Last Updated on July 22, 2023 By Emma W. Thomas
Cat urine smell can last for weeks if not properly cleaned. To get rid of the smell:
- Blot and soak up urine with paper towels.
- Apply enzymatic cleaner to break down urine molecules.
- Rinse the area with water and blot dry.
- Use baking soda or vinegar to neutralize the remaining odor.
- Ensure proper ventilation and repeat cleaning if necessary.
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How Long Does Cat Urine Smell Last
|Factors||Duration of Cat Urine Smell|
|Cat’s Health||If the cat is healthy, the urine smell may last for a shorter duration compared to a sick or older cat.|
|Cat’s Diet||Certain foods can affect the concentration and odor of cat urine. A high-quality diet may result in less pungent urine that dissolves faster.|
|Hydration Level||Well-hydrated cats produce urine with a lower concentration of waste, resulting in a milder smell that dissipates more quickly.|
|Urine Amount||Larger urine stains or accidents may take longer to dry and can leave a lingering odor for a prolonged period.|
|Surface Material||Porous materials such as carpets tend to absorb urine, making it difficult to eliminate the odor completely.|
|Cleaning Products||The type and effectiveness of cleaning products used can impact how long the urine smell lingers.|
|Cleaning Technique||Proper cleaning techniques, such as blotting instead of rubbing, can help in eliminating the smell more effectively.|
|Ventilation||Adequate ventilation can help in expediting the drying process and reducing the duration of the urine smell.|
|Temperature and Humidity||Higher temperatures and humidity levels can slow down the evaporation of cat urine, prolonging the duration of the odor.|
Why Does A Cat’s Urine Smell Last For So Long?
A cat’s urine smell is very persistent, and it can last forever. This smell does not go away with just a little scrubbing of the stain or trying to conceal it with air fresheners. The odor could be absorbed by your soft furnishings or carpet, making it hard to remove. A hard porous surface such as an uncovered wooden floor may also soak up the smell making it hard to scrub away.
Why Is A Cat’s Urine Odor So Strong?
A cat’s urine consists of several foul-smelling compounds, with the main one being ammonia. This liquid contains urea which decomposes to give out ammonia when exposed to air. Cat urine is relatively concentrated and releases a lot of ammonia which has an unpleasant pungent smell.
Urine from male cats is usually concentrated with testosterone which makes its smell to be more pungent. If your cat is dehydrated, its urine smell will also be so strong due to high concentration, while those animals with urinary tract infections will worsen the problem.
How Can You Remove Cat Urine Odor Effectively?
Getting rid of the cat pee smell can be pretty challenging since it is resistant to some products that remove other odors. While it is possible to remove most smells using hot or warm water, using it on cat urine will only worsen the problem. But, you can apply these easy steps to solve the problem.
1. Locate the source of the stench by checking your couch, carpet, or mattress.
2. Use paper towels or a used rag and cold water to blot the spot. Make sure the substances absorb as much cat pee as possible. You can also use an extracting wet vacuum if you have one but be sure to use it in a cold setting.
3. Avoid scrubbing the stain, as doing this would spread the smell further into your garment, floor, or couch. Leave the spot to dry.
4. Once you have removed the pee using cold water, neutralize the spot using an enzymatic cleaner. You can purchase this substance online or from your local home improvement store. An alternative would be to make your solution by mixing equal portions of water and apple cider or white vinegar. Since vinegar is acidic, it helps to neutralize the bacteria which are in the cat’s urine, thus removing the smell.
5. Leave the solution to sit on the spot for about 3 to 5 minutes.
6. Rinse the area and repeat the process one more time.
7. You can then spray an air freshener to get rid of the smell entirely from the house.
The Table Below Shows Some Of The Remedies Of Cat Pee Smell On Different Surfaces.
Surface with the smell
Carpet, mattress, couch
Blot out the blemish with cold water, then sprinkle baking soda. Vacuum the area after one hour.
Sealed wood floors, tiles, or baseboards
Use the guideline above or add hydrogen peroxide to water in a ratio of 1:2 and apply it to the stain. You can also clean with undiluted vinegar.
Clean the pee with cold water, then use vinegar to scrub it off. Rinse with cold water and use a towel to continue blotting until the smell goes completely.
Removing Cat Pee Smell From Your Clothes
If your cat pees on your clothes, avoid putting them into the washing machine as this would make it spread to other garments. Use cold water to rinse and blot the stain the same way you would a piece of furniture (avoid scrubbing as this will damage your garments). Put the soiled clothes in a bucket containing a 1/2 cup of oxygen (but not chlorine) bleach and let them sit for about 2-3 hours.
Mix vinegar and water in a ratio of 1:3, remove the clothes from the bucket, and put them in a bath containing this mixture. Place some baking soda on the stain and allow the mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes. After the expiry of this period, remove the clothes and place them in a washing machine. Be sure to set your device to cold and let it run without adding a detergent.
How Can You Locate The Cat Pee?
Knowing the exact place where your cat has peed could sometimes be a challenge. It may also not be effortless to establish how long the pee has been on that spot. For you to figure out the location, you can do the following;
- Use your nose to detect the direction of the smell
- Check for any discoloration or damp spots on your furniture, floors, carpets, or your mattress
- If you cannot see the spot, but the stench is there, try using a UV flashlight (also known as black light). This device illuminates the cat pee making it easy to locate it. For it to work well, use the UV flashlight at night and ensure that all other light sources are switched off.
- Mark the soiled spot to locate it once you switch on the lights. You can use chalk or any other suitable substance when marking.
When removing the urine, it is essential to remember that the pee could have penetrated the subfloor, the foot of your couch, under the table, or a cabinet. For this reason, make sure that you pour enough liquid cleaner to follow the urine’s path and eliminate the smell.
Why Do Cats Urinate Outside Their Litter-Box?
It can be pretty frustrating when your cat pees outside their litter box, as this will result in your home stinking. But, to solve this problem, you need to know the causes, which include;
Your pet friend may sometimes fail to use their box when peeing due to factors like annoying noises, a dirty box, or if they perceive a threat from another cat in the same household. If you introduce a new litter box or move the old one to a different point, the cat could resist using it. Since some cats dislike change, they will pee in the wrong place to let you know their objection.
Anxiety Or Stress
Your cat could also urinate on the carpet, furniture, or even mattress due to anxiety or stress. It is necessary to observe the cat’s behavior and find out the cause of this stress.
A cat could also pee outside its litter box due to medical issues such as kidney problems, urinary tract infections, diabetes, or blockage. A cat may have arthritis which makes it unable to use its litter box.
Marking Their Territories
A cat with issues with a person or another cat in the house will tend to mark its territory by spraying urine. Doing this helps this pet to leave its scent behind as a way of making its presence felt.
It is essential that when your cat starts peeing outside its box, you begin by calling a vet. Calling a veterinary officer will help rule out any medical issues such as urinary tract infections that do not go away on their own.
Cat pee has an unpleasant smell that can persist in your house for many days, even months unless you use appropriate methods to remove it. Avoid using conventional cleaners when dealing with this problem since they cannot break down the compounds and ammonia responsible for the smell.
But, it is essential to keep the litter box clean to eliminate any stench that may come from it. Use detergents when cleaning the box, and you may also spray your house with air fresheners. Keeping your windows open will also help the circulation of fresh air to ensure that no smell remains behind after cleaning up.
Emma is a graduate of Domestic Science or Family and Consumer Sciences (Home Economics) from the University of Wisconsin. She has 7 years of experience Working with the strategic section of BestBuy and now writing full-time for Homeeon.
From Managing the Home, Interiors, Cleaning, and Exteriors to Gardening and everything about Making A Home Liveable – is her passion and this Homeeon is the result of this.
Emma loves decorating her home with the best stuff found online. She cares about quality over anything and writes reviews about them here in Homeeon. Get in touch with her over Pinterest.
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