New Cat Has Smelly Paws

silasmom21

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Hi everyone,
I just adopted a 1.5 year old male cat, he's currently scheduled to be neutered next week and seems to be settling in at his new home pretty well. I do have a question about the stinky paws cats get from the litter box. He won't currently let me clean them, I got cat wipes and also tried a warm washcloth but he freaks out and runs away to hide after attempting even one paw. They smell so bad though, a heavy urine smell, and he's tracking it all over my apartment, clothing, bed...anywhere he explores he leaves the smell behind. I've tried using treats, waiting until he's calm and happy, and distracting him with a toy. He still will not let me even approach him to clean up his paws, and I don't want to keep trying and cause him unnecessary stress while still in a somewhat stressful new home situation anyway. Is there anything I can do besides just wait it out and deal with the smell? I mean it's getting everywhere and I do clean as much as I can but I can't even find half the places he's touched and left his litter box paws smell 🤣 Thank you so much, much appreciated!
 

sanfran_kitty_lady_21

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So, my cat does not have smelly paws nor do I have much insight into that BUT I can help you with unable to clean his paws - The Cat in the Bag. I clip my cat's nails and she HATES it, squirmy and tries to run away. This bag gets them a little more contained and calm. I want to be clear, my kitty does not enjoy being in it, but she stay still enough for me to clip her nails ad I give her a treat as soon as I let her free (in fact I often open the treat before putting her in the bag).

My other thought, again not really experiencing smelly paws myself, are you 100% sure it's the paws and he's not spraying around the house? Cats are in the middle of the food chain meaning they are very focused on reducing the mark they make unless it's very strategic. It seems odd to me that your cat would be okay with smelling, my cats have never smelled. I'm also wondering whether the smell will go away once you neuter him. I have heard that un-neutered males smell pretty bad. Either way, I'd put my money on the smell going away once you neuter him.
 

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Unneutered males that age smell terrible. It should get better after he's neutered. It'll take about a month or so to see major results, but you might see a small improvement right away.

But if he continues to get pee on his paws (which, ick, no matter if he's neutered or not), a different litter might help. Either something chunkier so the pee sinks down quickly, or something more absorbent so it doesn't spread to his paws.
 

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An un neutered male cat is going to have very potent pee smell. If nothing else, once his hormone levels drop after being neutered, his urine won’t be nearly as potent. If he is spraying, hopefully he will stop that after neutering. I agree with previous posts too. Try another litter. It might help. Using the right cleaning product is important too. An enzyme cleaner removes the scent better than regular cleaning products. Make sure to clean the box really often too so he won’t scratch through previous urine spots as he covers new ones. I know it can be a challenge to get everything out as it happens but , as often as you can.
 
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silasmom21

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What type of litter are you using? And can you confine him to a bathroom while he gets used to the new surroundings?
I'm currently using the Arm and Hammer Slide (for multi cats because I knew the smell would be more potent until he's fixed). It does clump really well and I scoop it every time he uses it, or as soon as I get home from work and see that it's been used. I haven't noticed a strong smell from the litter box but it probably is time to clean it and put in completely new litter. I had tried keeping him in the bathroom with his necessities but he cried nonstop and almost scratched through the door, so I just let him out after about half a day.
 
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silasmom21

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So, my cat does not have smelly paws nor do I have much insight into that BUT I can help you with unable to clean his paws - The Cat in the Bag. I clip my cat's nails and she HATES it, squirmy and tries to run away. This bag gets them a little more contained and calm. I want to be clear, my kitty does not enjoy being in it, but she stay still enough for me to clip her nails ad I give her a treat as soon as I let her free (in fact I often open the treat before putting her in the bag).

My other thought, again not really experiencing smelly paws myself, are you 100% sure it's the paws and he's not spraying around the house? Cats are in the middle of the food chain meaning they are very focused on reducing the mark they make unless it's very strategic. It seems odd to me that your cat would be okay with smelling, my cats have never smelled. I'm also wondering whether the smell will go away once you neuter him. I have heard that un-neutered males smell pretty bad. Either way, I'd put my money on the smell going away once you neuter him.
I've been starting to wonder myself about him spraying, but after literally sniffing my entire apartment I've only found one spot that he for sure sprayed, and I've cleaned it pretty well. It's more of a gentle wafting of pee smell here and there lol, and once he put his paws on my face I could smell it was definitely coming from there. He also could use a bath but I'm not even attempting that for awhile. I think it is just that he's an unneutered male, so hopefully it goes away. I appreciate the response
 
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silasmom21

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Unneutered males that age smell terrible. It should get better after he's neutered. It'll take about a month or so to see major results, but you might see a small improvement right away.

But if he continues to get pee on his paws (which, ick, no matter if he's neutered or not), a different litter might help. Either something chunkier so the pee sinks down quickly, or something more absorbent so it doesn't spread to his paws.
Im going to try a new litter, if anyone has recommendations it would be very appreciated! This is the first cat I've had in years and my aunt recommended the litter I'm using now, but she has 2 spayed female cats. So it might just be the mix of litter and him not being neutered yet. Thanks for the response!
 

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Don't forget that a cat's paws are super sensitive.

They have tiny sensory hairs, called vibrissae, on their paws that are similar to their whisker hairs, only smaller. They use their vibrissae to sense minute vibrations and air currents so that they can catch their prey.

Consequently, their whiskers and paws are the most sensitive parts of a cat. That's probably why your kitten gives you such a hard time when you try to clean his paws.

You're tweaking his senses and driving him crazy! ;) ;) ;)
 
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silasmom21

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Don't forget that a cat's paws are super sensitive.

They have tiny sensory hairs, called vibrissae, on their paws that are similar to their whisker hairs, only smaller. They use their vibrissae to sense minute vibrations and air currents so that they can catch their prey.

Consequently, their whiskers and paws are the most sensitive parts of a cat. That's probably why your kitten gives you such a hard time when you try to clean his paws.

You're tweaking his senses and driving him crazy! ;) ;) ;)
Would it be better to just leave them alone? I know he cleans them so maybe I'm just over sensitive. I'm going to change litter and wait until he's neutered, hopefully that will help. I love him whether he stinks or not haha but I'm really sensitive to smells. Thank you for your reply and the important information 🙂
 
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silasmom21

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What type of litter are you using? And can you confine him to a bathroom while he gets used to the new surroundings?
Arm and Hammer Slide for multi cats, but I did just notice it might not be absorbing the urine too well so I'm going to switch and see if it helps. It's been a long time since I had a cat and I was a bit overwhelmed with all the new choices of litter so I could have done better research I suppose. Thanks for the reply!
 
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silasmom21

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Unneutered males that age smell terrible. It should get better after he's neutered. It'll take about a month or so to see major results, but you might see a small improvement right away.

But if he continues to get pee on his paws (which, ick, no matter if he's neutered or not), a different litter might help. Either something chunkier so the pee sinks down quickly, or something more absorbent so it doesn't spread to his paws.
Thank you for the response! I didn't really think of this for some reason. I'm hoping it calms down eventually, and I'm going to look for a better litter.
 

Caspers Human

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Would it be better to just leave them alone?
Well, maybe not leave completely alone... Eventually, once your cat settles in and gets used to you, he'll probably let you touch his paws more. Right now, he's still figuring out his new home.

Start gently and slowly. Once your kitty gets used to you and learns how to trust you, he'll become less sketchy about it.

I think you know the drill. ;)

Arm and Hammer Slide for multi cats
Arm & Hammer is an okay brand of cat litter. Any of the main commercial brands are fine.
Casper uses Fresh Step. He was an abandoned cat and the rescue group that brought him in used that brand so, when we adopted him, that's the brand we bought.

If you want, you can use one of the pine or corn-based brands of cat litter. As long as your cat uses the litter box, that's all that really matters unless you, yourself, have a preference. :)

BTW... Have you ever tickled your cat's feet while they are sleeping? Use your finger to, very gently, brush the hairs between the toes. It drives them crazy! When we were kids, we used to think that was the funniest thing in the world! :flail:

The point, here, is not to suggest that you should tease your cat. I'm only trying to illustrate just how sensitive your cat's feet are.

If you try to tickle your cat's feet and he hauls of and claws up your hands, don't say I didn't warn you! ;) ;) ;)
 

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Thank you for the response! I didn't really think of this for some reason. I'm hoping it calms down eventually, and I'm going to look for a better litter.
I used the litter you are currently using and it smelled. I switched to everclean multicat scented Extreme clumping litter and it's wonderful. No smell at all. I scoop several times a day but only completely change it out every two months and no smell issues.
 

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I am surprised if you adopted him from a rescue that he was not already neutered. Anyway, I recommend a different litter, clay based litters smell awful. Maybe try worlds best cat litter or another one made from natural more absorbent materials if yours isn’t absorbing well. I remember when I took my Wizard in from outside his pee smelled bad, but fortunately he did not spray at all. His paws didn’t smell though. I am not sure about cleaning them, but maybe try giving him a bath and confine to one room which is spray proofed until he is fixed. I recommend SCOE for getting rid of any odor, it is the only thing that has really worked well for me, but throw away any unwashable items that were sprayed as well.
 
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Jcatbird

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I am very sensitive to cat smells too. Ugh! Lol Some of the litters bother me too. Some have perfumes that I just can’t tolerate but I can stand the Fresh Step Unscented and low dust clumping. I can tolerate the lightly scented ones too but since cats don’t always like perfumed stuff either, I go for things with less chemicals added. I just wanted to add that anywhere a makes parks to sit can hold some of his cat perfume. It may be harder to track down than spray but this will all go away after neutering. You have my sympathy on the sensitivity thing!
 
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