Cat Tips

How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell 

June 22, 2022

How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell 

If you’ve spent a lot of time around cats, you’ve likely experienced the unpleasant odor of cat pee. If your cat pees outside of their litterbox, it can lead to a scent issue that can be hard to get rid of. However, with the right tools and knowledge, you can get cat pee smell out of anything!  

Good Products to Use 

The first step to getting the cat pee smell out of anywhere in your home is using the right products. There are two options that will work for you: 

  • Baking soda and vinegar mixture: mix one part water and one part vinegar with some baking soda and apply it to the affected area. The scent in vinegar is actually an acid that will get rid of the scent of cat pee as it fades! 

  • Enzyme-based cleaners: You can purchase cleaners that are designed to both break down the cat’s urine and get rid of the scent at the same type. This will allow for a thorough clean, making you less likely to have another cat pee mess on your hands in the same area! 

Cats have much more sensitive noses than we do. It’s important to use these cleaning options to make sure that the scent is gone for them as well. If cats smell urine somewhere, they’re more likely to pee there again.  

Don’t Use Ammonia 

It’s vital that you avoid using ammonia cleaning products because ammonia is actually the component in cat pee that makes it have its scent. Plus, ammonia-based cleaners may stain, which won’t help you get rid of cat pee stains!  

Cleaning Cat Pee Smell Out of Carpet 

Depending on where the cat pee is, there are different approaches to cleaning that you should take. Let’s break down how to clean cat urine scent out of your carpet! 

Step One: Blot the Spot

The sooner you blot the cat pee, the easier it will be to clean. Absorb as much of the cat pee as possible with a clean cloth or paper towel.  

Step Two: Rinse and Vacuum

After blotting, rinse the area with water and remove the water with a wet/dry vacuum. It’s important not to use a steam vacuum because they can actually set the stain, making it much harder to clean.  

Soak with Enzyme Cleaner

Most enzyme cleaners will come in a spray bottle. You will want to spray a very generous amount of the cleaner to the area and make sure it’s fully saturated. Then, let the cleaner sit for 10 to 15 minutes. After it sits, blot it up with a clean towel. 

It’s possible you may need to repeat this process if the cat pee spot is older or the scent was particularly strong. This is okay, just make sure to follow the steps again and keep your cat away from the area during the cleaning process! 

Cleaning Cat Pee Smell Out of Clothing 

There’s nothing worse than finding that your cat peed on your favorite clothes. However, following these steps can help you get that pesky smell out without issue! 

Rinse with Cool Water

Before cleaning your clothing, you will want to rinse it out with water to remove as much of the cat pee as possible.  

Use Detergent and Baking Soda or Vinegar

After rinsing, you will want to wash your clothes in the washing machine with your normal detergent as well as either a cup of baking soda or a quarter cup of cider vinegar. Make sure you NEVER use bleach when cleaning cat pee because it can mix with your cat’s urine and create dangerous gases.  

Use an Enzyme Cleaner When Needed

If you’ve washed your clothes and you can still smell the cat pee, you can use enzyme cleaner and do another washing cycle.  


Don’t put your clothes in the dryer because the heat can cause any leftover scent to set into the fabric of your clothing. Instead, air-dry your clothing after going through the washing process.  

Again, you may have to follow these steps a couple of times if the cat pee is old or strong. Just make sure you are following the correct measurements and product guidelines in order to get the best results!  

Cleaning Cat Pee Smell Out of Couch Cushions 

Cats may pee on your couch cushions or mattresses from time to time. If so, you can follow these steps to get the scent out!  

Soak the Spot with Water

Saturate the entire urine area with water and then blot up as much excess liquid as you can. This will help you get as much urine out as possible, making the odor-eliminating process much easier.  

Soak with Enzyme Cleaner

Take care to pour enzyme cleaner over the entire affected area, making sure to saturate the entire location. Then, allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Once the time has passed, press as much of the liquid out of the cushion or mattress as possible and then blot with fresh towels.  

Let it Dry

When you can, put the cushion or mattress outside to dry, allowing for fresh air and no cat interference. If you have to dry it inside, keep your cat away from the cushion while it’s drying. 

Once again, you may need to follow these steps more than once, especially with mattresses.  

Why Cats Pee Outside Their Litterbox 

It can be very frustrating when your cat is peeing outside of their litterbox. You will want to try to get to the root cause of the peeing. If you’re dealing with cat urine odor throughout your house, check these possible reasons for the inappropriate peeing locations.  

Health Issues 

Cats may pee outside of their litterbox if they are suffering from a number of health issues. Cats tend to hide illnesses or injuries until they are more advanced. Their litterbox habits can be an early warning sign that something is wrong. Some common illnesses that can cause cats to pee outside the litterbox are: 

  • UTIs 

  • Crystals in their urine 

  • Bladder stones 

  • Hyperthyroidism 

  • Arthritis 

  • Kidney disease 

If your cat has suddenly begun peeing where they shouldn’t, take them to the vet for a thorough checkup to eliminate illness as the cause.  

Unclean Box 

Cats can be finicky with their litterboxes. If your cat’s litterbox isn’t clean enough for them, they may choose to pee elsewhere to avoid the uncomfortable environment. Make sure you are cleaning your cat’s litterbox every day and giving fully fresh litter every one to two weeks! 

Territory Issues 

If you have multiple cats, you may have a cat who feels their territory is being threatened. They will pee outside of the litterbox to mark where they “own” throughout the house. Also, if you have a timid cat, they may get bullied going to the litterbox, leaving them to pee elsewhere. A great way to help with either of these issues is making sure you have one more litterbox than you do cats (so three boxes for two cats).  


Cat pee can be a nuisance, but it doesn’t have to be a permanent issue in your home. If you have an issue with the cat pee smell in your house, make sure to use the right cleaners and do a thorough job of getting rid of the scent completely. Then, make sure you get to the underlying reason that your cat is peeing outside of the litterbox in order to prevent it from happening again!  


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