Is Cat Urine Odor Dangerous For Children?
Does your house smell like a locker room or dirty sweat socks? Then you probably keep cats in your home. So you’re probably all too familiar with cat urine odor and stains.
But did you know that cat urine odor can actually be dangerous for your kids?
Cat urine odor contains harmful chemicals such ammonia, amines, and mercaptan. These are gases that are emitted from cat urine and feces. Unfortunately, these toxic chemicals can cause respiratory problems and pneumonia in both children and pets. So it’s important to treat cat urine odors as soon as possible so they don’t increase in concentration and cause more problems for your family in the future.
- Bear in mind that if your child has a preexisting health condition such as asthma or migraines, the strong cat pee odor may cause enough irritation to trigger an episode.
- A health care provider for the elderly has reported that prolonged exposure to ammonia from cat’s pee affected the nose and throat of her patients.
- It’s also common knowledge that pregnant women shouldn’t be near cats or even attempt to handle the litter box due to the threat of being exposed to the disease known as “toxoplasmosis”! It is a parasitic infection caused by coming into contact with cat’s feces or eating infected meat.
Most of its victims have been pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems. An infected person experiences flu-like symptoms and later become seriously ill.
Now let’s take a closer look at each of these toxic gases that are a threat not only to your kids but to other members of your family as well:
Ammonia (NH3) is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen. It is a toxic waste product in a cat’s metabolism. It is converted to urea since it is less toxic and can be stored more efficiently inside your pet’s body.
Unfortunately, ammonia is a corrosive chemical so health problems are mostly acute or immediate. But chronic low-level exposure can cause health effects such as chronic irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. In addition, chronic exposure to ammonia may irritate the lungs resulting in bronchitis (i.e., inflammation of the airways) with cough, phlegm, and shortness of breath.
Amines are organic compounds derived from ammonia. Amines are known to be toxic and can be easily absorbed by the skin. When present in high levels inside our body, amines cause your blood vessels to constrict (known as “vasoconstriction”) which can lead to high blood pressure or hypertension.
Mercaptan is a sulfur-containing organic chemical substance. If you’ve had some experience with sulfur compounds, you’ll know that these chemicals smell just like rotting cabbage.
Believe it or not, mercaptan is the very same substance used by skunks to discourage predators or just about any person or animal whom they consider a threat.
Anyone exposed to high concentrations of mercaptan may develop headaches and become nauseated and later vomit. There may be coughing and irritation of the lungs and inflammation of the eyes, nose, and throat.
In lethal concentrations, the affected person may have difficulty breathing and may eventually turn blue – a medical condition known as “cyanosis”. The person may then lose consciousness and have generalized muscle spasms.
Since mercaptan irritates the breathing system, bronchitis is one possible result.
So don’t let an annoying and embarrassing situation turn into a medical emergency.
The moral lesson here is to get rid of the cat’s urine odor in your home as soon as possible. Any delays could have serious health consequences to your family. Don’t let this happen to your family – most especially your kids!
Have a tough Cat Urine stain or odor?
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Cat Urine Clean-Up Guide
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