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How to Remove Cat Urine Smell From the House

Miren Azurmendi
By Miren Azurmendi. November 6, 2023
How to Remove Cat Urine Smell From the House

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If you need to eliminate cat pee odor from your house it will be due to the cat urinating outside their litter box. There are various reasons why this will occur. It could be due to their age. Kittens may not have learned to use the litter box and senior cats often suffer incontinence in their old age. It could also be due to a physical health problem such as cystitis which has urination outside the litter box as a symptom. Similarly, emotional stress can cause the same problem. Treating these issues should stop the problem urination, but the damage might already be done. In these cases, AnimalWised explains how to remove cat urine smell from the house.

  1. Why does my house smell like cat pee?
  2. Home remedies to remove cat urine smell
  3. Products to eliminate the smell of cat urine

Why does my house smell like cat pee?

As we have stated in the introduction, cats usually eliminate waste in their litter box. While we will provide some litter training, cats are instinctually inclined to use a litter box due to their instincts and predisposition toward hygiene. Their instinct tells them using the litter box for urination and defecation is the best way to keep their environment clean.

Despite this predisposition toward using one, there are various reasons why a cat will urinate outside of their litter box. They include:

  • Kittens: newborn kittens are altricial animals, meaning they need the intervention of a parent figure to care for them. This includes urination since the mother cat will stimulate this bodily function in their first days by licking. It is only once they age and they have been litter trained that kittens will start to use the litter box.

  • Senior cats: older cats are more likely to develop certain health issues. Their physical body suffers the wear and tear of age, often leading to general incontinence. They are also more prone to diseases such as kidney disease which can have incontinence as a symptom.

  • Disease: cats of any age can develop diseases which cause them to urinate outside of the litter box. These include diabetes, spinal infections, gastrointestinal disease, feline leukemia virus or feline lower urinary tract disease.

  • Trauma: physical trauma to the spine can cause the cat to have problems controlling their lower extremities. This includes their ability to urinate properly.

  • Emotional stress: if a cat is undergoing a period of emotional stress, urination outside the litter box may be a sign of a problem. Cats communicate differently to us, so behaviors such as improper urination may be a way to let their guardian know something is bothering them.

  • Improper litter box: in addition to their hygienic nature, cats can be very picky with their preference. This extends to litter boxes. Factors such as the wrong size, using the wrong litter or not cleaning them properly can cause the cat to go outside. Learn more with our article on whether two cats can use one litter box.

You will help solve the problem of cat urine smell by addressing these issues. They should stop the cat from spraying around the house inappropriately, but you may still have the issue of cat odor infused in the home. We explain how to remove cat urine smell from the house in the sections below.

Home remedies to remove cat urine smell

There are countless home remedies to remove the smell of cat pee from the home. While the most effective method is prevention, there are natural products which can help absorb the cat pee odor from various furnishings. Others might have a naturally strong scent which can be used to cover over the urine smell.

It is always advisable to act quickly when we detect this unpleasant odor. Letting the urine to sit will cause the odor to infuse more permanently. Also, cats will want to urinate in the same place. If they pee somewhere and you do not clean it up, they are likely to return and intensify the stench. We should try to absorb as much liquid as possible before we consider how to cover up the cat pee odor naturally.

Different surfaces will need to be cleaned differently. For example, vertical surfaces should be cleaned using circular movements and hot water. Floors and horizontal surfaces can allow you to soak up the urine better. In addition to suppressing the intense odor, you should disinfect the area and neutralize possible relapses.

The following are some of the most effective home remedies for removing cat urine smell from the house:

Diluted soap and vinegar mixture

First apply the soap to the stain and then do the same with the diluted vinegar. To do this, you must use two parts water to one part vinegar. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and remove the traces of vinegar with water. It is effective for stains on delicate fabrics such as curtains or certain carpets.

Soap and ground coffee mixture

In this case, you should apply the soap first and then cover the cat urine stain with ground coffee. Let it dry and brush off the stain or remove the coffee with the vacuum cleaner.


Opt for a clear mouthwash if the surface or fabric is light. It involves obtaining a mixture of mouthwash and water in equal parts. It is one of the most effective natural remedies to remove the smell of cat pee from beds.


This well-known disinfectant is ideal for smooth surfaces or less delicate fabrics before cleaning them in the washing machine. Pour a few drops of 70% isopropyl alcohol directly onto the area to be sanitized, let it sit for a few minutes and rinse with water.

Mixture of vinegar, lemon and baking soda

This remedy is very powerful, since it combines the three most effective ingredients when it comes to removing the smell of cat pee. The stains will be disintegrated quickly and the germs that cause the bad smell will be neutralized. In turn, the lemon will prevent the cat from relieving itself in that place again. Its aroma is unpleasant to them.

While cat urine odor is common to all cats, the cat themselves shouldn't smell. Discover the reasons why a cat smells bad with our related article.

Citrus essential oil

Citrus fruits act as natural repellents for insects. As we have just mentioned, it will also for cats. This oil is not recommended for delicate fabrics since it will leave an unsightly grease stain on them.

Baking powder

Spread it over the urine stain and wait for it to dry. You can then vacuum or brush it. We guarantee that there will be no trace or smell of cat pee left.

How to Remove Cat Urine Smell From the House - Home remedies to remove cat urine smell

Products to eliminate the smell of cat urine

When stains are recurring or we have not been able to remove them immediately after they occur, it is usually more expensive to dispel them. Their odor will also be more intense and unpleasant. If you are in the habit of sleeping with your cat and want to know how to remove the smell of cat pee from a dry mattress, you should use more aggressive commercial products than the home remedies we just told you about.

As a general rule, these products are formulated based on ammonia and hydrogen sulfide. This is because their strong active ingredients have a proven ability to disintegrate both stains and bacteria that cause bad odor. While they are often effective, they are not always as good for the health of the home. Antibacterial sprays that include enzymes are better options to remove cat urine, feces or vomit.

The reason enzymatic cleaning products are better is because they clean organically. They respect the integrity of delicate surfaces and fabrics. Cleaners with active oxygen are another resource that deserves your attention. They have a high penetration power and their effectiveness is guaranteed.

Keeping a clean litter box is also very important for home hygiene. Ideally, you should change the cat litter at least once a week. This may need to be increased if more than one cat uses the litter box or if one is experiencing certain health issues. You will need to remove stools daily regardless of these factors. A thorough cleaning of the litter box should be performed at least once a month.

Keeping a clean cat litter box will encourage them to use it. You can also use homemade neutralizers or deodorizers to prevent the strong smell from entering the rest of the house.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Remove Cat Urine Smell From the House, we recommend you visit our Extra care category.

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How to Remove Cat Urine Smell From the House