Cat urine high, myth or reality?
There is a much talked about phenomenon in which people claim that it is possible to get a cat urine high, which is debatable. The rumour even appeared as a continued joke in the much loved comedy show South Park.
However, this claim is the point of discussion in this article. We analyze the validity of the claim tofind out whether it is a myth or reality.
Cat urine – The science
First, urine from cats, or any other animal, usually contains ammonia. This compound can be quite highly concentrated in cat urine. This is especially true for cats that are infected by some renal disease.
There have been no fully controlled scientific experiments into the effects of cat urine on the human psyche when inhaled. However anecdotal evidence suggests that different people usually react differently after inhaling this compound.
The reported physical and psychological effect of cat urine inhalation
Many personal accounts say the effects resemble the ones displayed by the people who consume alcohol. Therefore, we can say that the cat urine high idea has some truth in it. Therefore,this claim is not entirely a myth. Someone may be likely to experience the following effects after inhaling this compound.
The first effect of ammonia in cat urine is losing consciousness and vomiting. Once someone inhales air that is polluted by the urine vapors, he or she will first experience burning sensations in the respiratory tract and the nostrils. If this person inhales this air for a long period or in concentrated amounts, he/she is likely to suffer from lightheadedness. This in essence is the cat urine high effect. Consequently, such a person could lose consciousness and faint. However when restricting or polluting one’s air intake this effect would be experienced anyway. So cat urine is merely one of many substances that could cause this effect.
Dangers of attempting to achieve a cat urine high
The effects of ammonia usually depends on the immunity of an individual. Considering the numerous possibilities of the places that a cat could urinate, it can be hard to avoid such inhalation. Consequently, people whose immunities are low, the ones who suffer from allergic reactions, asthma or migraines are at high risks of suffering from irritation of the eyes and skin. Actually, children are the most susceptible to these effects. This is because they have a very low body to weight ratio.
The third category of effects caused by cat urine ammonia is irritation of the lungs and bronchitis. Considering the low amounts of ammonia content in this urine, most people will cough, suffer from breath shortness and produce phlegm. This coughing is a result of irritation of the lungs. However, when someone produces phlegm during coughing, he could be suffering from a respiratory system infection. Even though these are not direct cat urine high effects, they are quite undesirable.
The effects experienced due to inhalation of ammonia from cat urine can be classified into short term and long term:
The short-term effects occur after someone inhales the compound for only a few minutes. They include headaches and irritation of the eyes. They usually vanish when someone changes the environment to one that has some fresh air. If the effects persist, you should consult a doctor.
The long-term effects are not common. However, they include feeling nauseated and dizziness. Someone can avoid such effects by training a cat on where it should urinate. In addition, clean the places that the cat may have already urinated within the house. Most obviously do not directly inhale cat urine in an attempt to get high!