Why Cat Urine Smells So Bad – And What to Do About It

Your sweet little feline companion welcomes you home from work with a loving purr and an affectionate rub against your leg. However, if your cat has had an accident – the offensive stench of the urine odor is enough to drive you away from your home – and your cat. Do a quick Google search, and you’ll find that cat owners everywhere are looking for answers to the chronic challenge of cat pee. According to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, house soiling is the most common behavior problem reported by cat owners. So why is your cat having accidents? Why does cat urine smell so bad? And how can you get rid of the stench once and for all? We have the answers for you here. 

Why Does Cat Urine Smell So Bad? 

Cats are well adapted to survive in a variety of situations. One of their feline talents is the ability to use water extraordinarily efficiently. Their bodies squeeze every last ounce of moisture out of their food, which means they don't have to drink as much water as other animals, such as dogs. It also means their urine is super concentrated, darker than that of most animals. The concentration of waste gives the urine of all cats a super pungent smell.

There are other contributing factors. For instance, older cats with diminished or compromised kidney function will have much worse smelling urine. Urine from male cats also tends to smell worse than female urine due to the presence of hormones and pheromones. These aren't found in neutered males or female cats, but they serve to make non-neutered male cat urine reek for days. 

Consider Your Feline’s 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, it’s essential to consider your cat’s 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. 

Home Remedies & Cat Urine Don’t Mix 

There are so many products out there that claim to remove smells and stains from pet accidents – but it’s crucial to avoid using a product containing ammonia to clean urine stains. Cats are likely to mistake the ammonia scent for urine and may then repeatedly urinate in the same place. Remember, while the permeating funk of cat pee smells horrid to humans, to cats, it smells heavenly. One of the most common mistakes cat owners can make is using bleach to try to clean cat urine. This is a hazardous combination that can result in dangerous gases. Never use bleach to clean items soiled with urine. 

Additionally, using home remedies like baking soda and vinegar, essential oil solutions, or even conventional heavily-fragranced cleaning products may momentarily mask the stench of cat pee. Still, if the odor isn’t neutralized, cats will continue to re-soil and spray areas they’ve marked with their scent. It’s also important to note that cat pee is loaded with uric acid, and the longer cat urine saturates a surface, the tighter it bonds to it. And if you live in a humid climate? The odor will be even more challenging to eradicate because when the uric acid comes into contact with humidity, the uric acid crystals left behind can reform and re-lease the stench again. 

Therefore, it’s essential to clean cat-soiled items quickly, safely, and effectively to break the cycle of unwanted elimination. Cleaning is most effective when it’s done soon after an article was soiled, and odors must be neutralized – not just deodorized – to escape a feline’s keen sense of smell. 

With cat urine, using an odor neutralizer is a must

Vital Oxide is a Must-Have for Cat Owners 

Cleaning up cat accidents quickly and effectively is a must for a fresh-smelling home. For some reason, cats always seem to have accidents on upholstery or carpet rather than easy-to-clean tile. Even litter box-trained cats will have an accident from time to time. Whether it’s urine, feces, or vomit, Vital Oxide has the cleaning power to neutralize foul-smelling odors and stubborn stains – for good. Vital Oxide harnesses the cleaning power of oxygen – in the form of stabilized chlorine dioxide – for maximum odor-banishing cleaning power.

Here’s how to use Vital Oxide to clean and neutralize tough feline messes: 

How To Clean Cat Urine From Carpets or Upholstery

Use a dry towel or paper towels to initially blot up as much of the urine as possible, being careful not to rub it in. Then, rinse the area with a bit of warm water mixed with a small amount of baking soda to dilute the remaining urine and neutralize the uric acid. Repeat the first step to blot up as much of the urine and water as possible. Finally, spray Vital Oxide on the area to eliminate odors and stains. Be sure to use enough of the formula to penetrate the carpet or upholstery fibers and all places the urine may have infiltrated and simply let air dry. A fan can be used to dry the carpet or upholstery faster if needed. 

Vital Oxide can be added to the tank of a carpet cleaner or hot water extractor for heavily soiled carpets. Vital Oxide is safe for use on stain-protected carpet and fabric finishes and can be used as a carpet pre-spray or in the tank of hot water extraction units to neutralize tough odors and sanitize carpets. When using a carpet cleaner or hot water extractor, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning for best results. For odor removal, Vital Oxide must be used full-strength. Allow Vital Oxide to dwell on the soiled carpet for 10 minutes. Then, do not rinse. Instead, use an extraction wand and dry stroke carpet to remove excess moisture. After cleaning, allow the carpet to air dry for at least eight hours (ideally overnight) or use circulation fans to speed up the drying process. 

NOTE: Before using any cleaning product on carpet, always test it on the fibers in an inconspicuous spot to ensure it does not cause discoloration. Spray the solution on the fibers. Let it sit for five minutes and then blot with a clean white cloth. If there is color transfer, do not use the product on your carpet.

How To Clean Cat Excrement & Stains 

First, pick up the droppings if they are solid. If the mess is wet, like diarrhea or vomit, try to get as much of it as you can, working as fast as possible to avoid letting the stain set. A suitable method is to put on rubber gloves and use a dustpan to scrape up most of the mess and then paper towels to remove the rest of it. Be careful not to force the mess into the carpet or upholstery as you’re cleaning! After you’ve picked up the mess, spray Vital Oxide and let it work its magic. Vital Oxide is proven to remove the most pungent, most deep-set pet odors and stains. 

How To Find Hidden Cat Urine in Your Home

Cat urine sprayed but gone unnoticed is what gives cat pee its reputation for smelling particularly foul. If you smell cat urine but can’t quite pinpoint its location, try using a black light to detect it (it will glow under the ultraviolet light) and then treat with Vital Oxide to bust the odor-causing bacteria. 

How To Use Vital Oxide To Clean Your Cat’s 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, it’s 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 kitty’s litter box smelling purr-fectly fresh.

At Vital Oxide, we’re proud to offer a revolutionary product that’s powerful enough to banish tough odors without harsh chemicals or alarming safety ratings. Follow us on Instagram (@vitaloxideofficial) for more great cleaning and disinfecting tips. If you have any questions, please Contact Us or Send Us a Message on Facebook. We're here to help!
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