How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell and Prevent Your Cat from Peeing Elsewhere

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Have you ever had your friends call your house out for smelling like cat pee? Yikes! Trust us when we tell you that you are not the only one. Lucky for you, we know all the effective techniques on how to get rid of cat pee smell.

If you have been a cat owner for years, then you know that, unfortunately, there are times when your cat decides to pee outside his litter box. When this happens, it basically means that your cat is either sick, has some sort of behavioral issue, adjusting to a new pet in the house, or simply because his litter box is already dirty.

However, whatever the reason may be, you are still left to deal with a stench that is very hard to mask. Through this article, we aim to end the suffering of many cat owners out there. Before we do that, though, we believe it is best that you know why cat pee reeks in the first place.

Why Does Cat Pee Smell So Bad?

We often get asked why cat pee smells so bad. Well, the truth is, cat pee is not very different from other animals’ pee. Then again, what makes their pee smell so bad is the fact that it usually goes unnoticed for hours. More often than not, that is when it starts to be a problem.

Cats have a tendency to leave a mark with their pee to claim their territory outside the litter box. After some time, the bacterium in the pee begins to decompose and gives out an odor similar to that of ammonia, a common characteristic of pee that is stale.

When left for longer periods, it continues to decompose and emits mercaptans, the compounds that give a skunk spray-like odor. The smell is worse if your cat is older as their kidneys would have lost some of its efficiency. Fortunately, there are effective products, which can be easily bought from any local store, that can get rid of this unpleasant smell.

Choosing the Right Product for Cleaning Cat Pee

odor_removerContrary to popular belief, neutralizing cat pee odor is not that hard to do. Using pantry staples, such as baking soda or vinegar, and even enzymatic cleaners is a guaranteed method of getting rid of that stench.

While vinegar in itself may have a weird smell, it works quite well in removing cat pee odor. This is because vinegar is an acid that can neutralize the alkaline salts that get formed in dried cat pee. A vinegar and water mixture is one of the most common solutions for this issue.

To get rid of odor in couches, mattresses, carpets, and even linens, the best product to use is an enzyme-based cleaner. These are very easily available in most local pet article stores. The enzymes that are present in these cleaners do a fantastic job of breaking down the acid in the cat pee.

Additionally, these cleaners have natural enzymes along with helpful bacteria that effectively get rid of the stench and the bad bacteria. No matter what, do not use any cleaning product that contains ammonia, as that is a component of cat pee.

Ammonia and other chemicals present in cleaners will end up setting the stain, which is the opposite of what you are trying to do.

How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell Effectively

Now, that you know what to look for when buying an effective cleaning solution, here are some useful techniques you can do to keep your house smelling good and free from cat pee!

  • Blot up as much of the cat pee as you possibly can with a paper towel. If the spot is quite large, then do not waste paper towels and grab either old clothes you will probably throw away or a cloth towel.
  • Never rub the stain. If it is already dry, then pour some cold water over it and allow the paper towel or cloth to blot.
  • If you use homemade remedies, such as vinegar and water, then let it sit there for a while and wait for it to dry up. Afterward, sprinkle a good quantity of all-purpose baking soda powder over it. To take this a step further, you can mix about a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide along with a teaspoon of dish detergent over the baking soda.
  • Let all of this mixture dry for a couple of hours. Once it is dry, you can vacuum the excess baking soda.
  • If you choose to use commercial cleaning products, make sure to read the instructions on them thoroughly before using it. Always make sure to opt for enzyme-based cleaners.
  • Deodorizing the stain is very important even if you cannot see it. A combination of baking soda along with a mixture of detergent and water is a brilliant way to deodorize the area.

How to Prevent Your Cat from Peeing Outside the Litter Box

The best to ensure that your house does not end up smelling like cat pee ever again is, of course, making sure that your cat does his business in the litter box. In order to achieve that, though, requires lots of patience and hard work. Here are things you can do to prevent your cat from peeing anywhere else but his litter box.

  • Always make sure that the litter box is desirable to them. Preferably, choose litter boxes that are large in size and keep them uncovered as often as possible. A small litter box may make the cat feel cramped, especially if it is large in size or if it is fluffy.
  • If your cat is older and cannot climb the stairs easily anymore, then make sure that you have placed a litter box on each level in your house. In addition, the litter box should be easy for the cat to get into. Always consider a shallow box in such cases.
  • Place the litter box in an area that is easily accessible to your cat. Ensure that it is nowhere close to where your cat has his or her meals. The best solution for better placement of the litter box is to consider creating a decorative screen so that you can separate the litter box from other areas of the house. This maintains your home décor and also gives the cat its privacy.
  • Try multiple cat litters before settling for one. This will allow you to figure out which one your cat likes the most. In addition, choose a cat litter that is unscented and easily scoopable as cats tend to love that the most.
  • Always keep the cat litter box clean, which means cleaning it at least once or twice every day.


We hope that these effective tips have given you enough information on how to get rid of cat pee smell. Whether you opt for commercial cleaners or choose natural home remedies, be certain that you clean the area thoroughly. If you do not, the lingering smell will attract your cat and it will pee in the same spot again.

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