The crystals in cat urine are your greatest foe in the battle to get cat pee smell out of your home for good. They may be microscopic, but they’re tough. Before we go any further, though, I want to make it clear that I’m talking about crystals that form after the urine leaves the cat’s body, which cause odor on carpets, furniture and wherever else the cat has peed. Crystals can also form while the urine is still in the cat’s body. This is a sign of health problems, such as dehydration or pH imbalance. So, if your vet has told you your cat has crystals in his urine, it means kitty needs a better diet and/or veterinary care. Urine crystals on the carpet, however, are another matter.
Most of the components of cat urine are actually pretty easy to clean up. This is why you might remove the stain and no longer smell cat pee for a while. Unfortunately, if you’re not using the right cleaner, you’re probably only removing a few of the less stubborn components. Feline urine is composted of urea, urochrome, and uric acid as well as several strains of bacteria. Urea is what makes cat pee sticky. Urochrome makes it yellow and causes staining. Those two aren’t much work to get rid of. It’s the uric acid that cause crystals in cat urine and that’s the real problem.
What the Crystals Do
Uric acid is made of crystals and salts that give off that unmistakable pungent cat pee odor when wet. They’re at their stinkiest when “freshly made,” after you’ve made an unsuccessful attempt to clean them, or in humid conditions. Once formed, these crystals are waterproof and impervious all but a few substances. There’s a reason for this. Some of the normal bacteria strains meant for scent marking are contained in these crystals. Nature intended for these crystals to stick around, allowing the cat’s territory marking, his urine scent, to stay put outdoors in the rain and wind.
But unless you want the whole family and all your guests to know the corner of the living room carpet is your cat’s “territory,” you’ll need to find a cleaner that breaks down those crystals in cat urine so you can remove all of kitty’s piddle and with it, the lingering odor.
Finding the Stains
Because cats have a stronger sense of smell than humans do, they can detect even the faintest whiff of cat urine. And that whiff is what they use to decide where the appropriate bathroom areas are in a given location. The litter box should smell slightly of cat urine because this attracts the cat to the box. Your carpets, however, should be absolutely clean. You’ll need to use a homemade or commercial cleaner that’s effective for breaking down cat urine crystals (not all are) on all areas the cat has soiled. After wetting, a cat digs not only to cover his leavings, but also to spread the smell. That means your cat may have splashed urine on walls and furniture near where he peed. Fortunately, there are easy ways to find soiled areas without sniffing around for them.
You can solve your cat’s inappropriate urination problems and get your home completely free of cat urine odors, but the solutions may not always be obvious. Instead of wasting time learning by trial and error, read the book Cat Urine Problems Eliminated to discover proven-effective ways to retrain your cat and regain your home.