As a loving cat parent, you love everything about your furry friend. But have you noticed a weird smell lately? Have you asked yourself: “Why does my cat smell like bleach?”
Don’t worry because there’s nothing wrong with your pet. You just need to know how your cat’s body works, and in this article, we’ll answer all your questions. So, keep on reading to learn more about your kitty.
A cat’s pee smells like bleach because of ammonia, but if your cat smells like urine, then you might need to have it checked. Ask a vet to check for any health issues and keep the cat well-hydrated. You must also keep the litter box clean and bathe the cat if it has soiled itself.
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Why Does My Cat Like Bleach?
If you’ve noticed the strong smell of bleach when you get close to your cat or its litter box, you shouldn’t be extremely alarmed. All cat urine smells like ammonia which is a natural byproduct of the metabolism process. However, some cats produce urine that has a strong odor that lingers and sticks to the cat’s body, and this might be the reason why your cat smells like bleach.
Although ammonia is present in all cat’s pee, the smell can be more pungent in the following cases.
- Your cat is dehydrated. If your cat isn’t getting enough water or is not eating enough wet food, the urine smell will be stronger.
- There’s a recent change in your cat’s diet. Some types of cat food can produce a stronger smell.
- Your cat is suffering from a health problem. For example, some kidney problems can make your cat’s pee smell stronger.
Cat’s urine is made of several components like urea, uric acid, urobilin, creatinine, pheromones, sodium, and bacteria. When urea decomposes, it produces amines. Amines later decompose because of the bacteria in the urine to produce ammonia, which you can recognize as a bleach smell.
If you don’t scoop the litter box too often, the smell gets worse. This can also happen when your cat pees outside the box and the odor lingers for too long.
However, in most cases, the culprit is dehydration. If your cat hasn’t been getting enough water, the pee will likely smell more pungent and worse.
Another reason why your cat’s pee smells so bad is because of pheromones. In the wild, cats use their urine to mark their territories, and the smell of pheromones gets worse as time goes by. As the chemicals start to break down, the odor becomes more pungent and more annoying for you as a feline parent.
Because a cat’s urine is made of strong enzymes, using cleaning detergents and regular soap doesn’t make the bad smell go away. When the cat gets in touch with a spot where it has already peed, the cat’s body will smell like bleach and will become very difficult to wash away.
In rare cases, there might be something wrong with your cat. For example, if the cat’s urine has recently developed a powerful odor, or your cat has recently started to smell like bleach more often, then it’s time to take it to the vet. The vet will run several tests and make sure that the cat is good and not suffering from any health issues.
How to Improve Your Cat’s Urine Smell?
It’s quite normal for your cat’s pee to smell strong, but if you have recently noticed that the smell has changed or has become stronger, then you need to take your feline to the vet as soon as possible.
Kittens and younger cats usually have pee that doesn’t smell that strong. But as male cats get older, their pee starts to have a stronger smell. However, the bad smell isn’t always an indication that there’s something wrong.
If there’s a problem, the vet will prescribe medication and give your cat time. During this period, you should keep an eye on any other symptoms that might show that your feline is not feeling well.
In some cases, there might be nothing wrong with your cat, although the urine smells like bleach. Here is what you can do.
- Make sure that your cat is properly hydrated. If you spend too much time away from home, you should make sure that your cat has access to clean, fresh water all the time.
A water fountain is a great choice because it encourages your feline to drink more water. Water tastes fresh even if you’ve been away for the whole day, and in most cases, you can change the water flow to make sure that multiple cats have access to water.
- You also need to pay attention to your cat’s diet. In addition to water, cats need to eat high-quality wet food that provides their bodies with enough hydration. In the wild, cats take the moisture they need from the bodies of prey, but dry food isn’t enough to keep your cat hydrated.
Due to its low moisture content, you need to complement your feline’s diet with high-quality wet food. It reduces the stress on your cat’s kidneys and keeps them working properly, so your feline will be in perfect health. When the kidneys are working properly, the urine will have a slightly weaker smell, and your cat won’t smell like bleach.
- Make sure to include high-quality food that is designed to fight off urinary tract infections. Not only will this protect your cat from multiple health issues, but it will also improve the smell of urine, and your feline won’t smell bad.
These types of food are designed to keep the cat in perfect health and usually have several minerals that help keep urinary infections at bay. They’re also high in moisture to keep the cat healthy.
- You need to clean the litter box more often. Remember that your cat might smell like bleach because its tail or other parts of its body are getting in contact with the litter. When you scoop the litter box often, your cat’s body will stay clean.
Although the litter box might seem clean, the pee will sit deep into the litter where the ammonia gets concentrated. When your cat touches the litter, the ammonia gets caught up in the fur, and your feline will smell like bleach every time it gets near you.
- Think about getting your cats fixed. This reduces the number of pheromones in the urine, which naturally causes a very strong smell as it breaks down. This will also reduce the likelihood of them spraying urine around the house and on your furniture. Even if your cat’s pee smells like bleach, after neutering your cat, the smell can get a lot better.
- If you have multiple cats in the house, you need to make sure there are enough litter boxes for everyone. It’s recommended to keep a litter box per cat, plus an extra one for emergencies. Remember that cats are territorial and will use pee to establish ownership.
Setting up multiple litter boxes for your cats will lower the chances of aggression among the felines in your house. They won’t try to mark their territories which is why they pee everywhere and cause a strong smell that is very difficult to get rid of.
- Use washable pads inside the litter box. They absorb any misses to keep the rest of your house clean. They also lock the smell instead of having it all over your place.
How to Get Rid of the Bleach Smell
It’s quite common for cats to make urine accidents, and although the smell might be too strong, it’s not impossible to get rid of. Getting rid of the pungent smell of a cat’s urine is possible, but it gets more difficult after the urine has dried and set in. Here are a few things that you can do.
Eliminating Urine Smell from Clothes
Your clothes might smell like ammonia or bleach if your cat has accidentally soiled them. It can also happen if the cat smells like bleach and has slept on some of your clothes.
If you think that tossing the dirty shirt into the washing machine will get rid of the smell, you’re wrong. As a matter of fact, you might soil a whole load of laundry and everything you put into the washing machine later on. Here is what you can do.
- Blot the stained area if it’s still wet, then rinse it with cool water. Avoid scrubbing the stain because it can drive the urine deeper into the fabric fibers. You should also avoid using hot water because it cooks the proteins in the urine and makes it more difficult to remove.
- Fill a bowl with water and add about half a cup of oxygen bleach which gets rid of the urine smell without damaging the fabric. Let the dirty clothes sit in this mixture for up to 4 hours.
- You can also mix vinegar with water to prepare a cleaning solution and let it sit on the stain for half an hour.
- Sprinkle the stain with baking soda to absorb the smell, then remove it.
- Wash your clothes in the washing machine without any detergent. Let the clothes dry in the sun for up to 24 hours.
- If the smell lingers, use an enzyme-based detergent to break the urine particles. You might need to repeat this step if you’re dealing with an old dry stain that has already set into the fabric.
Eliminating Urine Smell from Cat’s Fur
Cats are excellent at grooming themselves, but if your cat smells like bleach, they might need a little help. The bleach smell might stick to your cat’s fur if you didn’t set up the litter box correctly. In this case, you need to wash the cat to get rid of the odor.
- Use a soft brush to remove any fecal staining that might be stuck to the cat’s fur. If stains feel too hard, you can cut the fur. Avoid cutting the fur when it’s still wet.
- Use a gentle cat shampoo for spot cleaning the cat’s fur. Dip a soft piece of cloth in warm water mixed with the cat shampoo and gently rub the fur. Keep on rubbing until you get a lather, then use the cloth to rinse the area until the water runs clear.
- If the cat has stepped into the urine, use paper towels to blot any wetness, then give the cat a bath using a cat shampoo. If possible, use cat shampoo with oatmeal to moisturize the skin.
- Rub the fur using a towel, then use a blow dryer to dry it. Set the blow dryer to warm and ask someone else to keep the cat stable.
A cat’s pee smells like bleach because of ammonia, but if your cat smells like urine, then you might need to have it checked. Ask a vet to check for any health issues and keep the cat well-hydrated. If your cat smells like urine, he may need a bath.