Why Does My Cat Smell Like Urine? 5 Reasons

why does my cat smell like urine

If you ask yourself this question or if you are already in this situation, do not despair, there are very common reasons why a feline could give off this smell, and some simple solutions.

In this article, we will talk about the science behind this stink, the reasons your cat might stink, and the methods to combat such a problem.

The science behind the stench

If it happens under your nose, you may wonder why cat urine stinks so much. According to veterinarians, it’s not the urine itself that stinks (although in some cases it might), but the fact that some cats may not urinate in the litter box, but on rugs or anywhere else they might like.

When urine is absorbed by an object and begins to rot, the bacterium contained in the pee will produce that typical stench. Also, in the second stage of urine decomposition mercaptans (which cause the terrible smell of skunks) come into play, so the more you advance the decomposition process (without it cleaning up) the more mercaptans will be produced.

5 Reasons Your Cat Might Smell of Urine

We know why it stinks, now let’s explore the reasons why your kitty might smell like urine.

Tangled hair

If you have a longhaired cat like the Persian, you may have noticed that the fur around its backside has knots. When this happens the cat is unable to clean itself as well as it should, causing traces of urine to become trapped in the fur.


Cats that tend to be overweight or have obesity may have a hard time keeping their hindquarters clean.

Urinary tract infection

The bacteria causing the infection could make your cat’s urine stink. In addition, when the infection is on, your cat may feel the need to urinate more often or to drip a little pee on the skin and fur around the urethra.


Older cats or cats that have had joint problems can develop cases of arthritis. This painful condition can restrict your feline’s movements, especially in the back area where traces of urine and feces are deposited.

Chronic disease

When cats feel unwell, they spend less time grooming. Lack of daily cleaning can cause a strong urine odor on your cat.

What should I do if my cat smells like urine?

The first thing to do if your cat smells like urine is to take a look at its backside. Are there any nodes where urine can get stuck? If so, you should brush them to untie the knots. You can do it yourself or ask for the help of a professional groomer.

If there are no knots on the cat’s bottom, then you will have to dig a little deeper to understand the source of the problem. Pay attention to any changes in Its eating habits, use of the litter box, and any symptoms of distress in general.

If you notice any changes in Its routine, make an appointment with a veterinarian. The vet will examine your pet and will likely take a blood sample to determine the cause. Once a diagnosis is made, be sure to follow the instructions given to you to eliminate the cause of the problem.

How to get rid of the smell of urine in your home

The problem with cat pee on any surface is that the longer it stays, the stronger the smell becomes. For this reason, you will have to clean as quickly as possible.

There is always the old vinegar emergency remedy in a spray bottle to spray on certain areas to get rid of the stench. Vinegar works because it is an acid that neutralizes the smell of fresh urine or the alkaline salts of urine that is now dry.

If you need to clean larger areas, you can use a solution of vinegar and water in equal parts. This will help if you don’t know exactly where the stench is coming from and want to give your floors and walls a general wash.

Enzyme-based cleaners are also effective for cleaning cat pee. These specific products will change the organic composition of the urine, which can then be simply washed or swept away. These cleaners can be found in pet stores or online.

Final Thoughts

If your cat smells like urine, be sure to check for knots on its rear. If everything is in order, then monitor changes in behavior and make an appointment with your vet if necessary. Remember, the smell of urine will not go away by itself, so be careful about cleanliness and have your cat checked.

About Amanda

Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..)

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