Do Bengal Cats Smell? Why Do Bengal Cats Smell?

When it comes to discussing the olfactory aspect of Bengal cats, it is essential to address the question, “Why do Bengal cats smell?” Well, Bengal cats are quite unique and different from your typical domestic cat in several aspects. For example, Bengals are known to emit a unique odor.

Do Bengal cats smell? No. They do NOT. Bengals have a characteristic odor, like any other cat, that is not particularly unpleasant. However, some people argue that Bengal cats have a different smell than other cats, due to which cats of other breeds might avoid a Bengal.

If you read further, you’ll get to know what might cause a bad smell in your Bengal cat, how to make your Bengal cat smell good, and other Bengal cat-related stuff you might find intriguing.

This video could surprise you with some interesting facts about this gorgeous cat!

Why Do Bengal Cats Smell?

The first thing to know is that a Bengal cat’s smell is not unpleasant.

Bengal cats, much like other cat breeds, typically do not possess a prominent or disagreeable odor. Nevertheless, there are instances where a Bengal cat may emit a noticeable scent.

Bengals are known to be clean animals. Therefore, a bad odor might be a sign of some underlying medical problem.

If you think that your Bengal has an unpleasant smell or maybe it smells slightly different than usual, it is worth exploring the various factors that can contribute to this occurrence. By delving into the potential reasons, we can gain a better understanding of why some Bengal cats may develop an odor, despite their generally odor-free nature.

If you notice an unusual or strong smell, it’s always recommended to seek professional advice to address any potential underlying issues. Here’s what you can do to avoid a serious concern:

If your Bengal is giving off a foul smell or a different smell than usual then here are some reasons why that might be one of the following:

  • Dental Problems
  • Digestion problems
  • Ear infection
  • Lack of self-grooming

Dental Problems

Dental problems, such as gum disease or tooth decay, can result in bad breath and contribute to an unpleasant smell. Regular dental care, including teeth brushing or professional cleanings, can help prevent this.

By ignoring your pet’s dental health, you allow the bacteria to grow between the cat’s teeth which can cause an infection.

In more serious cases, cysts can develop.

What’s more, this foul odor can transfer to the cat’s coat as cats are known to frequently lick themselves. If you find your cat with bad breath, don’t hesitate to take it to a vet, or the condition can take a rather unfortunate turn.

If left untreated, the teeth can get rotten and would need to be removed. Your cat can also become really sick if the bacteria inside the mouth get into its blood.

In order to avoid such difficult situations:

  • Brush your cat’s teeth regularly
  • Take it to the vet for annual teeth cleanings

Digestion Problems

Another common reason your feline friend could smell bad is a problem with digestion. These include:


Cats require proper nutrition to remain hale and hearty. There are several cat foods that mix grains or corn with protein to fill the quota.

These fillers of corn or grain remain undigested in your cat’s digestive tract and cause several problems.

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One of them being: a foul-smelling rear end.

Your Bengal cat’s diet should include high levels of protein (50%-80%) and some portions of fiber and vitamins.

Make sure you buy high-quality and AAFCO-approved food for your Bengal. And don’t forget to check its constituents. If indigestion is the cause of the bad odor in your Bengal cat, then switching to better food is recommended.

However, a sudden switch to a new food can further disrupt your Bengal cat’s digestion. A better way is to gradually increase the quantity of new food and decrease that of the old one until only the new food remains.


Another thing that might be causing the foul smell in your little pal is an intestinal parasitic infection.

These parasites disrupt the digestive process of the cat and cause:

  • Frequent gas
  • Diarrhea

Both of these result in a foul odor.

If you’ve had your cat diagnosed with such parasites, then this might be the problem behind its foul smell. It is mandatory to visit the vet on a regular basis for routine checkups in this case.

A vet will take a stool sample of your cat to test it, after which you’ll be prescribed medication for your cat (if need be).

Ear Infections

Ear infections are a common problem in Bengal cats. If left untreated, these infections can cause your Bengal to smell bad.

If you’ve noticed your Bengal tilting its head, scratching its ears, or frequently shaking them, then an ear infection might be the problem causing the bad smell.

If that’s the case, take your Bengal to your vet as soon as possible because an untreated ear infection can cause a balancing problem. In extreme cases, an ear infection might even lead to deafness.

Lack of Self-Grooming

In certain scenarios, the bad smell may occur because your cat might have stopped cleaning itself.

Bengals, as already mentioned, are clean animals, and if they stop cleaning themselves, that might be a sign of a major problem.

Being overweight is a major reason for cats to stop cleaning themselves. Alternatively, a cat with arthritis might stop cleaning itself as it makes it extremely painful to do so.

So if your cat has a bad odor because it stopped cleaning itself, rush to your vet to get it examined for these medical issues.

Is Your Bengal Cat Overweight? Here’s the Solution!

If your Bengal cat stopped cleaning itself due to obesity, then it means you need to take immediate action. Bengals are quite active cats, often found jumping around furniture or playing with their toys.

Because of this active lifestyle, a person might fear that he is underfeeding his Bengal to the point of starvation. The parent’s fear of underfeeding his cat is oftentimes the cause of obesity.

There is no hard and fast rule on how much to feed your Bengal, but on average, 25-30 calories per pound would be enough on a daily basis.

Note: Bengal Kittens require considerably more than the above estimation as they require more calories to develop strong bones and muscles.

Getting a cat to lose weight is not an easy feat, but with patience and determination, it can be done.

To get your Bengal cat to lose weight, give it lesser food the usual. Subtract 2 pounds from its weight and give it food according to this weight.

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Keep in mind that it is really easy for Bengals to find food themselves, which will make this task harder. To avoid this behavior, you can provide low-calorie treats for your Bengal, such as raw meat, to keep its cravings under control.

Non-Serious Reasons for Bad Odor

If you have a male Bengal cat at home that has not been castrated, then the reason for the bad smell might not be anything serious. Male Bengal cats possess a strong smell that is used to attract the opposite sex.

Moreover, they are also known to pee everywhere in order to mark their territory. On the other hand, female Bengals are also known to spray their urine on walls and other places in order to attract males for mating.

Therefore, if you are not planning on breeding your cat (male or female), you must get it spayed or neutered.

Not only will this solve the smell problem, but it will also solve many behavioral problems (e.g., running away) and health-related issues.

Do Bengal Cats Have a Distinct Smell?

Many people argue that a Bengal cat has a different odor than other domestic cats.

Even if that is true, that smell is not that strong unless someone decides to shove his nose into its coat. However, this claim is not backed by any evidence, medical or otherwise.

There has been no acclaimed study on the matter to pass a definite verdict. So, if you have a Bengal along with another domestic cat at home, you might decide for yourself.

Bathing Your Bengal

If you do feel that your Bengal has a different, rather unpleasant smell to it, regardless of it being healthy and fit, consider bathing your feline friend.

However, remember not to bathe it too often, as this might harm its gorgeous coat. And use a good cat shampoo because normal shampoos will make your cat’s skin dry.

Here’s an interesting thing about Bengal cats:

Bengal is relatively easier to bathe than other cats due to its natural affinity towards water (which is not that common in cats).

That said, the enjoyment of bathing can vary from cat to cat, including Bengal cats. While some Bengal cats may tolerate or even enjoy water and bathing, others may find it stressful or unpleasant. It ultimately depends on the individual cat’s personality and past experiences with water.

Take care of your Bengal cat like a pro! Check out this video for all the tips.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Bengal cats develop an odor if they are not properly groomed?

Yes, if Bengal cats are not groomed regularly, dirt and oils can accumulate on their fur, leading to an odor. Regular grooming, including brushing and occasional bathing, can help maintain their cleanliness and prevent odors.

How can I prevent or minimize any potential odor in my Bengal cat?

Maintaining good hygiene through regular grooming and dental care, and addressing any potential health issues promptly is key to preventing or minimizing any potential odor in Bengal cats.

Do Bengal cats have any particular scent glands that can lead to odors?

Like other cats, Bengal cats have anal glands that can occasionally become impacted or infected, resulting in a foul smell. If this occurs, it’s best to have a veterinarian check for any anal gland issues.

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

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