Are You A Cat Sniffer?

Sheela WAS a stray

Sheela WAS a stray

Sheela WAS a stray NOT strays as claimed How will Meadow

I can tell a cat's life history by smelling him or her! Good morning readers. This is going to be another fun article and it's on the topic of cat body odor. Readers, are any of you cat sniffers?

The idea for this article came when Michael (PoC) read my email about my sniffing Sheela and Shirley and knowing they were stray cats. There's a definite odor they put out and Michael believes I'm correct.

Site Build It!My cat sniffing began when I rescued Furby. Let me first add that my daughter already had Lola. Lola, although an orphan taken in my a mama cat, didn't have this strange odor.

It was the first thing Laura noticed about Furby. She even gave him a bath about once a month. Of course at the time he was always getting into things to make him dirty. Even when he kept himself groomed this woodsy scent would surface.

Now that I'm doing rescue I've become a compulsive cat sniffer! This may sound ridiculous, but I believe I can tell the history of each cat by doing this. For example Sheela, Shirley and Casper (Cassie) all smell of warm earth after a rain. They were all listed on their shelter paperwork as strays. I believe the circumstances in their case.

Misty, Lily, Tom and Jethro, Mia and Lucky were all listed as "strays" turned into GCAC (Greenville County Animal Care). To put it bluntly, that's a bunch of bull-crap if you know what I mean. A few of them smelled of cigarettes. All of them were free of ear mites. The true strays we've saved had ear mites from living on the street.

Prevention is the best medicine for your pet's health.I'll go so far as to say a few of them even smelled of something fresh. Perhaps from laying on clean laundry or a clean bed.

The MandyLane Gang, my first rescue, all had ear mites but no odor. This suggests they were fed mother's milk but lived outside with a mama cat. Since they didn't have to hunt for live food, they didn't have a wild food scent.

Which I believe is the answer to a lot of the woodsy smells my daughter and I pick up on. It's already been proven that people have odors come through their skin when they eat a lot of garlic or curry powder. Cats are probably the same way.

If a cat has to survive on rats, mice, rabbits and bugs as their primary diet the smell will either seep through their skin or through the saliva on their paws while washing up.

One source I checked says a healthy clean cat will have a "nutty" scent. The same source verified my knowledge that cats are VERY clean animals and pride themselves as such.

Defendex shampooAnother mentioned a smell can come through the skin if a cat lives on food tossed into the garbage. Feral cats are notorious at hanging out around dumpsters waiting on the days leftovers.

So here I was the other night smelling of my newest rescues Sheela and Shirley. They smell of damp earth. As I was petting Sheela I found a large scab on her back. If she had belonged to anyone they would have taken her to the vet for stitches. Sheela allowed me to examine the sore without much of a fuss. It was already pulling away from the skin and not infected. I left it alone and today I noticed it's gone.

I feel fortunate it healed on it's own. I didn't even treat it with medication because I didn't want Sheela paying attention to it and perhaps getting it infected.

I'm not going to go into a bunch of references for this article. You can type "cat odors" or "why cats smell" into your search engine and come up with more than enough explanations.

I have several questions I'd like to ask the readers to comment on today. First, are you a cat sniffer? Second, do you believe illness changes the aroma of a cat. Or food (especially live food).

I really would like to know I'm not alone in doing this. I guess I do look a little strange when I hold up my cat and stick my nose into it's fur checking for a background story.


I know it may sound a little odd, but I'm writing an ebook about my rescues. I'll write on each cat and they cat will also write about itself. As I said, cat sniffing tells me the kind of life my rescue has led before I came into his of her life.

And sadly, it also tells me a lot of people lie when turning a cat into a shelter as a stray when they know full well they're just throwing their pet away.

I go to GCAC on Wednesday to rescue a Maine Coon mix named Meadow. She's a three year old with the most defeated look on her face. I can't wait to inhale her scent to learn her history.

Elisa

References:

http://au.answers.yahoo.com/

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Are You A Cat Sniffer?

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Apr 18, 2011
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Cookie cat
by: Skya

My daughter's rescue cat smells exactly like sugar cookies! Is that insane or what? My newest rescue has a fresh, outdoorsy smell.

I have never gotten the cat's story from sniffing them, but my old cat Ruffle that has passed on told me quite clearly in my mind what had happened to her in a previous life that caused some of her behaviors.

I'll have to try this with my Ma'ari cat. we are incredibly close.

Great topic!


Apr 17, 2011
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I am a cat sniffer
by: Kitty N

I am glad that I'm not the only one. I manage a colony of ferals/strays. Once in a while, I come across a kitten that isn't familiar. The very FIRST thing I do is smell them! If they dont 'smell' like stray, I get them into foster as soon as possible. If they have not been out there on their own, they have no chance of making it.


Apr 13, 2011
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scents
by: LeAnn

I can tell you that if I were blindfolded I could tell you which cat was who,just by there smell...My 20 year old,smells great at all time,even after many hours of napping,I love to smell what I call her "morning smell"..Sadly I lost my 16 year old persian March 1st,she had a clean laundry like smell to her always,I just loved that smell,and my youngest girl Lulu,sometimes I just want to eat her up,due to her smell...I would say Im also a cat sniffer,and I love it..I adopted a 16 year old Maine Coon from a shelter at the end of Jan,and she also just smells good,just like a spring breeze.....


Apr 09, 2011
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smell of a cat
by: Diana

I only have one cat, so I do not know what other cats smell like, but I do love burying my nose in her neck and smelling her. She smells earthy but almost a neutral smell. I have to board her from time to time, and she comes back smelling very, very, different. I loved reading this article, and certainly, if I had more cats, or rescued cats as you do, I know I would be smelling each and everyone of them as they would allow.


Apr 06, 2011
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We rescued 2 today
by: Elisa

Laura went with me. Miss Kitty was an indoor cat and that was the first thing Laura noticed when she sniffed her. Her owner turned her in because the owner was allergic. We don't know about Meadow yet because Meadow has been in hiding all day. She'll have to get hungry sometime.


Apr 06, 2011
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Monty smells like feet
by: Ruth (Monty's Mom)

Monty loves to be petted with your foot. He seems to like the stinky, I just took my shoes off after work, foot the best. He lies in the doorway, I hold onto the doorframe and he rolls around purring. He will come sit on the end of the bed and look pointedly at my husband. Jeff has to take his foot out from under the blankets and stroke Monty with it. The last time he did this Monty purred so loud it was like his whole body was vibrating with the sound and then he did like a long chirp, part purr part meow-- just a sound of pure pleasure.

I can't smell anything at all usually when I sniff Monty, but a faint odor of feet sometimes. I don't have anosmia, but my sense of smell is so poor I could never do what Elisa does. Usually I can tell there is a smell, but unless I have some frame of reference I can't identify it. In Neurology we learned cranial nerve testing- for the olfactory nerve you blindfold the patient and have them identify smells. I couldn't tell peanut butter from coffee from citrus. The instructor kept looking at me funny like she was concerned.


Apr 06, 2011
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Cat Odor
by: Michael

A good example of how important cat odor is to cats was when I had to bathe my girl cat after she feel into some paint. This was about 20 years ago.

He brother hissed at her when I dried her off. Only after she had groomed herself and restored some of her natural body odor did he recognize her again.


Apr 05, 2011
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Funny tip
by: Elisa

I'll tell you all something funny. I used to bring the female strays indoors to deliver their kittens. Of course the mama wanted to go outside some during the day. So I tape recorded the kittens meowing on a regular old tape recorder. Then when the kittens would cry for mama and she was outside I'd go out in the yard and turn the volume all the way up and play the tape for her.

The mama cat would always come running back to take care of the babies.


Apr 05, 2011
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Cat Whisperer
by: Diane

I like to think I am a cat whisperer or at least that is what I tell people...I have never failed to tame a feral cat...love is what does it..I too have noticed the cat smells...I also believe that cats from the same family have the same scent. I had a female cat (abandoned by a previous owner) she had a litter of kittens. Only one survived. I got a kitten (my first..eventually all cats have found me so I have never gotten another on my own) I took my kitten out back and that mother cat came over an sniffed her. I think she wanted to see if my kitten was one of hers...apparently she satisfied herself that this was not one of her babies and she turned and walked off...


Apr 05, 2011
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I wonder if my empathy talent does that?
by: Elisa

Everyone thinks it would be a great talent to have but it's not so great when someone is very ill or in a very bad mood and I can pick up on it even when I'm not around them. I told Andrea at the shelter to tell Gizzy she was coming to a home where she wouldn't be yelled at any more. I knew she'd be a handful before I ever met her.


Apr 05, 2011
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absolutely
by: lana shiflet

i believe you are absolutely right. i have always loved to sniff cats. my cats smell delicious. strays, not so good. but seriously, you are right on i believe !


Apr 05, 2011
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Cat Sniffing
by: Michael

Yes, I think you are right. People probably do cat sniff without really realising it. It does provide information but I have never heard of someone getting the kind of information from cat sniffing that you do. It is like reading a book.


Apr 05, 2011
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EBook
by: Elisa

It may be called Adventures of a Reluctant Cat Lady. Half of the book will be my telling about each rescue. Then the other half of the book will have the cats telling their own story. Of course Furby will have the longest chapter starting with the 1st chapter I previewed awhile back where he was another cat in a past life.

I can't wait to see the comments we get on this story. I'll bet there are a lot of cat sniffers out there who don't even realize they're doing it.

Women are good sniffers. We try to smell smoke, perfume and alcohol on our mates so it's only natural to try to figure out the different cat smells.


Apr 05, 2011
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Unique
by: Michael

I believe that this is a unique article. Well done Elisa.

We did discuss cat body odor briefly and I can tell a stray cat from a well cared for domestic cat through the cat's body odor.

A true domestic cat does smell really nice. Nutty is about correct. "Clean-nutty" is better for me.

And genuine strays sometimes just plain pong (smell badly).

After they have been in your home for a while and you come in having been out for a bit, you can smell a stray cat in the air generally. You can't do that with a well cared for domestic cat.

To read a cat's life history from his or her body odor is fascinating and I am sure someone is going to pick up on this story and use it somewhere else on the internet.

There are horse whisperers, cat whisperers and cat sniffers....!!

You are both a cat whisperer and sniffer. How about some ideas for titles for an ebook (from you - I know you are doing one from the viewpoint of a cat).

The Life and Times of A Cat Snifffer

How To Become A Professional Cat Sniffer

Cat Sniffing Manual

The American Cat Sniffers Association (ACSA)

Michael Avatar



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