The definitive guide to eliminating the smell of pee from cats

The definitive guide to eliminating the smell of pee from cats

Stress, old age or some health problem are causes why a feline can urinate outside its box. It is important to remove the smell of cat pee immediately to prevent it from getting impregnated.

The definitive guide to eliminating the smell of pee from cats

Last update: November 30, 2021

Felines are animals that stand out for their independence and hygiene. However, there are different reasons why you may urinate outside of your box. Both in these cases and to keep the litter clean, it is important to eliminate the smell of cat pee quickly, due to its strong penetration.

It is not just a question of aesthetics or hygiene. If cats urinate in inappropriate spaces and are not cleaned, it is very likely that they will repeat the action. Anxiety problems, stress or conditions in the urinary tract are the cause of this behavior.

Various sectors of the home, such as carpets, furniture and even the bed, can be affected spaces. Eliminating the smell of pee from cats is possible with commercial products and also with homemade solutions.

Reasons why the cat urinates out of the litter

It is common to think that cats carry out this action as revenge against their owners for some situation that they disliked. However, there are other reasons that can be much more serious, such as health problems. If the behavior repeats, rule out diseases related to the urinary duct.

For instance, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or kidney conditions. When the animal is in pain, it is possible that it associates them with the box, so it tries not to return to it. In that case, you have to go to a vet.

Age and location

Age is another cause. If they are very small, it may be due to inexperience, something that is corrected with time and indications. On the other hand, in adulthood, arthritis problems may appear, a situation that makes access to the litter difficult.

In general, it should not be placed in a difficult-to-reach space. Not too far from social activity or close to noisy appliances, such as washing machines or dishwashers.

Other reasons for the smell of cat pee

Male cats often urinate to mark territory. On the other hand, females do it with the aim of being available for mating. It is convenient to castrate the males and sterilize the females once they are 6 months old.

Other reasons, such as territorial disputes with other cats or situations of discontent over food changes, can lead to anxiety problems. Care must be taken to identify these causes and, if necessary, consult a specialist. If there is more than one cat in the house, they should have one box each.

The location of the litter box should be well thought out, so that the cat has easy access to it.

What causes the strong smell of cat pee?

The urine of any animal has strong odors. However, in felines you can distinguish a particular fragrance that quickly affects household hygiene.

This is due to different factors:

  • Weather: It is possible that, just made, the urine stain goes unnoticed for a while. Once the hours have elapsed, the typical odor caused by ammonia is given off.
  • Decomposition: When the decomposition process continues, the smell of cat pee increases, due to the emission of an organic compound called methyl mercaptan or methanethiol.
  • Age: it is an aggravating factor for the odor. The more adult the animal is, the less effective its kidneys work.
  • Hormones: uncastrated males urinate with a higher component of testosterone. This detail also increases the potency of the scent.
  • Materials: Depending on the surface where you urinate, the fragrance may be higher or lower.
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Useful components to eliminate the smell of pee from cats

Removing the strong smell of pet urine is possible with different products, both commercial and homemade. Usually, are liquid solutions diluted in water, so it is convenient to use latex gloves to apply them.

Lemon and baking soda

It is a homemade solution. Dilute 2 tablespoons of baking soda in water and lemon and apply to the stain with a cloth. The abrasive power of the product acts on the bacteria that cause bad odor.

Hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and soap

Another effective combination is to combine these 3 ingredients in a container. It is important that the amount of bicarbonate and hydrogen peroxide is similar.

Enzyme based cleaner

For fabric or leather surfaces, such as carpets, mattresses and even the sofa, a useful element is the enzyme-based cleaner. Although it is a commercial product, it is easy to find in any cleaning store. Its properties decompose and evaporate the uric acid that generates the smell of cat pee.


Another solution within reach of the home, although it is preferable to use detergents of active origin. Mixing them with water and applying them to the urine stain with a sponge is the recommended procedure. Then make circular movements in the area.

White vinegar

This product, also diluted in water, is suggested for urine on certain surfaces. For example, walls and floors, as it neutralizes the odor. Although the fragrance of vinegar is also powerful, with time they both disappear.

Avoid ammonia

It is important to avoid cleaning products with ammonia if the objective is to eliminate the smell of cat pee. Urine also contains ammonia, so added effects can occur. In addition, the animal may be attracted to the fragrance and return to perform its needs on the site.

Techniques to eliminate the smell of pee from cats

If the cat urinated on the carpet, you have to remove as much of the liquid as possible with absorbent paper. Then rinse the area with clean water, pat dry, and apply the enzyme-based cleanser. Leave on for 15 minutes and dry again. Cover the area for a while to prevent the animal from returning.

If liquid or odor got to the subfloor, remove that part of the carpet. For sofa cushions, pillows, and mattresses, the process is similar. In the latter case, several towels should be used for drying, as this is a thick, multi-layered object. As it is the space where you sleep, it is essential that its sanitation is complete and effective.

For clothes and sheets apply techniques that include baking soda or white vinegar. In principle, rinse with cold water, both manually and in the washing machine. Once the product is placed, let it dry in the open air. The faster the urine is removed, the more likely it is to erase the stain and its odor.

Classic household cleaning products are useful to combat the smell of cat urine.


Even if the animal urinates in the space indicated, it is important to maintain the general cleanliness of your bunk. In this way, the accumulation of bacteria is avoided and the smell of cat pee is minimized.

If necessary, carry out daily sand changes and weekly deep cleanings. After washing with soap and water, let it dry and place a layer of pine sawdust to act as an absorbent. Finally, fill in with sand or new sepiolite.

Avoidable aspects when cleaning the smell of pee from cats

It is common to make the mistake of scolding pets when they perform unwanted behavior. This attitude is not recommended for the problem of urine in cats; it can even make the situation worse. It is better to provide adequate space and a clean box for him to perform his needs.

The animal must be guided back to the litter. For example, moving her around with her food bowls. On the other hand, it is preferable to avoid the use of steam or heat in the areas affected by urine, as they can fix the stain.

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