Why Does Cat Pee Smell So Bad?

The worst thing about owning a cat is cleaning its litter. And if you are a good parent, you’re probably doing it every day. But you cannot ignore that horrible cat pee smell. It might make you wonder, why does cat pee smell so bad

Naturally, cats have very concentrated urine with a pungent smell. Moreover, cat pees are often left unnoticed, which makes it worse. Often, stinkier cat pee is observed in older cats and male intact cats. But, this horrible smell can be eliminated using commercial or DIY cleaners. Moreover, cats can be neutered and taken to the vets for regular checkups.

Your adorable pet cat is no less than perfection, apart from this stinky pee. So, don’t leave your precious adopted cat due to this annoying cat pee smell. Instead, sit back and go through this article to learn how to get rid of this foul smell.

Top Reasons Why Cat Pee Stinks

Your adorable pet cats are always into stinky cat pees, and you are wondering why? Don't be stressed. It's always a prerequisite to know the reasons for the problem before going for its solution. So in the following, I present you some top reasons why cat pee stinks:

Concentrated Urine

One of the significant reasons for stinky cat pee is the fact that cats have very concentrated urine. They keep on absorbing water from their urine. Thus, cats keep themselves hydrated. That's why you will hardly see your cat drinking much water.

In a book called “It’s a Cat’s World… You Just Live In It” Dr. Justin Lee mentions this very trait of cats. She explains that the cat’s Loop of Henle is pretty good at squeezing even the last drop from absorbable water of cat urine.

Unnoticed Cat Pee

Sometimes your cat may pee out of their litter box by accident. This cat urine is mostly left unnoticed until it spreads a very foul odor. Within a short period, bacteria break down the urea in cat urine. As a result, an ammonia-like pungent smell blows out.

Soon in this decomposition process, a compound called mercaptans emits. This compound is also responsible for the horrible odor of cat urine. The later you notice your cat pee, the worse the smell will get.

Older Cats’ Pee Stink More

Just like a human, the cat organs start to malfunction when they get older. As a result, you will observe your older cats with more stinky pee. Usually, with the aging of a cat, its kidney might be at the risk of several medical issues.

Due to the lost efficiency of the kidney, the older cats have urine with an awful odor. So if you have an older cat, you must take its proper care. You can also go for a regular checkup by a vet to ensure that it stays healthy.

Cats without Neutering

Male cats, when left intact without neutering, release pheromones in their urine. Intact male cats' urine possesses felinine, which is an amino acid with sulfur. This precursor named felinine gives a potent odor to cat urine.

The smell of this felinine helps cats mark their territory. In addition, it also helps attract female cats. The presence of this chemical in male cat urine is favorable in the wild but not in your household.

Ways to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell

Now that you are well aware of why cat pee smells so bad, it's time you pick up how to deal with it. Following are some techniques you can adopt to get rid of the cat pee smell:

Spot the Pee and Blot it

The very first step to get rid of the cat pee smell is to spot it. Do not leave the cat pee unnoticed. As soon as the stinky odor spreads, follow it and blot it. The longer you let the cat pee sit in its place, the worse the smell will get.

If your cat pees outside the litter box, he can pee anywhere on your carpet, sofa, or even bed. Though a wet pee is pretty easy to spot, dried-out pee is a little challenging to locate. You might have to feel it with your hand if it stays on the carpet or any furniture with a cloth covering. You can also use black fluorescent light to find stains.

After locating the cat pee, no matter if it is wet or dry, start blotting. Using a paper towel, clean it up by gentle dabbing. You can use a cloth towel or any old piece of cloth as well. If you have a wet vacuum, you can utilize it to suck up cat urine. If the stain is already dried up, pour cold water on it, and blot.

DIY Homemade Cleaner for Stains

Even though there are a lot of commercial cleaners available in the market, you can always make a DIY one for your use. You can make your DIY cleaner with some readily available ingredients at home like:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Liquid dish detergent
  • 3% Hydrogen Peroxide

This DIY mixer works effectively on both wet and dry stains. You can carry out the following steps while preparing your DIY cleaner at home:

  • Vinegar-Water solution

Make a solution with two-part water and one-part vinegar. Use this solution over the stain and let it sit for around three to five minutes.

Then let it soak up the excess liquid from the area. Vinegar aids in killing bacteria along with neutralizing the smell. But don't use it on stone or marble surfaces.

  • Sprinkle Baking Soda

Baking soda works great in eliminating the odor of cat urine. Sprinkle some baking soda on the affected area after drying it up.

Let the baking soda settle for around 15-20 minutes. Baking soda, made of sodium carbonate, will amaze you by soaking up the odor.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide and Liquid Dish detergent

A mixture of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide and one teaspoon of liquid dish detergent works pretty well on the cat order. Use this solution over the stain with a cloth and scrub it.

You can repeat this step by washing the cloth again and again. Finally, dry up the area by vacuuming it after you finish all these steps.

Enzyme Based Cleaners

In the market, enzyme-based cleaners are available for urine odors. These are readily available in pet shops and do wonders in removing the cat pee smell. The enzyme-based cleaner breaks down the uric acid of cat pee into carbon dioxide and ammonia. The gases soon evaporate and so neutralizes the odor.

These cleaners work effectively on fresh as well as old stains of cat pees. Soak the affected area with the cleaner and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Then, blot up the excess cleaner with a paper towel.

Neuter Your Male Cat

Your male cat's pee will stink comparatively more if you don't neuter it. So, you should neuter your male cat before eight-nine months of age. It will reduce the stinky pee which results from the presence of felinine in cat urine of an intact male cat.

Moreover, neutering remains overall in favor of your pet cat. It prevents several diseases related to testicles and prostates.

Clean Your Litter Box Frequently

Cats are pretty concerned about a clean litter box. Don't keep a single litter box for more than one cat. The number of litter boxes should be at least more than one of the numbers of your pet cats. Even if you have one pet cat, you must try to keep at least two litter boxes.

The lesser number of litter boxes you will have, the dirtier they will get. As a result, your cats will start to pee outside the litter box. You must keep an adequate number of clean litter boxes.

Visit A Vet

Often the cat pee smell can be a symptom of some other disease. If your cat pee smell gets worse suddenly, then it's kind of something to worry about. It will help if you take your cat to a vet as soon as such a symptom arises.

The vet can also send your cat for several medical examinations. Some of these tests may include urinary tract infection, urinary crystals, kidney disease, and diabetes. So it's better to go for a regular checkup and stay up to date.


Are you still wondering why does cat pee smell so bad? I'm pretty sure the answer is no. By now, you've learned all possible reasons for stinky cat pee. So, don't just stress over it. Consider my instructions and take necessary steps to stopping that horrible smell.

I hope this article was of help to you. Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you and your fur baby good health.