Do Bengal Cats Smell? Why do Bengal cats smell?

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 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.

Why do Bengal cats smell?

A Bengal cat’s smell is not unpleasant.

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, you might want to take it to your vet to get it checked.

Because it can be an indicator of a serious underlying problem.

Such problems are quite common in Bengal cats and are usually due to lack of experience on the part of owners. To avoid that:

Have a look at our Bengal cat checklist to make sure you’re providing every necessity for your Bengal.

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:

  • Bad breath
  • Digestion problems
  • Ear infection
  • Your cat might have stopped cleaning itself

Bad breath

A common cause of an unpleasant smell among cats is bad breath.

It is not uncommon among cat owners to ignore their cat’s teeth hygiene which can lead to some serious problems such as bad breath; medically known as Halitosis.

What happens is that bacteria start to grow between the cat’s teeth which can cause an infection.

In more serious cases, cysts can develop.

These unwanted bacteria are the reason for bad breath.

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

A normal cause of bad smell in cats is due to digestion problems.

Following are some of the common digestion problems in cats that are known to cause it to smell:


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.

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 for 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 ear/s 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.

Sometimes cats stop cleaning themselves

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.

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

How to get your Bengal cat to lose weight?

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 often times 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.

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 a 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 which will obviously smell bad.

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 smell different?

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 it 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, then you might want to bathe it.

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 its skin dry.

So, if you are planning on bathing your Bengal cat, you’d be glad to know that a Bengal is relatively easier to bathe than other cats due to its natural affinity towards water (which is not that common in cats).

Related Questions

Do Bengal cats purr? Bengal cats are known to be quite vocal cats. They love to communicate with other cats as well as their human family members.

Purring is another form of communication apart from meowing. And Bengals love to purr in order to get their word across.

Are Bengal cats aggressive? Bengals were born as a result of the cross between the Asian Leopard cat and a domestic cat. Due to a wild ancestor, many people believe that Bengal cats are more aggressive than other domestic cats.

However, nothing can be farther from the truth.

Bengal cats of the fifth generation and above are regarded as completely domesticated cats and have no behavioral problems other than what any other domestic cat might possess.

However, Bengals from the first four generations (F1-F4) might have some behavioral problems due to a close connection to their wild heritage.

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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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