Wedding Woes


Dear Prudence,
Recently I visited a good friend of mine. As soon as I walked in the door, I was hit with the smell of ammonia from cat urine. Every inch of her house was covered in an animal stench, and my asthma immediately flared up. I said I needed to stay in a hotel for the rest of the trip, saying I’d had to do that because of my asthma before. I didn’t tell her it was because her house smelled horrible. Ever since, I have wondered whether I should tell her, because it just seems incredibly unhealthy, not to mention embarrassing for her and her girlfriend. I also wonder about the health of their pets.

—Toxic House

Re: *gag*

  • Oh gross. There is nothing, literally nothing, worse than the smell of cat pee. If I was LW I'd be thinking of a way to kindly tell the friend the truth. 

  • Gross. 

    It's going to be awkward, you I think LW needs to tell her friend the truth. Maybe they don't realize it any more?  
  • Ro041Ro041 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    There is no way I would touch that topic.  There really just isn't a good way to do it without alienating the friends.

  • I think it depends on the friendship and the personality of this specific friend.  The LW says it is a good friend so, unless the friend is really sensitive to or doesn't take criticism well, I'd probably say something like, "Friend, I know we can all sometimes get used to our surroundings and don't realize there is a problem, but there is a strong odor a cat pee in your home."  And then allow a give and take conversation from there.  Maybe have suggestions ready on fixing the situation, both for cat(s) and the current state of the house.

    Cat pee is unbelievably corrosive.  It will not only ruin floors, it can even ruin sub-floors when it is a long-term problem.  I don't know about people's health, but I wouldn't think that's very positive either.  It is a serious problem, not just unpleasant.

    For crazy gross, I belong to a real estate investing forum.  Posters will often put up a continuing saga of a house they are fixing/renovating.  One guy who is a flipper took on the house of a hoarder.  Employees going into the house had to wear special suits and breathing apparatus.  It was that bad.  The house had a "sunk-in" living room.  Though they didn't know it was "sunk-in" when they started.  After they cleared out that room, they realized the sunken-in part was filled with about 2' of used cat litter.

    But, hey, he ended up making a nice profit on that house.  Deserved every penny of it!

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I knew someone with 32 indoor cats.  Half of them were in a hallway "cat cage" that was for the cats that were too "ill-behaved" (or feral) to be out in the general population.  I babysat the cats once and it was miserable.  That house is a tear down eventually.  

  • I'm legit thinking of Hoarders ...
  • SIL's ex-MIL is an animal hoarder and has 19 (last I heard) cats, and also dogs, rabbits, birds, and a pig. The house reeks of cat urine, and so do exMIL/FIL and everything they own. SIL had to put their suitcases in her garage when they visited because the smell was too much for her guest room. 
  • You ladies might remember my cat pee issue. It was one room and I was so embarrassed. I can still smell it and I am constantly worried that my guests will too. Even though I lived there, I was still sensitive to the smell so I can't imagine being a guest. I don't think I'd tell my friend, though, unless she asked why I wasn't staying. 
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