Question by banannalouise: Can cats who have feline leukemia have an off-putting odor?
I’m a first-time cat owner. I took two kittens that are leukemia positive from a rescue center. They had lost their mother, and were put to nurse–in error–on a leukemia positive mommy cat, which is how they got it.
I’m new to EVERYTHING about cat ownership and cats, as I resisted getting any for YEARS due to allergies. But my son wanted one desperately, and so I relented and stocked up on antihistimines. But being new to cats means I don’t know what’s normal and what’s not, or what might be due to the leukemia or not.
I’ve noticed that the cats often stink, like they’ve been rolling in poo, or haven’t wiped their butts. Despite that smell, I know they nevertheless do groom themselves often, and so I wondered if maybe other cats have a subtle odor too. Other cat owners I’ve asked have all said no, theirs don’t smell after they poo. So I have to wonder–am I just especially sensitive to the smells of a cat, because I’m new to them? Or could my kitties smell somehow because of their leukemia?
Spooky and Boo are sisters from the same litter, and are about 5 months old. Spooky is much tinier than Boo, though. They’re in good health right now, other than the fact that Boo often gets weepy eyes. In fact, Boo, more than Spooky, smells enough that I don’t let her get on my lap, as the smell is that noticeable. Spooky’s smell isn’t consistently there, and isn’t as strong. In both cases, but especially with Boo, the smell will persist even after having bathed them, which I do roughly bi-weekly to control allergens. Boo has, in the past when sick, had an odd odor that we couldn’t seem to identify the source of–couldn’t tell if it was coming from her butt, the goop from her eyes, or her breath…sometimes it seemed like it was emanating from all of her, or that her fur stunk. Right now I don’t smell that, though–only poo.
I’ve caught Spooky on more than one occasion actually laying in the kitty litter, just hanging out…so that might be why they smell–but I honestly don’t think it’s something they do all the time. And if that IS the culprit of the smell…do other cats do the same, and why???? Their kitty litter does get smelly very fast, and I’ve gone through kitty litter very quickly–more quickly than normal, I’m told. Any feedback???
Answer by blixa22
I’d check their mouths. Leukemia cats sometimes have lesions inside their mouths, like ulcers, that attract bacteria and make their saliva stinky. Then they groom themselves and the whole coat smells like it.
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