Cleaning Cat Spray

The odor of cat spray can be tough to get rid of. Properly removing the odor can also help prevent recurrences. This is a guide about cleaning cat spray.

Striped kitten with red collar.
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Question: Cleaning Cat Spray Odor Off House

By Tracy 1

My cat is spraying on my front porch and along the side of the house. (I think to mark their territory) and the smell is making me sick. Does anyone have any suggestions to get rid of this smell?

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By guest (Guest Post) Flag

November 25, 2008

I have a neighbor cat that uses my front yard close to the door as a potty area. How can I stop this cat from using my yard?

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Question: Removing Cat Spray Odor from Sneakers

By Carol Smythe 1

How do you remove cat spray odor from sneakers?

By History Buff from Grahamsville, NY

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By Paula Jo C. 24 261 Flag

July 11, 2009

We have had cats for years so I know what you are referring to here. I would suggest going to your nearest Pet Store (or perhaps even your cat's Vet office) and purchase what is made for this very thing.

Just tell the store clerk or the vets office what you are trying to do and they can and will help you. Please do not ever rub an animals nose in the mess that they have made AS this ruins their sense of smell permanently.

Your pet is your companion, treat it as you yourself would like to be treated. Our 5 cats are our furry children now that the children are married and moved away.

Please make an appointment with your vet to have your cat spade or neutered. This will help with them with marking off their territory by spraying. Your cat is just marking your shoes (or you or your smell) by spraying on them so others will know to stay away.

Let us know how "this" turns out for you both; we are after all "your on line family" and we do care for one another in what happens OR at least I do. Good Luck to you and your furry child both!

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Question: Removing Cat Spray Odor Inside the House

By Susan Southern 1 4

We went on holiday, putting our cat in the cattery but forgetting to lock the cat flap. A tom cat has been in the living room and sprayed it. Yuck! We've had some success with warm water and white vinegar, but does anyone have any other ideas, please? We'd be very grateful.

By Susan

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By Beth 5 105 Flag

June 7, 2011

Vodka in a spray bottle and reapply as necessary.

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Question: Removing Cat Spray Odor from Carpet

What is the best solution for cat spray odor in carpet?


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By Lizzyanny 9 1,251 Flag

January 16, 2012

Try the Natures Miracle enzyme product. I use it all the time.

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Question: Cat Spray Under My House

By lori 1

A cat has gotten under my house and sprayed. I don't have a cat.
The odor is awful in my kitchen and living room. How do I get rid
of the smell?

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By Francia F. 1 Flag

April 4, 2014

Oooops, just rubbed my poor cats nose in his spray and I just read to not do that because messes up their smell senses. It was the first time I won't be doing that again. Sorry (Peanut) but the cat spray odor is driving me crazy.

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Question: Removing the Smell of Cat Spray from a Computer Bag

My cat has sprayed my computer bag that was by the front door. How do I remove the smell?

By D. Jeanette

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By jean99 6 30 Flag

July 8, 2012

The only way to get rid of the smell for good is with bio-remediation, that is letting the correct bacteria eat the organic matter sprayed by the cat. Make sure that whatever product you use has live bacterial spores. I use a product from Winsol Labs but you only need a small amount so Natures Miracle would work.

Any bacterial product made for septic systems like Ridex will work. Rid ex comes in liquid form but since you need so little of it I would recommend the powder. Mix about a teaspoon of the powder with enough water to cover the sprayed area, or cover one whole side of the computer bag at a time.

Make sure the area stays moist for at least two days to give the bacteria enough time to work. You can put the liquid on and cover with a plastic bag. To find where the cat sprayed, look at the bag in the dark with an ultraviolet light. You can also use products for cleaning sink drains as long as they work by using live bacteria.

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Question: Cat Spray Odor Inside My House

By Britney 1

I have a female cat and a male dog and had recently signed up to watch my sister's cat for a week. I have since found out that she had never gotten him neutered, so with that being said in the course of a few days her cat has covered my place with his spray which is a very acidic odor.

I have no idea where he had sprayed or how may times, but I'm desperate to get that smell out. So my question today would have to be, which is the best way to deodorize my place and free myself from the strong scent of cat spray?

By Britney from Edmonton, AB

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By Danielle 1 Flag

August 16, 20101 found this helpful

My cat just started spraying like two days ago, he has a vet appt on Friday. He only sprays in one spot by the front door. I literally just used baking soda and hydrogen peroxide an hour ago, and the smell is gone! I also used the lemon idea to see if it will get him to stop spraying in that area. But hydrogen peroxide with baking soda is the cheapest and most effective thing I have found to work.

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Question: Getting Cat Spray Out of Carpets

How can I get old cat spray out of my rug? It's a big rug for the middle of the floor.

By Linda

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By kittkat 4 2 Flag

December 7, 2014

Hydrogen peroxide works wonders. Be sure to test on a small area first, then spray straight peroxide onto carpet to saturate. Let it dry patient! The odor won't disappear until it's completely dry. Stronger odors may take a second dose but I've used this method for years and it's never let me down. It doesn't leave a perfumy smell behind either like the expensive products you buy in the shops, no odor whatsoever.

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Question: Removing Cat Spray from Vinyl Siding

What can I use to remove cat spray from vinyl siding? What can I do to have it not happen again?


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By jean99 6 30 Flag

November 9, 2014

Cat spray can be washed from vinyl siding with just soap and water. When cat spray is on fabric or wood you need to use a bio-remediation product like rid-ex or similar product containing bacteria that eats the organic matter contained in the cat spray, turning it into carbon dioxide and water. See my prior posts on this issue. I have several posts on cat and dog urine removal. Let us know if simply washing the vinyl siding worked for you.

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Question: Removing Cat Spray from Human Hair

My cat sprayed my hair last night while I slept. I see solutions for everything but this. And yes I know, he needs to be neutered, he has an appointment next week already.

By Nelwyn

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By just jen 2 Flag

September 6, 2013

I've never tried this, but I do rely on white vinegar to get all sorts of smells out of things - cat pee from a jacket, skunk from a dog so you might have some luck.. couldn't hurt!

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Question: Removing Cat Spray Odor from Carpet

A stray tom cat got into our house and marked it with cat spray. How do I rid my carpets of the odor?

By cork

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By gwynn 1 Flag

November 18, 2013

I discovered this recipe for getting cat spray out of carpets, furniture and even hard surfaces. It really works for me. 1st mix 1 cup water to 1 cup white vinegar. Find the area of spray with the black light method, or your nose. Wet rag with vinegar water mixture and keep pushing mixture into smelly spot. Once saturated blot with a dry clean cloth. Next sprinkle baking soda over the area.

Next, get an empty spray bottle and mix 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide to 1/4 teaspoon dawn dishwashing soap. Spray over backing soda. Once the baking soda is dry vacuum off. Make sure it is dry. I hope this works for you as well as it has worked for me.

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Question: Cleaning Cat Spray Off Cat and Porch

My 8 month old neutered cat just sprayed all over his own underbelly, tail, and the wooden porch in response to the presence of a tom cat! He is usually just inside and wants in, but there is no way at this point. He is smelly and you can smell it in the kitchen as the door comes into the kitchen area. He is very fiesty and it will be dangerious to try and bathe him. Any ideas?

By Colleen

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Question: Cleaning Cat Spray

tabby cat on brick walkI created a very comfortable and warm shelter for my 3 ferals. They lived there for almost 3 years. Last winter, another feral from the neighborhood tried to seek shelter there and there was a fight, the feral sprayed in the houses and my ferals sought out new shelter. I've tried cleaning the houses and surrounding areas with a solution I found online called "Anti-ikky poo", I sprayed the houses thoroughly, changed the straw, cleaned the heated beds, and changed the vinyl flap doors, all to no avail. They still won't go in there! I have to do something for them before the winter, but don't know if I should buy new houses, or relocate my existing ones. I don't know how to resolve this problem. What should I do? cat next to driveway

By Alexandra

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Question: Removing Odor from Cat Spray on Electronics

How do I remove the smell from cat spray on an Xbox 360? I've been rubbing it with multi action cleaner for about an hour, but with no result.

By D. Jones

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Question: Removing Cat Spray Odor from Clothing

How do I remove cat spray from clothing?

By Grace D. from Picayune, MS

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Question: Cat Spraying on Wood Floors

My young male cat has obviously used this area before and I just found where. I was wondering what kind of solution is there for wooden floors? Any advice will help and I'd be very appreciative! Thank you!

By S.C

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Question: Removing Cat Spray Odor from Paper

How do I remove cat spray odor from papers?

By Joyce F

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Question: Getting Rid of Cat Spray Odor on Carpet

HELP ME PLEASE. I just discovered that a neighborhood cat has been spraying in my cellar window onto my carpet. OMG, the smell is enough to gag you. What can I do to get the pee out of the carpet? I have closed the window, so he won't be able to continue to do it. Any help you can give me I thank you for already.

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Archive: Cat Spray Odor Inside My House

My male cat sprays and it smells bad in my house. Can anyone help me take the smell out of my house?

Thank You,
Joanne from Kingston, PA


RE: Cat Spray Odor Inside My House

HI have 5 indoor cats and know your problem. The first thing to do, is clean it as soon as it happens, if possible.

I read different things on here about using white vinegar and water to take the smell out. If it is on clothes or that kind of thing use the vinegar in your wash. I have used a product called "Out" from Walmart. This is cheap and works wonders for urine, feces and vomit. Many others on here have posted about it and seem to have luck with it as well.

Another thing is finding the urine, if you are not sure where it is, use a blacklight. Cat urine glows under it.

I hope that this helps! (03/13/2006)

By katieandjeffy

RE: Cat Spray Odor Inside My House

I live on a farm and often get stray males spraying on and around my home. We have an enclosed porch that they seem to find a way in and spray. I usually can't find the spot where they spray so this is what I do.

First I make a mix of peroxide and baking soda. It will be foamy. The vet said don't use vinegar because it smells similar to the urine and it will encourage them to go there again.

Anyhow, I make this in a big will foam up and if not in a big bowl you will end up with it on your counter. I pour this mixture directly on the concrete floor, and also put some in a spray bottle. I spray where the smell is the strongest and it takes the smell away. This will take a few days to completely rid it but does work. (03/15/2006)

By melfrmNY

RE: Cat Spray Odor Inside My House

Hey, I was reading through here and thought i'd offer up my opinion.

For cleaning urine, hydrogen peroxide and water is amazing. For floors and whatnot, let it set; for carpets rub it in and wash away with warm water after it has dried.

For clothes, however, I find that putting some white vinegar (as mentioned before) in the wash works quite well.

As for preventing them going in the same place again, replace some of your every day cleaners with something lemon scented. Cats don't like citrus scents (especially lemon) and prevents them from going in that area. Also, lemon air freshening sprays are good to knock out a whole room. I, personally, use lemon mopping liquid, and sprinkle lemon scented powder on my carpets before vacuuming. The house smells wonderful.

Also, cut out an ammonia from your cleaning rituals. There is ammonia in cat urine, and so the smell is familiar. It encourages, rather than discourages, the cat.

I hope these tips help. (05/11/2006)

By Anna

Archive: Cat Spray Odor Inside My House

My room smells like cat spray, not pee, spray. I don't know where it's coming from. The people who lived here before me must have had a cat. What do I do?

Ana from Toronto, ON


RE: Cat Spray Odor Inside My House

Do you have carpet? You may have to clean/treat it or get rid of it! (12/05/2006)

By pamphyila

RE: Cat Spray Odor Inside My House

Go to a pet store, they have products there that will handle this problem.

Good Luck to you (12/05/2006)

By Paula Jo Carr, Mebane NC USA

RE: Cat Spray Odor Inside My House

Soak citrus peels in vinegar and spray it around the room. The vinegar neutralizes and the citrus scent keeps the cats from going there again. It also smells good!

You can also leave a bowl of vinegar (with or without citrus peels) in a room to freshen the air.

Sprinkling baking soda around and vacuuming it up after an hour or so also helps freshen the air in the room. You can do the same thing with dry tea leaves.


By Cantate

Archive: Cat Spray Odor Inside My House

A feral male cat entered my house and has sprayed everywhere. I tried to eliminate the odor with a pet odor removal product today and it did not help. This happened today and I can't see where he has sprayed.

Clare from Cameron, OK


RE: Cat Spray Odor Inside My House

I have six indoor cats so I know about this problem. If the urine is in the carpet, I use white vinegar in my carpet steam machine. It takes it right out and the smell is gone.

If the cat sprayed on a wall, then use straight peroxide. Leave it on for a few seconds and then wipe. Continue to do this until the smell is gone.

If perhaps you see a cat pee, use baking soda, pour it on the pee and it will absorb it. Wait a few seconds and then pour peroxide on the spot. It will suds up. Wipe and use more if needed. (02/19/2009)

By Tammy

RE: Cat Spray Odor Inside My House

Cheap vodka in a spray bottle works like a charm. Blot up as much as you can then saturate the area with the vodka and let it dry. It might take a couple doses but I guarantee it will work. Then if you get a whiff after a few weeks/months, douse it again. (02/19/2009)

By Beth

RE: Cat Spray Odor Inside My House

You can get a black light bulb from Walmart or your grocery store. Put it in a small (or at least portable) lamp and shine it in the room where the cat has sprayed. You'll be able to tell where. I use something called Natural Formula (or something like that) from the pet store. It's an enzyme cleanser. Doesn't work great, but helps. (02/19/2009)

By tennesue

RE: Cat Spray Odor Inside My House

There is a product that is not expensive and works called Puddle Out. The pet shelters here in Ohio use it and advise its use as a cleaner and deodorizer; you can order it through an ebay store called or go to the website for Puddle Out directly ( Good luck, cat pee smells terrible. (03/16/2009)

By wodehousereader

Archive: Cat Spray Odor Inside My House

What can I use to get the smell of cat spray out of my house? And how do I find where it is?

By Alicia from Arlington, TX


RE: Cat Spray Odor Inside My House

PetCo carries a product called Natures Miracle, white bottle, red letters. This is only thing I have ever used that thoroughly gets rid of the smell. (04/14/2010)

By Keep Stitchin'

RE: Cat Spray Odor Inside My House

Keep Stitchen' is right. Natures Miracle is a great product. Remember it takes awhile to dry and the odor is only gone when the product is dry. It can take a couple days to dry. I get my daughter who has a better nose than I do to find accidents for me. Good luck! (04/14/2010)

By Lizzyanny

RE: Cat Spray Odor Inside My House

I once took in a stray, un-neutered male cat, and he peed and sprayed on the carpet in my living room, my bedroom, and the den. "Sigh". It was so awful, I couldn't go in there. A friend of mine recommended Emro Odor Eliminator. You can order it online. I ordered a large quantity of it, and poured it directly on the the areas the cat sprayed. The odor was completely gone within minutes! Google Emro Odor Eliminator, it works great. (04/15/2010)

By lex6819

Archive: Getting Rid of Cat Spray Odor on Carpet

Help me please. I just discovered that a neighborhood cat has been spraying in my cellar window onto my

carpet. The smell is enough to gag you. What can I do to get the pee out of the carpet? I have closed

the window, so he won't be able to continue to do it. Any help you can give me I thank you for already.


RE: Getting Rid of Cat Spray Odor on Carpet

1 part vinegar to 2 parts water will get rid of the smell. It will also keep your dog or cat, if you

have one, from spraying in the same spot. If it has stained, the spray bottle of Oxiclean, "not" the dry

powder, works great on stains. Hope this helps! (06/30/2004)

By Barb

RE: Getting Rid of Cat Spray Odor on Carpet

I used a product made by Woolite specifically for animal stains on my carpet when I had the same problem

and it worked great. It also smells wonderful. (07/01/2004)

By longfarm

RE: Getting Rid of Cat Spray Odor on Carpet

Vinegar, straight out of the bottle. Pour it on the stain or area that smells. I have poured it on my

carpet, mattresses, and sofas. I pour a lot (4 cups or more), let it sit and then if it's the floor I

place a towel over the spot and step on it to remove some of the wetness. Do this more than once if

necessary. Since it has been sprayed from outside, I would put vinegar in a spray bottle and spray all

around and then pour vinegar on a cloth and wipe the walls and baseboards. The vinegar smell will be gone

by morning. (07/01/2004)

By Ann

RE: Getting Rid of Cat Spray Odor on Carpet

Since this is in your cellar, I presume that you don't have wood floors. If you do have wood floors, the

cat pee ruins them, turns the wood black. I had this problem with a cat of mine peeing on carpet that

was covering wood floors. Also, if there are any baseboard or wall heaters, they suck the smell in. I

had to replace heaters and flooring, and carpeting, it was a $4000 expensive mess! (07/02/2004)

By Ann

RE: Getting Rid of Cat Spray Odor on Carpet

I've heard that hydrogen peroxide works to get the smell out. The peroxide can have a bleaching action so

try a little bit in an out of the way place so it doesn't bleach your rug.

You could also use baking soda if you have any, but don't use it on anything that is wet because it

will cake up and make a mess.

Susan from ThriftyFun (08/16/2005)

By ThriftyFun

RE: Getting Rid of Cat Spray Odor on Carpet

My cat peed on the king size mattress in our guest room several times before we noticed what she was

doing. I bought some smell remover from the vet for $8, sprayed it on the mattress until it was wet,

opened the windows, closed the guest room door and left it alone for a couple of weeks. When we checked,

the smell was as bad as ever. I didn't think the product from the vet was ever going to work. I thought

that we were going to have to get rid of the mattress.

On a lark, my significant other sprayed a product called Sol-U-Mel on the mattress. He left the

windows open, closed the door, and we ignored it for a couple of more weeks. When we checked last night,

the stains were completely gone from the mattress and there was "no" odor. I have also used the Sol-U-Mel

on our concrete floor after she peed on it. No odor. She now has two litter boxes that get scooped 3X a

day and totally switched out weekly. No more peeing anywhere since we gave her the second box. She uses

one for #2 and both for #1. We just seek to please. There is a phone number for ordering Sol-U-Mel on the

bottle: 1-800-282-3000 or Please do not ever put this product on your cat or kitten.

It contains tea tree oil which is fatal to kitties. (08/26/2006)

By Donna

RE: Getting Rid of Cat Spray Odor on Carpet

For cat smell, you can buy a product called Nilodor from Revival Animal Health. It is a concentrate. You

will want to get the deodorizing cleanser. (10/14/2007)

By Sally

RE: Getting Rid of Cat Spray Odor on Carpet

Science! Charcoal is a wonderful odor absorber, but won't remove the source of the problem. Use it as a

final step.

To begin, you need to create a chemical reaction that actually breaks down the odor causing substances

by bonding the molecules with a reactive agent such as oxygen. You can create this reaction using the

same common recipe used against skunk spray:

Mix 1 cup water with 1/2 cup baking soda and 1 tsp liquid dish soap. (The soap breaks down oils.)

Finally, add up to a quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide. (The oxygenating agent.)

Be careful, as someone else mentioned, peroxide can bleach, so be sure to test a spot first.

I have roaming cats around my house. Although I can't deal with them in the winter, the remainder of

the year, I bought these cool motion detector based sprayers that hook up to your garden hose. The cats

learn really fast to stay away! (02/22/2008)

By Retep Cat Man

RE: Getting Rid of Cat Spray Odor on Carpet

Spraying information, first; vinegar, shampoos, soaps, etc. will "not" work to remove cat spray or urine!

At the most, they only temporarily neutralize the odor to you. Even if you can't smell the odor, the cat

still can and will continue to use that area. Plus, the odor will eventually come back, especially when

it's damp or humid outside. It's important to completely remove the source of the odors because the

biodegrading ammonia in cat urine/spray can be harmful to your lungs and cause many respiratory problems,

especially for babies/children, anyone with asthma, and other pets.

Cats will spray an area or an object to claim it as their property or territory. Spraying is different

than urinating and has a much stronger odor. It is meant to be able to withstand the harsh conditions of

the outdoors. Both males and females can spray. Once a cat starts spraying, it is very unlikely that it

will ever stop, especially with older cats. The best way to avoid the behavior is to get the cats spayed

or neutered while they are still kittens, before they learn how to spray! Some younger cats may forget

how to spray after being fixed, especially if they feel safe and non-threatened. There are no quick or

simple fixes to getting rid of cat odors. It takes time and diligence. These steps are helpful for a

large area or for old/ set-in odors. For new, untreated or small urine stain, do the steps once instead

of twice.

First locate the area/areas of spray/urine. Using a black light in a completely dark room is helpful.

The light causes the proteins to slightly glow a faint yellow. Keep in mind that it will cause many types

of stains to be visible as well, not just the cat urine. When you locate the source, completely saturate

the area with an enzyme based cat odor remover. Nature's Miracle does work when used properly. The enzyme

remover must soak all the way through the carpet, the padding and down to the base floor. Keep in mind

that if a urine stain looks to be the size of a dinner plate, its five time bigger under the carpet! You

need to treat a large surrounding area as well as the stain. It`s best to keep the cat out of the room or

block it from reaching the area until the process is complete. They will keep re-spraying or urinating on

wet carpet.

It is much more effective to pull back the carpet and padding and treat the floor underneath first. If

you have woods floors underneath, do not use Nature's Miracle. Many pet stores and home supply stores

sell special products to remove the odor from wood floors. If you have wood sub flooring, soak the area

with enzymes (Nature's Miracle), keep the area moist or damp by covering it with wet rags for 24 hours,

remove rags and then let it air dry naturally. Do "not" use a fan, heater, or blow dryer!

After completely dry, use a wood sealant to lock in any remaining odor. Home Depot sells it. It's made

by Zinsser, called Bullseye shellac in "clear". This can be used on finished wood floors as well. After

shellac is completely dry (24-48 hours), soak the padding with enzymes. Keep the padding wet for 24 hours

and then let dry naturally. Once dry, re-soak the padding and let dry again.This process could take a

couple of weeks as padding does not dry easily. I find it easier just to remove that section of padding,

buy a new piece, cut it down to size and fit it into place.

Once the padding is complete, repeat the whole entire soaking process with the carpet. Make sure the

enzymes soak through to the backing. Remember to saturate an area 5 times larger than the original stain.

After it's dry, repeat the process. It's important to keep the enzymes (bacteria) wet for at least 24

hours. If the area dries, the enzymes (bacteria) dry up as well and die. They obviously can't eat if

they`re dead and the odor will persist.

After completing this whole process, steam clean the carpet with a shampoo that contains pet odor

removers. Afterwards, spray the area with something that has a strong lemon scent. I usually spray the

carpet with lemon scent Lysol daily for a couple of months. This will keep cats from re-using the area

because they hate lemon scent! Keep in mind that while going through these steps, the odors will become

stronger temporarily as the enzymes are doing their job. If the odor persists after 2 weeks, repeat the

process. Sometimes it's necessary to keep repeating the soaking processes (even as many as 5 times or

more), until all odors are gone.

Make sure that the walls and baseboards are treated as well by spraying the areas or using a squeeze

bottle containing the enzyme odor remover. Let dry, then scrub with water and lemon scented dish soap. If

you have a heater vent close by, remover the cover, thoroughly clean with enzymes and soap and water and

squeeze or pour some enzyme solution down the register! Be sure to change your furnace and air filters as

well. These can trap the odors and then diffuse them back throughout your whole house!

If you've done the process and a month later you notice a musty/dusty odor creeping back in, then you

know you'll have to repeat the whole process. It is a lot of work, but it is the only effective way to

completely remove the smells to both you and your cat. Also, don't be fooled by carpet cleaning companies

advertising that they remove cat odors! They merely use a strong scented spot cleaner which "hides" the

odor from you temporarily and then charge you extra! I've owned and rescued cats for 27 years, plus I've

owned my own home cleaning business for 18 years! (04/23/2008)

By Wendy

RE: Getting Rid of Cat Spray Odor on Carpet

To keep cats from entering your yard, off your porch, or even off your furniture, there are many products

available at pet stores, Wal-mart, home improvement stores, vets, etc. for this purpose. There are sprays

and powders for outdoor use, such as Cat B Gone. Most can be safely used even on trees, shrubs, flowers,

etc. Just make sure to read the label first or ask an employee for help in finding a product that will

safely work on vegetation.

For indoors, there are sprays that can be used on carpet and furniture. (Kitty Behave is one). For

areas that can't be sprayed, such as wood or plastic surfaces, spray a rag with the product and then

place on or in the area that you want the cat to avoid. The smell is very offensive to cats and quite

effective at keeping cats away from the treated areas! (04/23/2008)

By Wendy

RE: Getting Rid of Cat Spray Odor on Carpet

Re: Problems with cats urinating outside of box or on floor/carpets.

Cat urine and cat spray are different. For cat spray problems and for odor removal of urine and/or

spray, see post below about spraying information.

Info, most cats will consistently use their litter boxes if they are kept clean. Remove solid waste

daily and completely clean and wash cat box once a week with dish detergent and water. Some smells and

chemicals are offensive to cats, such as lemon and vinegar. Using these to clean a cat box may deter your

cat from using that box!

Cats are finicky. There can be many reasons as to why they won't use their litter box or why they

might suddenly stop. Some cats prefer a certain litter or a certain type of box while other cats in the

house might prefer something completely different!

Some cats don't like to urinate in the same box that another cat is urinating in, but will continue to

use the same box for bowel movements! This is due to "territorial confusion" and dominance order. Urine

(and spray) are used to mark areas or objects as "personal property" for cats. Feces is not. It has no

distinct territorial scents or makers. If an older or more dominant cat in the house is urinating in a

particular cat box; a younger, less dominant cat might view/smell the box as being the older, more

dominant cat's territory. It is inappropriate for the less dominant cat to urinate (mark its scent) over

the more dominant cat's scent. The dominant cat can take this as a threat and fight to defend it's

"territory". Having a bowel movement in the box poses no threat or territorial issues though because the

feces has no territorial markers or scents to it. Therefore, most cats will almost always use the same

box to have bowel movements in, but will go elsewhere to urinate.

If there is not another cat box in the house to use, the cat will find a "safe" place to urinate, such

as the floor, the carpet, your bed, laundry, counter tops, tubs, sinks, papers, furniture, etc.

Everything is fair game! As a general rule, it always is best to make sure that there is one cat box for

every cat in the home!
Some cats just prefer to use one box for urinating in and another for bowel movements. I have 2 cats each

who will do this, so I have 2 cat boxes for each of them (total of 4 boxes for 2 cats). They share all of

the boxes, but they will only urinate in 2 of them and have bowel movements in the other 2.
Cats do not like changes either. They are creatures of habit and thrive on routine. Any change, big or

small can trigger emotional problems and stress in a cat and cause it to stop using its box for

urination. The changes could be a new pet or baby, having a visitor that the cat determined he didn't

like, changing your daily schedule, moving furniture around, moving the cat box or changing the type of

cat box (big trigger!), changing the type or brand of cat litter (another big trigger), moving the

food/water dishes, even changing the type of food.

Cat boxes and litter: one cat may prefer to use a large box while another in the house may prefer a

smaller box. In general, the smaller the cat, the smaller the cat box. The larger the cat, the larger the

cat box! Kittens need very small, low to the ground boxes. It's too much effort for them to jump so high

to get in the box when they can easily find a convenient place to pee right on the floor. If they become

used to doing that, it becomes routine or habit for them and they will most likely always use the floor

instead of a cat box. If the box is too small for a larger cat, he won't have enough room to find a

suitable peeing spot or enough room to dig/scratch. In that case, he'll look for a larger area to suit

his needs, usually the floor!

Some cats like privacy and will only use a box that's sheltered from sight and mainstream activities.

Some cats will only use a box that's covered while others will refuse to use a covered box. Some cats

might prefer unscented litter over scented or clay litter over clumping litter.
Self cleaning litter boxes can pose more problems for shy or timid cats. If the cat happens to be in the

area or notice when the box starts moving, it can seriously scare some cats from ever using any box

again. If this happens, get rid of the self cleaning box and go back to the same thing your cat used to

use. If the cat still seems frightened or avoids the box, continuously call the cat over to the box, coax

it with treats or place the cat in the box. Let the cat see and learn that this box will not move!

If a cat suddenly stops using its box for urination and it's using multiple areas of your home

instead, the culprit most likely is a urinary tract infection. The cat will associate the pain of

infection as being caused by its litter box. It will then find another area to urinate in. When the cat

realizes that there is still pain even though it's urinating in a different area, it will then associate

that area as being the source of pain. And so on and so on. Take the cat to the vet and let them know the

details. Once the infection is cleared up and if you have effectively removed all the urine spots and

odors throughout your home, the cat will go right back to using its box!

By Wendy

RE: Getting Rid of Cat Spray Odor on Carpet

I made a thick paste from baking soda, peroxide, and hot water (if you have darker carpets just take out

the peroxide) applied it to the area and let it dry. Vacuum it up and if the smell is still there,

sprinkle some dry coffee grounds on the area for a couple minutes. At first it just smells like coffee,

but after an hour or so you can't even tell the cat sprayed! (01/02/2009)

By Jessica

RE: Getting Rid of Cat Spray Odor on Carpet

Like many of y'all, my cat decided to start spraying one night. I woke up to the terrible smell. I did a

lot of online search. A lot of it was on this site and reading what other people had tried. So I took

bits and pieces from each story and now I have my own to share.

First off, to help get the smell of urine out you have to temporarily place the cat that is marking out

of the house either to run, or like me, I only have inside cats, so I took him the the vet and boarded

him for 3 days. While he was gone I got my choice of deodorizers and got to work.
The first one is Out! Natural: Lemon Grass Fragrance Stain and Odor Remover, 32 fl oz. It can be bought

at your local Walmart for like $8.00.
It has bacteria and enzymes that feed on the bacteria of the urine so that way the smell is gone.

Another deodorizer was Odoban for pets. On the back says gets rid of cat urine smell and a few other

The last deodorizer was a Hertz spray that deodorized and has perfume in it to make a pretty smell. All

of this can be bought at your local Walmart.

Don't forget the black light. You can either buy a pet one. It's small and runs on batteries. A lot

easier than the way I did it, but I went to the light bulb section at Walmart and got a big black light

and a extension cord. I am so glad I did it this way. Bigger black light equals more light than the small

one. It was around $12.00.

How I got rid of the smell was I blacked out the room and then got my black light and found the spots

and soaked my carpet in the spot with the Natural stuff. Make sure you put enough to go down to the

padding in the carpet. Then I came back with the Odoban and the Hertz spray and continued to soak the


When all was said and done the smell did linger for a few hours, but the beauty of the natural stuff is

that the enzymes and bacteria start to go to work on eating the bacteria of the cat urine. The next

morning no smell. It took about a week for the carpet to fully dry. Then I went back to Walmart and got a

steam cleaner and then the pet stain remover stuff, the cheap one and steam cleaned the heck out of the


It has been 2 months and the smell has not come back. Also while the cat was at the vet I had him

neutered. I know a lot of people don't want to do that, but that is the only way to get the instinct out

of the cats, both male and female, as I have both. Also when you clean the litter boxes you need to fill

the bottom of the litter box with water and bleach to clean that.

If you have more than 1 cat you need to have a litter box for each cat. I know that sounds bad, but as

the vet told me male cats are very picky. They don't like to use the litter box after other cats and most

likely you will notice with 2 cats they will pee in one box and poo in the other.

Since my cat has been fixed there has been no other spraying.
Oh, by the way just so you know, after you get a male fixed and you smell the urine smell. Don't think he

started to spray again. It could be the litter box, male cats, even after having been fixed will continue

to spray as they pee in the litter box. Hopefully this will help someone. (01/19/2009)


<img src=""

width="400" height="300" alt="RE: Getting Rid of Cat Spray Odor on Carpet" />

RE: Getting Rid of Cat Spray Odor on Carpet

I had a basement apartment. I also had a cat. The neighborhood cats would pee on and by the basement

window. I got a realistic statue of a black and white tuxedo cat and put it near the window. Those

neighborhood cats did not come within 20 feet of the window anymore. (02/19/2009)

By Mike

RE: Getting Rid of Cat Spray Odor on Carpet

Cat smell out - there is a product by Natural Touch called "Enzyme Odor and Stain Eliminator". It

penetrates and eliminates the most basic and pervasive odors and stains caused by urine, feces, etc.


By catfifty

Pets Pet StainsSeptember 13, 2011
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