mallory Crusta is a blogger and adventurecat enthusiast who brings you the facts about cat products, wellness, and care. She's the co-founder of Wildernesscat, a resource for savvy cat guardians who want to give their felines richer, healthier lives. Visit Wildernesscat for product reviews, radically natural nutrition tips, and lifestyle inspiration
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