Do Cats Release A Smell When They’re Scared – Is It Normal? –

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You and your family have just gone through a big move to a new home and you notice that there is something wrong with your feline friend. He’s acting weird and a strange smell seems to be coming from him, but you can’t determine exactly what that smell is. Where does this stench come from? Is your cat sick? Do Cats Smell When They’re Frightened?

Cats can give off an odor when they are frightened. These are called feline pheromones that cats use to communicate. The fluid is released from the anal glands and can end up in their fur for long periods of time.

Now that you know where the smell is coming from, you are wondering what causes pheromone secretion and how to help it. Let’s talk about what pheromones are and how we can help our little furry friends!

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What exactly is a feline pheromone

Pheromones are a chemical that cats give off to send messages to other cats and the rest of the world.

Cats have special glands all over their bodies, but that smelly aroma comes from their anal glands. Much like skunks, when cats are scared, territorial, or very anxious, they release a pheromone from their anal glands, presenting itself as an extremely off-putting fishy smell.

This stress can be caused by several things like the introduction of a new pet, a major move to a new house, etc. Something as simple as a regular checkup at the vet can cause your furry friend significant anxiety.

How long do pheromones last?

Once the fluid is released from your cat’s anal glands, it may eventually seep into the fur on your feline’s back, causing the stench to linger for a few hours.

You can help by examining your furry friend’s rear end. If you notice he seems irritated, there are certain antibiotics or anti-inflammatories you can get from the vet. Keeping the area clean is vital for your cat’s health and comfort. If you notice that the area looks infected or you notice an abscess, you should see your veterinarian immediately.

4 Steps to Get Rid of Cat Pheromones and Their Stink

  1. Cleaning up cat spray before it stains is the first and most crucial step in ensuring your cat doesn’t continue to smell and threaten to mark its territory.
  2. Using baking soda mixed with vinegar or enzyme neutralizing cleaners is your best bet for cleaning up your furry friend’s stinky mess.
  3. It may be necessary to clean the area more than once to eliminate the stench. If the mess isn’t cleaned up properly, your cat may feel the need to go back and mark it again for protection or to mark its territory.
  4. Air out the room where the mess was made once you’ve cleaned the area to help eliminate the smell.

Are there such things as calming pheromones for cats?

There are several tips for calming your pet after a traumatic experience. A trick to consider would be to use synthetic pheromones during or after a stressful event for your feline companion.

These pheromones mimic the calming and reassuring pheromones of the feline’s cheeks. They help calm anxious and stressed felines, reduce aggression in multi-cat households, prevent urine spray from marking territory, scratching and hiding. They are found in the form of sprays or diffusers.

Is there anything I can do to stop my cat from releasing this stench

There are a few things you can do to help your cat not smell like compost in your bins, such as a change in diet, preparing them for a change in environment or a new pet, and if the problem persists: talk to your veterinarian.


Ensuring your cat has a healthy, balanced diet is vital for digestive health. Grain-free foods that include a healthy dose of probiotics are a good start. Depending on your cat’s age, he may need different supplements in his diet.

When looking for a high-quality food, be sure to also look for meat or a meat-based meal among the main ingredients. A good cat food for the digestive tract will also include a supplement called yuccawhich helps break down proteins that can cause odor and build up in their anal glands.

Preparing your cat for a change of environment

Cats are known to be very territorial, and a change in environment can cause them unnecessary stress, which could then cause them to spray around your new home or release their anal gland pheromones.

  1. Getting your fur baby a comfortable carrier and familiarizing them with it is the first step in getting them ready for the big move.
  2. Letting them play in and around your moving boxes before the big day can also help reduce the stress of packing everything.
  3. Keeping up with your daily routine of feeding, treats and playtime
  4. If your cat is extremely anxious, there are also different supplements that your veterinarian may recommend as well.
  5. Once you’ve moved in, let your cat explore its new territory one room at a time.
  6. Make sure her litter box and food are in an easily accessible area within your cat’s space.

Introducing a new pet

If you’re introducing a new cat to your home and your existing cat’s territory, sticking to your cat’s normal feeding, treat, and playtime schedule can help reduce stress significantly. Introducing the new and existing cat slowly can also reduce stress in both felines.

Final Thoughts

It is important to remember that all cats have different temperaments and stress reactions. If your cat seems to be acting abnormally and suffering from a foul odor, remember that smell is how your cat communicates with you!

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