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Cat Smells Funky!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
(I know I haven't introduced in the introduction area, but I wanted to wait until I got some pics before going there - soon, I promise! For now, I have a more urgent issue!)

We got Cat (spayed female, she is now around 3 years) just over 2 years ago from the MSPCA. She was an only cat until 2 months ago when we got Milo (neutered male, he is now 8-9mos). Milo was a feral born outside but the group we got him from rescued him as a kitten and did a pretty good job of socializing him. About 2-3 weeks after getting Milo, Cat started to smell pretty bad (she used to smell like "waffles" according to my husband). We got some kitty bath wipes and after a few days all returned to normal (she did smell like kitty bath wipes for a while), although not quite as waffley.

All was well until the smell mysteriously returned yesterday. It was a little better this morning. I should mention the smell is most intense around the throat area (and to my knowledge, always has been). The smell doesn't seem to correspond with humidity/weather (so it's not a "wet cat" smell), doesn't smell like urine, and Milo still smells normal (like fresh linens!). I suppose the smell does most closely resemble a smelly, wet dog.

I don't know if this is relevant, but occasionally, Cat will get a herpes virus flareup (usually limited to a watery left eye and a few sneezes) and she did have one about a month ago right after the smell came about the first time. She was incredibly sick when we first got her from the shelter, where she contracted a URI, wouldn't eat due to ulcers on her tongue, was pregnant and I'm guessing this was when she was exposed to the herpesvirus? Anyway, we took care of the URI, she had an e-tube inserted and was spayed with kittens (she would have miscarried them anyway).

Does anyone have any idea what this smell could be due to? Is it herpesvirus related? Is it new kitty related? Will she ever get her waffle smell back? I need the help of you amazing kitty experts!!
post #2 of 17
Please get Cat to the vet..Did you do proper introductions with Cat and Milo???. the waffles smell may not return , I suspect it was her kitten smell but cats should not smell bad... I cant tell you if it could be herpes related

Welcome to TCS
post #3 of 17
IMO I'd have her to the vet for a complet checkup inside and out - it could also be teeth related as you said the smell is mainly around the throat.

If she checks out fine there, then I'd give her a good bath to get rid of the smell.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Here's some things I may have missed:

-They are both indoor
-We did the whole slow introduction (separate rooms/swap beddings etc.)
-They do seem to like each other now, they like to sleep together (no snugglings, but next to each other). There is play fighting/chasing, but no aggressive behavior.

I did think that it might be teeth, but then we realized she'd smell all over too.

Interesting about the "kitten smell" theory because she's 3 years old now and she still had her pleasant smell until about a few months ago...which seems like a long time to have kitten smell!

I think the frustrating thing is we thought it was a one-off thing the first time (because it went away!) and now it's the second time...and it's going away again!

I definitely wanted to get a feel for whether this was something others had experienced to see if this was a "must take to vet!" situation or a "oh, that'll stop once the cats get used to each other" situation.

Also, I should say that she doesn't smell when you're next to her, it's when you're seriously snorgling her that you realize it's "different" around her neck. Oh, and I just got home...and she smells normal again! I have NO idea what's going on!!!

Thanks for the input thus far!
post #5 of 17
Hmmm. Do take the kitty to the vet for bloodwork. "Waffles" smell in the throat area could mean to me , either a "bready' smell-indicating yeast issues, or a sugar smell-indicating insulin issues.
Neither one is great news. Yeast is real curable but if the host is immune defecient (ie, FIV) ... yeast is likely to be recurring.
Insulin-diabetes occurs in a lot of animals. Often managaeable with diet. Other times you may be required to inject your pet daily.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rugthugs View Post
Hmmm. Do take the kitty to the vet for bloodwork. "Waffles" smell in the throat area could mean to me , either a "bready' smell-indicating yeast issues, or a sugar smell-indicating insulin issues.
Neither one is great news. Yeast is real curable but if the host is immune defecient (ie, FIV) ... yeast is likely to be recurring.
Insulin-diabetes occurs in a lot of animals. Often managaeable with diet. Other times you may be required to inject your pet daily.
The waffle-ish smell was her original smell (before we added the second cat). And it was a pleasant "fresh" smell. Not a bready/yeasty smell. My husband is a big cook/beer brewer - so he's very sensitive to smell and would have picked up on that.

Actually, as I was feeding them this morning, I realized what the smell was - it's actually almost the exact smell of their dry food, but intensified. What's weird is that we haven't changed her diet and she's never smelled like her food before!

It's such a mystery - I think we'll check with the vet just to be sure.
post #7 of 17
What kind of food are you feeding. Poorer quality foods would have a strong smell to them and are not digested as well.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
What kind of food are you feeding. Poorer quality foods would have a strong smell to them and are not digested as well.
She has always eaten Nutro Natural Choice Complete Care Indoor Adult:
http://www.nutroproducts.com/ncccdry-in-ad.shtml

We switched her to "Indoor" from the regular stuff about a year ago and all stayed normal. I hope this stuff doesn't suck because my husband did all this research and tried to make sure we were feeding good stuff!

It's kinda weird because the increased smell arrived a few weeks after the arrival of the younger cat. Is it possible that this is an intensifying of her pheromones? Like...somehow she is increasing her scent (consciously or not) to make sure the new kitty knows who's house he's in?
post #9 of 17
I prefer the reg natural choice but Nutro is a good food ...

that is possible ....
post #10 of 17
As soon as you said your SO is a beer brewer alarm bells went off-my guess is a yeast overgrowth. That's actually good news-someone in the home who handles yeast regularly is a good source of yeast imbalance, as opposed to an immunie system disorder...get her checked out.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rugthugs View Post
As soon as you said your SO is a beer brewer alarm bells went off-my guess is a yeast overgrowth. That's actually good news-someone in the home who handles yeast regularly is a good source of yeast imbalance, as opposed to an immunie system disorder...get her checked out.
Oh...he hasn't brewed at home since we got her. He always goes to a friend's.
post #12 of 17
I once had a cat who developed a funky oder in one of his ears. It wasn't a very strong oder at first, and I wasn't alarmed. But then the smell got stronger & worse, and I noticed he was losing weight and not acting "right". So I took him to the vet. The funky oder in his ear turned out to be a "warning" sign of a brain tumor, and by the time Foxy (the cat) was diagnosed, it was too late to do anything to save him. He lived for a few more weeks after he was diagnosed w/ the brain tumor, and I had him put to sleep when he no longer had a good quality of life left.

What this "lesson" taught me was NEVER to ignore any type of strange oder coming from a cat. I'm not trying to scare you, and I'm certainly not a expert, but I guess if it was my cat, I would at least call the vet to get his/her opinion. Your cat's oder could be nothing serious, but I myself wouldn't take any chances. I had to learn that lesson the hard way. Maybe if I would have taken Foxy into the vet sooner than I did when I first noticed the funky oder, the vet might have been able to save him. He was old (14 years) and maybe it was too late anyways, but who knows?? Cats don't generally have any oder to them. I would at least get an opinion....

KittKatt
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittKatt View Post
I once had a cat who developed a funky oder in one of his ears. It wasn't a very strong oder at first, and I wasn't alarmed. But then the smell got stronger & worse, and I noticed he was losing weight and not acting "right". So I took him to the vet. The funky oder in his ear turned out to be a "warning" sign of a brain tumor, and by the time Foxy (the cat) was diagnosed, it was too late to do anything to save him. He lived for a few more weeks after he was diagnosed w/ the brain tumor, and I had him put to sleep when he no longer had a good quality of life left.
Sorry to hear about Foxy.

Will definitely check in with the vet!

Thanks!
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by tempteq View Post
Sorry to hear about Foxy.

Will definitely check in with the vet!

Thanks!
I appreciate the sentiments - thanks! He was definitely one cool cat, and I still miss him.

I'm glad to hear that you're gonna check w/ the vet. It's better to be safe than sorry, ya know?
Let us know what happens!

~KK~
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Update!

Vet thinks she smells very normal for a cat (and apparently we are just hypersensitive to smell).

Had some tests to make sure anyway, but she just called to say everything is fine.

Vet also said it was probably related to bringing home a new kitty (something to do with pheromones).

Yay! She's not sick! Just pheromonal!
post #16 of 17
I'm so happy to hear the good news!!


As I stated previously, it's better to be safe than sorry! Don't you feel a whole lot better now?!

~KK~
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittKatt View Post
I'm so happy to hear the good news!!


As I stated previously, it's better to be safe than sorry! Don't you feel a whole lot better now?!

~KK~
Yes! I guess I didn't quite expect her to smell slightly different when we brought in a new kitty, but hey...bringing a new cat in DOES change EVERYthing!!!
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