The Dangers Of Cat Urine: Why You Must Eliminate Cat Urine Odor From Your Home

Cat urine dangers

Cat pee isn’t as innocent as it seems…

Cat pee isn’t just disgusting, it can harm your health, too. The dangers of cat urine aren’t always obvious, though. No doubt you realize that cat urine, like all human and animal waste, carries bacteria that could cause illness.

So you dutifully wear gloves when cleaning up waste and while washing the mops, sponges and other items you used to clean it with. (Cleaning your mops and other items with bleach kills bacteria, but apply bleach only after thoroughly rinsing out all traces of urine with plain water to avoid risk of producing noxious fumes). No problem there.

It’s easy to assume that once the urine stain and germs are gone, that lingering odor is nothing but a harmless nuisance. Remember, though, that odors are composed of microscopic particles of the thing that caused the odor. So by inhaling cat urine smell, you’re actually inhaling cat urine. Just the thought is enough to make you sick, right? Wait, it gets worse

Ammonia’s Effect on Respiratory Health

Cat pee contains a particularly high concentration of ammonia. Although this is a natural compound containing nothing more than nitrogen and hydrogen, it’s not exactly good to breathe. The good news is that most cat caretakers won’t need to worry about this. A corner of the living room carpet that smells faintly of kitty piddle isn’t going to harm healthy lungs.

The risk occurs when either there’s a very strong odor of cat urine in the room or someone in the household has a respiratory condition, such as asthma. The amount of ammonia in a room that reeks of cat pee can irritate and eventually harm healthy lungs. Lungs that are already compromised, such as in someone with asthma, may be irritated by even a mild odor of cat urine, especially if they’re frequently exposed to the odor.

Odor’s Effect on Mood

Scent has a very powerful effect on our mood and behavior. Just think of the way a certain scent–like a particular perfume or dish–can bring memories flooding back. Clinical research has proven that the scent of lavender can reduce agitated and aggressive behavior in those with mental health issues, such as dementia. Why am I telling you this? Because the dangers of cat urine smell don’t stop with your lungs.

In the same way pleasant scents improve our mood, bad smells can make us unhappy and irritable. Even when you’re used to it, cat urine odor definitely qualifies as a bad smell. Let’s put it this way, which would put you in a better mood–coming home to the smell of cinnamon buns or cat piss? So if you find yourself, your partner or your kids irritable and just plain ill-tempered in a room with lingering cat urine odor, it may be the nasty smell that’s ruining the mood.

Traces of urine odor can also cause your cat to come back to the soiled area and strike again. To get your cat to stop urinating outside the litter box and to save your health and mood, you’ll need to neutralize all cat pee smell in the house. For a detailed guide to the causes of inappropriate urination and effective methods for eliminating that nasty cat pee odor, check out Cat Urine Problems Eliminated.

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4 thoughts on “The Dangers Of Cat Urine: Why You Must Eliminate Cat Urine Odor From Your Home

  1. Thank you for the great info. Scary health risks. We just moved into am apartment where the previous tenant was evicted…she had 15 cats, and extreme ddamage. The owner had workers replace the carpets and repaint all of the walls. However,after moving in, we’re now realizing the odor is strong and still there
    The city, Medford Oregon, is extremely impacted in terms of the rental market, so quickly finding another not an easy option. Do you have any suggestions for us, ando know.of anything we could do to counteract, neutralize, or eliminate the odor? Thank you!

    • I can imagine 15 cats could do a lot of damage. My guess is that the urine seeped into the floor under the carpet *and* possibly the subflooring, as well as up into the walls. When a cat pees near a wall, the wall can soak up the urine like a candle wick. Most likely the owner simply wasn’t aware that could happen.

      If that is the problem, it would require…tearing open the walls and floors to clean, unfortunately. Since that’s probably not an option for you, you might ask if the owner if they wouldn’t be against repainting the walls in the worst smelling room first with an odor-barrier primer, such as KILZ MAX, then with a high quality paint that should further seal in the odor. In the meantime, do what you can to improve the ventilation or use a portable air cleaner.

    • Omg I’m in Medford too.
      The apartment we just moved into is disgusting. I hope it’s not the same one.
      Can you contact me?

  2. Wow! Very well written article. I think most people are not fully aware of the health consequences of lingering cat urine odor. We run an odor removal company, Smell Fresh Arizona, in Phoenix, AZ, and run into cat pee problems all the time. Lots of people live with it as a minor nuisance, but your article really sheds light on things.

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