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How to get rid of cat pee smell

So your cat peed outside its litterbox and now the whole house smells like cat urine! As inconvenient as this might be, it is easily fixable. 

As a cat owner, I have dealt with cat urine stains and odors as well. In this article, I’ll help you get rid of cat pee smell in no time! Let’s go!

What you will need

Before we head on to the details, we need to get you equipped. The hardest and smelliest of cat urine stains can easily be removed by your household items. 

Here is a list of essentials that you will find easily at home or your nearby supermarket.

  1. Vinegar: It has acidic properties that help break down the odor
  2. Hydrogen peroxide: It is a cleaning agent as well as an antibacterial
  3. Enzymatic cleaner: These are by far the best way to ensure a stain and odor-free area
  4. Baking Soda: Putting this directly on the stain absorbs orders and prevents stains

Understanding the nature of cat urine odor

Cat urine contains a number of different chemicals like uric acid, creatinine, urea, and electrolytes. 

Urea is the main culprit; it breaks down through a process known as bacterial decomposition. Bacteria break down urea into amines and mercaptans (also present in skunk spray!)

These chemicals have strong odors that can last for an annoyingly long time. Even though most adult cats do not have strong odors, some cat pees naturally have more odor than others. 

Still, if you are noticing your cat’s urine odor getting stronger, you may need to visit your vet. There might be a physical or behavioral problem at play here.

Cat pee seems to cause more odor because it hangs around in your litter box a bit longer. And of course, if your feline friend takes to your carpet and floor as the loo, the odor might seep in and stay for a long time.

3 Things to keep in mind

Here are 3 important things you need to remember when it comes to cat urine

 1. Cleanup the accidents in a timely manner

The best advice out here is to take care of your cat’s messy business as fast as possible. And if your cat has peed outside its litter box, you will have to take one more step. You need to neutralize the cat urine odor, or else your feline will smell it and pee there again. 

2. Resolve the causes

If your cat continues to pee outside its litter box, it may be trying to tell you something. At this point, you need to focus on finding the cause of the problem. Take your feline friend to your local vet as there might be underlying serious physical issues. I suggest you learn more about why your cat is peeing everywhere.

3. Clean the litter box regularly

As mentioned earlier, the longer you take to clean the litter box, the longer the odor will linger around. Make it a habit to clean the litter box before it smells like a garbage dump.  Cats do not like dirty litter boxes. So a clean litter box also ensures your cat keeps its peeing inside the box. 

Further reading: Cat pooped on the floor: what should I do?

How to get cat pee smell out of carpet

If your cat is peeing outside its box, keep an eye out for your carpet. 

Cat odors and carpets are best friends and here’s why: Cat urine seeps quickly into your carpet and if left uncleaned, it will soak right through to the carpet fibers. This not only causes heavy odor, but also leaves a future peeing spot for your cat!

Cats have a stronger sense of smell compared to humans. So if you think cleaning the urine site with a fragrant liquid will do the trick, you might have to think again. One sure way to get rid of urine odor is to neutralize it with an acidic substance. 

Here’s how to get rid of cat pee smell from carpets:

1. Vinegar treatment

Start off with mixing equal parts vinegar and water to entirely soak the area. The acidic nature of vinegar will neutralize the odor of the chemicals in urine. 

2. Soda treatment

Soak the area with club soda and let it sit. When the liquid stops effervescing, sprinkle baking soda on top. This will help soak up any leftover odors. 

3. Odor remover

You will find many pet stain/odor removers online or in your local supermarket. These are pretty efficient against the strongest cat pee smell.

4. Vacuuming

Your cat may bring the micro pieces of litter with her feet. This may cause an unpleasant smell. This is why you should thoroughly vacuum the carpet before wet cleaning if this is the case. Usually, pet vacuums for cat hair can easily do this job.

How to get cat pee out of furniture

If your cat has peed on non-carpeted surfaces, there are easy steps to eliminate cat odor.

Remember to be mindful of strong chemicals (such as bleach) when dealing with vinyl, ceramic, or linoleum surfaces.

Also, remember that the chemicals in urine turn dangerous when mixed with bleach. When combined, harmful gases are produced that are dangerous to inhale.

1. Enzymatic cleaners

Use an enzymatic cleaner. These liquids have special enzymes that break down the tough chemicals in cat urine causing odor. These cleaners are best for both stains as well as odors. 

2. Hydrogen peroxide

Another substance that helps get cat odor out of your home is 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. This chemical is commonly available and has antibacterial properties. This means it will also get rid of both the stain and odor together.

Mix a cup of hydrogen peroxide with a couple tablespoons of dish detergent and cover the entire stain. Watch the stain fade away entirely leaving the surface spotless and odorless!

3. Stain removal solutions

Head out to your local pet store to find special cleaning solutions. Mix a cupful in a bucket of water and let it sit on the stain. It works best on floors. Mop over the solution after 3-5 minutes for the best result.

How to get rid of cat pee smell on clothes

Feline buddy soaked your clothes? It’s easy to get the odor out don’t you worry! 

Use these easy home remedies for clothes, beddings etc. to get rid of cat pee smell easily!

1. Vinegar wash

Immediately throw your clothes into washing separate from other clothes. Use warm water and add a cup of vinegar with your detergent. Vinegar will neutralize the cat urine odor out of your clothes right away!

2. Baking soda

Just like vinegar, baking soda also has neutralizing properties. Add baking soda to your clothes or beddings that have been peed on. You can also use a detergent that has baking soda in it already.

This ensures your clothes are entirely free of cat stains and odor. Making sure your pet does not find any signs of its previous crime. 

Air-dry the clothing items before folding them up.

Do not bleach clothing items that have cat urine on them. Urine mixed with bleach produces chemicals that are hazardous for your health!


Here I have answered some of your common questions online:

Q: How to get rid of the old cat urine smell?

Even the strongest of cat urine smells can be thrown off with simple home remedies. Douse the surface with a vinegar solution, hydrogen peroxide solution or baking soda to get the smell out. For best results, opt for an enzymatic cleaner that makes sure to leave no trace of cat pee odor.

Q: What kills cat urine odor?

Using a fragrant cleaner will not get the cat odor out properly. You need to neutralize the cat urine remains with an acidic or enzymatic cleaner. These liquids have antibacterial properties which break down the toughest chemicals making sure cat urine odor is gone for good! 

In a word

By now you have learned many ways of getting rid of the toughest of cat urine stains or cat pee odors in your home. May it be your carpet, your floors or even your clothes, you can now use easy home remedies. 

Remember to keep your cat’s litter box clean. Maybe you would want to check out an automatic litter box? Look out for any strange cat behaviors such as peeing outside the litterbox, and visit your local pet if you see them.

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