What Causes The Strong Cat Urine Smell?
Being a cat owner you already know that cat urine smell is very strong and it can be overwhelming. It is impossible to get use to the distinct ammonia-like smell.
Cat urine has three main components: urea, urochrome and uric acid. It also contains ammonia, water, sodium, chloride, phosphate, sulphate and creatinine. The exact composition can vary depending on the cat´s diet.
The three main components are responsible for the pungent cat urine smell and for the cat urine stain removal problems.
Urea is what makes urine sticky once it begins to dry. It is fairly easy to clean up using different products.
Urochrome is the pigment that causes the yellow color in urine. It is what glows under an ultraviolet light. Depending on the surface your cat has chosen to pee on, it can be a pain to remove it.
Uric acid is what causes the strong cat urine smell. Cats are not big water drinkers so their urine is more concentrated and so is the uric acid in their urine. Uric acid contains the crystals and salts of cat urine. This is the component more difficult to remove from any surface. Crystals are insoluble and moisture reactivates them, releasing the odor and increasing the growth of the odor causing bacteria. In the first stage bacteria will decompose the urea and give off an ammoniacal odor. The second stage of the decomposition process emits mercaptans (the same we find in skunk spray). Until bacteria are destroyed, they will continue to grow producing ammonia and mercaptans making the cat urine smell worse.
In older cats kidneys have lost their efficiency and, as a consequence, they tend to have the worst cat urine smell.
Urine from male cats also tends to smell worse than female urine because of the presence of certain steroids.
If your house is filled with cat urine smell, you have three important tasks to do:
1- Locate the urine
It can be difficult if it is not recent and you have not seen your cat doing it. If you cannot spot the urine use ultraviolet light that will make the urine glow.
2 -Remove the stain and the odor
Stain and odor removers products sold on the market make use of an enzymatic reaction. Enzymes break up the urea into carbon dioxide and ammonia, two gases that evaporate quickly.
It can be a medical problem or a behavioral one.