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10 Best Cat Foods for Smelly Poop 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

cat wet and dry food_Nils Jacobi_Shutterstock

If you’re being chased out of the room every time your cat uses the litter box, it may not be their cat litter to blame—but their food. What your cat eats has a direct effect on what their stool smells like. After all, what goes in must come out. Some cats have iron stomachs and don’t seem to be bothered by anything. Other cats have digestive problems with an even small number of fillers.

These cats may need higher-quality cat food or one that is made explicitly for smelly poop. While most cat foods aren’t advertised to fix this problem directly, there are quite a few options on the market that can help. We’ve already done all the hard work for you by finding and reviewing the best cat food for smelly poop on the market. Let’s take a look.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
American Journey Grain-Free Dry Cat Food American Journey Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
  • Includes eggs
  • Grain-free
  • Added amino acids
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Dry Cat Food Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Dry Cat Food
  • Tasty
  • Made in the USA
  • Omega fatty acids
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Cat Food Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
  • High protein
  • Grain-free
  • Included omega fatty acids
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food
  • Duck
  • Grain-free
  • Limited ingredient
  • Taste of the Wild Canyon River Grain-Free Dry Cat Food Taste of the Wild Canyon River Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
  • Salmon, trout, and ocean fish included
  • Antioxidants and omega fatty acids added
  • No grain, corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • The 10 Best Cat Food for Smelly Poop – Reviews 2021

    1. American Journey Grain-Free Dry Cat Food – Best Overall1American Journey Duck Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    American Journey Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is one of the best options on the market. It is very high in protein (40%). Much of this protein comes from meat products and not pea protein like many other cat foods out there. The first few ingredients are duck and chicken products. Eggs are included as the fifth ingredient, which is a high-quality option.

    This food does include pea protein. However, it is further down on the list and surrounded by meat. Therefore, very little protein is likely from a veggie source.

    This food is completely grain-free and is also free from corn, wheat, and soy. This makes it easier on feline’s stomachs and may prevent some of the stink that comes from their litter box. This food is also made in the USA, though it uses ingredients from around the world. Many essential amino acids are added—just in case your cat needs more. This also helps offset the use of peas.

    Pros
    • Duck and chicken as main ingredients
    • Includes eggs
    • Grain-free
    • Added amino acids
    • Made in the USA
    Cons
    • Includes peas

    2. Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Dry Cat Food – Best Value2Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend with Real Chicken Dry Cat Food

    If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Dry Cat Food is the best cat food for smelly poop for the money. It includes chicken as the first ingredient. As long as your feline isn’t sensitive to chicken, this is a solid option. While this food isn’t as high-protein as other options, it does include 34% protein, which is still pretty high.

    While the first ingredient is whole chicken, the other ingredients are a bit sub-par. For instance, rice flour is the second ingredient, with corn gluten meal as the third. This makes the formula a bit lower-quality than other options. However, it also helps keep the cost down, which is one reason it is so much cheaper than the other options out there.

    Omega fatty acids are included to help support your cat’s skin and coat. All Purina foods are made in the USA. It is also reported to be tastier than other options, so it may be particularly suitable for picky cats.

    Pros
    • Includes chicken as the first ingredient
    • Inexpensive
    • Omega fatty acids
    • Made in the USA
    • Tasty
    Cons
    • Includes some sub-par ingredients

    3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Cat Food – Premium Choice3Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    For most felines, Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is a good option. It is a high-protein diet and completely grain-free. In other words, it matches what your feline would eat naturally in the wild, which tends to make it easier on a cat’s stomach. If your cat is having digestive issues like smelly poop, this food may be the saving grace you’ve been looking for.

    The first ingredient is deboned chicken, with the second ingredient is chicken meal. Both of these are high-quality options. The third ingredient is pea protein. This increases the protein content of this food substantially. However, this protein is lower-quality than animal-based protein. That’s something to keep in mind when looking at the protein content of this food.

    This food is free from by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavor, and preservatives. It includes high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which can help protect your cat’s coat and skin. A blend of antioxidants is included as well, though it appears that are from artificial sources.

    Pros
    • High protein
    • Chicken as the first ingredient
    • Grain-free
    • Free of corn, wheat, soy, and artificial flavors
    • Included omega fatty acids
    Cons
    • Includes pea protein
    • Expensive

    4. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food4Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Formula Duck & Potato Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food

    For felines with severe digestive issues, it may be in your cat’s best interest to choose food like Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food. This limited-ingredient food contains very few ingredients, so there are fewer things for your feline to have a problem with. This food is mainly made out of duck, so it will also be suitable for cats with chicken allergies. Duck is considered a “novel” protein because it is not found in many cat foods. For this reason, cats are rarely allergic to it.

    This food is 100% grain-free and does not include corn, wheat, or soy. These things can directly affect a cat’s digestive system, which is mainly made to digest protein. For this reason, food that doesn’t include these things may be gentler on a cat’s stomach.

    This food does include things like omega fatty acids, amino acids, and antioxidants. It is a complete diet that includes everything your feline needs. Most of the ingredients are high-quality. However, peas are included. While these aren’t necessarily bad ingredients, they artificially raise the food’s protein content.

    Pros
    • Limited ingredient
    • Duck
    • Grain-free
    • Free of corn, wheat, and soy
    Cons
    • Includes peas
    • A bit expensive

    5. Taste of the Wild Canyon River Grain-Free Dry Cat Food5Taste of the Wild Canyon River Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Taste of the Wild Canyon River Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is a solid option for many felines. It includes fish as the first few ingredients, including trout and ocean fish meal. Smoked salmon is also included, but it is much lower on the ingredient list. Peas and pea protein are included, which signals that much of the included protein may not come from animal sources.

    This formula is grain-free, so it may be gentler on your feline’s stomach. This can lead to less digestive upset and less foul-smelling excrement. Vitamins and antioxidants are added, including omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. These help support healthy skin and coat. This food includes absolutely no grain, corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives—perfect for sensitive felines. It is nutrient-dense and quite digestible, so it should fix that stinky poop issue. Plus, it’s made in the USA in facilities that follow strict safety protocols.

    This food isn’t for picky cats. There are many reports of pickier cats not liking the flavor and refusing to eat it. If your cat is a bit picky, you may want to look elsewhere.

    Pros
    • Salmon, trout, and ocean fish included
    • Antioxidants and omega fatty acids added
    • No grain, corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
    Cons
    • Not for picky cats
    • Includes pea protein

    6. Rachael Ray Nutrish Dry Cat Food6Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food

    While this is a newer cat food brand, Rachael Ray Nutrish Dry Cat Food has gained traction. It is pretty inexpensive compared to some other brands, which is one reason for its fast popularity. Farm-raised chicken is used as the first ingredient, which chicken meal as the second. However, after that, the ingredients get a bit low-quality. The third ingredient is corn gluten meal, followed by brown rice and brewer’s rice.

    This food doesn’t contain any corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-product meal, or artificial flavors. For this reason, it may be a bit gentler on your feline’s stomach. The yeast included is a natural source of B vitamins, proteins, biotin, and zinc. Omega fatty acids are included as well. Beet pulp is included, which is a source of fiber. Fiber is essential for your cat’s digestive system.

    The main problem with this cat food is that not all of the ingredients are high-quality. It isn’t grain-free, which may be a problem for some cats. Felines with chicken sensitives can’t eat this food either. If your cat is fine with grains and chicken, then this food may be a suitable option.

    Pros
    • Chicken as the first ingredient
    • Doesn’t include corn, wheat, or soy
    • Omega fatty acids added
    • Prebiotics included
    Cons
    • Includes some lower-quality ingredients
    • Not grain-free

    7. Merrick Backcountry Raw Grain-Free Dry Cat Food7Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Game Bird Recipe with Chicken

    Merrick Backcountry Raw Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is decent cat food. It landed so far down on the list because it is exceedingly more expensive than other options without having many extra features to make it worth it. This formula doesn’t include any corn, wheat, or soy.  Deboned chicken is included as the first ingredient, with chicken meal as the second ingredient. It is pretty high in protein, but it does include potato protein, which must be considered.

    High-quality ingredients are included throughout, including chicken liver, quail, and duck. This food includes a great mixture of animal proteins. This helps your cat eat a varied diet, which is always a good thing. As long as your feline doesn’t have any sensitives, this formula is a solid option.

    This food does include a lot of omega fatty acids and probiotics. It is supportive of your feline’s overall health, including their digestive system. It is cooked in the USA in small batches with no by-products, grains, wheat, gluten, corn, or artificial flavors.

    Pros
    • Does not include corn, wheat, or soy
    • Variety of animal products
    • High in protein
    Cons
    • Extremely expensive
    • Some cats don’t like the raw flavor

    8. FirstMate Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Cat Food8FirstMate Chicken Meal with Blueberries Formula Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    FirstMate Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is rated low due to its expensive cost. It is about double what you’ll pay for other foods. Some pet parents may find it worth it, especially if their felines are sensitive to a variety of different ingredients. However, many won’t find the added cost worth the benefit. You can likely choose a food that is just as good for your feline for a much smaller cost.

    Chicken meal is the first ingredient. Overall, this food only has four natural ingredients before it shifts over to added vitamins and minerals. Pea protein is not included, though potatoes are the second ingredient. Chicken fat and whole blueberries take up the rest of the ingredient list. This food is at about 36% protein, which is decently high. It doesn’t include any veggie protein concentrates, so much of this protein is from animal products.

    The food is grain and gluten-free. The limited ingredient diet is helpful for felines with digestive problems. Blueberries work as an antioxidant and a source of fiber, which is very important for digestive health. Free-range chicken is the only protein source.

    Pros
    • Chicken meal as the first ingredient
    • No pea protein
    • Limited ingredient
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Some cats won’t like the flavor

    9. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Grain-Free Dry Cat Food9Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Indoor Grain-Free Salmon & Chickpea Formula Dry Cat Food

    There isn’t anything blatantly wrong with FirstMate Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Cat Food. It has limited ingredients, which is perfect for cats with sensitives. It is also free from grain, corn, wheat, and soy. The formula is designed to support a healthy weight, so it may be particularly suitable for cats that have weight problems. Prebiotic fiber is included to support your feline’s digestion. Like most formulas, omega fatty acids are included as well.

    All good things aside, this food is surprisingly low in protein and fat. This makes some sense since it is designed for weight management. However, that means it is pretty high in carbohydrates, which will only make your feline gain weight. We would have rather seen a moderate amount of fat and plenty of protein. This isn’t the best weight management food out there.

    Peas and pea protein are included as well. Much of the protein content likely isn’t from the included salmon, especially considering the chickpeas are the second ingredient. There are a few other sub-par ingredients as well, including potatoes and brewer’s dried yeast.

    Pros
    • Salmon as the first ingredient
    • Weight management formula
    • Grain-free
    Cons
    • Low in protein
    • Expensive
    • Pea protein included

    10. Royal Canin Feline Digestive Care Dry Cat Food10Royal Canin Feline Digestive Care Dry Cat Food

    Royal Canin Feline Digestive Care Dry Cat Food is specifically designed for digestive problems. This can prevent smelly stools, as well as frequent vomiting. It includes plenty of prebiotics, which are essential for your feline’s gut. The ring-shaped kibble is designed to slow down your cat’s feasting and encourage complete chewing.

    However, this food is one of the lower-quality options on the market. The first ingredient is not a meat product but brewer’s rice—with the second ingredient being wheat gluten. Chicken meal shows up as the third ingredient, but that’s the only animal product in the whole food besides fish oil, which is mainly included for omega fatty acids.

    Plus, this food is exceedingly expensive. You’re better off purchasing a cheaper food that is higher-quality.

    Pros
    • Prebiotics included
    • Explicitly designed for digestive problems
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Low in animal products
    • Includes sub-par ingredients, like wheat gluten

    Buyer’s Guide

    When your cat is having digestive problems, it is essential to ensure that you choose the perfect food. These felines can’t thrive on just any food. They need one made with the right ingredients so that their digestive system isn’t irritated even more than it already is. Typically, these cats are sensitive to specific ingredients. It can be challenging to figure out the exact things they’re sensitive to, so you will likely need to try multiple different foods.

    We recommend sticking with a particular food for about 3 months before deciding if you need to switch again. A new food may take a little bit to calm down your feline’s digestive tract, so don’t give up after only a week or two.

    Ingredients

    When it comes to cats with digestive problems, the ingredients are the essential thing to consider. You should preferably choose a food that contains high-quality animal products. You may want to avoid chicken, as this is one of the ingredients that cats are more likely to be sensitive to. However, just because your cat has smelly stools doesn’t mean they’re sensitive to chicken.

    You may want to avoid foods that contain grains, corn, wheat, and soy. These ingredients can cause issues in cats with sensitive stomachs. Some felines may be sensitive to one particular ingredient or sensitive to all of these ingredients. Luckily, foods that are made explicitly without one often don’t include the others either.

    Next, you may want to consider ingredients that can help your feline’s digestive system. This includes things like probiotics and prebiotics, which are essential for your feline’s gut biome.

    While veggies aren’t necessarily bad, you need to remember that certain veggies are quite high in protein. These foods can raise the protein content of the overall food, which can decrease the percentage of the protein that comes from meat. Just because a food contains a high protein percentage doesn’t mean all that protein comes from meat. Check the ingredient list for veggies like peas and potatoes.

    Some formulas even include things like pea protein, which are even more concentrated forms of veggie protein.

    Macronutrients

    Macronutrients are protein, fat, and carbohydrates. All food is made out of these three components. Cats need food that is exceptionally high in protein and fat. They’re obligate carnivores, which means that they were designed to live on meat—which is made up of protein and fat.

    Preferably, any food you purchase should be made out of mostly these ingredients. A bit of carbohydrates is okay, but you should aim for lots of protein.

    As we previously stated, you need to be careful about choosing cat foods with ingredients like pea protein. These foods may seem like they contain a lot of protein, but much of it will be veggie protein. It may be low in certain amino acids, which are essential for your feline’s health.cat face divider 2

    FAQ

    What can I give my cat so his poop doesn’t smell so bad?

    A cat’s feces will smell based on what the cat eats. Indigestible ingredients and sensitivities may cause the stool to smell particularly bad. If a cat has digestive problems, then it may cause the stool to become smelly. Sometimes, smelly stool is a sign of an underlying problem, like an allergy.

    Luckily, much of this problem can be fixed by choosing the correct food. This will likely involve selecting one that is free from common allergens and fillers.

    What foods make cats’ poop stink?

    This often depends on the cat. Foods that your cat doesn’t digest all the way can make their stool stinky. If your cat has allergies, they may be unable to digest certain foods all the way. Sensitivities to wheat, corn, and soy can also cause problems. Cats are often sensitive to these ingredients, as they didn’t evolve to consume them.

    Your first step should be to cut out these common problems. Cats can also become sensitive to proteins, like chicken. If your feline’s feces continue to stink, then you may want to switch to a food with a different protein source. For example, if your feline is currently eating chicken, we recommend switching to fish or some other protein source.

    Be sure to actually check the ingredient list. Some foods will be labeled as fish flavor, but will actually have plenty of chicken in them.

    cat paw dividerConclusion

    There are many options out there for felines that have sensitive stomachs and stinky stools. American Journey Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is the best option on the market. It is made with novel proteins, so your feline is less likely to have a reaction. Furthermore, it includes things like eggs, which are incredibly high-quality.

    As a cheaper option, we also recommend Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Dry Cat Food. It is much cheaper than some other options but still includes chicken as the first ingredient. It is tasty, so it may be suitable for picky cats.

    Hopefully, this article made choosing the best food for your feline a bit easier. Our reviews should make it easier to choose which food would be best for you, while our buyer’s guide should help you navigate the sea of features.


    Featured Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock