Animal Care & Pets

How to get rid of cat spray smell

How to get rid of cat spray smell

Having a cat as your pet can be rewarding, but one downside aspect is that cats use to mark their territory with urine. If your cat is marking inside your home, this can quickly become very unpleasant. Your home may start smelling stinky after repeated marking. If this is the situation, you may need to perform some detective work in order to find the source of the odors in order to start cleaning and neutralizing them. We will cover in this post how to get rid of cat spray smell.

This behavior of cats is their way of communicating with other cats by marking their territory with pheromones. Pet owners are rarely unaware of this form of feline expression, since the smell is so unmistakable. This is why it is very important to know how to get rid of cat spray smell. It is essential to remove all traces of the cat spray smell in order to discourage your pet from marking its territory again.
It is possible to stop unwanted spraying by spaying or neutering the cat. However, even in this case the issue of removing the smell remains. There are many homemade options that cater to this problem, ranging from the use of commercial products containing enzymes to the use of backing soda and vinegar.

Finding the mess

Even if you try to follow your nose, it may be harder than you think when it comes to finding the source of the urine smell. You could purchase a black light in order to make your task easier. A black light can help locate older urine stains that are difficult to detect with the naked eye. Spaces behind furniture and corners are typical targets for cat spraying. You can usually find such a black light device in pet supply stores. This works on the principle that chemicals in urine glow brightly under this kind of light. In order to find these spots easily with lights on, it is recommended to mark them with stickers of tape.


Solid surfaces

Usually, cats spray on walls and other vertical surfaces. It is recommended to soak up any fresh urine with cloth towels or dry paper. Then use some towels dampened with a solution of three percent hydrogen peroxide and water in order to wipe the surface again. On fresh urine it is not recommended to use vinegar. The peroxide is able to prevent residual odors because it neutralizes the urine without further acidifying it. You can prepare a solution with one part water and one part white vinegar and spray it on the surfaces affected by dried urine. Use a sponge or scrub brush to vigorously wipe away set-in stains. Scrub with a paste of water and backing soda on stubborn stains. You have to repeat this operation until the urine doesn’t show up on the dry surface under the black light.

Washable items

Soiled items such as drapes, curtains, blankets, and slipcovers can be soaked with water in order to remove the urine before wringing them out. You can also use some enzymatic pet cleaning solution on stains and let the solution to work overnight. You can find these cleaner solutions at pet supply stores. They contain enzymes that can break down the chemicals in the urine, removing any stinky pheromones and the scent of the urine. Depending on the size of the load, in order to neutralize any residual odors you can wash the items with 1 to 2 cups baking soda and regular laundry detergent, or 1 cup of vinegar. Dry your items outdoors in the sun after running them through two washing cycles.


In order to blot up residual urine you can wet the upholstery with club soda and then use some paper towels to press down on the surface. Use an enzymatic pet cleaner to douse the stains and let the cleaner dry over a period of one to two days. If needed, you may repeat this procedure up to three times. Sprinkle baking soda over the area after treatment, and allow it to sit in for a couple of days before vacuuming. The baking soda can do a good job at absorbing any residual odors.


Because the urine can soak down to the floor padding and the sub-floor surface, carpet smells are the most difficult to eliminate. It is recommended to wet the area with water and vacuum up the moisture with a wet vacuum or a carpet cleaning machine. In order to eliminate as much urine as possible, you may repeat this procedure several times. You may pour some enzymatic cleaner lover the affected area and allow it to soak down to the padding. Wait for a couple of days until the area is dry and then clean it with a solution of 10 parts water and one part vinegar. It is not advisable to use a steam cleaner, because it can lock in odors. You might need to treat the padding and sub-floor separately with an enzymatic cleaner.

Kitty issues

Most cats spray because of their urge to mark territory and to mate. Neutering and spaying your cat may eliminate this behavior in most of the cases. However, there are also cases where urine marking can indicate a medical issue. Healthy kitties that mark with urine may be helped with some anti-anxiety medications. It is recommended to clean your pet’s litter box twice a day. You may also try to use around your home special pheromone sprays that can be found in pet supply stores. They contain some chemicals that aim to calm your cat and reduce their desire to mark.

Step-by-step guide to removing cat spray smell

Here are the guidelines on how to get rid of cat spray smell:
• Step 1

You can use an old towel or paper towels in order to soak up as much urine as possible. In case that the urine is on rugs or carpet, avoid rubbing it into the fibers.

• Step 2

Mix in a container one part water with one part vinegar. Pour this home made mixture onto the soiled area until it becomes saturated. Let it dry.

• Step 3

Combine in a small spray bottle one teaspoon of a mild liquid soap with one cup of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide.

• Step 4

Sprinkle over the soiled spot some baking soda then spray with the hydrogen peroxide mixture. In order to be sure it will not stain the fibers, it is recommended to first test this mix on a small area of the fabric or carpet.

• Step 5

Gently work the mixture into the fibers of the rug or carpet with the help of a small scrub brush. Let the area dry before vacuuming the mixture. If necessary, you may repeat the procedure.

• Step 6

Use a commercial product that contains enzymes to saturate the area.

• Step 7

Along with the detergent, pour 1/2 cup of vinegar into the wash for soiled towels or clothes.