I’ve decided that cats will only eat stinky food.

Ivy and Gracie would sometimes like one type of canned food I’d order for them, for a short time anyway. Maybe a few days or so.

After that, I’d put the food down in their bowls and they’d stick their noses up and walk away. Their furry tails would be raised up in the air as if to make a catty exclamation point.

Then I was stuck with cans of canned cat food they refused to eat.

Wasted Money On Cat Food:

I bought one flavor after another. They’d eat the canned cat food for a day or so and then they were done with it.

Still, Ivy would come begging me for her canned food around 2 p.m., this after having eaten half a can at breakfast. She sure has a clock in her head for when it’s time for her next meal.

I’d open a can of fresh cat food, put it down for them and then hope for the best.

She’d sniff at it and look at me with those big green eyes as if to say: “Why can’t you get this right?”

Gracie would stand back and see what Ivy thought.

Then I finally got something right. I ordered a canned cat food that has fewer ingredients and is grain-free with no additives.

In why do cats like stinky food, Ivy is giving me the stink eye from the top of the cupboard
Ivy giving me the old stink eye

When I opened the first can I thought it stunk to high heaven. I put their separate dishes on the floor and they nearly knocked me over getting to it.

It has been a few days now and they seem quite happy with their stinky seafood cat food. I kind of gag when I pull back the tab to open a can. But for them, it seems the stinkier the better and the faster they lap it up.

Why do cats like stinky food? Is it in their DNA?

So I did what I typically do when confounded about something or other. I Googled it.

Are Cats Attracted To Bad Smells?

That’s a great question, said Google!

Cats love to bury their noses in lovely, smelly stinky things. A particular favorite is dirty undergarments of any kind. They smell for a long time, then look up with their mouth slightly open, usually making anyone seeing this bust out laughing!

Ew! That’s just disgusting.

Well, I don’t think they make cat food with a flavor called “dirty undergarments.” Thank goodness!

Right below this little tidbit online about the dirty undergarments was this question that I thought might interest you.

Little Gracie on the couch

How Far Can A Cat Smell Its Owner?

One study found domestic cats can navigate their way home from 1.5 to 4 miles away, and so can potentially smell their home from this far, too!

And right below that information was what smell do cats hate?

Can you guess what that smell might be? Drumroll, please.


Now I know that citrus has a pungent scent, though I didn’t really think bananas had much of a scent at all. But I guess our feline friends disagree.

And I couldn’t help but see the Google question below that one.

10 Smells That Attract Cats:

  • Catnip.
  • Olive.
  • Honeysuckle.
  • Lavender.
  • Thyme.
  • Mint, Basil and Peppermint.
  • Floral aromas.
  • Fruit scents.

I wrote that down for you in case you have any interest in what cats like to smell. But if you read that list, you can see that they left one vital scent out. Stinky cat food.

So now, armed with all this “valuable” information about your cat, you can go forth and enjoy your feline friend and all its idiosyncrasies.

As well as its smelly, stinky food.

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  1. Cats usually like stinky things because of the pheromones. Zippo loved dirty, sweaty socks. The stinkier the better…so he was in great luck with Tim’s friends when they came over and took off their shoes at the door. Teenage boys with smelly socks…yay! lol Zippo would attack their feet…literally wrap his paws around their legs and kick and bite at their feet. It was hysterical.

    I also think it’s hilarious when cats smell something unusual and then they look at you with their mouth half open. They look so goofy.

    Oh yes on the bananas…my cats recoil if one of us is eating a banana and they get too close to it.

  2. Haha, a food called Dirty Undergarments! Interesting tidbits about cats. I’m curious about dogs, and will have to look it up. I often see my dog “look” for me by sniffing under doors. It always makes me laugh.

  3. I swear Ivy has really got the “stink eye” down pat! Makes me laugh every time I see a photo with disdainful expression on her face.

    I’ve always tho’t all cat food was foul-smelling, but I think the fish-based ones are especially disgusting. The dry food not so much. And I know dogs are notorious for “crotch-sniffing” but I didn’t know cats like sniffing dirty underwear! Well, smells are a great source of information for animals and give them the clues they need to survive in the wild, but how that translates to sniffing dirty underwear, I can’t begin to imagine! Never a dull moment with these pets of ours, right?

  4. I feel your pain about the cat food, they love it one day and won’t touch it the next day. A Vet once told me not to ever give a cat a choice, in other words pick one food for them and stick with it. Don’t ever let them know that there is another choice/flavor. I think the advice she gave me had some merit. Feeding them only one flavor and brand they will never know that there may be something else for them in the pantry. Our fur babies sure keep us on our toes!

  5. A note about finicky-ness, I remember one time when my mother-in-law told how she thought she was really doing something for their cat by buying tuna in oil as a special treat only to find out he would only eat tuna in spring water!
    Growing up out in the country with lots of acres to sniff, I recall different dogs over the years having a penchant for rolling in anything dead even to the point of pulling a dead raccoon from a culvert in order to do so. Ewe, gross, icky and YIKES about sums that up!

  6. Well… not a cat story but a quick dog tale. We were entertaining out of country business associates. We returned to our home after a restaurant meal only to find our beagle had ransacked the dirty laundry and our “unmentionables “ were strewn down the stairs which were the first thing you saw upon entering our home. Fortunately I walked in first, asked for half a minute and did a mad dash to collect. Pets, gotta love them!

  7. Max eats a vet ordered wet food for urinary/crystals issues common among boy cats. For the wet cans, he’ll only eat the ocean fish flavor, but in the dry version, only the chicken flavor. ? He has also show a love for the pulled rotisserie plain chicken breast that I like too.
    Sometimes he eats well, sometimes he walks away and stares at me. Kitties!
    It does balance out.

  8. I think this goes on in every home with cats!
    I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve opened A can for their breakfast that they happily dig into only to have them walk away,tail high,like you said at dinnertime.
    Forget about pate or seafood… The horrors!!!
    We have reached a truce,they will happily eat the Hearts Bisque lickable treats,its been more than a year and so far so good!
    We love our stinky eating little critters and will do anything to see them happy😻

  9. I think that all cats are fickle when it comes to food. Yes, I have noticed that mine likes pungent food. Strangely, when I have offered her chicken or grilled salmon from my plate she will not eat it, but she sure comes running if she sees me eating bread. I don’t understand why she is so partial to bread, but she won’t leave me alone if she sees me eating it.

  10. Dirty undergarments! I agree with you…Ew!
    We had a cat many years ago that would relieve himself on any dirty clothes that were left on the floor! After the 3rd or 4th time, we got the message! Dirty clothes belong in the hamper! 🙂
    And yes, cat food stinks!

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