Getting cat pee smell off books

Title says it all. Short story I need to make a book not smell like cat pee, or anything except how books normally smell.
Longer story I have a “guest cat”, not sure how he gets in. He’s wild but he sneaks in somehow for heat, and food, and uses the litter box as cats normally do, so I don’t mind too much, usually. Been trying to tame him down so I can get him fixed. This leads to my problem.

I came home from class one night all tired and left my book bag in the living room. I went to leave the next morning, only to find it had an intense eye watering odor. He sprayed it, the ungrateful bastard. Well somehow it got through my supposedly waterproof backpack, albeit faintly and on to a few of my books.

I was sold the wrong book for one of my classes, and I need to exchange it for the right one. Visual inspection finds no visible damage or discoloration, just a bit of smell.

Is there anyway good way to get the smell out and leave the book in exchangeable condition?

Any chemicals with ex dues machina properties in regards to this?

If it’s more letting them air out, might it work by Tuesday?

You might try sprinkling some baking soda on the affected area. The four monsters and I live in a smallish apartment, so I need to keep a bucket with litterbox waste in the house for a day or so before discarding. I sprinkle baking soda atop each layer in the waste bin after each box cleaning, and no one’s noticed any smell.

For books, YMMV; fire may be your only resort.

Hmm, Baking Soda, that’s a good idea, thanks. I suspect the order might be from proximity, not contact with actual urine. The smell was so pungent it condensed on the book, without actual cat pee.

I’ll try it on a test book, and see if it cleans off okay.

Baking Soda will be your best bet (librarian with cats here).

Best practice - ziplock baggie with book and about half a cup of baking soda.

Try for one of those 2 gallon or “supersize” baggies; you want to be able to open the book while it’s in the bag, without opening the bag itself.

Get the extra air out of the baggie (don’t go crazy, just don’t leave it too puffy with lots of air - smoothing it out with your hands is fine.)

Leave the book + soda in the baggie for a few days, and during those days, every time you walk by, shake up the baggie to get the soda all dusted about again. Open up the book and let the pages flip while the soda is all floating around - flip the pages through a few times per shaking session to really get the soda in contact with the individual pages and the insides of the hardcovers and into the crevices of the spine.

Aim for shake/flipping pages about 4 times a day, and at the end of each day, take out the book, discard the baking soda from the baggie, and put new soda in with the book again.

You’re done when you can’t smell cat pee anymore. (This could take a day, it could take a week. If it takes more than a week, it’s usually a sign that you’re not going to win this one.)

As a bonus round, if the book still smells a little “off” but not recognizable as cat pee, follow up the baking soda routine with a day in a baggie with a few dryer sheets. They’ll absorb smell and slightly “perfume” the book, to mask a little bit more of the funk.

Sounds like good advice, thanks, especially the drier sheets! Just to be sure though, does the baking soda leave any marks or discoloration on the pages?

It won’t discolor the pages, and if you have a laminated-cover (plastic-slick feeling) book cover it will be fine there also.

The only thing I can see you having trouble with is an older or cloth-bound book; you might get some lightening effect on the cloth if it is at all damp or wet.
Even then if it is light-colored, there won’t be an issue.

Short Version - I would only worry about rich or dark-colored damp/wet cloth covers - everything else will be fine.

Perfect, it’s paperback. Thanks heaps:)

P.S. Just a comment – you’re making progress.
Spraying like this is marking his territory. So that means that he has come to accept your house as part of his territory – that’s a step on the way to getting him tame. The side effects for you are temporarily unpleasant, unfortunately.

Just a note as someone who once had a similar problem:

Do not under ANY circumstances allow the cat access to anything that smells like cat urine, unless you’re willing to deal with another instance of territory marking.

Even if you’ve removed all odor that you can smell, he may still be able to, and the fading will just give him reason to douse it again.

With all the stuff on TV like Urine Gone, I’m surprised there’s such an easy solution.

There really isn’t. The baking soda may temporarily get rid if some odor but the vast majority of the smelly compounds will remain. Cat urine contains thiols that really need to be oxidized. Unfortunately, most of the effective options run a really good chance of ruining the book. He only needs to mask the smell long enough to fool the bookstore.