Updated: 3rd April 2017
Cats generally love to roam about and are so well known for their independent and ‘too cool’ attitudes. We owners tend to really appreciate and enjoy it during the times they actually crave affection from us and want to hang around indoors together. However, one thing that isn’t so cool for indoors is their urine. In this article, you’ll learn about the why cat urine is dangerous. This article will also help answer your questions if you wonder:
- Is cat urine toxic?
- Is the smell of cat pee harmful?
- What are the health risks and effects of breathing cat urine?
- Is my cat’s urine harmful to babies?
Table of Contents
Cat Urine Infections To Be Cautious Of:
Even without doing massive research into it, most of us would know instinctively that cat urine is dangerous and harmful to us humans. If you allow your cat’s urine to stay on a surface for many hours without cleaning it off, it can crystalize and ammonia can be emitted. This ammonia can then cause severe allergic reactions to us humans.
In extreme cases, ammonia can have severe effects on our respiratory health causing breathing problems. Some common symptoms of cat urine allergy can include: itchy skin, itchy or stuffy nose, red itching eyes, headaches, hives, rash, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, sore/sensitive throat, coughing, lightheadedness and more. Highly concentrated ammonia in cat urine can also result in more severe and critical diseases like burns to the trachea, pneumonia, lung irritation and bronchitis. One symptom can be coughing up lots of phlegm.
Some Hidden Dangers Of Prolonged Exposure To Cat Urine:
Here is why you have to pay attention to strong cat urine odors:
1. High levels of Ammonia
Remember those days in the science laboratory at school? Ammonia not only smells nasty, it is definitely not good to breathe in. Cat pee has a significantly high level of Ammonia and it can grow stronger, the longer you leave it there. This can be especially risky for people with respiratory health issues such as asthma , bronchitis or pneumonia. Breathing in Ammonia irritates your airway and impedes on your breathing. Of course, you don’t have to start being paranoid about faint cat pee odors. You really have to worry when the odor is quite strong and concentrated.
People who are allergic to cats often think that cat fur is the culprit. They usually don’t realise that cat urine can be a potential offender as well.
3. Tempting Your Cat To Re-Offend
If you leave your cat’s urine odor to linger, you can tempt your cat to come back and soil the area again. Neutralizing cat pee odors in your home is essential if you want to stop your cat from peeing outside of the litter box. This will reduce all your time spent cleaning up, and keep your home fresh, clean and healthy for everyone.
Related: Understanding why your cat bites you
Cat Urine Allergy Symptoms
Cat urine does bring about health risks and effects on humans and some people might suffer from allergy symptoms. These symptoms can mostly resemble fur allergy. These can manifest in the form of headaches, wheezing, coughing, breaking out in hives or rashes, irritated teary eyes, sneezing from an itchy, runny nose, feeling a burning sensation in the nose. Strong and excessive cat pee odors can also induce other effects along the lines of dizziness, sore throats, headaches and nausea.
Neutralizing The Ammonia Smell From Cat Pee
Luckily, common household items can often do the trick! Household items are great as homemade remedies for fleas too.
- Vinegar: Use pure, undiluted vinegar. Spray on the surface and let it dry. Reapply and repeat the process until the odor is gone.
- Baking Soda: Baking soda works by absorbing the smell and works best on carpets. Use a scrub brush to brush the baking soda into your carpet fibers, then leave it for 24 hours. Vacuum the baking soda. Repeat the process as needed.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: Commonly stored in medical kits as a disinfectant for scrapes and cuts, Hydrogen Peroxide is great for neutralizing the Ammonia odor. Prepare a mixture of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide and mix with water (70% water with 30% of Hydrogen Peroxide). Dip a cloth in the mixture and blot the surface. When the odor is gone, use cool water to rinse the mixture off.
Tips On Avoiding Ammonia Exposure In Cat Pee
- Keep your cat’s litter box clean and fresh. Change the litter frequently.
- Remove clumping litter daily and replace with fresh ones
- You may want to use gloves and masks for protection when cleaning out the litter box
Related: Learn how to detect flea dirt.
The short answer to whether cat urine odor is harmful is yes, if it is extremely strong. The aim of this article is not to create paranoid cat owners who worry about the occasional whiff of cat urine. However, it’s important to have a good understanding of the dangers of your cat’s urine – especially if you have family members who have respiratory problems or even allergies that they might mistake as a fur allergy. Also, take special care if you have elderly people or children in the home as they are more prone to illness due to a weaker immune system.