I am relatively new to house cat ownership, as you can tell from my other threads. We have a lovely little house cat who is as cuddly as can be, and healthy per a vet visit 3 weeks ago. She eats well, uses her littlerbox (yay) and is pretty low maintenance. The past week or so, we've noticed that the kitty is smelly! like, she stinks. not like poop or urine, but just an unpleasant, musty smell. i thought cats were good groomers!! Her coat looks great, shiny and soft, but she just has this....odor. It's not her breath, her teeth look good, and she is just clean in general. I suppose we could take her to the groomer, but i know she'd be traumatized and i don't really want to do that to her. Bathing her ourselves is an option, but I think I'd probably need to invest in some leather falconing gloves, as she has a full set of very sharp claws.
Can she get into your basement if you have one? Maybe she's exploring and finding fun things to roll in.
You can buy foaming shampoo for cats that doesn't require rinsing. If you like the smell of coconut, this one works well. They make a deep cleaning one too. While it's not their favorite experience ever, my two don't completely freak out over "bath time" unlike how they did I have to give them a soap and water bath.
Cat's usually don't smell & don't typically need baths. I am willing to bet the issue is anal glands/sacs. They may just need to be emptied.
A groomer could do this, but if they are infected or impacted, you would want a vet to see them anyway. It isn't pleasant! When you are at the vet, you can ask them to show you how to do it yourself. Have fun!
My cat with pancreatitis had an odor, different from any other cat I've had. Her poop smelled and looked different as well.
It's harder than you'd think to smell a cats breath. You have to right there up in their face just as they take a yawn to really smell their breath. I only got it once or twice in many years, and her breath was foul. Just leaning down near her face when her mouth was closed you couldn't smell it.