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How to Get Rid of Cat Odor

Updated on April 17, 2016

I know the feeling, you just brought home the new addition to your family and are in love with your fluffy friend. You clean it's litter box, take it to the vet and have a blast playing with those little laser lights. Then, you're gone for the weekend. You walk back into your home and BAM the cat odor hits you like you just walked into a boxing ring.

After awhile, we get used to certain odors. Similar to how people that smoke cigarettes often do not smell cigarette smoke, people that own cats and are home every day often do not notice if their home has a particular odor to it. It can be a bit disturbing when you first find out. Especially if that random thought of "does everyone else smell this and no one is tell me?" pops into your head.

It's okay though. A lot of people have cats and manage to rid their home of the disgusting cat odor (myself included), and you can too.

Find the Smell

Often, cats and kittens do not produce a smell that smells like cat pee. If you're smelling a horribly strong smell, chances are that it is not solely because you have a feline friend. My mother used to have several, and her house did not reek of cats. So, you first need to track down the smell.

If you're smelling something that smells like feces, it could be as simply as your cat having gas. Try changing their food, and then take them to the vet if the problem persists.

If that's not it, try tracking it down to at least the room. Perhaps your cat was locked in the bedroom and used the closet instead of the litter box. If you are able to track down the room the smell is coming from, it will make cleaning it up and having your house smelling great again a breeze. If not, follow these few simple tips to getting your house smelling fresh again.

Clean the Litter Box Daily

That's right, every single day. The method of putting all new cat litter into the box can be both time consuming and costly. Instead, try getting scoopable litter. The litter that comes with Glade crystals works excellent at masking hidden odors and preventing your house from smelling.

If that still seems like a bit much, try investing in a new litter box. There is a wide array of litter boxes available on the market that make cleaning out the litter box a less than a minute job. You simply lift up the bottom of the litter pan, it sifts through the scoopable litter, and then toss what comes out. My sister has one like this, and it literally takes less than a minute.

Clean Your Carpets

Carpets can hold in odor, making your house smell like all kinds of things, including cats. No, you don't have to go rent a Rug Doctor every week, but it may help to invest in a more cost effective carpet shampooer. Then, simply clean your carpets as you normally would every six months. If you're already doing it every six months, try every three months.

Clean Your Furniture

Furniture can hold in odors just like any other fabric can. If you have any type of cloth furniture. it's best to clean your furniture at the same time that you clean your carpets. They make excellent over the counter products that work well. Tuff Stuff works wonderfully at removing stains and can help clean up cat urine. Unfortunately, the smell may linger. To get rid of the both the smell and the odor try some Nature's Miracle Stain and Odor Remover.

To get the urine smell out of foam cushions, saturate the cushion in the stain remover. Then, squeeze it all out. The urine will come out with the stain remover.

Don't Forget to Check the Curtains

This is the most overlooked thing in homes. Male cats may have sprayed the curtains or they may be long enough to droop over furniture, leading to messes on the curtains. Give your curtains and any other fabric a quick sniff to make sure that they smell fresh and clean.

Air Out the House

After you're done cleaning the house, you may still need to air out the house a bit. Open the doors and windows and turn on the fan. It will help bring fresher air inside while circulating the air to keep the musty smell moving outside.

Keep It Gone

Once you've gotten rid of the smell, it's important to keep up on it so that it stays gone. You can do this in a few minutes a day.

The litter box. First, make sure that you clean the litter box on a regular basis. If you clean it everyday, it will only take a few seconds. Literally.

Open the windows. If you continue to let fresh air inside, it will help to keep your home smelling fresh and clean.

Air freshener. When all you have is three seconds, break out a can of Febreze. It works wonders.

Messes. Potty training cats can be brutal, and can lead to quite a few accidents. So can changing your cat food. If your cat has an accident or throws up, clean it up before it has to soak into the carpet.

Clean the carpets. Clean the carpets and furniture every few months to prevent small lingering odors from becoming bigger.

Having a cat can be a fun, cuddly experience. These independent animals are known to reduce stress and can offer companionship. That doesn't mean that you have to live in a home that makes others wrinkle there noses the second they walk through the door. Follow these tips to get rid of the cat odor and keep it gone.


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    • Sneha Sunny profile image

      Sneha Sunny 

      4 years ago from India

      This is a useful hub. I'm sure directing my brother to this hub. He is now a proud owner of a cat! ;) Thanks for the tips!


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