Best Cat Food for Smelly Poop

Although we all love our cats, but there is no denying that our feline friends can be very smelly creatures. It’s not fun coming home to bad smells coming out of the litter box, but smell is inevitable – what you should be trying to do is take steps to minimize it. Just because bad smells are inevitable, it does not mean that it has to be overwhelming.

Your kitty’s diet has a big role to play in the smells which come from the litter box. Usually, the culprit is imbalanced ingredients and heavy amounts of carbohydrates in food. In this article, we will look at the best cat food for smelly poop and tell you some ways to reduce foul smells!


Cat Food for Smelly Poop Comparison Table

NameMain IngredientsProteinFatFiberPricing
Castor & Pollux Organix Dry Cat FoodOrganic Chicken, Organic Chicken Meal, Organic Pea Protein, Organic Oatmeal, Organic Peas, Organic Brown Rice, Organic Barley32%14%3.5%Click Here
ZiwiPeak Air-Dried Cat CuisineVenison, Venison Tripe, Venison Liver, Venison Heart, Venison Lung, Venison Kidney, Venison Bone, 45%25%2%Click Here
Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Market Nuggets Grain Free Recipe Natural Cat FoodChicken (including Ground Chicken Bone), Chicken Liver, Chicken Heart, Pumpkinseeds, Salmon Oil, Montmorillonite Clay40%34%6%Click Here
Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend With Real Salmon Dry Cat FoodSalmon, Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Poultry By-Product Meal, Wheat Flour, Soybean Meal, Animal Fat Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols34%13%2%Click Here
Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Cat FoodDeboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Rice, Herring Meal, Barley, Oats, Ground Brown Rice30%11%4%Click Here
Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Cat FoodChicken, Chicken Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Ground Rice, Brown Rice, Poultry Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Brewer's Dried Yeast34%14%4%Click Here
NUTRO MAX Indoor Cat Adult Dry Cat FoodChicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Wheat Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Natural Flavors30%15%4%Click Here

Castor & Pollux Organix Dry Cat Food is a great potential dry food if you’re passionate about only buying organically-sourced foods. Castor & Pollux are leaders in the organic and natural pet food industry and was the first company to offer a line of foods which were completely organic. Castor & Pollux’s foods are manufactured in small batches to ensure nutritional quality; all their recipes are made with real chicken, lamb or salmon as the primary ingredient. 

Castor & Pollux’s recipes offer quality nutrition for un-compromised and complete benefits for your kitty. The carbohydrates used in their organic formulas are organic flaxseed which provides omega fatty acids for skin and coat health, cranberries and organic brown rice. All their formulas are supplemented with added fiber which helps support your cat’s digestion and protein for lean muscle mass.

Castor & Pollux is a brilliant food brand because it only uses the very best ingredients. In fact, it will be hard to find another leading pet food brand which has such a strong ethos and dedication to the brand’s core values.

The bottom line is simple – the better the ingredients are in a cat food, the less your cat will poop, because your cat’s body will use and absorb more of the ingredients. The less your cat poops, you will have less frequent issues with smell. This, to us, is the best cat food for smelly poop.


  • All ingredients are organic and natural.
  • Added fiber for digestive health.
  • Quality protein sources.


  • Contains egg, which can trigger allergies.
  • Slightly higher amount of carbohydrates.

ZiwiPeak Air-Dried Cat Cuisine comes in four different formulas: beef; lamb; mackerel & lamb; and venison. All of these formulas are free from antibiotics and hormones which promote growth. Through an air-drying process which is dual-staged to maintain the natural taste of the ingredients, all bacteria are eliminated. As a result, there is no pathogenic bacteria which can cause bad gas and smelly poop in your kitty. All of these formulas contain over 90% fresh meat and do not add any grain fillers such as corn and potatoes, and there are no meat by-products.

The meats and other proteins used in all ZiwiPeak’s formulas are responsibly sourced. For example, in the venison formula, all the meat is single-sourced and free-range, coming from farms where the cattle is grass-fed and has a diet which is free from growth promotants and added hormones.

ZiwiPeak’s formulas are made with limited ingredients and are nutritionally balanced with fresh meat, organs, bones and green mussels – an all-natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin – which supports your kitty’s bones and joints.


  • Complete and balanced nutrition.
  • High-protein ingredients relieve bad smelling poop.
  • Lots of choice in formulas.


  • New Zealand green mussels can be an allergy trigger.

Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Market Nuggets is a dry food, but you can crumble it up and add water to the food which provides your kitty with both a nutritious meal and moisture, which is usually lacking in wet food. This food is made up of 90% nutritional and wholesome protein and 10% vegetables, which are packed full of vitamins which are perfect if you’re looking for a quick fix for smelly poop. Additionally, it’s grain and gluten free, which eliminates any allergy concerns.

The food is 100% freeze-dried which locks in nutrition and taste; none of the ingredients are dehydrated so all the good stuff is locked in. Instinct’s Raw Market food is made from cage-free chicken, organic carrots, pears and butternut squash – this makes a wholesome and nutrient rich meal which your cat will absolutely devour.


  • Well balanced ingredients.
  • Food holds up well with added water.
  • Organic and nutritious ingredients.


  • The texture is quite strange.

Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Dry Cat Food is one of the nation’s favourite cat food products. It is made with real chicken – a brilliant protein source – and has a huge advantage when compared against other cat food brands, because veterinarians recommend this formula.

The food’s formulation supports balanced and complete nutrition, which will help your cat grow strong and healthy. Plus, the cat food does not contain any fillers or nasty additives – only high-quality, wholesome ingredients which will not contribute to smelly poop. This means that all the ingredients in this formula serve a purpose and are not just added to fill up excess volume. Purina ONE claims that this cat food is one that kitties will love; the kibbles are tender and crunchy which is a combination that cats go crazy for.


  • Balanced nutrition.
  • Fussy cats will like this food.
  • Solves smelly poop issues.


  • The food has a strong smell.

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Cat Food is a brilliant choice which comes in lots of different formulas, including: chicken & rice; hairball control; indoor chicken; salmon and kitten, to name a few.

These formulas contain all the necessary nutrition your kitty needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Plus, it is designed for indoor cats which means the ingredients are well-balanced so as not to cause long-term health problems associated with indoor cats. Taking the chicken formula as an example, it uses only a premium chicken as its primary protein source with no added preservatives or by-products which cause smelly poop and put your cat’s health at risk. There are no wheat, soy or corn either.

 Wellness is a family-owned company who aim to produce only nutritious and wholesome food to keep your cat’s health in tip-top shape. Wellness is a complete product which looks after your cat’s digestive system, gut, skin, coat and long-term health.


  • A well-renowned food manufacturer you can trust.
  • Small round kibble which are easy to eat.
  • Lots of formulas to choose from.


  • Not all cats like Wellness food.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Cat Food comes from a trusted manufacturer, Rachael Ray, and is a brilliant choice if your kitty is having issues with smelly poop. The primary ingredient is protein-rich organic chicken which helps cat build lean muscle mass. Because it is a good, quality protein source, it does not cause any problems in the digestive tract or bowels, which means poop is less smelly.

Of course, dry food has to have some carbohydrates in it, and carbohydrates are a leading cause of smelly poop. The carbohydrate used in this food is brown rice, a natural carbohydrate which does not cause bad smells and is rich in fiber and vitamin B. The food also contains beet pulp, a great source of healthy prebiotics.

This formula uses farm-raised chicken from the United States, which is also a positive if you are passionate about local sourced food and supporting American farmers. Overall, it is 34% protein and, like most of the food we have reviewed, contains all the vitamins and minerals your cat needs.


  • US farm-raised chicken.
  • Limited ingredients reduce digestive problems and smelly poop.
  • Lots of vitamins, good for overall health.


  • Contains corn gluten-meal which cats can be sensitive to.

Nutro MAX Indoor Cat Adult Dry Food, like Rachael Ray’s formula, also contains high-quality chicken protein. Nutro Max also claims that this food contains a high amount of Omega-6, taurine and vitamins C and E. These vitamins, along with added fiber, aid your cat’s digestion and provides your cat with a good amount of protein – around 30% - which will not produce smelly poop. 

Chicken is a good, simple protein and is one you should always look for if you’ve got a cat with smelly poop. Additional ingredients in this cat food include wheat flour and brewers rice, which are simple and limited, keeping your cat’s tummy and gut healthy. Brewers rice is also very easy to digest. There are a small number of cranberries and blueberries which provide antioxidants to boost your kitty’s immune system, too.


  • Limited ingredients are great for sensitive cats.
  • A huge number of different vitamins and minerals.
  • Chicken is a protein which cats love.


  • Only comes in 3 different formulas.

Cat Food That Reduces Odor

The right cat food plays a big role in the smell of their poop. A proper balance on the ingredients and food that they eat is all you need. There is a variety of cat food on the market that has been formulated for this specific need.

As much as possible, get a cat food that is rich in natural ingredients and doesn’t come with grains and any other fillers. Look at the list of ingredients and consider if there are real meat added. If you are unsure, don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations from your veterinarian to be guided.

What Causes Smelly Cat Poop?

There are lots of reasons why your cats poop is smelly. Of course, cat feces is never going to smell pleasant, but if there is an unusually pungent and eye-watering smell, it could be down to a number of reasons.


such as E.coli or Salmonella can cause inflammation and result in gas or diarrhea which can be particularly foul smelling.


Such as Giardia – an intestinal parasite – can produce very foul smelling chronic feces. Digestive disorders such as mal-digestion and low absorption can cause poop which are particularly rancid. Undigested fats and starches are classic culprits.


can cause bad smells, too. Cats – especially outdoor cats – eat a lot of different things. Imagine the mixture of bugs, rodents and small reptiles and the reason for the smell becomes apparent.

Kittens usually have bad smelling poop due to the introduction of new foods and these will pass over time. In adult cats, bad smells can also be dietary issues in addition to gastrointestinal issues or inflammatory or infectious disease; your veterinarian can help find the cause if you are having major problems with strong poop smells.

In most cases, smelly poop will last for only a few days if there is no serious underlying problem. However, if these foul smells persist or are present with diarrhea, there may be a more sinister problem and you should pay a visit to your veterinarian.

There are plenty of foods available on the market which can help reduce the pungent smell of cat poop. A lot of these foods by reducing and eliminating bacteria in food, or not including ingredients which can cause bad smells. Here are our top picks.

Steps to Reduce Cat Litter box Smells

Aside from a change in your kitty’s diet – which we will cover later – there are lots of other things you can do to reduce bad smells.

Make Sure There’s Enough Litter

If there is not enough litter in your cat’s litter box, it makes it difficult for your cat to cover their poop. To that end, make sure there is a good few inches in the litter box which can be used for this.

Train your Cat to Cover Litter

Wild cats naturally cover their poop to avoid predators tracking them. However, domesticated cats tend to lose this instinct. It is important that you teach your cat to cover litter during initial potty training.

Bigger Litter Box

You should always have a decent sized litterbox that your cat can move around in. A cat will not cover litter in a small box, as it will be too difficult due to restricted movement. Ensure that your kitty has a litterbox in which it can move around and cover their poop.

More Litter Boxes

If you’re too busy to clean your cat’s litterbox every day, consider buying two or three which it can use when the other becomes too dirty. A cat will not cover poop if the litterbox is too small and dirty.

Invest in an Air Purifier or Open a Window

You should have a constant flow of air through the rooms where you keep a litterbox. If there is not a constant airflow, the smell of poop and urine will get into the air and begin to settle into other furniture. For extra air filtration, you can buy an air purifier and keep it in that room, too.

Frequently Clean the Litter Box

Some cat owners do not clean their litterbox daily; this can be due to time constraints. You should clean out poop from the litterbox at least once a day and replace the litter entirely at least once every couple of weeks.

Buy a Litter Deodorizer

There are lots of powder deodorizers you can pour in with the litter which will reduce bad smells and keep the litterbox fresh.

Vacuum the Cat Litter Box Room Floor

If your cat is the type of cat who likes to kick litter around the room, or if you have a litter which tracks, you should vacuum the floor around the area often. If you’re looking for a vacuum which works well with cat litter, check out our Best Vacuum for Cat Litter guide.

Buy the Right Cat Litter

A premium litter is definitely worth an investment; there are several brands which contain perfumes or are made from materials such as wood which can soak up the smell. For some inspiration, read our Best Non-Tracking Cat Litter and Best Dust-Free Cat Litter guides.

Protein and Poop

A common cause of foul smelling cat poop is protein and, given that cats are obligate carnivores and need a large amount of protein in their diets, this is probably not something you wanted to hear.

If you are the owner of a cat who has recently had to move to a high protein, low carbohydrate due to obesity or diabetes, this new diet is a likely and probable cause of bad-smelling poop. Unfortunately, this diet is necessary in cats with these health problems and there is no way around it. You could consider switching foods – see our countdown of the best cat foods for smelly poop below.

I mentioned earlier that kittens will usually have terrible smelling poop due to the introduction of proteins and other ingredients into their diet. As your cat grows and gets older, past one year, these smells will begin to fade.

The Round Up

Your cat’s poop will never smell pleasant, that’s a fact, but that doesn’t mean it has to be eye-wateringly bad. Lots of factors can contribute to bad smelling poop, but dietary factors are usually the main cause.

If you’re having issues with your cat’s poop causing people to clear the house, you might want to invest in a good, organic and wholesome food which uses pure and natural ingredients; these are the best cat food for smelly poop. If you feed a low-quality food, your cat processed and digests less of it because your cat has no use for the bad ingredients and this can cause bad smelling poop.

Rebecca Welters

Yes, I am that weird cat lady with 200 cats and live in the darkest corner of the city where no one dares to go! Joking! But I am a cat lover and have 2 Ragdoll cats called Toby, he's 3 years old and Dory, she's 8 years old. I'm 36 years old and live in the quiet town of Washington.

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