Why Does Cat Food Smell So Bad? (Explained)

Putting out cat food is something all cat owners can relate to. Yet, it is the stench of cat food that can be off-putting for those who don’t like the odor spreading everywhere. While cat food smell isn’t pleasing, it’s something that will be part and parcel of raising a cat. This is why you may ask, why does cat food smell so bad?

Cat food tends to smell bad because of its artificial flavor and raw ingredients. The smell of these ingredients is appealing to the cat but not as much to a human nose.

In the end, the idea is to make sure the cat wants to eat its food and that means tolerating the cat food smell.

Key factors include:

  • Artificial Flavors
  • Raw Ingredients

It’s also important to note you are going to be leaving the cat food out in the open. If it is wet cat food, there is going to be a certain stench that will start to develop if the food isn’t fully consumed.

This is why you should only be giving the cat food when it wants it. Otherwise, the food will get ruined and/or have a terrible smell that spreads throughout the area.

This article will answer “Why does cat food smell so bad?” while also focusing on the reasons for cat food having an odor you don’t like.

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Reasons For Cat Food Smelling Bad

1. Raw Ingredients

It all starts with the raw ingredients.

When asking “Why does cat food smell so bad?” you will have to look at the formulation itself. When the ingredients are put into a recipe such as this, they are going to be as raw as possible.

Cats don’t mind eating cooked food but it is better to give them something that’s raw. It is natural to what they would eat in the wild and it tends to work well with their digestive systems.

It is best to take the time to look at these ingredients because they might be the reason why cat food smells awful. You may not like how the raw ingredients are and that includes meats inside the formulation.

This issue becomes pronounced when it comes to wet cat food. It is common for wet cat food to smell bad.

why does cat food smell so bad

2. Artificial Flavors

When asking “Why does cat food smell so bad?” you should also look at the flavoring that is used to spice up the food.

In general, you are not going to just get a bag of raw cat food. Instead, it is going to come with a specific recipe that was tailored by the food manufacturer when they were preparing the food bag. This means they are going to use artificial flavors and preservatives.

Artificial flavors used in cat foods are specifically geared towards a cat’s taste buds and nose. This means they can have a strong stench to them for humans.

It’s important to note when they use these artificial flavors, they are more focused on what a cat likes eating rather than what you want to smell.

The goal is to attract the cat and those are the flavors they add to the mixture.

This is key because it will often impact how the cat food smells whether it is dry or wet.

why does cat food smell so bad

3. Exposure to AIr

This is something that can become an issue if your cat doesn’t eat its food right away.

Leaving the cat food in a bowl means it is going to interact with the air inside. This is air that is going to ruin the food’s quality after a few hours.

Cat food that is left out for too long is going to have a strong stench as it starts to interact with the air particles indoors.

As soon as this happens, you are going to be left asking “Why does cat food smell so bad?” because of the bad odor that spreads everywhere.

It is best to make sure the food isn’t exposed for too long due to this reason.

Related Questions

1. Why Does Wet Cat Food Smell Bad?

Wet cat food smells bad because it uses artificial preservatives to remain consumable. This causes the wet cat food to go bad quickly once it is exposed to the air.

2. How Do You Get Cat Food To Stop Smelling?

To stop cat food from smelling, it’s recommended to wrap the bag with an extra layer of newspaper or wrapping paper. This will help control the odor before it spreads everywhere. It’s also recommended to only put out as much food as the cat needs to ensure nothing is left over in the bowl.

Final Thoughts

“Why does cat food smell so bad?”

Cat food tends to have a stench because of its raw ingredients and artificial preservatives. These start to ruin the food’s smell even if the cat doesn’t mind.

Here’s more on cats – reasons some cats love tail pulling, reasons for a cat’s whiskers curling up, reasons for cat not mating, and tips for removing coconut oil from a furry cat.