The Hidden & Prolonged Dangers Of Your Cat’s Urine: 5 Crucial Things To Know

cat urine ammonia headaches exposure danger
(Last Updated On: October 18, 2022)

Cats generally love to roam about and are so well known for their independent and ‘too cool’ attitudes. We tend to appreciate and enjoy it during the times they actually crave affection from us and want to hang around indoors together.

But 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?

Also read: What to do if there’s blood in your cat’s urine

Cat Urine Infections To Be Cautious Of:

Even without massive research, we 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, it can crystalize and emit ammonia. This ammonia can then cause severe allergic reactions to us humans.

cat urine ammonia headaches exposure danger

In extreme cases, ammonia can have severe effects on our respiratory health and cause 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 cause 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 high level of Ammonia and it can grow stronger, the longer you leave it there. This is 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 have to worry when the odor is quite strong and concentrated.

2. Allergy-Inducing

People who are allergic to cats often think that cat fur is the culprit. They usually don’t realize 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 may be tempting 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 your time spent cleaning up, and keep your home fresh, clean and healthy for everyone.


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!

  1. Vinegar: Use pure, undiluted vinegar. Spray on the surface and let it dry. Reapply and repeat the process until the odor is gone.
  2. 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.
  3. 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


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 care if you have elderly people or children in the home as they are more prone to illness due to a weaker immune system. If you want to learn more about cats and litter box, take a look at some of the frequently asked questions we answered on our review page of the best litter boxes for cats.



  • pilch92 says:

    Great post. Someone warned me once not to clean the urine with bleach because it will be toxic. Vinegar is a great idea.


    I went to the Vet with my three year old long haired tortoiseshell cat. She has been smelling of ammonia from her urine. The Vet said it might be a female breeding thing is that she is on heat. She has been making a mess outside her litter box as well and she peed on my sofa. I luckily had a cover over my sofa so it didn’t actually effect the sofa. I thought she might have a urine infection but the Vet said that he would deal with the cat in two weeks. She has also got fleas so I have given her Advocate prescribed by the Vet. I did give Frontline but it doesn’t seem to have worked. I am worried that living the cat for two weeks might make her worse and it might effect her kidney or livers. What should I do. Should I leave this Vet who I haven’t known and the Vet was new when I went as the other Vet has left. I am just worried about the effects the Amonia might be if left for a long time.

  • Jaydee says:

    Does cat urine cause flu like symptoms?

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