How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell

13 Minute Read
Updated June 24, 2024

The pungent aroma of cat pee can burn your nose and make your eyes water. In fact, cat pee smell is one of the most stubborn and unpleasant odours around. If you are wondering how to get rid of the cat pee smell - rest assured, it can be done!

Unfortunately, the smell of cat pee lingers even with the best cleaning practices if they are not carried out correctly. Whether the cat urine is on your carpet, clothes, wood, or even in the air, getting rid of cat pee smell can seem impossible. But don't worry, there are effective ways to tackle this problem.


The Problem with Cat Pee Smell

This might seem like a silly thing to try to explain. Of course, no one wants cat pee stinking up their house, but getting rid of cat pee odours goes beyond just our basic olfactory preferences.

In addition to the strong ammonia odours of cat pee, their urine will also contain pheromones. These pheromones are undetectable to humans but will leave an easily identifiable mark for your cat or other cats to return to. This can encourage your cat to continue to pee outside of the litter box. 

Using the right cat urine smell removal products and practicing good litter box hygiene can help to dissuade your cat from marking or eliminating outside of the litter box.

Check out How to Litter Train Your Cat and Stop Bad Bathroom Habits for more tips and information.


How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell

Cat pee odours can have some serious staying power. Tradition cleaning products and methods may seem sufficient, but the strong ammonia scent and pheromones can linger once the soiled spot is dried. 

Additionally, different materials may need different cat urine smell removal methods and products. How to clean cat urine out of carpet or clothing can vary greatly from the best methods for cleaning wood or concrete.

Let's go through some of the top tips that can help you get rid of cat pee smell for good:

How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell on Clothes

Some cats will urinate on your clothes or bedding to mark you as ‘theirs’ or as an act of anger or protest. No matter what the reason, you’ll want to act quickly to tackle the smell.

Getting rid of cat pee smell on clothes can be a bit tricky, but it’s doable.

    • Rinse the Clothes: Rinse the affected clothing with cold water as soon as possible.
    • Pre-Treat with Enzyme Cleaner: Apply an enzyme cleaner like Nature's Miracle directly to the stain and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Just like with any stain remover for clothes, it should be applied directly to the soiled fabric.
    • Wash as Usual: Cold wash the clothes in the washing machine using a heavy-duty detergent. Add a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to further neutralize any remaining cat urine odour.
    • Air Dry: Avoid using the dryer until you're sure the smell is gone. Heat can set the odour permanently and you’ll never get rid of the unpleasant smell. 

How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell on Wood

Hardwood floors are a luxury in any home. However, wood is porous and can rapidly absorb the smell of cat urine. Treating wood floors can be tricky, so it's important to take the right steps to prevent damaging the wood. 

If your cat has peed on wood, follow these steps:

    • Blot the Area: Immediately blot up as much urine as possible. Yes, it's hard to blot a wet spot on wood but do the best you can to soak up the urine. 
    • Clean with Enzyme Cleaner: On sealed wood floors or decks, use an enzyme cleaner like Nature's Miracle Cat Advanced Stain & Odour Remover Spray. Spray it on the stained urine area and let it sit for a few minutes. Unsealed wood floors could be much more of a challenge. The urine can quickly saturate the wood and make it very difficult to clean. You can still use enzymatic cat urine cleaners, but you shouldn't let it soak for too long or it may further damage the wood.
    • Rinse and Dry: Use a spray bottle with clean water to rinse the area and wipe away with a clean cloth. You don't want to oversaturate wood, so spray and dry repeatedly if needed.
    • Unsealed Wood Floor: For deeply set urine stains on unsealed wood, you may need to sand and refinish the section of flooring.

How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell on Concrete

You might think that concrete would be easy to clean if your cat pees on the hard surface. However, concrete is porous, which makes it a bit more challenging to clean. It can hold on to odours much better than other materials and the scent can be simplified when the concrete gets wet.

Check out our tips for cleaning cat pee from concrete:

    • Clean the Surface: Use a mixture of water and a heavy-duty cleaner to scrub the spot on the concrete.
    • Apply an Odour Eliminator: Use an enzymatic pet cleaner designed for concrete to soak the area where your furry friend peed. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes on the spot.
    • Rinse and Dry: Rinse the pee stain with clean water and allow it to dry completely. Hopefully, the smell will be gone. If not, try repeating the process. 

How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell in Carpet


Has your cat urinated on your beloved area rug?  Or perhaps the kitty has found a corner of your wall-to-wall carpeting where they have urinated. Cat pee on the carpet can be tough to remove.

The key is to act quickly to effectively remove the cat pee smell from the carpet.

        • Blot the Area: Use paper towels or a clean cloth to soak up as much urine as possible. Don’t wait until the urine dries or it's going to be very hard to remove the smell.
        • Apply an Enzyme Cleaner: Enzyme cleaners break down the proteins in cat urine, eliminating the smell. Nature's Miracle Urine Destroyer Foam for Cats is a great choice. Spray it on the affected area and let it sit for at least 10 minutes.
        • Blot Again: After the cleaner has soaked in, blot the area again to remove the cleaner and the urine.
        • Rinse and Dry: Rinse the area with clean water and blot dry. Your carpet should smell fresh and urine odour-free.
        • Repeat as Needed: Depending on the severity of the urine spot, you may need to do a second pass. Thicker and tightly woven carpets may need to deeper soak and may even need to be scrubbed before blotting.

How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell on a Mattress

Cats often urinate on the mattress for a variety of reasons. Though your bedding is easy to clean, the mattress doesn't exactly fit in the washing machine. If your cat has peed on your mattress, it’s essential to act fast.

    • Blot the Area: Use paper towels to soak up as much urine as possible. Press down to work the urine up to the top of the foam layers to better blot it. 
    • Apply Enzyme Cleaner: Use a foam enzymatic cleaner to help deeply penetrate the soiled spot. Spray it on the area on the mattress where the cat peed and let it soak in.
    • Blot and Air Dry: Blot the area again to remove excess cleaner and urine, then let the mattress air dry before you put sheets on the bed. If it should still smell, repeat the steps to try to remove the cat pee smell from the mattress. 

How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell on a Couch

If your cat urinates on the couch you’ll want to act quickly to neutralize the smell. Much like mattresses, couches can be hard to clean, so the quicker you act the better the result will be. To remove cat urine smell from a couch, follow these steps:

    • Blot the Area: Soak up as much urine as possible with paper towels or a towel.
    • Apply Enzyme Cleaner: An enzymatic cat urine cleaner can be used on most fabrics, but it's always smart to do a test spot somewhere hard to see to ensure the cleaner won't discolour the material. Spray it generously on the area where your cat urinated on the couch and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. The exception would be for leather. Don't let the spray soak for too long on the leather.
    • Blot Again: Remove the cleaner and urine by blotting with a clean cloth.
    • Rinse and Dry: Rinse the area with a damp cloth and let it air dry. Repeat if the odour still lingers.

How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell When You Can't Find It

Sometimes, you might smell cat pee but can’t find the source. It’s hard to treat cat urine if you don’t know where the smell is coming from. However, you’ll want to hunt for the source of the odour.

Here’s what to do:

    • Use a Black Light: A black light can help you find hidden urine stains. The urine will glow under the light.  This is your best bet for finding the source of the cat urine smell in your home.
    • Clean All Suspected Areas: Once you locate the spots, clean them thoroughly with an enzyme cleaner.
    • Air Out the Space: Open windows and use fans to further ventilate the area.
    • Neutralize the Air: Use pet air deodorizer to freshen the air in your home after cleaning up the urine. You might also want to open a few windows or run a few fans.


Best Cat Urine Remover for Different Surfaces

Accidents happen, but the best way to prevent your cat from becoming a repeat offender is to quickly remove the odours and pheromones. Household cleaners, vinegar, and baking soda can help, but more often than not, they just don't completely remove the smell, and they definitely don't remove pheromones that encourage your cat to return to the scene of the crime.

At Homes Alive Pets, we carry a variety of products to effectively remove cat pee smell. Check out our top suggestions for the best cat urine and odour removers for different surfaces in your house:

1. Best Cat Urine Remover For Carpet and Furniture


Nature's Miracle Urine Destroyer Foam for Cats is excellent for removing cat urine from carpets and furniture. The solution works by breaking down urine proteins in the stain which then eliminates the smell. The foam application makes it easier to penetrate thick fabrics, like carpet without over-saturating the material. 

2. Best Cat Urine Remover For Tile and Laminate


The Tough Stuff Natural Touch Cat Urine Eliminator works well on tile and laminate floors. It’s tough on stains but gentle on surfaces so it doesn’t remove the flooring’s shine - only the stain.  Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle before application. You might also want to consider the flooring manufacturer’s cleaning advice before using a cat urine stain eliminator on the surface.

3. Best Cat Urine Remover For Old or Stubborn Odours


Nature's Miracle Cat Advanced Stain & Odour Remover Spray is a very popular product for eliminating cat urine odours. It’s perfect for tough or old odours. It’s powerful enough to tackle even the most persistent smells.

4. Best Cat Urine Remover For Outdoors and Concrete


Skout's Honor Urine & Odour Destroyer Concrete & Turf is ideal for outdoor surfaces and concrete. It penetrates deeply to remove odours effectively for even the toughest surfaces.

5. Best Cat Urine Remover For Litter Box


Even with regular cleaning, your cat’s litter box might still start to smell like cat urine. Some cats - especially intact males - have very strong-smelling urine. Sprinkle & Sweep Litter Box Deodorizer keeps your litter box smelling fresh. It’s easy to use and highly effective.

Bonus: Best Cat Urine Remover For Air

Does your home smell like cat urine?  Whether your kitty has urinated outside of the box or your litter box just smells, you’ll want to freshen the air in your home. PowAir Odour Neutralizer Spray helps neutralize odours in the air, keeping your home smelling fresh and clean.


Cleaning is Only Half the Solution

Removing the odours and stains is a necessary step, but don't forget to practice good bathroom habits and litter box hygiene to curb this unwanted potty habit. If your cat pees outside the litter box, there is probably a reason.

It's important to investigate this behaviour and maintain a safe, hygienic, and easy-to-access litter box for your cat to encourage good bathroom skills. 

Dealing with cat pee smell can be challenging, but with the right approach and products, you can eliminate it. Remember to act quickly, use enzyme cleaners, and keep your home well-ventilated. With these tips and the many cat pee smell eliminators sold at Homes Alive Pets, you can say goodbye to cat pee smells.


Cat Pee Smell FAQs

How long does it take for cat pee smell to go away?

While the intense odours from cat urine can dissipate in days or weeks, they won't be gone for good until they've been properly cleaned with enzymatic cat urine cleaners.

How do I get rid of cat pee smell outside?

Sometimes it's not your cat that is causing the unwanted odour. Outdoor or stray cats can mark territory or use your lawn as a bathroom. Enzymatic cleaners can be used on hard surfaces like concrete or wood, but you may also want to consider trying a pet repellent spray that can help keep cats off your property.

Is cat urine dangerous to people?

General accidents and litter box smells often don't bother people, but litter boxes that are not cleaned regularly, large areas of flooring or furniture that are soiled with cat pee, and cat urine in confined spaces can be irritating to some people. Eye and skin irritation can occur, and some people may experience headaches or nausea when exposed to high concentrations of cat urine.

Why does cat pee smell so bad?

A by-product of of the urinary system is ammonia, which has a very strong and sharp scent. This is why cat pee is so pungent. Pheromones can also contribute to the odour, which is why unneutered males tend to have some of the most pungent urine.

How do you find cat pee that you can't see?

A black light can be used to see cat pee stains, even old ones, hidden on most surfaces in your house. If you can smell cat pee, but can't find it, this can be a helpful tool to identify the source.

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Homes Alive Pets


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