Why Does Cat Urine Smell So Bad?
Cat pee is really no different from other animal’s urine, yet many people think of cat urine as one of the most awful smells in nature. It is nothing more than a concentrate of waste chemicals made up mostly of urea, uric acid, sodium chloride (salt), several detoxified substances, and other electrolytes.
Cat pee’s unfortunate reputation stems from the fact that that urine is usually left unnoticed until it becomes a problem and an embarrassment. Cats have a tendency to mark their territories outside the litter box, be it on your carpet, floor or in some discrete corner of your house.
After a while, the bacteria present in the urine breakdown the urea which releases ammonia, the chemical mainly responsible for the characteristic odor of stale cat pee. To make matters even worse, the next stage of the process of chemical breakdown also releases mercaptan, the very same awful substance skunks spray at their unsuspecting victims as a means of defending themselves!
Of course, there are other factors to account for the awful smell. Older cats have kidneys that lost some of their efficiency. As a result, older cats tend to have the worst smelling urine. Also noteworthy is that urine from male cats tends to smell much worse than their female counterparts due to the presence of certain steroids.
So how do we get rid of this annoying and embarrassing odor?
The first challenge is to find the exact spot where your cat urinated. This is possible only when:
1.You accidentally step on a puddle of urine while you’re walking barefoot (no way!);
2.You notice that your floor is stained or that your carpet is discolored; or
3.If you have access to ultraviolet light (the same ones being used by crime scene investigators), UV light makes cat pee glow.
Once you’ve located the urine, you need to remove it as soon as possible. Most cat urine odor removers sold at supermarket shelves take advantage of enzymes that hasten the breakdown of urea the main chemical component of cat pee.
Enzymes are simply proteins that speed up chemical reactions. In other words, the enzymes break up the urea into carbon dioxide and ammonia, two gases that evaporate rather quickly. So the cat pee is gone before it gets any chance of turning nasty. The only problem with cleaning agents containing enzymes is their limited shelf life. Enzymes lose their effectiveness with time (oh shucks!).
Have a tough Cat Urine stain or odor?
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Cat Urine Clean-Up Guide
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