All the cat pee smell with none of the cute kitten cuddles
June 12, 2010 6:49 PM Subscribe
Goddamnit, why does my apartment smell like cat pee? Difficulty: I don't have a cat, and I live in a pets-verboten building. Preliminary research suggests it may be mold?
posted by pazazygeek to Home & Garden (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This is gonna be long, because I want to give all of the info that might help me nail this problem.
I live in a high-ceiling-ed, large-ish 1BR apartment in a very urban part of Boston - in a pretty old apartment building, on the first floor. No pets are allowed in this building. It's what's called a 1 bedroom split, the living room and bedroom and kitchen all have large windows which look out over a relatively high-trafficked alley. I'd guess that the bottom windowsills are about 8 feet from the ground outside. There are some trees out there.
It's been SUPER mega rainy and humid here in Mass. Last weekend I opened the windows on a late, rainy afternoon and was overwhelmed with a cat-uriney smell not long after. It's not unmistakably cat piss. It's one of those smells that any and all around start theorizing over. Maybe a smelly tree? Maybe that giant puddle of water out there in the alley? Maybe college kids pissing against a wall? OH GOD WHAT IS IT.
My boyfriend was over and noticed it as well. I assumed it was outside in the alley, but now I've found that it wafts in and out pretty regularly. I'd say every two hours or so, the smell becomes very strong, and then dissapates for a while, and then comes back - it's making me crazy!
When I go out into the alley I don't really smell it. I'm pretty sure it's in my apartment, but I wouldn't bet all my money on it. I can't find the source, but it's stronger in my hallway and in my living room around the windows. I think. It's pervasive and I can't find a "YEP, THAT'S IT!" place it might be coming from.
It gets worse when it's damp or rainy, but that's been practically every day out here.
My boyfriend suggested mold. I'm also kind of scared that it's mold. I don't SEE any mold, but my apartment seems kinda - soggy in a way, but I can't point to anything in particular. There are some water stains above one of the window sills in the living room, and when I first moved here (in January of this year), there was a small leak coming through the tops of the window sills in my kitchen, but those haven't returned even in this mega-rainy season.
I've called the landlord earlier today, but haven't heard back yet.
So, there's the tl;dr - in short, what I'm wondering is:
1.) Does mold have a cat-urine smell? I've googled and found some stuff about black mold (btw OH MY GOD BLACK MOLD IS SO SCARY), but nothing seems to be conclusive.
2.) Is there something else it could be, and I'm just totally freaking out?
3.) I have been getting colds and feeling fatigued, but it's just as likely stress as anything else.
4.) Oh god, if it is hidden, stinky, lurking mold, what's going to happen?
I've called the landlord, but have not yet heard back. Can you, oh wise and brave mefi, help me diagnose this stink, and make a plan if the worst case scenario comes to be?