Cat Urine Scent Perplexes Croton Residents

The mysterious smell has permeated the village since at least Tuesday, but officials cannot pinpoint the source.

A mysterious smell hanging around Croton has residents wondering if they need to change the litter.

Croton residents have been reporting since Tuesday that an unpleasant, cat urine-like odor has blanketed their community, according to a Facebook post from the Croton Fire Department on Wednesday night. Despite receiving widespread attention, including coverage on WNBC 4 and the Drudge Report, the Fire Department and other officials have been unable to locate the source of the stench. Firefighters checked storm drains and manholes throughout Croton, but none were identified as a source of the smell.  

Residents believed the smell could be attributed to animals such as foxes, raccoons, even coyotes. Some claim to have smelled the cat urine-like aroma for over a week. The smell was so pungent in areas that it seeped into some homes, disrupting sleep for many. Despite all of this, numerous neighbors agree that felines aren’t causing the stink.

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“How could there be cat urine all over the neighborhood? The whole thing is very strange,” a Croton resident told News 12

The smell was most noticeable in the Harmon area, which is closest to the Croton train station and Croton Point Park, as well as the Upper Village. Those in the northern area of Croton did not experience the odor. Brian Conybeare of CBS2 News tweeted his theory for the source of the stench: “Is the demolition of an old railroad building causing the smell of ‘cat urine’ in Croton? Sniffing out the truth…” The railroad building Conybeare referred to is the Harmon Railroad Shop.

According to an article by Hudson Valley Ruins, “the work will include demolition and replacement of the eastern side of the Harmon Main Shop, demolition of the Blowshed building, and demolition of the existing Recycling Center facility.” The demolition has been ongoing since January 2016 and is near the Croton areas that have been affected by the cat urine-like smell. As of yet, no connections have been made between the demolition and the odor.

Janine King, village manager of Croton-on-Hudson, released a statement regarding the odor to the village’s Facebook page on February 4, 2016. “We’ve conducted outreach to Con Ed, Metro North, CSX, Historic Hudson Valley, the Westchester County Health Department and others to inquire about any recent activities that may have led to the odor,” the statement reads. None of these organizations have reported any potential sources, but will continue to investigate the smell.


The Village is aware of the odor that has been present over the past couple of days. The Engineering Dept. and DPW have…

Posted by Village of Croton-on-Hudson,NY on Thursday, February 4, 2016

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Anyone who has any questions or concerns about the odor should contact the village of Croton-on-Hudson at (914) 271-4848. Additionally, the health department can be contacted at (914) 813-5000.

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