Why Does Coffee Smell Like Cat Pee? – 5 Easy Methods to Prevent Cat Urine Smell of Your Coffee

If you are an avid coffee lover, then at some point of time, you might have tasted a cup of coffee that smells like poop, skunk, ammonia or even cat pee.

Have you ever come across a coffee that literally smells like a cat pee?

Some say it smells like cat pee while some have altogether different experience.

If you would ask me the main reason behind this weird coffee smell, then I would say its because of spoilage of coffee beans.

If the oil present in the roasted coffee beans go rancid, then it affects the overall aroma and flavor of your coffee.

In that case, it starts to smell like cat pee or ammonia.

The aroma of cat pee is also the result of a chemical reaction between coffee beans and the oxygen present in the air.

Such odor may be the result of oxidation of the beans which can end in their spoilage.

Today, we are going to know more details about the main reasons behind cat pee smell of your coffee.

We are also going to find some simple solutions to prevent or avoid this unpleasant situation.

So, stay tuned till the end of the article.

Table of Contents

Why Does Ground Coffee Smell Like Cat’s Urine?

More often, coffee has a pleasant and wonderful aroma.

It is strong but not too overwhelming where you can taste it with your mouth as well as nose.

Coffee is roasted at a high temperature.

This process creates aromatic oils and even has some pleasant odors.

Sometimes, certain less desirable aroma could be created during the coffee beans roasting process.

This might give a pungent, woody or musty smell to the coffee beans.

Therefore, the improper roasting procedure is also one of the contributing factors for coffee smelling like cat’s urine.

If the process of roasting of the beans is not followed properly, then it could also affect the taste along with smell of your coffee.

Similarly, the brewing process too has an effect on it and leads to the alteration of the flavor notes.

But, it is usually not the factor that causes coffee smelling like cat urine.

Improper storage of the coffee grounds can also lead to weird smell of the beans.

The organic material, such as coffee grounds are in most cases stored in an open container for too long without any kind of protection.

This leads to the over exposure of the coffee grounds to air and oxygen for long period.

This over exposure causes oxidative reactions that occur over time with natural substances like antioxidants.

This causes the ground coffee to have a sour and high-acid taste and unpleasant aroma like cat’s pee.

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5 Reasons Why Your Coffee is Smelling Like Cat Pee

Have you ever thought of such a thing that there is cat pee in your coffee cup?

No, absolutely not.

The following 5 are some of the most important reasons you should know to learn why there is a cat urine like smell in your coffee.

1. Check Expiry Date of Your Coffee Package

If you get any odor like cat urine in your coffee then you must check the expiry date of your coffee first.

Also, check whether the package or the coffee bag damaged or not properly closed.

2. Check for Signs of House Cat Urine

One interesting reason could be the cat itself in your home.

Check your utensils whether it is clean or not if you have a cat in your home.

The cat might have peed in the house utensils which you use to prepare coffee.

In that case, you should clean your utensils properly before preparing your coffee in it.

3. Look for Cheap Coffee Brands

Some other reasons might be the coffee brand you are using.

If you are using a cheap coffee brand then it might be the reason for the cat pee odor in your coffee.

Go for a branded coffee instead of the cheap brand coffee.

 The beans of the cheap brand go rancid quickly due to oxidation process and it then creates ammonia or pee like smell in the coffee.

4. Check for Excess Moisture Content

Check whether your coffee is old, moldy or lousy.

The excess moisture content in your pack can damage the product and lead to such foul smell.

5. Lack of Regular Coffee Mugs Cleaning

Clean your coffee pot regularly and properly, using dish washers.

When the left out coffee settles in your utensils, it is difficult to clean it even after a decent washing.

This can lead to the change of odor, the next time you are preparing your coffee.

In such conditions, it is important to clean the coffee cups, mugs, tumblers, thermos flasks and coffee pots thoroughly and completely.

You can use the combination of white vinegar and salt to clean the coffee stains and marks completely from your kitchen utensils.

Another efficient cleaning method is to use a pure baking soda.

A good quality microfiber cloth is highly recommended while cleaning and removing the coffee stains from the kitchen utensils and coffee mugs.

If you want to know how to properly clean coffee mugs and get rid of old stubborn coffee stains, then check out this article.

5 Simple Methods to Get Rid of Cat Pee Like Smell from Your Coffee

Coffee contains alkaloids and nitrogen containing compounds like ammonia.

There is some degradation of the alkaloids present in coffee as a result of high temperature or pressure.

There may be a minor amount of ammonia present in it.

Ammonia is quite volatile and hence, it quickly dissipates.

If you get the smell of cat pee in your coffee, then I highly recommend to try the following simple methods to get rid of this weird smell from your coffee.

1. Change the Coffee Brand

First, check the brand of the coffee you are using.

If it is a local brand product then it can be one of the reasons that your coffee has a foul smell.

In some cases, people have reported their coffee smell like a dog or cat pee due to poor brand coffee expiring too soon.

So, try to switch to a better coffee brand and you can avoid such type of foul smell in your coffee.

2. Don’t Use Expired Coffee

Always check the expiration date of food products before buying and using them.

If the coffee you bought few months back and it is now expired, then it can obviously lead to a bad odor.

Also, check whether your coffee has a moldy or lousy structure.

It may have been spoiled if you see lumps in the beans and experience foul smell.

If you prepare coffee out of such spoiled beans, then it can cause cat urine like smell in your coffee.

This is the reason, it is important to avoid using any coffee package that has been already expired.

3. Store Your Coffee in an Airtight Container

Make sure to store your coffee in an airtight vacuum container so that it doesn’t get moisturized and spoiled.

And make sure that the ground coffee is completely dry before storing it in the container.

If you are brewing your coffee, then take the coffee out of the container and let it air for a few minutes before doing it.

The best container I can recommend you for this purpose is Coffeevac Vacuum Sealed Coffee Container.

This container work excellent in maintaining the original aroma and flavor of your coffee for longer period.

Its partial vacuum seal system maintains the freshness of your coffee grounds for much longer time.

I highly recommend this airtight and moisture free container for all coffee lovers.

Click Here to Get Coffeevac Vacuum Sealed Coffee Container.

4. Wash Your Coffee Mugs Regularly

If your coffee pot or a coffee mug has stains on it then you have to clean it regularly and with proper cleaning methods.

Because, if you don’t, then it may cause a foul smell when the next time you make your coffee.

Use good detergents, soaps and dishwashers to clean it accurately.

As mentioned above, you can also use pure baking soda and white vinegar to remove the stubborn coffee stains from your coffee mugs.

5. Clean Cat Urine Stains Properly

In case you have a cat at your home and it has stained your utensil with cat pee, then here are some ways to get rid of it.

Rinse the cat pee stain with cold water first.

Add some baking soda directly to the stains and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.

After that, wash it with cold water again.

Dry the dish completely and then finally wash with your regular dish washer.

Why Does Coffee Smell like Poop or Ammonia?

If your coffee smells like poop then this is likely due to over-roasted coffee beans.

When coffee beans are roasted for much longer period, then they usually produce a strong aroma.

Along with the strong aroma, it also produces oily liquid with a thicker consistency that can taste bitter and somewhat burnt.

This flavor in particular may cause your coffee to smell like poop or ammonia.

One more reason for such type of foul smell can be attributed to the basic elements of coffee grounds.

Coffee grounds mainly contain substances such as potassium, magnesium and other minerals.

Coffee beans are roasted at high temperatures in order to activate the natural oils which produce an unpleasant flavor when burnt or over roasted.

However, the world’s most expensive coffee is made out of poop.

It is made from coffee beans that are partially digested and then pooped out by civet, a cat-like animal.

Their digestive enzymes change the structure of proteins in the coffee beans, which removes some amount of acidity from the coffee.

The cherries are fermented as they pass through a civets’


And after being defecated with other fecal matter, they are finally collected.

The taste of Kopi Luwak coffee varies with the type and origin of the excreted beans, processing, roasting, aging and brewing.

The ability of the civet to select its berries, and other aspects of the civet’s diet and health, like stress levels, may also influence the processing and the taste of the coffee.

We now know the fact that this coffee, called as Kopi Luwak is made out of civet’s poop.

But it has earthy and musty flavors with hints of caramel and chocolate and it has a pleasant aroma.

This is due to the internal fermentation by digestive enzymes inside the body of the animal.

On the other hand, ammonia is very potent and it can be a sign of coffee that has been stored wrongly.

This is usually caused by moisture getting into the coffee beans and causing an ammonia-like unpleasant aroma to develop.

In such a situation, you just have to alter the way you store your coffee beans at home.

The chemicals present in ammonia are very sensitive to air and if your coffee maker is moist or wet then it’s likely to produce this kind of smell.

So, keep the coffee maker and your containers clean and dry.

You can purchase coffee that is lightly or medium roasted.

The darker roasted have more oil content and may give an unpleasant odor.

Click Here to Get Light Roasted Coffee Beans if You Don’t Want Dark Roasted Coffee.


By now, we can conclude that there is not actual cat pee in your coffee but there are several other reasons that are responsible for your coffee to smell like cat’s pee.

In order to get rid of such odor, follow the simple methods mentioned in this article.

Try using light or medium roasted coffee beans.

Also, do not buy cheap coffee brands, instead go for good quality brands that offer superior grounded coffee.

Always check the expiry date of the coffee before buying it.

Keep your containers and utensils clean before and after using it.

And as I mentioned earlier, store your coffee in a dry and airtight container.

Make sure to avoid any amount of moisture in it.

All these methods will keep your coffee fresh and free from any foul smell for longer period.






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