Eau de Urine: How to Get Rid of That Cat Pee Smell

Cat pee smell on rug.

Cats are amazing creatures. They are beautiful, agile, and a bit mysterious. They can be fabulous friends, great snuggle buddies, and a constant companion even in uncertain times. 

Cat urine, on the other hand, is not such a pleasant thing. If you are struggling with odor in your home, Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates wants to help you banish that cat pee smell once and for all. Nothing, not even urine, should stand between you and your cat.

Setting Your Cat Up for Success

The first key to avoiding that cat pee smell is being sure that your cat is using their litter box appropriately. While this may seem easy, cats can be pretty particular. When it comes to your cat’s litter box:

  • Choose a box wide and tall enough to accommodate your cat comfortably while standing
  • Lean towards an uncovered box (most cats prefer these)
  • Don’t change litter brands often, rather stick with your cat’s favorite (usually a fine, clumping, unscented variety)
  • Only fill deep enough to facilitate scratching and burying (about two inches)
  • Scoop at least daily
  • Change out litter entirely on a weekly schedule
  • Wash litter boxes with a mild, unscented detergent every few weeks
  • Avoid heavy scented cleaning agents or deodorizers
  • Provide a litter box on each level of your home that your cat has access to
  • Provide a litter box per cat you have plus one additional (i.e. four boxes is recommended for three cats)
  • Place litter boxes in quiet, low-traffic areas of your home

Following these recommendations can help ensure that your cat will use their litter box regularly. 

Cleaning Up Cat Urine

If your cat does urinate outside of the litter box, it is important to clean the area properly. This will help to remove any lingering odor and not encourage further use of the spot as an unconventional litter box. 

To clean up cat urine:

  1. Blot or wipe up as much urine as you are able as soon as possible.
  2. Use pressure on top of towels to soak up as much urine as you can if the surface is absorbent, such as carpeting.
  3. Use a carpet cleaner or sponge to clean the area with a mild detergent.
  4. For carpeting, re-wet the area with water or club soda, blot up, then allow a towel with something heavy over it to soak up the remaining moisture overnight
  5. Spray with an enzymatic cleaner and allow to dry
  6. Use vinegar to wash laundry or clothing before a normal wash cycle

If your cat is suddenly refusing to use the litter box after appropriate training, it is important to understand why. In some cases, there may be a real medical problem at play. Call us to make an appointment so that we can help. 

Cats who are suffering from kidney problems, diabetes, urinary infection, bladder inflammation, or other medical problems may have accidents or choose not to use their litter box. Untreated, these conditions can lead to serious problems such as dehydration or even urinary blockage.

Goodbye Cat Pee Smell

Eliminating accidents outside of the litter box is the most effective way to be sure that cat pee smell isn’t the first thing that your guests notice when they come into your home.

Besides good litter box hygiene, routine grooming of your pet, home air filtration, air purifiers and fresh furniture and fabric decor can also help. 

That cat pee smell isn’t very desirable, but your feline friends are worth the extra effort to keep things clean. With a little work and experimentation, it is very possible to have a nice smelling home and a cat. Or two.