Whether you are a cat owner dealing with a feline accident or a renter facing a previous tenant’s negligence, the stench can be staggering and persistent. While many products and home remedies claim to eliminate this odor, not all of them work.
So, what gets rid of the cat pee smell? You can try several methods to get rid of the cat pee smell. For clothes, carpets, or upholstery, enzyme-based cleaners can effectively save your day. Baking soda can absorb the urine from concrete and wood, while white vinegar can remove the odor from those surfaces.
But, avoid steam cleaning for synthetic fabric as it can set the stain, and do not sprinkle bleach over cat pee. We gathered more related information to soothe your curious mind and explained everything in detail.
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Cat Pee Smell and How Long Does It Last
Dealing with the smell of cat urine can be challenging. Odor can persist due to ammonia concentration, bacterial breakdown, and the presence of uric acid. Ordinary cleaning agents do not effectively eliminate uric acid, allowing it to persist within a home for an extended duration.
Generally, the smell of cat urine can last anywhere from several hours to several days. However, the duration can vary on different factors, like the cat urine concentration, the surface it’s on, the cleaners used, and the ventilation in the area. Let’s explore this further.
Fresh Urine: The smell can be quite strong and pungent if you’re dealing with fresh cat urine. As mentioned, it typically contains high levels of ammonia, which contribute to the strong odor.
So, you should clean the pee as soon as possible. Otherwise, the bad smell can dissipate quickly.
Older or Unaddressed Urine: If cat piss has been left unaddressed or has soaked into porous surfaces such as carpets, upholstery, or wood, it can be more challenging to eliminate the odor. In these cases, the smell may linger for a longer period.
All The Methods/ Ways to Remove or Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell
Cat owners know the struggle of tackling the strong and unpleasant odor of cat urine. Thankfully, there are numerous methods and products to neutralize and eliminate the smell, granting you the opportunity to create a fresh and clean living space once again.
1. Enzyme-Based Cleaners
These specially formulated cleaners contain enzymes that break down the urine molecules, effectively neutralizing the odor at its root. They are specifically designed to eliminate the smell at the source. To maximize effectiveness, carefully follow the product’s instructions.
If you’re looking for an enzyme cleaner to remove the cat pee smell, check out this product from Amazon.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a tried-and-true remedy for combating the unpleasant odor of cat pee. Its natural deodorizing properties help absorb and neutralize the pee smell.
Although baking soda is an affordable solution, it’s not as effective as enzyme cleaners. But it can perform the job to some extent.
3. Vinegar (DIY)
We all know about this common household ingredient. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water. Spray or pour the solution onto the affected area. Give it a few minutes to rest, then gently remove excess moisture by blotting.
Vinegar can help neutralize the odor. But do not use it on your cat’s usual pee spot (litterbox) because vinegar is used as a deterrent for your cat’s unwanted peeing habit.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
H2O2, also known as Hydrogen peroxide, is quite effective in removing all organic stains that come from living sources. As for cat pee stains, it will work, but it does not help you to eradicate the odor from the air.
To eliminate the smell from certain spots, you need to use an Odor neutralizer to take out stinks from your home.
5. Odor-Neutralizing Sprays
There are various odor-neutralizing sprays available that are specifically designed to eliminate pet odors, including cat urine smell. These sprays work by neutralizing the odor molecules in the air. Follow the instructions on the product for best results.
6. Cat Urine Odor Remover Pads
Odor remover pads are designed to absorb and eliminate cat pee. Place these pads in the area where the cat has urinated and leave them for the recommended duration. They are particularly useful for carpets, rugs, and upholstery.
7. Detergent and Club Soda
Washable items like clothing, bedding, or rugs require a combination of detergent and club soda. To begin, prepare the mixture by combining both items. Take a clean cloth and soak in the mixture.
Then, blot the affected area slowly and transfer the solution onto the stain. Afterward, wash the item typically, following the instructions for that particular item.
8. Sunlight and Fresh Air
After washing the clothes and fabrics, place the affected items or let the affected area receive direct sunlight and fresh air. Daylight can help neutralize odors, while fresh air helps to dissipate the smell.
9. Machine Wash
Wash machine-washable items quickly and comprehensively. Do not use detergent. And also, avoid using hot or warm water. Only apply cold or lukewarm water. Follow the instructions on the garment’s care label.
10. Odor-Removing Candles
Certain candles (the link will take you to Amazon) are designed to release pleasant scents while neutralizing unpleasant stinks, including the cat pee smell. Light these candles in the affected area to help mask and eliminate the odor. It just masks the bad smell. So, you need to wipe out urine from the invaded area first.
11. Air Purifier
An air purifier (the link will take you to Amazon) with a carbon filter can help reduce airborne particles and odors from the indoor environment, including cat urine smell. Place the air purifier in the room where the stink is present for the best results. However, until you clean cat piss completely, the odor can persist.
12. Some Natural Solutions: (Lemon Juice, Coffee Grounds, Essential Oils, Activated Charcoal)
Lemon juice, coffee grounds, essential oils (such as lavender or eucalyptus), and activated charcoal are some natural solutions that some people find helpful in removing or masking cat urine odor. But after using bamboo charcoal, you need to through away the waste ASAP.
13. Professional Cleaning Services
If the cat piss smell persists despite your efforts, you may consider hiring professional cleaning services. They have specialized equipment and expertise to remove stubborn odors from various surfaces and materials.
Some people say baking soda and white vinegar are the best homemade cat pee odor remover. Both of them can temporarily mask the cat’s urine odor. But these remedies are not always as effective as the commercial products.
How to Get Rid of the Cat Pee Smell (In 9 Simple Steps)
When dealing with the unpleasant cat urine issue, follow some general guidelines to remove the odor effectively. Here are some steps to help you tackle the cat pee smell:
Step 1: Act Swiftly to Locate the Source of The Smell
Act quickly to identify the affected area. Use your sense of smell or black light to detect dried urine stains that may not be visible to the naked eye. This will help you to choose the targeted treatment and enable you to handle the problem effectively.
Step 2: Blot the Area with Cold Water (Avoid Scrubbing)
After locating the spot, use paper towels or an old rag to blot the area. However, avoid scrubbing, as this action can inadvertently spread the urine and exacerbate the stain. Gently blotting the area helps to absorb the moisture and minimize its visibility.
Step 3: Absorb the Urine As Much As Possible
Keep blotting the area until you have absorbed as much of the cat’s piss as possible. Apply gentle pressure to extract the liquid from the surface. The objective is to remove the urine effectively and minimize its presence in the affected area.
Consistent blotting and applying gentle pressure facilitate the absorption process and diminish the extent of the stain.
Step 4: Test the Cleaning Solution
A preliminary test is required on a small affected surface before applying any cleaning solution. This precautionary step makes certain that the solution does not result in discoloration or cause damage to the surface or fiber.
Step 5: Utilize an Enzymatic Cleaner
Enzymatic cleaners are specifically designed to break down the compounds in cat urine that cause the odor. Follow the instructions on the product and apply it generously to the stained area. Allow it to sit for the recommended duration. Avoid ammonia-based cleaners like glass cleaner, Bleach, Toilet cleaner, etc.
Step 6: Use A Wet/Dry Vacuum
Consider using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner (the link will take you to Amazon) to wash out the liquid and any residual cleaning solution. This versatile tool proves highly effective in extracting moisture from various surfaces such as carpets, upholstery, and more.
A wet/dry vacuum cleaner can efficiently suck away any remaining liquid and ensure a more comprehensive cleaning.
Step 7: Wash the Area Thoroughly with Clear Water
After finishing the vacuuming process, thoroughly cleanse the area by rinsing it with fresh water. This step serves the purpose of eliminating any remaining residue from the enzymatic cleaner, thereby facilitating a comprehensive cleaning.
By thoroughly rinsing the area, you can ensure that no trace of the cleaning solution or debris lingers, promoting a pristine and refreshed surface.
Step 8: Dry the Area Thoroughly
Proper drying is essential to prevent the growth of mold or mildew. Use fans, open windows, or a dehumidifier (the link will take you to Amazon) to expedite the drying process. Avoid exposing the area to excessive moisture.
Step 9: Repeat If Necessary
In situations where the urine odor is particularly strong or persistent, it may be necessary to repeat the cleaning process. Be patient and consistent, as it can take several attempts to completely remove the smell.
These general guidelines can effectively neutralize dry and old cat piss odor and restore freshness to your home. Remember, addressing accidents instantly is key to preventing the urine from penetrating deep into materials and causing long-lasting bad smells.
Specific Guidelines for Different Surfaces
Allow me to provide you with detailed instructions on effectively removing cat piss and eliminating its odor from various surfaces.
Carpet (How Do You Neutralize/Get Rid of Cat Urine Smell in Carpet)
Blot the wet spot with paper towels or cloth until it is mostly dry. Then, spray the area with a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Leave it undisturbed for 10 minutes, then blot again.
Spread some baking soda over the spot. Vacuum the next day to remove the baking soda and any remaining odor.
Couch and Sofa
To clean cushion covers, if they can be removed, machine wash them with cold water and detergent. If not, follow the carpet cleaning steps but use less vinegar and water to avoid saturating the fabric.
Consider using a pet odor remover or enzyme cleaner after the vinegar solution to break down urine molecules and remove the odor.
Furniture and Upholstery
If the pee is confined to the surface, gently wipe it away using a damp cloth. Afterward, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and apply a leather or wood cleaner. In case the urine has soaked into the wood or leather, you may need to use a professional cleaning service or replace the item.
Bed and Mattress (How to Get Rid of Cat Pee from Mattress)
Strip the bed sheets and wash them in hot water and ammonia-free detergent. For the mattress, follow the same steps as for the carpet, but use less vinegar and water solution to avoid soaking the mattress.
You may also want to use a waterproof mattress protector to prevent future accidents.
Swiftly launder the clothes in cold water and detergent. For an extra odor-fighting boost, consider incorporating white vinegar or baking soda during the wash cycle. Be cautious not to employ bleach or ammonia-containing detergents, as they can intensify the urine smell.
Hardwood Floors (What gets rid of/removes the cat pee smell on wood)
Wipe up the piss with paper towels or cloth immediately. Then, use a hardwood floor cleaner or a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water (1:4 ratio) to clean the area.
Rinse with water and dry thoroughly. You may need to sand and refinish the floor if the urine has penetrated the wood and caused discoloration or warping.
Scoop out the clumps and solids from the litterbox daily and dispose of them in a sealed bag. Once a week, dump out the entire litter and wash the box with hot water and soap. Rinse well and dry completely before adding fresh litter.
You can also add some baking soda or activated charcoal to the litter to reduce odor.
Walls and Corners
Sometimes cats spray urine on the walls or corners; wipe it off with paper towels or cloth as soon as you notice it. Then, spray the area with an enzyme-based cleaner or a solution of white vinegar and water (1:1 ratio).
Let it sit for 15 minutes, and then wipe it off. You may need to repaint the wall.
Plants and Potting Soil
Does your cat urinate on your plants or potting soil? Just remove the urine-affected soil and replace it with new soil. Cover the ground with aluminum foil, pine cones, or citrus peels to deter your cat from digging in it.
You can spray your plants with a repellent spray or move them to a place where your cat cannot reach them.
Don’t forget to test any cleaning solutions on a small, inconspicuous area before applying them to larger surfaces to check compatibility and avoid damage. If the stains or odors persist, it may be advisable to seek professional assistance.
How Do I Get Rid of Cat Urine Smell Forever/Permanently
To permanently get rid of the cat urine smell, follow the below guideline:
Prepare a solution by mixing equal parts water and vinegar. Avoid using ammonia-based cleaners as they may confuse your cat and encourage them to urinate in the same spot again.
Sprinkle baking soda on the affected area to absorb the odor. Then, pour the vinegar and water solution over the baking soda. The vinegar will neutralize the alkaline salts present in urine stains.
Gently scrub the area with a cloth or sponge to work the solution into the stain. Allow it to sit for a few minutes to penetrate the odor source.
Afterward, rinse the area with clean water and blot it dry using a clean towel or paper towel. This helps remove any residue and prevent further odor development.
For tougher stains and odors, you can create a solution using 3% hydrogen peroxide and a teaspoon of dish detergent. Sprinkle baking soda on the area, then pour the hydrogen peroxide solution over it. Gently scrub and let it sit before rinsing and drying.
Why Is It So Hard to Get Rid of The Cat Pee Smell?
Cat urine smell is hard to eliminate because of its different components. The odor persists because of urea and uric acid crystals that are left behind after the urine has dried. These crystals are very difficult to remove because they are insoluble in water and most cleaning agents.
Moreover, Cats tend to return to the same spot if the smell isn’t eliminated.
Also, cat urine can seep into various surfaces, such as carpets, furniture, and fabrics. And it may reach underlying layers or soak into porous materials, making it difficult to remove the odor completely without proper cleaning techniques.
In addition, the presence of bacteria in cat urine contributes to the odor, and without proper cleaning agents, it’s hard to remove the odor completely.
Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Remove Cat Urine Odor
When it comes to removing cat piss odor, people often make some common mistakes. So, approach the task carefully and use the right techniques and products.
Here are some common mistakes people make when trying to remove cat pee smell:
- 01. Not Finding the Stain As Soon As Possible: The longer the urine sits, the more difficult it becomes to remove the odor completely. So, locate the affected area and begin the cleaning process promptly.
- 02. Using Steam Cleaner: While steam cleaners can be effective for many cleaning tasks, they are not recommended for removing cat urine. The heat from the steam can set the stain and odor, making it more challenging to eliminate.
- 03. Not Rinsing the Area with Clean Water: After applying a cleaning solution, rinse the area with clean water. Failure to do so can leave behind residue that may contribute to lingering odors.
- 04. Not Removing the Liquid with A Wet/Dry Vacuum: Remove as much liquid as possible from the affected area. A wet/dry vacuum is an effective tool for this task as it can extract both urine and cleaning solutions, leaving the area cleaner and fresher.
- 05. Not Drying the Area Thoroughly: Properly drying the area is important to prevent any lingering odor. Ensure good air circulation and use fans or open windows to expedite the drying process.
- 06. Apply Bleach: Although bleach is a powerful disinfectant, it is not effective in eliminating cat urine odor. The ammonia in pee can react with bleach and create harmful fumes.
- 07. Using Strong-Scented Air Fresheners: While it may be tempting to mask the odor with air fresheners, strong scents can sometimes exacerbate the problem. Opt for odor-neutralizing products or natural remedies instead.
- 08. Scrubbing: Avoid vigorous scrubbing when cleaning up cat urine. Scrubbing can push the urine deeper into carpets or fabrics, making it harder to obliterate the odor.
- 09. Not Addressing the Underlying Issue: Try to understand why your cat is urinating outside the litter box. Stress, health issues, or an unclean litter box can be contributing factors. Identifying and addressing the root cause help to prevent future accidents.
- 10. Neglecting Hidden Areas: Cat urine can penetrate porous surfaces and reach hidden areas, such as carpet padding or subflooring. Ensure that you thoroughly inspect and clean these areas to eliminate any lingering odor.
- 11. Using Ammonia-Based Cleaners: Ammonia-based cleaners should be avoided when dealing with cat urine. Since cat piss contains ammonia, using such cleaners can amplify the odor and encourage your cat to re-mark the area.
- 12. Not Using the Right Cleaning Products: Use the appropriate cleaning products specifically designed for removing cat urine odor. Enzyme-based cleaners are particularly effective in breaking down pee molecules and eliminating odor.
By avoiding these common mistakes and following the proper steps, you can successfully remove cat urine odor and maintain a fresh and clean environment for both you and your furry friend.
Frequently Asked Questions
01. What Should I Do If the Cat Pee Smell Persists After Trying Different Methods?
After trying various methods, if the odor persists, consult a professional. Cat urine contains persistent chemicals that can linger in carpets, furniture, and fabrics.
A cleaning service with specialized equipment can effectively remove the odor and sanitize the areas. However, replacement may be necessary for old or damaged items.
02. Are There Any Specific Products or Brands Recommended for Cat Pee Smell Removal?
There are several reputable products and brands recommended for removing cat pee smells. Here are the four best and most popular ones:
- Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator
- Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator
- Simple Solution Cat Stain and Odor Remover
- Nature’s Miracle.
03. Does Cat Urine Ever Go Away?
Cat pee can be persistent, but with the right cleaning methods, it can be eliminated. Instantly address the issue and use specialized cleaners designed to break down the pee components.
Make sure that the cleaner reaches all layers. With diligence and proper washing, cat piss odor can be eliminated.
04. What Breaks Down/Neutralizes Cat Urine Smell?
You can use vinegar, baking soda, or enzymatic cleaners to break down the cat pee smell. These products help neutralize the odor by breaking down the components of cat urine. Vinegar and baking soda are household remedies, while enzymatic cleaners use specific enzymes to break down the urea in cat urine.
Eliminating the persistent cat pee smell requires a thorough cleaning approach, utilizing enzymatic cleaners to break down the urine compounds. And using odor neutralizers designed specifically for pet odors can help eliminate the smell.
Also, taking preventive measures, such as addressing underlying issues and maintaining a clean litter box, is crucial. With patience and consistent efforts, you can successfully eliminate the cat piss smell and create a fresh environment for you and your feline companion.