Why does my cat have really strong urine odor?

Our question this week was:

I have a 5-month-old DSH and lately when he uses the litter box, his urine has a very, very strong smell. He has never gone outside the litter box and there is no blood in the urine, it just has a very strong odor. He is not neutered as of yet. I am wondering if a strong urine odor is indicative of anything else that could be wrong? He does not strain to urinate or produce any noises to indicate that he is having difficulty urinating.

Connie Lal


Hi Connie – thanks for your email. You wrote that your 5-month-old un-neutered male cat has a very strong smell to his urine when he uses the litter box.

It also sounds like he is in good health and using the litter box fine. The only thing you notice is a strong smell.

In my experience, cats will mature at different times. Many unneutered cats have a stronger urine odor than neutered cats. If he is eating, drinking, urinating, defecating okay and playful, he is probably fine.

Most cats with an underlying urinary problem will strain to urinate, go more frequently (more frequently trips to the litter box), you can see blood in the urine, some go outside of the litter box, some will groom their perineum excessively and other cats will act sick.

It may be time to have him neutered. If you take him in to your vet, he can also test a urine sample to make sure it is normal and that there is not any other underlying cause for the problem.

Articles that might be helpful to you are Neutering Your Cat and Acute Cystitis in Cats.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

To read most recent questions Click here!

Click here to see the full list of Ask Dr. Debra Questions and Answers!