Cats don’t need to be taken outside the way dogs do because they do their business in a litter box. Also, for the most part, cats groom themselves.
Unfortunately, a cat’s urine really smells. If the cat relieves itself outside of the litter box for any reason, or if the cat sprays, it can leave a horrible stench inside the house.
When it comes to having a cat, this is one of the only downsides. If your house smells, you need to know how to get rid of the cat spray smell.
Table of Contents
Why Does Cat Pee Stink?
Many cats want to mark their territory in areas outside the little box. Some cats will mark their territory in corners of the rooms and on the carpet. This can leave your house smelling horrible.
When a cat’s urine sits for a while, bacteria decompose the area, and it gives off the smell of ammonia. Shortly after, the second stage of decomposition begins. This process causes mercaptans to be emitted into the air. This is the same compound that makes a skunk’s spray smell so badly. The longer the cat pee sits, the worse it will smell.
There are other issues that make cat urine smell so badly. Older cats that are losing kidney function tend to have urine that smells especially bad. Also, male cats’ urine smells worse than female cats’ urine because males have steroids in their urine.
Why Do Cats Pee Outside the Litter Box?
Cats learn very early on that they need to go to the bathroom in the litter box. Kittens learn this from their mothers at a very young age. If your cat is peeing outside the litter box, it is either a medical issue or a behavioral issue.
There are a few different medical issues that could cause this behavior. These include:
– Bladder stones can cause pain and even blockage.
– If you suspect that your cat has bladder stones, you should schedule an appointment with the vet immediately.
– If the stones are small, they can be dissolved quickly with a special diet.
– If the stones are large, surgery might be necessary.
– Also, most cats who develop bladder stones also develop a urinary tract infection, which would require antibiotics.
This is an inflammation of the bladder due to an unknown cause. If your cat has this condition, it is not uncommon for blood in their urine. This is a painful condition.
Therefore, if you suspect that your cat has idiopathic cystitis, you should call the vet.
Chronic kidney and metabolic disease
Chronic kidney disease will cause your cat to urinate more often, and they will often urinate outside of the litter box. Other metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, liver disease, and thyroid problems.
If your cat is drinking more than usual and if you are cleaning more pee in the litter box, you should call the vet. The same is true if your cat is urinating outside the litter box. When they do this, it is because they cannot get to the litter box in time.
Urinary tract infection
It is uncommon for young cats to get a urinary tract infection, but they are relatively common in older cats. If your cat has a urinary tract infection, it will often pee outside the litter box. Fortunately, urinary tract infections can be cleared up quickly with antibiotics.
If your cat doesn’t have any medical issues to explain why it is peeing outside the litter box, the problem is likely behavioral. The behavioral problems that could be causing this behavior include:
A dirty litter box
Cats are very clean animals, and they prefer a clean litter box. If you aren’t scooping the litter box enough, your cat will find somewhere else in the home to pee.
This is an issue that is your fault, and the issue can be easily resolved. By scooping the litter box more often or by using a self cleaning cat litter box, your cat will have a clean place to relieve themselves.
If you recently brought a new pet into the home, it can be very stressful for your cat. To let the new animal know that they in their house, your cat will urinate outside the litter box to mark their territory.
If your cat is unsure about the new animal, they will isolate themselves and won’t want to emerge to use the litter box. When this happens, they will urinate anywhere the new animal isn’t.
Finally, any change in your cat’s environment or routine will stress them out, and they will pee outside of the litter box as a way to act out.
Old urine smells
If your cat peed somewhere around the house, they might continue peeing there again and again. Even if you think you cleaned the mess, your cat might still be able to smell it. A cat’s sense of smell is much stronger than a human’s; therefore, even if you cannot smell the old urine smell, your cat will be able to.
Why Do Cats Spray?
If your home smells like cat pee, there is a good chance that your cat is spraying in the house. Male and female cats spray, and if your cat is doing this, there are a few reasons why.
Marking their territory
Cats tend to be very territorial. If a cat outside sprays in your yard to mark their territory, your cat will want to do the same to mark it themselves.
Even if your cat is indoors, they will smell the other cat’s scent. This will cause your cat to spray around a window or a door to let the intruder cat know that this is their home.
If you have more than one cat in the home, one of the cats could be spraying to set boundaries. They also do this to settle disputes between one another and to establish who is in charge.
Reaction to change
Cats are creatures of habit, and they don’t take kindly to change. If there is a change to the home or the environment, your cat can get stressed out. If a new pet or human comes into the home, it can be hard on your cat.
The same is true if you moved to a new home or if your cat’s routine has changed in any way. Even the simplest change, like a new piece of furniture or rearranging the furniture, can cause a sensitive cat to get stressed. When your cat gets too stressed out, they will start spraying as a way to cope with their stress.
Male and female cats spray as a way to attract a mate. Male cats who haven’t been fixed will also spray to mark their territory when there is a female around. If your cat is spraying to attract a mate, it isn’t because they are acting out; it is just instinct.
If your cat is spraying in the house, the best way to put an end to it is to have your cat spayed or neutered. However, if you wait too long, your male cat might still smell occasionally out of habit. This is why it is best to have your cat fixed at a very young age.
How to Get Rid Of Cat Spray Smell?
If your cat sprays inside the house, the smell will quickly consume every room in the house. Fortunately, there are ways that you can remove the smell, and the best method would depend on where the cat sprayed.
Furniture and mattresses
If your cat sprays on your furniture or a mattress, it is best if you find it quickly so that you can clean it quickly. You should start by spreading baking soda over the spot and let it sit overnight. In the morning, vacuum up the baking soda, and wash the area with warm soapy water. If this isn’t working, you can try mixing alcohol and water to clean up the stain.
Cleaning cat sprays from carpeting should be done in the same way that you would clean it from the furniture. After cleaning the mess and the carpet has dried, you can use scented carpet powder to get the carpet smelling fresh again. You can buy a scented carpet powder designed for pet odors, which will ensure that the odor will be gone.
If your cat sprays in your closet, everything inside is going to smell. The best way to get the smell out of your clothes is to wash them all in hot water. You should also add a scent booster to be sure that the smell is completely eradicated. You should also throw a scented fabric softener sheet into the dryer.
If one cat sprayed on another, that poor cat is going to stink. Cats groom themselves, but grooming won’t remove the smell. The best way to get the smell off your cat is to give it a bath. Unfortunately, cats are much harder to bathe than dogs because many aren’t huge fans of water.
If your cat is too difficult to bathe, you can use a foaming dry shampoo. You won’t need to use water, and it will still work to remove the smell. You can also take your cat to the groomer. A professional will have the knowledge and tools necessary to bathe your cat safely and easily.
Hard surfaces and wood floors
If your cat sprays on a wood surface or a hardwood floor, you need to clean the mess immediately. If you notice that the smell is lingering, you will need to make a cleanser to get rid of the smell. This is very simple to do.
Combine a cup of water, 1/3 cup of distilled white vinegar, and a ¼ cup each of baking soda and dish soap. Spray the solution over the stain and scrub with a cloth. After, it would help if you washed the entire floor using your regular floor cleaner.
Get the smell out of the house
The first step in getting the urine smell out of the house is to clean the area completely. Unfortunately, the smell might linger for a while. To get the smell out of the house faster, you should open up the windows to air it out. You can also use scented candles and spray air freshener.
How To Prevent It Early?
The best way to prevent your cat from spraying is to have them neutered or spayed at an early age. Most veterinarians suggest that you have your cat fixed before their first heat.
The best way to prevent your cat from peeing outside the litter box early before it becomes a habit is to keep the litter box clean. You should also keep one litter box on every floor of the house so that your cat can get to one before having an accident.
What Are the Best Products To Clean Cat Urine Mess?
Cleaning up cat urine and getting rid of the smell can be a trial and error project. If one product isn’t working, you should try another until you find what works. The best products to remove the stain and the odor include:
Baking soda and vinegar combination
Combine one cup of vinegar and three tablespoons of baking soda in a spray bottle. Spray a generous amount of the mixture on the stain and let it sit for about 30 minutes. After, use a clean towel to blot dry.
Household cleaners with an enzyme base
There are plenty of these products on the market, but Oxiclean is the best. If you use the spray, simply spray it over the stain and let it work its magic. If you go with the powder version, follow the directions on the label and cover the stain. Overall, the spray version of Oxiclean is much easier and more convenient.
Because cat urine has an ammonia odor, it is essential that you don’t use any household cleaners that contain ammonia. These products will make the smell even worse.
Does Cat Spray Smell Go Away On Its Own?
Cat urine and spray contain uric acid, which can last for years if it isn’t cleaned up properly. The smell can linger in carpets, fabric, furniture, and wood for years. Even if you think that the smell has finally gone away, the smell will return on a hot, humid day. This is why it is so important that you clean up the mess completely as soon as you find it.
Will Vinegar Stop My Cat From Spraying?
Yes. Vinegar can act as a deterrent to keep your cat from spraying. You can combine equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray it in areas where you think your cat will spray.
What Other Home Remedies Will Keep My Cat From Spaying?
If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, there are other DIY methods to keep your cat from spraying in the house. You can mix equal parts of garlic and water, lemon and water or pepper in water, and spray the mixtures in areas where your cat has been spraying.
Everyone wants their homes to smell nice and fresh. Unfortunately, if your cat has urinated outside the litter box or if they are spraying in the house, it can cause a foul odor that will waft throughout your home. The best way to fix this problem is to keep your cat from doing these things in the first place. If your cat has a medical issue causing the behavior, medical treatment will stop the problem. If it is a behavioral issue, add another litter box in the home, keep the litter boxes clean and try to reduce your cat’s stress level. Most of all, you need to be patient.
If your cat has already sprayed or urinated outside the litter box, it is essential that you clean the mess properly and completely to get rid of the smell.