Is a strong cat urine odor harmful?

Asked by marie NAVARRA
Willamina, OR

The home in question has urine contamination into the carpeting along with 3 large litter boxes in a 1000 sq ft home with poor ventilation. Is this odor harmful over time?


Maggie Michel LEED AP

Answered by Maggie Michel LEED AP

Tucson, AZ

Air Fresh Consulting

November 21, 2011

Glad you asked this. I'm always puzzled when a home has strong cat or other urine smell and the people live in the home as if nothing is wrong.

Straight talk: cat urine is ammonia peroxides. It is not what humans should be breathing. Yes, it is dangerous and not really over time but rather pretty fast.

I had a client with this same issue. She had several male ferral cats in her home. Over time she developed COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

  • Was the cat urine the original culprit? No way to tell.
  • Was it a contributor? Again, no way to tell.

The end result was the entire home was gutted and belongings trashed due to the cat urine odor.

Question is, do the same folks live there or is this a sale or rental? The cleaning and sanitizing of an environment such as this is time consuming and pricey.

Removing the source of the odor ("point source removal") is highly recommended.


For more information:

Read "Renovating an old home with hardwoods and trying to get rid of cat odor from previous owner. Is there a natural solution?" a Q&A answered by Randy Potter.

Tagged In: home air quality

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