If your cat smells like manure or slurry, you should first investigate the cause. Because of various bacteria, it can be life-threatening for them to clean their feces-covered fur themselves.
So cleaning or bathing the cat not only serves the practical purpose of protecting your sense of smell and your furniture – it is also a precautionary measure. With the right approach, it can also be gentle on your pet and you.
When bathing is sufficient and when a visit to the vet is the better choice is an important question when it comes to bad smells. We’ll get to the bottom of this question for you here and give you some practical tips for cleaning your pet’s coat.
In this article you will learn what the causes for the smell of manure and slurry can be in your cat and what is the right way to deal with it. Because a bath or cleaning the fur is not always necessary – but can sometimes be the only right solution.
Cat stinks of manure – causes
If your cat is a free roamer and does not move only in a secured garden, the probable cause for the stench and feces-smeared fur is the direct contact to liquid manure.
This is primarily spread on fields as fertilizer in the spring. Plant slurry has a similarly unpleasant odor and is also used by amateur gardeners in their own greenery.
So, if your cat has roamed a field or a neighbor’s garden, hunted or even taken a nap, the fur may take on the odor or be smeared with the substances.
If your cat is very dirty, it may have been doused with it by someone, fallen into a pit or played in a manure pile.
Another possible cause is health problems of your cat. In this case, you will notice soiling only on the face or anus – if it is there at all.
In the case of wounds or illnesses, an unpleasant odor may also emanate from your pet. In these cases, you need to see a vet immediately.
Distinguish between pollution and disease
Free-rangers have a much higher risk of coming into contact with manure and slurry. They also run the risk of being injured during a fight, hurting themselves or contracting an infection.
So distinguishing between the two is more difficult with a smelly cat. If it smells just like the field next door after fertilizing, the connection is obvious, of course.
Nevertheless, you should check her for sores after every walk and observe her behavior. If she seems to be tired in addition to the smell, a disease can be hidden behind the stench.
In apartment cats that only use the balcony or a secured area in the garden, diseases are more likely.
If you notice any changes in their behavior or if the smell recurs despite extensive care, consult a veterinarian immediately.
Cleaning cat fur – this is how to do it
Many still advise against bathing cats. Don’t worry, with the right procedure you won’t harm your cat.
For you and if necessary a helper it is however quite connected with a certain danger.
In addition, it is not always necessary to directly fill a tub. To the selection stand to you:
Cat dry shampoo
care spray against fur smell
wet cleaning with cat shampoo
So, depending on the degree of dirtiness of your cat, you can use different methods to help him groom and clean.
Cat dry shampoo and grooming spray
In case of an unpleasant but rather light smell and no visible dirt, you can use dry shampoo or grooming spray.
The application is very simple: work the powder or spray into the coat as instructed by the manufacturer, let it work and then brush it out to remove residues.
Slight odors should disappear in the process. Is this measure still not enough? Then check out the following options.
Moist coat cleaning for cats
For light soiling and smelly fur, it also does not have to be a full bath for the cat.
In many cases, washcloths, a little shampoo and water, and towels are enough. Then you proceed in the following steps:
Prepare a solution of warm water and shampoo.
Soak a washcloth with it and wring it out only so far that it no longer drips heavily.
Now soak the coat carefully in stroking movements down to the skin. This should gradually loosen all dirt.
Treat gradually all affected areas of the coat with it.
Then use a fresh washcloth and clear water to remove the shampoo residue.
Again, use stroking motions to squeeze the water out of the coat and gently dry your cat. Especially for cats with long fur, you should avoid rubbing, as this will knot the fur hairs.
Bathing cats – but correctly
If your cat is very dirty, you can’t avoid giving him a bath. This is especially true in the case of direct contact with manure and animal slurry.
The cause is not only the intense stench. A high concentration of dangerous bacteria can also be found in the animal excrement. These include Clostridium botulinum.
They produce a neurotoxin that you are certainly familiar with from another context: Botox.
What works against wrinkles in beauty treatments can lead to the death of your cat if ingested uncontrolled and undiluted.
So if she has rolled directly in it on a field freshly covered with liquid manure, cleaning herself is a high risk.
In order not to run this risk, you should bathe your animal. Since most cats are afraid of water, this is often difficult.
However, with the following procedure, it can be done as gently as possible.
You will need:
one or two buckets
If necessary, a child’s bathtub or a smaller laundry tub.
Put all the utensils within easy reach. Letting your cat loose while bathing or drying will end in a bathroom flood.
- Fill the buckets with warm – but not hot – water.
- Drop enough water into the bathtub or laundry tub so that your cat will be standing in it up to about his belly. Add shampoo and dissolve it well in it.
- Now put your cat carefully into the tub and hold it tightly. After a moment of getting used to it, you can start to soak and clean the fur piece by piece from the bottom up with a wet washcloth. Try to imitate the licking movements of the mother. This has a calming effect on many cats.
- When cleaning the face, make sure that neither water nor foam can get into the eyes, nose, mouth or ears.
- When your cat is completely clean, drain the water from the tub.
- Now take the measuring cup and clear water from the buckets to rinse the coat, removing any residue from the shampoo.
Brush water out of the coat, dry it with light pressure with the towels, and then keep your cat warm until the coat is completely dry.
Our tip: Some cats like to bathe and are surprisingly relaxed about it. However, this is the exception and not the rule. So if you must bathe your cat, it’s best to find a helper to hold the animal while you do the washing.
Preventing stinky cat fur
With outdoor cats, you can prevent stinky fur only to a limited extent by keeping them indoors during the fertilizing season of fields.
In any case, you should get your pets used to regular and comprehensive grooming.
This will make it much easier to give them a thorough cleaning when needed, or to help them do so if they are sick or have mobility problems.
If the cat smells like manure and slurry
Clean the coat quickly and thoroughly to remove the bacteria and other potentially dangerous substances.
Following wet cleaning or bathing, avoid cold and drafts. Otherwise, there is a risk for illness.
Also, try to avoid direct contact with dangerous fertilizers by avoiding outdoor access during the period of use.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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