Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: July 22, 2023 by Crystal Uys
If you’ve ever had a cat who urinated outside the litter box, you already know that the smell of cat urine can not only be very strong, but also long-lasting, and that removal can take quite a bit of time and effort. What you may not know is that breathing in cat urine may present a health hazard for sensitive individuals, especially if they are exposed to highly concentrated cat urine, or if the exposure happens over an extended period of time.
In this article, we’re exploring the potential hazards associated with exposure to cat urine, as well as the best methods to neutralize it.
Is Cat Urine Toxic to Your Health?
Normal cat urine is composed of a number of different substances. One of these substances is urea, a nitrogenous waste that is highly concentrated in cat urine. When urea is broken down, it will produce amines, compounds derived from ammonia. This is the reason why cat urine always has at least some ammonia smell – the more concentrated your cat’s urine, the stronger the smell. Urine concentration will depend on your cat’s diet and health status. Cats who don’t drink enough water will have stronger-smelling urine. Certain health conditions, such as urinary tract infections, can also cause a stronger-than-normal ammonia smell.
Inhaling Ammonia in Cat Urine
The ammonia smell from cat urine can lead to respiratory problems in humans, such as asthma and allergies. However, under normal conditions, when you are only dealing with a small area of spilled urine, the likelihood of it harming your respiratory system is minimal to non-existent.
Cat Urine – A Potential Allergen
Most people associate cat allergies with the cat’s dander, but urine can also be a possible culprit for an allergic reaction. A cat urine allergy will present with similar symptoms as a cat dander allergy, including wheezing, coughing, hives or a rash, watery eyes, headaches, or sinus problems. Guarding against this allergy is as easy as using an effective cat urine odor removal product on the affected area, as well as regularly scooping and cleaning the litter box.
Our 3 Tips to Neutralize Cat Urine
The process you use to neutralize and eliminate cat urine odor is critical to success. Make sure that the method you use is safe for you as well as your cat.
1. Keep the Litter Box Clean
Cleaning out your cat’s litter box frequently will not only reduce odors but also helps to prevent elimination outside the litter box. A soiled litter box filled with urine and feces may deter your cat from using it. Choosing the correct litter is important as well – preferably one that is unscented with minimal dust. Cats can have allergic reactions to certain types of litter.
2. Eliminating Cat Urine Odor
It’s important to remove all traces of odor to prevent your cat from revisiting the same spot again. Using an effective cat urine remover is key in getting rid of any lingering urine odors. The product you use should be safe for you and your cat, and shouldn’t just mask the odor, but effectively neutralize it.
3. Pet Urine Eliminators
Pet Urine Eliminators, like the Urine Gone Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator, utilize mineral technology that effectively neutralizes odors and chemicals at the source. Products like these are completely safe to use around cats and humans and can be safely used on carpeting and other types of flooring.
Featured Image Credit: MelodicinD, Shutterstock
About the author
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.