Cats are usually very clean creatures. Give them a litter box, and they’ll do their business. That’s good news, because cat urine is one of the worst possible smells in the world. But some cats refuse to be toilet trained, or sickness or stress can cause stinky little accidents. You can mop up the mess, but how do you get rid of the odor? Here are some tips on how to get rid of the smell of cat urine, and prevent any further accidents.
Homemade cat urine cleaner
Traditional soaps and cleansers do little to remove the smell of cat urine. You need an enzyme cleaner, which works but can be expensive. Some also ruin delicate upholstery and carpets.
You may want to try this cheaper, and gentler, homemade cleanser. First, get a whole bunch of paper towels and blot out the area. Take note: blot, don’t rub. Rubbing just spreads the urine and presses it deeper into the fabric.
Then, combine three parts water and one part vinegar. Pour this all over the area, completely saturating it. Blot this out again.
Pour baking soda over the affected area. (Read our article on other uses for baking soda.) Then, sprinkle this powerful cleanser: ¾ cup of hydrogen peroxide (ideally 3% solution) and a teaspoon of regular dishwashing detergent. However, hydrogen peroxide can stain some kinds of fabric so test it out first in a small and hidden area. Use an old toothbrush to brush this all over the area. Air dry, then vacuum. This should remove most of the smell, but if you still get a faint whiff repeat the process.
Offer a clean litter box
Change the litter box frequently, because some cats are particularly finicky and won’t use it if they don’t like the smell.
Wash cat urine off your things
If your cat has urinated all over your bag or worse your clothes, you can remove the odor by combining one fourth cup of apple cider with laundry detergent. Then, run the items in your washing machine.
If your cat has urinated on your bare floor, you can try removing the smell with bleach. However, only use a bleach after you have cleaned the area with something that does not contain ammonia. Ammonia can react to chemicals in cat urine, and release toxic fumes. So read the label of your cleansers!
Bleach can irritate the skin so it’s best to wear rubber gloves before using it. Open windows for better ventilation.
Photo from catfacts.org.