How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask ER Vet Your Own Question
ER Vet
ER Vet, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1771
Experience:  I have been a veterinarian for 21 years taking care of cats in general and emergency practice.
Type Your Cat Veterinary Question Here...
ER Vet is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My cats urine odor has lately had a strong ammonia smell.

Resolved Question:

My cat's urine odor has lately had a strong ammonia smell. He seems to be fine in every other respect. I have not made any changes in his food or water. What might this indicate?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  ER Vet replied 4 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. XXXXX XXXXX and I'd like to help! I just need to ask you a few questions to be well informed and give you the best advice.

Does he eat canned food or dry food or both?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Dry food only. There have been no changes to the food, but the strong ammonia smell just started this week.
Expert:  ER Vet replied 4 years ago.
The ammonia smell can occasionally indicate a urinary tract infection but this is typically seen in cats over 10 years of age. In a 3 year old cat, there is only a 3% chance of this being caused by infection.

The most likely cause is that your cat isn't consuming enough water. The urine contains a high concentration of breakdown products from protein metabolism. The kidneys job is to remove toxins from the blood stream and these toxins smell like ammonia. When the urine is more concentrated, either due to low water consumption or sometimes increased temperatures, the urine will have a much stronger odor.

The best thing to do is to begin feeding some canned food or put several water bowls around the house if you only have one. This will typically encourage a cat to consume more water and get rid of the strong ammonia smell of the urine.

If you have further questions, let me know.
ER Vet and 2 other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you