Do Pet Birds Smell? Even With Well Maintenance?

Having your feathery friends with you at home gives a heavenly feel.

Their chirpy sounds and sweet songs are enough to turn your bad mood into a pleasant one. Plus, the striking colors and their cute activities make your home more beautiful.

Birds make great pets, and their loyalty is worth mentioning. But, sometimes they stink, which spreads through the entire house. 

Let’s find out what is the reason behind it and how you can get rid of the foul odor. 

Are pet birds stinky? Why does my bird smell like pee?

Usually, pet birds do not stink unless they are sick or you are not maintaining proper cleanliness and hygiene. If the cage remains cluttered with their poop and leftover food, then a foul smell is obvious to come.

If you keep the cage clean by removing poop, food residue, feathers, etc. and still a nasty smell is bothering you, then it’s time to take your birds to a professional vet. 

There is another valid and proven point. Some species of birds eject a bad smell from the flock. It is for their self-preservation that helps in keeping the flock free from diseases.

Besides, the foul smell keeps the pests and predators away.

Your pet birds can stink because of the food they eat and the environment they live in. So, you may get a peculiar odor whenever you visit your birds or play with them.

Another important reason is that some birds stink because of the substance they secrete from bodies for keeping their feathers pest-free and super smooth.

Moreover, your birds may rub their feathers on certain plants and organisms, and they smell like pee or something strange.

Related Read: Birds Body Parts: 21 Things And Facts You Should Know

Related Read: What Bird Should I Get? Which Pet Bird Is Best For Me?

Do pet birds poop everywhere? Will it make your house smell?

Pet birds can poop everywhere if they are out of the cage. The birds without any potty training can release their feces anywhere they want.

Birds’ poop is not a bad thing as the poop contains seeds and gives a boost to the plants’ health. 

Normally, the manure of animals and birds smells bad. If your pet birds defecate anywhere in your house, it will obviously smell. Plus, the décor of your home will not be the same. 

Reasons why birds smell bad

Various reasons are there behind your pet bird smelling foul.

Lack of hygiene:

Cleaning the birds’ cage regularly is crucial. Otherwise, your birds will smell foul due to the accumulated poop and other residues. Besides, the odor can stick to their wings and resulting in an extremely bad smell.

Absence of bathing:

If you don’t bathe your pet birds, they will smell bad. Birds can pick up odors from cigarettes and cooking. Hence, if you are a smoker, make sure to clean the feathers of your winged friends. 

Related Read: Do Birds Take Dirt Baths? | Why Do Birds Roll In Dirt? | How Often Should Birds Bath?


The illness may not make your birds smelly, but it surely does make their poop smell disgusting.

Cleaning birds’ dropping regularly is important, otherwise, the birds, their cage, and the entire home will stink really bad. Plus, the sick bird will be sicker, and other birds can be affected too. Take the help of a vet. 

Hormonal changes:

Just like humans and other animals, hormonal changes can alter the normal scent of a bird. During mating season, male birds smell stronger.

Again, mood changes also affect their smells. For instance, happy parrots smell fruity while stressed or anxious parrots smell musky.


Food influences the smell of birds. Your pet birds can smell like fruits or vegetables or cereals. It depends on what they consumed last.

Seeds, pellets, etc. also change the smell of pet birds. However, the smell of food won’t stay long. 

Bad breath:

Usually, birds don’t have bad breath. But, crop problems can lead to bad breath.

If your bird has internal organs’ disorders or an infection in the throat or mouth, then he or she can have bad breath. Moreover, candida can result in the bad breath of birds.

How do I make my bird smell good?

Clean your bird regularly. Twice a week is okay for pet birds. If your birds prefer to take a shower in shallow water, then you don’t need to worry about cleaning them.

Again, you can spray water on your bird. Then, wipe the feathers gently with a soft cloth. 

Keep a bowl filled with water near your pets to encourage them to clean themselves. Also, visit a vet shop where you will get cleansers made especially for birds. Use them.

How often should you clean the bird cage?

Replace cage liners regularly. Liners can hold newspapers. Change those newspapers daily or on an alternative day.  Then, wash the food and water bowl daily just as you clean your own dishes.

Wash the entire cage weekly if it gets dirty easily. Otherwise, monthly washes are okay. Be careful as there should not be any trace of soap or other chemicals on the cage.

Try to clean your big bird’s cage weekly. Again, the cage of small birds can be washed on a monthly basis.

Related Read: Why Do Bird Cages Need To Be Covered At Night? | Should You Do That? 

How do you keep a bird cage from smelling? 

Preventive methods:

• Clean birds’ poop every day.

• Line your bird’s cage with newspapers to catch the poop. 

• Use a mix of water and vinegar to clean the cage.

• Do not let food particles or water accumulate in the cage. Clean them daily if possible. 

• Clean your birds at a regular interval.

• If you want to use any air freshening product, consult the vet and then purchase one. 

• You can use simple soap and water to clean the cage.

• Wash their toys daily. If not possible, then at least twice a week. Rotate their toys so that when you clean one, they can play with other toys. 

• Keep their food bowls and dishes half-full. This trick will prevent your birds from becoming picky eaters. Also, they won’t waste food.

• Get an extra perch, plates, and bowls.

• Before starting the cleaning, place an old sheet or a mat on the floor to avoid scattering of the dirt, poop, etc. 

• Use a steamer for removing stubborn droppings easily.

• A mix of baking soda and lemon water is good for cage cleaning.  

• Before washing or mopping the cage, take everything out of it. Get a spare cage to keep your bird. 

Disinfectants safe to use for a cage:

Get hold of disinfectants that are safe for birds. Apply them to wet surfaces to get the most benefits.

If you have an aviary, choose disinfectants having broader antimicrobial properties.

Many people use household chlorine bleach (1 cup) in water (1 gallon) for cage cleaning. You can try it. But, be careful as most of the disinfectants, for instance, bleach, release toxic fumes.

Ensure that the place where you will clean the cage has proper ventilation. Your pet birds shouldn’t be around the cleaning zone.

Most importantly, rinse well and repeatedly to eliminate all the residues of the disinfectants from the cage and its contents. 

Suggesting some safe ways to make your home smell awesome with pet birds:

  • Mix ¼ cup of baking soda and water. Shake well. Add a few drops of vanilla, orange or lemon extract. Spray the mixture in the air and the corners of your home. 
  • Undiluted white vinegar works extremely well in eliminating odor from home. 
  • Fresh coffee grounds are good to remove foul smell from your home. 
  • Place bird-safe flowers and dried herbs at home.
  • Household plants that are safe for your pet birds are a good option for eliminating odors.
  • If you have birds at home, keep the windows open for sunlight and fresh air.
  • Use unscented beeswax candles without any chemical additives.

Related Read: What Do You Give A Sick Bird? How Do You Revive Its Health?


Pet birds do not smell bad unless they are sick, or you avoid cleaning them and their cages. Always keep the cage and the surrounding areas washed and sanitized.

Keep checking your birds’ health. Give them fresh fruits and cereals. Never let their poop dry and accumulate. Clean their food bowls and dishes. Keep in touch with a vet for the optimal health of your birds.