Why cat food smells bad

There’s no escaping it. Inviting a cat into your family, also means inviting cat smells into your home. The most common complaints pertaining to cat odor pertain to the cat itself and include such things as cat farts, cat barf, cat poop, cat urine, cat hair, and cat breath. And as if the list of offensive odors permeating from a cat isn’t long enough, add to that the odor coming from cat food. Have you ever wondered why cat food smells bad?

Research hasn’t solved the bad cat food smell problem

You would think that after decades of research and manufacturing calibration, cat food producers would have discovered an effective way to make nice-smelling cat food.

By far, the most offensive smelling cat foods are the ones typically coming from cans, because they contain a high moisture content. And with moisture, comes deeper odors. Cat food from a bag isn’t much better (as far as odor is concerned).

Is dry cat food better than wet cat food?

In an effort to reduce the offensive smells permeating from cat food, many folks opt for a “dry” cat food rather than a “wet” cat food. And although this may solve some of your “odor” problems, it presents a new set of problems pertaining to the overall health and well-being of your feline friend.

It’s important to understand that cats need more fat and protein than dogs do, which is why a wet-pack cat food will be more superior than dry-pack cat food. Wet-pack cat foods usually include a higher protein content because they have more meat.

Even though wet cat food is smellier than dry cat food, I suggest going with wet cat food. Sure, it’s more expensive, but if you want to extend the life of your cat, this is an investment you should make.

Here’s how dry cat food is typically made

The basic ingredients for cat food from a bag include a cereal mixture of corn kernels, barley, wheat, and rice. All of these ingredients are ground in a mill and then mixed until they are an even, well-blended powder. Dyes are added to the powder which not only adds color, but it makes it so the powder can be shaped into bite-sized pieces. Shapes are determined by the type of dye(s) used.

The batch is then sent into a machine that cooks the cat food at a high pressure.

Once the cat food is cooked, the heating process isn’t over.

After the batch is cooked, it is then sent into an air dryer where it experiences a scorching 150 degree Celsius blast of air. This draws out the moisture and unfortunately extracts some of the nutritional content from the cereal mixture.

Once the batch leaves the air dryer, it then proceeds to a massive drum where fat and flavoring is sprayed onto the pieces.

When I learned that fat is “sprayed” onto the exterior of dry cat food, I cringed. It reminds of the tales I heard about Pizza Hut spraying oil on the top of pizza prior to delivering to your table. The only difference is, Pizza Hut pizza has a glorious odor and taste, whereas cat food doesn’t.

In conclusion

So, even though all cat food smells bad, there are some things you can do to mitigate the smell. These include only feeding the cat portions that will be completely consumed, regularly cleaning the cat’s food tray, having a home odor diffuser like the ones available at Melaleuca or something even simpler from the shelves of Target, and placing the food tray in an area of the home far away from the main living room. I do not recommend using dry cat food simply to reduce cat food odor, unless it is cost-prohibitive to purchase wet-pack cat food.