Cats

The 6 Best Cat Foods For Smelly Poop

Aug 1, 2019

The 6 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.

At a Glance: Best Cat Foods For Smelly Poop To Buy

We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Compare Best Cat Food For Smelly Poop

Overall Best
Stella & Chewy's Chick Chick Chicken Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

1. Stella & Chewy's Chick Chick Chicken Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

Runner Up
Nom Nom Chicken Chow Meow Cat Food

2. Nom Nom Chicken Chow Meow Cat Food

Best Raw
Smalls Freeze-Dried Raw Water Bird

3. Smalls Freeze-Dried Raw Water Bird

Best For Food Sensitivities
Vital Essentials Rabbit Mini Patties Grain Free Limited Ingredient Freeze-Dried Cat Food

4. Vital Essentials Rabbit Mini Patties Grain Free Limited Ingredient Freeze-Dried Cat Food

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

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

Best Dry
Dr. Elsey's cleanprotein Chicken Formula Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

6. Dr. Elsey's cleanprotein Chicken Formula Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

Protein
45% Min
Protein
56% Min
Protein
45% Min
Protein
52% Min
Protein
11% Min
Protein
59% Min
Fat
25% Min
Fat
34% Min
Fat
20% Min
Fat
15% Min
Fat
9.0% Min
Fat
18% Min
Fiber
5.0% Max
Fiber
0.8% Max
Fiber
3% Max
Fiber
3.0% Max
Fiber
1.5% Max
Fiber
4.0% Max
Life Stage
Adult
Life Stage
All Life Stages
Life Stage
Adult
Life Stage
Adult
Life Stage
Adult
Life Stage
Adult
Type
Freeze-Dried/Raw
Type
Fresh
Type
Freeze-Dried
Type
Freeze-Dried
Type
Wet/Canned
Type
Dry
Made In
United States
Made In
United States
Made In
United States
Made In
United States
Made In
United States
Made In
United States

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.

Our Top Picks For The Best Cat Food For Smelly Poop

Now that you have a better understanding of how we came to our top picks, you’re probably eager to see them! Here are our top 5 picks for best cat food for smelly poop:

Overall Best
1.

Stella & Chewy's Chick Chick Chicken Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 45% Min
  • Fat: 25% Min
  • Fiber: 5.0% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Freeze-Dried/Raw
  • 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
2.

Nom Nom 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
Nom Nom cat food excels in ingredient quality and digestibility. While most cat foods are made from questionably-digestible animal by-products, Nom Nom 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.

Nom Nom 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 Raw
3.

Smalls Freeze-Dried Raw Water Bird

Product Info

  • Protein: 45% Min
  • Fat: 20% Min
  • Fiber: 3% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Freeze-Dried
  • Made In: United States
Pros
  • Freeze-dried cat food sent to your door
  • High-quality natural ingredients, no additives
  • Real duck is the first ingredient
  • Highly digestible and full of natural flavor
Cons
  • Some cats may not like the texture of freeze-dried food
  • Only available by subscription – no one-time purchase
There’s no way your cat’s litter box is going to smell good, but changing your cat’s diet could make it smell a little less awful. The secret is in the ingredients. Smalls knows this very well which is why they only use the highest quality ingredients including real animal proteins in all of their recipes like this Freeze-Dried Water Bird formula.

This Smalls Freeze-Dried Water Bird formula features real duck as the main ingredient, so you know it’s loaded with protein and natural flavor. Next comes duck heart followed by duck liver, duck gizzard, and duck eggs. It’s all blended together with goat’s milk with herring oil for essential fatty acids.

With Smalls freeze-dried cat food, you know your cat is getting the high-quality nutrition he deserves with nothing extra. That means no fillers or additives that go undigested, left to stink up the litter box. Best of all, it’s sent right to your door in regular deliveries!
Best For Food Sensitivities
4.

Vital Essentials Rabbit Mini Patties Grain Free Limited Ingredient Freeze-Dried Cat Food

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
5.

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
6.

Dr. Elsey's cleanprotein Chicken Formula Grain-Free 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.

Final Thoughts

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.

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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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