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How to Get Rid of the Cat Pee Smell

Why Does Cat Pee Stink?

Cats sometimes do things that frustrate their owners. One of the biggest pet peeves is pet pee! 

Cat pee is a difficult problem because you may not always see the pee outside of a litter box until it starts to smell bad– that dreaded cat urine smell.

Cats that are forgoing the litter box will usually pee in an out of the way location, such as underneath furniture or another hidden spot. 

Not long after a cat pees, the bacterium in the urine starts to decompose a substance called urea in their pee. At this time, the spot will give off a strong odor of ammonia. If not cleaned thoroughly, a second stage of the decomposition starts. The stale urine will emit mercaptans. These compounds are the same as those that skunks emit. 

Here are a few more factoids about the cat urine smell:

  • Male cats’ urine has a worse smell than that of females because of steroids.
  • Older cats’ urine is often stronger smelling than that of younger cats.
  • When cats urinate vertically, they are marking their territory while peeing on a flat surface is often a sign your cat craves attention.

How to Get Cat Pee Smell Out of Carpet?

If you have discovered that your cat has targeted your carpet, here’s how to get cat pee out of the rug or carpet. Remember that time is of the essence when getting rid of cat pee smell.

  1. Dry up as much urine as you can by blotting with paper towels.
  2. Use a combination of 50% vinegar to 50% water. 
  3. Dab the area with your solution. (Repeat blotting and using the solution until the smell dissipates.)
  4. Sprinkle baking soda on the affected area to neutralize any lingering pee smell. 
  5. Vacuum up the baking soda thoroughly once dry. 

How to Get Cat Pee Out of Mattress and Furniture

If you’ve found a cat pee smell on a mattress or upholstered furniture, you will really want to learn quickly how to get cat pee smell out. Take these steps:

  1. Remove all your sheets and any other bedding that has gotten wet from the urine and wash them in your washer.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda all over the urine spot to absorb as much of the urine as possible. 
  3. For the next step, either use a commercial product as directed or use a homemade solution (see below) to treat the mattress or furnishing.
  4. Try not to rub too hard because you want to avoid forcing the urine deeper into the mattress or upholstery.
  5. For the homemade solution, treat the affected area by spraying or daubing with white vinegar (straight).
  6. Use fresh paper towels to blot the spot.
  7. Vacuum when dry.

How to Remove Cat Urine Smell From Floor?

For non-carpeted areas such as ceramic tile, linoleum, or vinyl floors, use an appropriate product from the list below, and then follow with a final rinse of a solution of 1 part bleach and to eight parts water. 

For hardwood floors, use undiluted hydrogen peroxide, pouring it liberally on the surface where the smell is, and mop it up after 5 minutes.

The Best Cat Urine Removers 

If it’s a recurring problem in your household, you will probably want to try some commercially available products that are advertised specifically as a cat urine cleaner. The products below clean and get rid of the cat pee smell. Follow their directions on how to get cat pee out of carpet and other surfaces.

This is a professional-strength remover that gets high marks and will remove the cat urine smell.

This product fights both cat urine stains and odors. It’s an all-purpose cleaner that can be used on carpeted areas, floors, furniture, and more. Plus, it has a pleasant smell. 

This product will eliminate pet stains and promises to squelch their odors permanently within seconds. It also works on a slew of other awful messes, including vomit, feces, hairballs, and blood. 

How to Get Rid of Cat Urine Smell Naturally

You can do it with common household products as described below:

  1. Dry up as much urine as you can by blotting with paper towels.
  2. Mix a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 1 part water. Another solution is 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 1 part water, to which you can add a teaspoon of dish detergent. You can also use club soda directly, as well.
  3. Clean and treat the area by pouring solution over the affected area, scrub, blot again, and allow the area to dry.
  4. Sprinkle baking soda heavily over the entire area and leave for 24 hours.
  5. Vacuum the area thoroughly.


It only takes one mistake by your cat for you to need to want to know how to get cat pee smell out.  A cat will return to the same spot if the odor is not completely removed. Knowing how to get cat urine smell out of the carpet and other home furnishings is a must so that you and you and your furry friend can live together harmoniously.

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