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Why Does Cat Urine Smell So Bad

Cat Urine Problems Explained

Why does cat pee smell so bad?! Dr. Justine Lee explains.

The cat urinary system is made up of many organs, including thekidneys, bladder, urethra, ureters and the sphincter muscles. Medicalproblems will occur when one of the organs in the urinary systembecomes obstructed. A blockage can lead to kidney failure. If thisoccurs, the color of your cats urine and its smell will change, whichcan be a very helpful diagnostic indicator of which organ is causingthe urine problem.

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If Your Jerk Cat Peed On Your Clothes:

Time for a new cat. So. Rude.

But seriously, a common mis-cat-ception is cats confusing laundry baskets for litter boxes. Do not throw your cat pee clothes straight into the washing machine, no matter how tempting. If you do this, the odor will set and your clothes will be trashed. Think of the cat pee like itâs smallpox: The smell is super contagious and can be transferred to other clothes in the same laundry load and then youâll need a whole new wardrobe.

Stop and breathe.

Rinse the cat pee stain on your clothes with cold water and blot with towels, just like you would the floor or a piece of furniture. Remember to blot, do not scrub. Throw soiled clothes into a bucket with a ½ cup of oxygen bleach for 2-3 hours. Next, remove clothes and soak in a bath of vinegar and water . Add some baking soda directly to the stain, letting the mix sit for 10-15 minutes. Then and only then can you add the cat pee clothes to the washing machine, set to cold, and run without any detergent. Hang clothes to dry, as the heat from the dryer may still cause the odor to set.

If this seems like a lot of work to get rid of a stain, youâre not wrong. We would reserve this sort of care and diligence for your most cherished articles of clothing, otherwise, it just might be time to go shopping.

Clean Up Cat Urine Stains Before They Smell Worse

As bad as cat pee initially smells, the longer that urine sits, the worse the stench becomes. The smell gets more concentrated over time, Dr. Kornreich says.

Additionally, once a urine stain dries, you may no longer see it, but you can still smell it, and so can your cat, leading him or her to mark that area again.

When it comes to cleaning up cat urine, many cat owners make the same mistakenot cleaning it up quickly enough, says Meg Roberts, president of Molly Maid, a residential cleaning company.

Several products can help neutralize cat pee odor, including vinegar or baking soda and enzymatic cleaners. Here are some options to help you get rid of the cat pee smell.

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What Can I Give My Cat For Strong Urine

In healthy cats, a strong urine odor might occur due to dehydration. Aside from physiologically adapting to consume less water , cats also have behavioral adaptations that reduce their water intake. By nature, cats have a lower thirst drive. Consequently, they tend to drink less water and drink water infrequently, increasing the odds of dehydration occurring.

In the wild, felines obtain the vast majority of their water from their food.

Unfortunately, popular commercial cat food we feed our domesticated foods tends to be dry or contain insufficient liquid to keep the cat hydrated. With decreased dietary liquid intake, cats will extract more water from their urine, which, in turn, concentrates the urea, salts, electrolytes, and other materials.

Cats Are Desert Creatures

Pin on all things cats

As Dr. Lee explains, cat pee smells so bad because cats have very concentrated urine. Cats originated from the desert and evolved to absorb a large amount of water from their urine to maintain their hydration. This is also why you hardly ever see cats drinktheyre so effective at concentrating!

In her bookIts a Cats World You Just Live In It, Dr. Lee writes that a cats loop of Henle is so good at squeezing out every last drop of absorbable water that this concentration makes the urine smell very foul.

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Consider Your Felines Health & Behavior

Cat urine has a powerful ammonia-like odor that can smell even worse when there is a problem. If your cat has uncharacteristic accidents around your home, its essential to consider your cats health. The first step should always be to consult your veterinarian. If your cat is healthy but avoiding her litter box, you may need to address the litter box situation. It could be the litter box itself, the litter, the condition of the litter, the location of the box, or all four that your cat finds unsavory.

Unfortunately, a cat with an aversion to his or her litter box will usually eliminate on various surfaces. As a result, you may find puddles of urine or feces on soft surfaces like carpets, beds, or clothing or hard surfaces like tile floors or inside the bathtub. Depending on how much your cat wants to avoid the litter box, he may continue to use it, but only inconsistently.

Senior Cat Strong Urine Odor

As cats get older, the smell of their urine gets more potent and worse. The work of kidneys is to filter waste products from the blood. Normally, the waste is transported from the kidneys to the bladder in urine until your cat pees. However, as your cat ages, its kidneys efficiency declines gradually. Consequently, their kidney cannot work well to filter the urine, which causes their urine to smell worse than their younger counterparts.

Your cat may exhibit signs of poor kidney functionality or failing kidneys like frequent urinating or urinating outside the litter box.

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Ask A Vet: Why Does Cat Pee Smell So Bad

You know the smell of cat urine. It lingers long after you clean the box and if your cat pees on something else, you know right away.

If you think about what urine is, youll realize that you can explain some of what you smell already. Urine is the byproduct of a bodys metabolism. It is literally made up of a bodys waste. When a cats body breaks down proteins, urea is produced. The urea is then excreted by the kidneys into the urine for removal from the body . Urea itself is odorless, but it converts to ammonia. We all know what ammonia smells like!

To make matters worse for our noses, cat urine is processed by a cats kidneys , so that it is concentrated. This means that the odor causing foulness is not diluted out much at all and even a little bit of cat urine can make a pretty strong odor.

Because of our cats lifestyle, their urine sits around for a while until we can clean the litter box and odors can become more obvious as bacteria act upon the urine. If a cat has a urinary tract infection, the smell may be even worse. The presence of hormones, like testosterone, that can concentrate in the urine can also lend a distinctive scent. Cats in the wild use their urine to territory mark and it has to be pungent to do its job. Tom cats that are not neutered win the award for the stinkiest pee on the planet, if you ask me!

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What You Need To Know About Cats

Why Does My Cat’s Urine Smell So Strong?

Rather than getting angry at your wayward cat, it may be time to examine a critical element in the problem the litter box itself. Cats are very clean animals, and one thing that can drive a cat from his or her litter box is a box that is filthy. Put yourself in your pets place and imagine how you would like to use an overflowing toilet you wouldnt, so why should your cat. Todays busy world often leaves us trying to do too much in too little time, but the litter box cannot be neglected.

  • Clumping litter is probably the best choice for the litter box. Not only does this kind of material make it easier to remove feces, but it also makes it simple to remove urine. You should use a scoop to take out the clumps at least twice a day, and if you are home most of the time, scoop the box as soon as your cat is finished. Remember to add a bit of new litter to compensate for what was removed.
  • The entire box should be changed once a week if you have only one cat using it and at least twice if you have several cats all using the same box. Its best to provide a box for each cat, however, to prevent one cat from dominating.

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Things To Watch Out For

What not to use. Dont use ammonia-based cleaning products, as it smells like cat pee and will attract your cat to keep urinating there.

Health problems. When a cat pees outside the litter box, this could be a sign of health issues or behavioral problems. Urinary tract problems such as kidney stones and bladder inflammation can be painful and make your cat urinate more. Kidney and liver diseases can also be a possibility as cats feel the need to drink more and pee more. Other possibilities include problems with your cats joints, nerves, or muscles, which can make it hard for them to climb in and out of the litter box. See your veterinarian to rule out any health problems.

Age issues. Older cats, especially those 10 years or older, may have age-related cat dementia or cognitive dysfunction. One of the behavioral problems associated with cognitive dysfunction is peeing and pooping outside of the litter box. See your veterinarian to rule out any age-related problems.

Check the litter. The litter box could be dirty or your cat may dislike the litter in it. Change the litter more often. You can also experiment with different types of litter. If you have several cats, the more dominant one may have marked it as their litter box, leaving the others to find someplace else to use as a toilet.

Why Does Cat Urine Smell

The simplest answer to this is that cat pee is urine. It is waste produced by the body that is filtered by the kidneys and disposed of. In reality, cat urine doesnt smell any worse than other urine. The key difference is that cat pee lingers and continues to assault the senses even after being disposed. However, the disposal of the cat urine can take time as the urine is usually left untouched and unnoticed until it has already become a problem.

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Why Does Cat Urine Smell Like Ammonia

A strong smell of ammonia is arguably the most common complaint attributed to cat urine. Even in a litter box, cat urine will smell strong. Urine left to fester will see urea break down, releasing ammonia into the atmosphere.

The easiest way to manage this is by cleaning your cats litter box multiple times a day. This will also encourage your cat to use the litter box. Cats dislike eliminating in an unclean environment.

If your cat urinates elsewhere in the home, the smell of ammonia will encourage them to continue doing so. The smell of ammonia will also be increasingly difficult to manage and eradicate.

You should also ensure that the smell is not emanating from your cat itself. Older cats struggle to groom themselves, especially if overweight or arthritic. This means that urine may cling to fur. Lend a hand with grooming using unscented wet wipes.

Of course, simply cleaning up after your cat is only half the battle. If your cats pee smells bad, there will be a reason why. Identify what is responsible for the strong smell and, if possible, take action to rectify it.

Cat Pee : Is My Cats Urine Normal

How to get rid of cat urine Smell?

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian — they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets. References

  • Holden, Constance. “A Fertile Domestication of Cats.” Science | AAAS. AAAS, 11 July 2013. Web. 22 Mar. 2017. < .
  • Feyrecilde, Monique, BA, LVT, VTS . Cats in Boxes: Feline House Soiling. Pacific Veterinary Conference 2015.
  • Tyler, Ronald, Jr., DVM, MS. In-House Veterinary Pathology for the Busy Veterinary Practice – Clinical Urinalyses: Techniques and Interpretations. Southwest Veterinary Symposium 2016.
  • Brooks, Wendy C. DVM, DipABVP. Feline House-Soiling . June 30, 2016 .
  • George, Christopher M., DVM, and Gregory F. Grauer, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM . “Feline Urethral Obstruction: Diagnosis & Management.” Today’s Veterinary Practice. NAVC, 01 Sept. 2016. Web. 22 Mar. 2017. < .
  • Weese1, Scott J. DVM, DVSc, DACVIM Joseph M. Blondeau2 Dawn Boothe3, DVM, MS, PhD Luca Guardabassi4, DVM, PhD Nigel Gumley5, DVM, MS, DABVP Michael Lappin6, DVM, PhD, DACVIM Mark G. Papich7, DVM, MS Shelley C. Rankin8, PhD, DACVCP Jane E. Sykes9, BVSc, PhD, DACVIM. ISCAID Consensus Statement: Antimicrobial Guidelines for the Treatment of Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs and Cats ACVIM 2016
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    Controlling Cat Pee Odor

    Lets quickly go over some useful tips on how to control cat urine odor so your whole house doesnt stink.

    You can get antimicrobial litter which prevents bacteria from building up. The less bacteria there are, the less urea will be degraded, thus less ammonia is released. This kind of odor elimination tends to work best.

    Some kitty litter products also come with scents built into them. This is not odor elimination, just odor masking, and no, it doesnt work as well as odor elimination. Its like spraying yourself with cologne without taking a shower first.

    Frequently scooping out used litter and replacing it with new litter is one of the best control methods.

    Why Does My Cat Smell Like Urine

    A common cause behind urine odor is a urinary tract infection. If its accompanied by the following symptoms, have your cat seen by a vet:

    • More frequent trips to the litter box than usual
    • Crying out while going
    • Cat cleans its bottom area more frequently than usual

    One thing to keep in mind is that UTIs are most common in cats that are overweight and get little exercise. At the same time, when cats carry extra bulk, its more difficult to reach everything during grooming, leading to unpleasant litter box scents lingering on your cats fur. If your cat needs help, read our tips to help your cat lose weight the healthy way.

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    How To Use Vital Oxide To Clean Your Cats Litter Box

    All cat owners know the struggle of keeping litter boxes smelling fresh. Unfortunately, cat urination nostril permeation is inevitable unless you have the right tools, of course! While good quality litter is a must, its simply not enough to prevent odors. Instead of scooping only when you see big clumps, try scooping litter twice daily and replace the litter entirely once a week. After emptying the litter box, scrub it with unscented dish soap and warm water. Rinse, and spray with Vital Oxide to kill germs and neutralize odor-causing bacteria. Let the litter box dry before refilling with fresh litter. This routine will keep your kittys litter box smelling purr-fectly fresh.

    At Vital Oxide, were proud to offer a revolutionary product thats powerful enough to banish tough odors without harsh chemicals or alarming safety ratings. Follow us on for more great cleaning and disinfecting tips. If you have any questions, please or . We’re here to help!

    Merilyn McGonigal

    How To Get Rid Of Cat Urine Odor At Home


    The only way to get rid of the cat urine smell is to use professional odor removal services. Heres why:

    Your cat has a powerful nose, so it will keep coming to the affected area if it can pick up the scent. Home remedies and household detergents are often no match for your kittys sense of smell, so they arent a long-term fix for the odor.

    Using household detergents and home remedies will keep you spending money and time on a temporary solution, which may not even mask the smell. Professional odor removal services use the latest technologies to combat cat urine odor by removing its molecules from the air. They also have high-grade cleaning solutions that cut through surface grime and keep your home odor-free.

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    Try Nutrisource And Enjoy Life With Kitty

    NutriSource cat diets are the purr-fect choice for any pet parent who wants to reduce litter box odors. Every bag and can is packed with Good 4 Life, a unique blend of supplements that offers your cat all the minerals and nutrients they need to build a healthy body from the inside out. Good 4 Life for cats has probiotics along with powerful prebiotics to balance their gut biome, and yucca extract to reduce the cause of litter box odors. Discover more benefits Good 4 Life offers your pet, and look for NutriSource at your local, independent pet supply retailer.

    How To Clean It

    Whether your cat recently urinated on a surface in your home or you have old stains and odor, it’s important to address the mess with some strategy. Here are some basic guidelines to get you started:

    • Use an old towel to blot and absorb as much urine as possible as soon as you find a spot.
    • Let an enzyme cleaner sit on the stained area for a few hours and dry naturally.
    • Put a laundry basket over the area while it’s being treated to keep kitty away from the cleaner.
    • Open windows and run fans to keep the airflow moving and help odors leave your house.
    • Try to identify why your cat is having accidents .

    Cleaning the area thoroughly with vinegar first and then applying an enzyme treatment will break down and evaporate the uric acid and your home will be free of cat odors. Vinegar and enzyme cleaners work on all surfaces: hardwood floors, carpets, mattresses. But remember, all types of flooring and fabrics can be affected differently by cleaners, so always test a small area before doing any treatment.

    One key point to remember, however, is to never use a steam cleaner or heat on cat urine stains or spots, petMD warns. It can set the stain and make it more difficult to remove. If you have steam cleaned rugs or mattresses already, be sure to do the enzyme treatment a few times. Strong odors usually linger in fabrics and carpets longer and may need a few treatments.

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