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7 Reasons Why Does Your Cat Smell Like Maple Syrup

7 Reasons Why Does Your Cat Smell Like Maple Syrup

Felines are very clean and tiny and spend much of their time grooming their beautiful coats. They also easily learn to use the litter box properly and will even refuse to use it if it’s even a little bit dirty.

Considering this, no wonder cats smell so fresh and nice all the time! However, you could suddenly notice a change in your cat’s smell.

It may remind you of the fragrance of oatmeal, waffles, or even pancakes! To be more precise, this is the well-known maple syrup smell.

Why does my cat smell like maple syrup?

This likely isn’t about your cat getting onto your kitchen shelves and indulging in a bottle of maple syrup. There are seven potential reasons for your cat to smell like this.

Let’s look at them and find out whether this is something to be worried about.

1. A Change In A Diet

ginger cat in the house

What your cat eats can greatly affect its overall smell. 

If you have noticed a sudden maple syrup smell coming from your kitty, the first thing you should consider is what it has been eating lately.

In case your cat’s new diet has a lot of amino acids, this can lead to a specific, sweet smell in your pet.

If your cat shows no symptoms of distress or pain, you don’t have to be worried. Still, I recommend you check up with your veterinarian before introducing any changes to your cat’s diet.

2. Smell From Surroundings

cat sitting outside

Your cat can start smelling sweet due to the specific smell in your home. Mold in house can cause a cat to start smelling like maple syrup.

Mold isn’t desirable in a living space either for humans or for pets. Cats can even be allergic to mold, causing them to cough, their coat to look separated, and them to lose their hair.

To avoid this, you should make sure your house is clean, well-ventilated, and mold-free.

3. Urinary Tract Infections

cat pissed on the floor

An Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is a medical condition that can cause a cat’s urine to start smelling sweet.

VCA Animal Hospitals explains that cats with UTI will frequently lick their genital area. They also may urinate outside the litter box, as well as urinate frequently, or strain to urinate.

This infection occurs when bacteria get into a cat’s urethra and bladder. Since female cats have smaller and wider urethras, they’re more prone to urinary tract infections than males.

Also, older cats in general are more likely to develop this urinary issue.

To confirm a cat has a UTI, the vet will need to perform a urinalysis. In most cases, this medical condition can be treated with antibiotics.

4. Skin Conditions

cat with skin condition

Different skin conditions can cause a noticeable change in the smell of a cat’s skin. Various infections, such as fungal, parasite, or bacterial, can make your cat’s skin smell like maple syrup.

If, together with the distinctive smell, your cat also shows signs of skin irritation, such as intense scratching, you should take it to a veterinarian right away.

It’s important to address any skin condition in cats as soon as possible, to alleviate a cat from the pain and discomfort.

Fungal infections are usually treated with medicated shampoos or topical ointments. Parasite infections can be solved topically or orally, while bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics.

5. Diabetes Mellitus

fat cat

Why does my cat smell like maple syrup? This could also be due to Diabetes Mellitus.

Diabetes is a condition common to humans and cats. Since this disease causes an excess amount of sugar in a cat’s urine, it may start to smell like maple syrup.

There are some other, more typical signs of feline diabetes. A healthy cat typically urinates two to four times a day.

A diabetic cat will drink a lot more water, resulting in frequent urination. Also, it may show an increased appetite and will, at the same time, lose weight.

According to PetMD, feline diabetes is an endocrine disease that results from an insulin deficiency. 

Insulin is essential for cats, since it’s necessary for regulating the level of sugar in their bloodstream. In cats with diabetes, the transport of glucose is disrupted, resulting in elevated blood glucose.

A veterinarian needs to perform full blood work and a urinalysis to diagnose a cat with Diabetes Mellitus. The main treatment for this disease is injectable insulin.

6. Hyperthyroidism

cat vomiting

Hyperthyroidism is a metabolic disorder that arises when a cat’s thyroid gland begins to overproduce thyroid hormones, which in turn affects various organs, particularly the heart. Due to this, hyperthyroidism is a serious condition.

Some of the most common symptoms here are increased thirst and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and an unhealthy coat. A cat smelling like maple syrup is a less common symptom here, but may also occur.

Hyperthyroidism can be treated with medications to reduce the production of thyroid hormones. Some cats need to have surgery to remove their thyroid gland.

7. Kidney Problems

orange cat in the house

A cat with kidney issues can show various symptoms, including a specific breath smell. Usually, it smells like ammonia, leading some cat owners to think it’s a maple syrup smell.

Kidneys are essential organs in a cat’s body, responsible for various functions. They remove waste from a cat’s blood, help manage blood pressure, and produce hormones.

Many cats will struggle with some type of problems with their kidneys and it is essential to react as soon as you notice potential signs of kidney issues in your pet.

Together with a sweet and strange smell of their breath, WebMD names the following as the most common signs of feline kidney problems:

• Drinking a lot of water

• Frequent urination

• Weight loss

• Decreased appetite

• Bloody urine

• Vomiting and diarrhea

• Dry coat

• Weakness and lethargy

The vet will perform specific tests to determine a diagnosis, such as an ultrasound, an X-ray, and a urine test.

The treatment here varies and can include a special diet, medications, or even surgery to remove potential blockages.

Any kind of kidney issue can lead to severe complications. This is why it’s important to consult a vet as soon as you notice symptoms that you may not associate with kidney issues – such as a maple syrup smell coming from your pet.


Sensing a maple syrup smell on your cat can seem odd and not something you normally expect.

Since there’s a chance it can indicate diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or a UTI, I strongly recommend you advise your vet as soon as you notice it.

Cats don’t show their pain easily and sometimes their diseases or injuries can go unnoticed. This is why you should always observe your kitty and pay attention to specific details.

A breath or urine smelling like maple syrup can show different conditions in felines. 

Make sure you take your cat to a vet clinic for a detailed examination. Even if it gets diagnosed, its chances of full recovery are the best when a disease is detected early.