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How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell: 3 Easy Ways

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By Nicole Cosgrove

kitten on cat litter box

If you have a cat in the house, you already understand their dominating nature and how they take control of their environments. These intelligent animals make litter box training easy and, in some cases, handle it all by themselves. This doesn’t mean you won’t have accidents around the house and a few cases of inappropriate behavior. Whether your cat is young and still learning or has it in for you and decides to pee on your floor, getting the smell of cat pee out can be difficult. Unfortunately, cat pee has a very distinct smell and will soon fill your home if you don’t act quickly when these mishaps happen. Even worse, cats tend to return to the scenes of their crimes and urinate again if you don’t eliminate the odor they’ve left behind. Luckily for those of us that own cats, there are ways to get rid of the cat pee smell. Let’s take a look at a few proven and easy methods for eliminating this noxious odor in hopes of helping you take back your home from the feline trying to take over.

Why Do Cats Pee Outside the Litter Box?

While getting rid of the urine smell in your home is important, determining why your cat is peeing outside of their litter box is also. If your cat is going potty in areas where they aren’t supposed to, usually there is a reason. Let’s take a look at the most common causes for these occurrences.

Cute grey cat on carpet near wet spot pee
Image credit: New Africa, Shutterstock


Unfortunately, if your cat is peeing around the house instead of their litter box they could be suffering from a medical issue. If your cat is suffering from a UTI or other illness, they may relieve themselves outside of the litter box in hopes of alerting you to the issue. If the accidents happen often, your feline friend may need a trip to the vet for a checkup.

Litter Box Size

Your cat needs appropriate space when using the bathroom. If their litter box is too small for them to move around when they are trying to do their business, they may decide to use your floor, couch, or even bed instead. When choosing a litter box, always make sure it is roomy enough for your cat.

british cat inside litter box
Image Credit: Natasha Zakharova, Shutterstock

A Dirty Litter Box

Dirty litter boxes are another reason cats will pee on your floors and other items. Cats are extremely clean animals. If they feel their boxes aren’t being cleaned properly or in a timely fashion, they will relieve themselves in other areas of the home to let you know they aren’t happy with their restroom area.

The 3 Best Methods for Cleaning Cat Urine

While ridding your home of the smell of cat pee is difficult, it isn’t impossible. The first step in the process is always the same no matter what cleaning method you use. To get the best results from cleaning, use a dry towel to blot up as much of the urine as possible before you begin. Once that’s taken care of, try the methods below to fully eliminate the odor from your environment.

1. Baking Soda

baking soda
Image Credit By: evita-ochel, pixabay

Baking soda is found in almost every home. This odor absorber helps keep fridges and bathrooms free of unwanted smells. Luckily, for cat owners, it can also help when it comes to urine smells. To use baking soda to eliminate cat pee smells around the home simply pour a generous amount on the area once the spot has been found. After roughly 30 minutes, thoroughly vacuum up all the baking soda. If the smell persists, repeat the process until it’s gone. Since baking soda can be dangerous to cats when they inhale it, you should keep your pet away from the area while this process is taking place.

2. Vinegar

Image Credit: Piqsels

Vinegar is another common product around the home. While the smell of vinegar is quite strong, its ability to kill bacteria and eliminate odors can’t be denied. The acid in vinegar also helps neutralize the alkaline found in cat urine. When using vinegar to attack the odor, begin by mixing one part vinegar with one part water in a spray bottle. Locate your cat’s urine spot and spray it thoroughly. Once the vinegar mixture dries, if you still smell the urine, repeat the process. You can use this DIY solution until you no longer smell the urine.

3. Enzyme Cleaners

cleaning sofa with spray
Image Credit: Lion Day, Shutterstock

Store-bought cleaners are another popular way to attack the smell of cat pee in your home. If you decide to purchase a product to help out when your kitty has an accident, enzyme-based cleaners are the best choice. These cleaners work by attacking the acids in cat urine and breaking them down. This breakdown helps eliminate unwanted odors and helps you reclaim your home from the foul smells. When using these cleaners always follow the manufacturer’s recommended usage instructions. This will keep your furnishings and flooring safe and ensure the odors are eliminated quickly and efficiently.

What Not to Use On Cat Pee

Using the above methods will help you reclaim your house from the unwanted stench of cat urine, but there are a few things that can make these foul odors worse. Let’s take a look at the methods you should never use when dealing with cat urine or its smell.


Bleach has been known to ruin furniture and flooring when used as a cleaner or urine removal method. It is also hard on the lungs of both humans and animals. If your cat has peed in your home and the smell is becoming too much, steer clear of bleach or you could make matters worse.

Bleach powder
Image Credit: Pixabay


Ammonia doesn’t smell great itself. It’s also the same thing that makes cat pee smell so bad. If you use ammonia around the house to fight urine odors, your cat may think the areas you’ve cleaned are new bathroom spots. Unless you want to turn your home into a large litter box, it may be best to avoid using ammonia all together.

Steam Cleaners

When your cat pees on the carpet, your first instinct may be to pull out the steam cleaner. Don’t. These cleaners use heat and hot water to wash your flooring. Heat will only make the smell of cat pee worse. If you simply need to clean your carpets after your cat has had an accident, clean the area first and try to remove the odor before applying the heated cleaning.

cleaning couch with disinfectant spray
Image Credit: AngieYeoh, Shutterstock

Related Read: Cat pooping outside litter box: what should I do?

Cleaning Up

Yes, the smell of cat pee is overpowering and can leave you ready to run from your own home. Luckily, though, there are ways you can eliminate these odors when your cat has relieved itself in areas other than its litter box. These three methods are great ways of removing these odors from your house and making it smell clean once again.

Featured Image Credit: Sharaf Maksumov, Shutterstock

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