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Nothing is worse than being at home, trying to relax when suddenly you smell a very distinctive scent. You know what it is, and you dread finding it. But this time, it smells a bit different.

Most people try to avoid smelling cat urine at all costs. As a cat owner, you’re probably pretty familiar with the scent. You notice that your kitty’s urine smells different. So, now you’re not just worried about the couch, but also about your feline friend.

It can be alarming when you feel like something is wrong with your furball that you can’t explain. While this might be a stinky issue, there are many things you can do to make it better. So let’s take a look at why your cat’s urine smells like burnt rubber and what you can do to help.

Cat Urine Smells Like Burnt Rubber: The Summary

If cat urine smells like burnt rubber, it could indicate a potential health issue that needs attention. Several factors can contribute to this unusual odor, including certain medical conditions such as urinary tract infections, kidney problems, or metabolic disorders. Additionally, diet, medications, and environmental factors may also play a role in altering the smell of cat urine.

What Does Cat Urine Smell Like?

You probably have a general idea of what cat urine smells like, usually very pungent and acidic. However, it’s a common misconception that all cat urine smells the same. In fact, each cat has distinctive smelling urine, which they can use to communicate.

There are many things you can learn about your kitty’s health from its urine. The distinctive markers of urine are volume, color, and odor. Since your cat usually uses a litter box, you can’t really tell the color or volume, so you rely on scent.

If your kitty’s urinating outside the litter box, this is a sign that there’s usually a more significant issue. It can mean that you need to clean the litter box more often or that your cat has a medical condition.

Urine in cats is about 95% water. The rest comprises urea, ammonia, uric acid, creatinine, and electrolytes. Cat urine is different because it has a sulfur-containing amino acid called felinine. This amino acid is unique to house cats and some of their close relatives.

Felinine is odorless. As it reacts with air, it breaks down into very volatile compounds that smell really horrible. The concentration of felinine in urine changes based on factors like age and gender. Un-neutered male cats will usually have the highest concentration.

Normal urine usually smells very strongly of ammonia. While it’s unpleasant, it’s not really foul. If the scent of your cat’s urine changes or is unusually bad, contact your vet as soon as you can.

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What Causes Cat Urine to Smell Like Burnt Rubber?

In many cases, the culprit behind the stench is likely something minor like your cat’s diet or litter box habits. However, there are some more serious medical conditions that can also lead to foul-smelling urine.

Dietary Causes

Cats fed a dry, low-moisture diet may not drink enough water, resulting in more concentrated, smelly urine. Inadequate water intake or food allergies can also concentrate the urine. Switching to wet food or a brand with more moisture can help.

Litter Box Issues

Infrequent scooping can cause ammonia to build up from urine. Use an enzyme-based pet odor eliminator monthly to fully clean the litter box. Insufficient number of litter boxes is another common reason for urinating elsewhere. Add boxes in other locations your cat frequents.

Medical Conditions

Urinary tract infections, bladder stones, kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism can sometimes cause urine odor changes. Vets will run lab tests on a urine sample to diagnose any issues. Treating the underlying condition will help resolve the burnt rubber smell.

How To Get Rid of The Smell

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Now that you’re back from the vet, with a healthy kitty, you can address the other issue, getting rid of the urine smell.

If you’ve ever tried to clean cat urine before, you know that it’s really hard to get rid of all traces. And when you don’t get it all, the cat might urinate there again. While it might be tricky, there are ways to be free of the scent.

First off, you want to start by finding the stinky puddle. Unless you’ve had the terrible luck of walking into it, it’s hard to find, especially after it’s dry. You’ll want to look for any discoloration on the furniture or the carpets. If you’re having a hard time locating the puddle, you can use a UV light. It’ll make the urine glow.

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1.   Cleaning Carpets

Carpets are a little challenging to clean. Especially if the urine has soaked into the carpet padding, you can buy specialized cleaners with enzymes to help get rid of the odor. Or, you can use things you find at home like club soda and baking powder.

Scrub the area with plenty of club soda. When it’s completely dry, sprinkle a decent amount of baking soda and let it sit for a while. The baking soda will absorb any lingering odors. Then use your vacuum to clean it up.

2.   Cleaning Clothes and Sheets

To your washer, add regular detergent, then a quarter of a cup of white vinegar into the bleach dispenser. You can also add half a cup of baking soda into the drum with the clothes.

When cleaning cat urine, don’t use any products that contain bleach. When mixed, the ammonia in the urine and bleach will create a hazardous vapor.

How To Prevent Burnt Rubber Urine Odors

To keep future instances at bay:

  • Have your vet examine your cat annually to catch medical issues early.
  • Scoop litter 2x daily and change it out weekly.
  • Add extra litter boxes around the house. Try low-dust, unscented litter.
  • Ensure your cat always has access to fresh, clean water.
  • Feed wet food or add more moisture to dry food.
  • Use calming plugins and give your cat a quiet area to retreat to.
  • Block access to previously soiled areas until the odor is fully gone.

Wrapping Up

Many things can cause your cat’s urine to smell like burnt rubber. If you suspect it’s a medical condition, see your vet as soon as possible.

After ensuring your cat’s ok, cleaning the urine can be tricky but not impossible. Baking soda and vinegar can be just as effective as the cleaners at the store.