Eliminating cat urine odor?

One oor both of my two cats has started urinating in a corner of my carpeted hallway, near the litter box. I’ve tried using a spray that is supposed to mask the odor and discourage this behavior, but it is not working. I’m getting my carpet cleaned soon and don’t want the work undone by the smell of cat urine. Does anyone have suggestions for me on how to either stop the behavior or clean it so the smell is eliminated?

Are you leaving your cats home alone a lot? This could be their feline way of telling you they are feeling neglected. Also, make sure you are regularly cleaning out their litter box. If they think it’s not clean enough, they’ll go somewhere else. Finally, getting them fixed will greatly reduce their urge to mark territory with urine.

As for cleaning, the only way to completely get rid of the smell of cat pee is to get rid of the objects that’s been sprayed. Carpet cleaning and deodorizers may greatly reduce the stench, but you’ll still notice it on wet days.

You might ask your cleaner if s/he has anything. They may have a few super-chemicals out there that’ll help.

Both of them are neutered males. I keep the box clean too. I do have to go to work but otherwise I don’t spend a lot of time away from home. I have two so they could be companions. I’ve had them for a while now and this behavior is quite recent.

Guy, I should have thought of asking the cleaner. I’ll certainly do that. And maybe call the vet too. Bet he has had folks ask him about it. Thanks for your reply, if anyone else has suggestions I’d be glad to hear them.

I’d suggest using an enzyme based cleaner, usually available from a good pet store or a vet’s office. In my experience (admittedly several years ago) they work well. However, some say they do >not< work well after ordinary cleaners have been used, since the detergent, soap, etc may interfer with the actions of the enzymes and bacteria.

A couple of websites for more informational purposes only - I have not used their particular products.

http://www.petsmart.com/ Search for “urine cleaner”


Febreeze works perfectly.

Soak the area in it after the pee has dried, and it will take the smell away completely.

I second the Febreeze.

I ripped up the carpet, pulled up one layer of subfloor and installed hardwoods. That got rid of the smell. I tried all manner of cleaners (pre-febreze), and even pulled up the carpet, replaced the padding, soaked the carpet in a variety of things, and used my Hoover Steem Vac like crazy. A big problem was the cat either had the habit hard coded in it’s mind, or it could smell the soiled spot and revisited it.

A warning about kitty litter boxes and hardwoods: Ammonia is/has been used to darken woods such as oak. The book The Complete Manual Of WoodWorking by Jackson, Day, and Jennings has a nice description of this. Where I’m going with this is, if the cat pees beside the litter pan, the pee will be drawn (capillary action I think) underneath the pan and stain your floor dark. Nothing but sanding will fix this.

As to what you can do, it has been my considerable experience that cats pee outside of the box for the following reasons (there may be more):

  1. Excess litter on floor looks like a good spot
  2. Cat pees outside pan while standing in pan (happen a lot here)
  3. Too many cats in one pan, some cats don’t like to share
  4. Marking behavior, sometimes used for attention

An enclosed litter pan may help you. It gives your cat some privacy, and physically keeps litter and excreta from venturing out. We have a litter maid automated litter scooping pan with the option privacy enclosure. It works for us.

As an owner of duplexes I can tell you that getting rid of cat urine odors is one of the toughest jobs out there. Often the odor has gone all the way through to the concrete slab and perhaps been absorbed by the tack strip that holds down the carpet and even the sheetrock. The enzyme based products work OK but don’t try to be cheap about it. Really pour it on.

Another tip is to use a blacklight to help spot where the urine is. It will show up as green.

Again treat the carpet, padding, sub-floor, hell, all the way down to bedrock.

I sure appreciate the replies. I have tried a product from PetsMart called PetZyme and it helped a little, maybe I didn’t use enough. To those who recommended Febreeze, I will try that too. And I will get a second litter box too. The one I have already is enclosed, but that me not be enough. I can’t afford to replace the carpet, more’s the pity.

As far as Febreeze, it works well, but only temporarily. It does nothing to get rid of the soaked in urine, and it will come back.

My scientific understanding of cat pee is that is actually bounds with the sub-atomic particles of all matter, which explains the difficulty when trying to remove it.


I forgot about Febreeze. Febreeze is pretty good, but it may require multiple applications. If the pee has soaked past the carpet into the padding, you’ll have to get to that as well (or replace the padding).

IMHO, Nature’s Miracle works better than PetZyme.

Also, please be sure to have a physical exam done on the cats to rule out any possible health problems. Urinating out of the litterbox can be a behavioral thing but it can also be a signal of a urinary tract problem (some of which are fatal if not treated).

Take caulking gun and grab cats tail when its not looking…
Yea yea. I live with 4 of them (my girlfriends cats). I told her I was gonna do that if one pissed on my speakers again. That and staple its ass shut
I 4th the febreeze though. Good stuff

This topic has been covered many times on SDMB. Try using the search engine; I asked about this once myself. :wink:

Personally, I’ve had no luck with any of the enzyme products. I keep using them hoping they’d work, but inevitably the smell remains. I had to cut out a couple of chunks of carpet downstairs and replace them with wood floors, which did the trick.

Key is to keep them from going back to the same spot. Recently, there’s been a lot of “activity” on our leather sofa (we moved the litterbox earlier this summer…that was all it took). Can’t clean it…tried tinfoil, covering it with a sheet (w/newspaper underneath, all for protection), and the stinky cat spray…none of which worked. Finally, a liberal dousing with red pepper, black pepper, chili powder and paprika did the trick, until the shock pad arrived in the mail, which worked like a charm.

If you can’t get the smell out, I suggest a visit to your spice rack to keep the cat from going back to the same spot.