Without question, cat pee has earned its ranking in the "Worst Smells Ever" Hall of Fame.
To be blunt, without good housekeeping practices and proper litter box maintenance, feline urine odours aren't just offensive—the smell can invade your home and assault your senses!
But why does cat pee smell so vulgar?
Are cats just getting a bad rap? Or is there more to feline urine than meets the nostrils? Turns out, cat pee is "special".
1. It's concentrated
As former desert creatures, cats drink less water than their doggy counterparts. They also developed the ability to absorb large amounts of water (due to longer loops of Henle in the kidneys) to stay hydrated! This results in less frequent but thicker, more concentrated wees. And the more concentrated the pee, the more stinky it is.
2. It's nitrogen-rich
As obligate carnivores, cats must eat meat. But a protein-heavy diet means that, compared to omnivorous dogs (they eat both plants and meat), feline urine contains more nitrogen than doggy pee. Nitrogen in urine turns into ammonia when it decomposes.
3. It contains felinine
Felinine is an amino acid that degrades into (take a deep breath first) 3-mercapto-3-methylbutan-1-ol. This is not present in dog pee.
What even is that? Mercaptans or thiols are volatile sulphur-containing compounds that give cat pee, rotting meat, and skunk spray its repulsive odour. Consider our minds blown! 🤯 No wonder cat urine delivers such a knockout punch every time you walk in the front door. 🥊
Fun fact: Hormones regulate felinine excretion. That means your cat's age, gender, health, and neuter/spay status all influence the degree of urine odour foulness.
Why is pet pee so hard to clean?
It's not your imagination: Urine stains (and odours) are some of the most challenging household messes to manage. There are a few reasons for this.
1. Wee contains a waste product called uric acid.
This chemical is not water-soluble, so it quickly binds with and clings to any surface it touches. It's extra stubborn!
2. Urine odours worsen over time.
While bacteria work on decomposing the urea in urine, odours are released into the air. It's like long-acting, "extended-release" medication—only in pee form.
3. Climate affects dried/residual pee.
Sometimes you're even up against the weather! Basically, high humidity levels "reactivate" remnant urine salts and crystals. That's why that pesky pee stench won't go away.
4. Cats don't always use their litter boxes.
Instead, they may pee in strange and difficult-to-access/notice places. For example, your walls, under the bed, on top of the refrigerator, and in flower pots. That makes housework extra tricky.
All of the above is why there's a need for speed and thorough cleaning. But all your efforts are wasted if you don't use cleaning products formulated to tackle urine!
Enzymes are the only way to handle pet pee...
Standard cleaning products like soaps, detergents, and strong chemicals aren't effective on pee because they can't break down uric acid crystals.
That means they don't eliminate stains and odours at the source—they merely mask them with artificial fragrances and even more ammonia! 😒
You'll drive yourself nuts mopping over the same spots to no avail. Also, you don't want ammonia gases accumulating in your home.
What truly works on organic waste (urine, poop, vomit, and other bodily fluids) are enzymatic cleaners for pet urine like PetLab's E.N. Zyme Solution Stain & Odour Remover.
Enzymes are complex protein molecules found in select cleaning agents that bring about biochemical reactions.
- Lipases break down fats.
- Amylases digest starch.
- Cellulases remove stains and smoothen fabrics like cotton and linen.
- Proteases tackle protein-based stains like pet pee and poop.
Whether the mess is on your floors, walls, furniture, or fabrics, cleaning products with enzymes are the only effective—and permanent—way to remove nuisance stains and odours.
Do you need a separate enzyme cleaner for dog and cat pee?
A high-quality, double-strength product like PetLab's E.N. Zyme Solution Stain & Odour Remover is ALL you need to deal with urine from dogs, cats, possums, you name it.
(The proof is in our 4.7 stars rating from over 2,000 pet parents like you!)
So don't delay—order your discounted urine odour-busting Starter Pack now.