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.
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Cat Urine Smells Like Burnt Rubber: The Summary
In most cases, it’s usually a matter of diet. Make sure your feline friend’s getting enough water and good quality food. However, some medical conditions can cause a change in odor. Consult your vet and ask for a urinalysis, which should help tell you what’s wrong.
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.
Why Does My Cat’s Urine Smell Different?
Many things affect your furry friend’s urination habits. This can cause changes in urine composition, which is usually what causes the odor. So, why does your cat’s urine smell worse than usual?
Factors that affect urination frequency:
- Water intake
- Cat food moisture level
- Medical conditions
The first thing you should take note of is how often your cat urinates. Most adult cats urinate twice a day. If your cat’s urinating more frequently, then there’s usually an underlying condition.
Medical Conditions That Can Change Urine Odor
If your kitten’s diet isn’t the issue, there are a few medical conditions that can cause the change in odor. Some of which include:
- Bladder infection. Urine is sterile, but with an infected bladder, bacteria can travel into the urine. This causes an unpleasant odor.
- Cystitis is when the bladder becomes inflamed due to a urinary tract infection.
- Diabetes. With diabetes, urine will have higher sugar content. This means that more odor-causing bacteria can grow.
- Tumors. If the growth obstructs the urinary tract, this can cause urine to back up.
To determine if your cat has any of these conditions, you can ask your vet for a urinalysis. Urinalysis shows the composition of urine and can tell what’s giving it its odor. If anything turns up on the test, the vet will address how to take care of the smell.
How To Get Rid of The Smell
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.
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.
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.
I’ve been living with cats since 2008 and I can confidently say I have more feline friends than humans lol. I currently live with 5 cats in different life stages; two of them are less than one year old, one is 2-ish years old and the oldest two are 9-ish years old. I’ve developed a strong bond with cats over the years and I’m eager to share my experience through this blog. You can learn more about my cats here.