Question: Does the smell of cat urine bother my cat as much as it does me?
Answer: First let’s address why cat urine smells so bad. Their ancestry is from arid parts of the world, so they developed the ability to absorb water from their urine, thus leaving the urine more concentrated and thus smelling worse. Also, male cat’s urine is even more offensive to the smell because testosterone is concentrated in their urine. So yes cat urine is especially strong smelling, and it probably bothers your cat more than you because of their sense of smell.
We have 56 million scent receptors in our olfactory system, while cats have 200 million, so cats have a 4x more ability than we do, to smell their urine. For us and our cats we need to clean their litter boxes often and there are air purifiers that you can attach to the litter box that will help. Do not spray fragrances in the air to cover up the odor, as that just further overwhelms their olfactory system. An incentive to do these things is that if your cat dislikes the smell enough, they will begin having an aversion to the litterbox, and begin urinating in other places around your house.
Gary Beall DVM
Chip Beall DVM
Springboro Veterinary Hospital
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