9 ways to get rid of the smell of cat urine in your apartment

8 min

Many people cannot imagine their life without pets. In the overwhelming majority, we are talking about cats, which are undoubtedly an inexhaustible source of positive emotions. However, it is sometimes possible to guess that a cat lives in the house right from the start. And this is due to the characteristic unpleasant smell. It can come from a litter box, furniture, carpeting, shoes carelessly left in the hallway, etc. Removing bad odor is not easy, but possible. In this article, we have collected 9 effective ways to get rid of the smell of cat urine in an apartment, which will help you cope with the problem without much effort.

Why is the cat ignoring the litter box?

Understanding the psychology of cats will help you find the cause of their bad behavior and correct it in a timely manner. In turn, this will prevent a possible repetition of the unpleasant situation.

Cats can relieve themselves in the wrong place for several reasons and, in almost all cases, this is the owner’s fault.

  • Cat litter is not cleaned and washed regularly. Cats are by nature very clean creatures. With rare exceptions, they can use the tray more than two times in a row. If you are away from home from morning until late at night, and there is no way to immediately remove the used filler, this may cause your pet to leave a puddle in the most unexpected place. With such a rhythm of life, it is worth purchasing several trays for the cat and placing them next to each other. In this case, you should use a high-quality filler that really absorbs and neutralizes odors;

  • Resentment. Cats very accurately feel the mood of the owner and are quite vindictive. If you scolded, or, even worse, hit your pet undeservedly or simply because you were in a bad mood, he will certainly take revenge on you in a known way;

  • Stress. Animals accustomed to a measured and calm pace of life may react unpredictably to the appearance of new family members or new pets. Small children or noisy guests can scare the animal;

  • Jealousy and desire to attract attention. If the love and affection of the owner abruptly began to belong to someone else – a small child or a kitten – the animal may be jealous and draw attention to itself in a bad way;

  • The discomfort. If your pet is litter-trained and the problem arose after changing it to a new one, the pet may just not like it. The new tray may be too large or unstable, deep or, conversely, too shallow. Put the old toilet back in place, if the problem is gone, then you have correctly identified the cause. It could also be about the filler. Perhaps it sticks to the paws, is too small, or its smell repels the cat;

  • The tray is located in a hard-to-reach place. It is known that a cat litter should not be located in an open place, but rather to choose secluded corners for it. But if you overdid it, the cat may be uncomfortable to approach him and this forces him to choose more comfortable places;

  • Territory label. During sexual activity, animals can leave marks that, in their opinion, should attract individuals of the opposite sex. That is why both cats and cats should be neutered or neutered in time. Also, the animal can mark new objects in the apartment and what has new smells, for example, the shoes of your guests;

  • Disease. If the problem comes up for no reason, and none of the above applies to your case, take the cat to the vet. Perhaps the pet has cystitis and the trip to the tray is associated with painful sensations. If at the same time the cat is no longer young, the problem may lie in pain in the joints and the animal simply cannot step over the too high sides of the tray.

And of course, the owners of kittens, who are just learning to go to the tray, cannot do without puddles.

How to properly clean up a puddle of cat urine

If you notice a puddle in time, and it has not yet had time to soak into the surface of the sofa or floor covering, it must be removed immediately.

The sooner you do this, the easier it will be to eliminate the odor.

  • Blot wet surfaces with paper towels or toilet paper. Do not rub the paper over the surface, but apply it and press lightly. This will not increase the size of the spot;
  • Never try to wash off the stain with a wet sponge. This will only spread the urine over the surface;
  • If a puddle was made on the carpet, be sure to process the place under it;

  • The composition of cat urine is only partially water-soluble. The main source of unpleasant odor is crystals of uric acid, which do not dissolve after using the usual detergents;
  • To neutralize acid crystals, use one of the following remedies.

Vinegar + baking soda + peroxide against urine on carpet and furniture

This composition is the most effective.

In fact, by applying sequential treatment with these components, you will chemically break down acids.

  • After drying the stain with wipes, apply a water-based vinegar solution to the surface. It is prepared in a 1: 3 ratio, where 1 is part of the 9% table vinegar content. To prevent the wet spot from “spreading”, you can cover it with paper;
  • After the vinegar solution is completely dry, sprinkle the stain with regular baking soda. Be sure to wait until the vinegar is dry, otherwise it will neutralize the effect of the soda;
  • Then immediately spray the stain with a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide and detergent. Pour 100 ml of peroxide into a spray bottle, add half a teaspoon of any dish detergent and clean water to make the total volume of liquid 200 ml. Shake liquid and apply over baking soda;
  • Leave it on for 3-4 hours and then wash off with plain water.

The oxidizing chemical reaction, which is formed as a result of the interaction of peroxide and soda, will split chemical elements into carbon dioxide and ammonium, which will simply evaporate. This tool is equally effective when applied on many surfaces – on linoleum, carpet, upholstered furniture, etc. But it is worth using the product with caution on varnished parquet. Chemical reaction can damage the varnish.

Getting rid of the smell with potassium permanganate

After blotting the puddle with napkins, you can neutralize the unpleasant odor with a weak solution of potassium permanganate.

Add a couple of crystals per liter of water to create a pale pink solution, dampen a kitchen napkin in it and blot the stain. When the liquid is dry, repeat the action. And so on until the smell disappears.

Be sure to make sure that all potassium permanganate crystals are completely dissolved, otherwise an irremovable stain may remain on the surface of the carpet or furniture. Also test the compound in an inconspicuous place to make sure it doesn’t stain the finish.

Lemon juice

The juice of this citrus is often used to eliminate unpleasant odors in the microwave or refrigerator.

In this case, he can also help. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon and soak a cotton ball with it. Use a disc to blot the wet surface thoroughly. Lemon juice is an oxidizing agent that can neutralize urine composition.

By the way, many cats cannot stand the smell of citrus. Therefore, applying lemon juice will keep furniture or nooks from being reused by animals as a toilet.

Baking soda

Plain soda must be mixed with clean water to make a thick slurry. It is applied to the stain and left to dry completely. Then they clean the surface with a clothes brush and thoroughly vacuum.

Glycerin (to eliminate shoe odor)

This remedy should be used to eliminate urine odor from shoes or linoleum.

If it is enough to wash ordinary fabric shoes or sneakers several times by hand or in a typewriter with ordinary powder with the addition of vinegar, then shoes made of leatherette or natural leather will not tolerate such treatment. Therefore, the stain is simply wiped with glycerin and left to dry completely. However, this is only effective if the stain is detected immediately. When it comes to the inner surface, the lining is first treated with hydrogen peroxide and then sprinkled with soda.


A little-known method is the use of an iodine solution.

For 1 liter of pure cold water, add 15 drops of iodine and stir thoroughly. The resulting composition is treated several times on the surface, then thoroughly dried. Not recommended for use on light-colored surfaces or upholstery and carpet fabrics.


An excellent bactericidal effect is exerted by ordinary undiluted vodka or medical alcohol. Vodka is applied to a fresh stain treated with paper napkins and left to dry. The smell of alcohol will disappear along with the smell of urine.

If the stains are old

It may happen that you did not immediately find the dirty trick and the stain managed to dry out. Then the crystals of uric acid that make up the composition will begin to decompose and release an even sharper and more persistent odor.

The easiest way to find the stain is on carpet. It will be invisible from the front side, but if you turn the carpet, its contours will become clearly visible. It is much more difficult to find a dry stain on the upholstery of upholstered furniture. A UV lamp can help with this. The stain must be sprayed with water from a spray bottle, and then treated with any of the above methods, except for glycerin.

Household chemicals from the store

If folk remedies did not help you or the stain is too old, and the smell is very pungent, use special ready-made products.

The most convenient are preparations in the form of sprays, for example:

  • “DezoSan” is an effective remedy that removes, not masks odor. Can be used for a washing vacuum cleaner;
  • “ZooSan” – should be applied to an already washed place. Can be applied on any surface;
  • OdorGone is a completely natural product that eliminates the cause of an unpleasant odor.

If for some reason it is not possible to purchase a special product, any bleach that does not contain chlorine will do. It is best to use oxygenated formulations:

  • “Persol extra”;
  • «Bio Clean»;
  • “Sandokkaebi Oxycle”.

Products that will enhance the smell

If you want to really get rid of the smell, and not make it even more intense and attractive to your pet, in no case wash the stain with the following formulations:

  • Any chlorine-based products;
  • With ammonia. Ammonium is present in the composition of cat urine, so there is a possibility that the ammonia will only attract the cat to the same place;

  • Flavors and formulations with fragrances. Some people try to wash off the stain with water and then spray it with air freshener, perfume, or the like. Doing this is strictly forbidden, since such an effect will not eliminate the cause, will not mask, but will only increase the smell of urine.

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Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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