Attack The Root
Of The Problem

Is your cat peeing around the house? Grab a sponge and use some of the following commercial -- or homemade options -- but don't forget to attack the root of the problem.

Woman Cleaning floor

There's nothing quite as pungent and persistent as the smell of cat urine. If you've ever come home to the overwhelming stench of ammonia, or given strong consideration to trading your beloved cat in for a goldfish, then you know exactly what we're talking about.

{prevention} Of course, the best way to keep your home pee-free and smelling sweet is prevention. There are two ways to stop a cat from spraying in the house or from using a dark corner as an alternative toilet. First, you can get your cat spayed or neutered. Unfixed males spray to mark their territory, and unfixed females spray to let tomcats know she's ready for some lovin'. The other solution is to keep the litter box super clean. That may mean cleaning the waste more than once a day. Cats are fastidious creatures, and many will absolutely refuse to go in a dirty litter box. If you're not keeping the box up to your kitty's high standards, then kitty will find another place to"go."

Deep cleaning

If your cat has already peed elsewhere in the house for whatever reason, the best way to stop repeat behavior is to make sure that the area has been cleaned thoroughly, leaving no lingering smell. If a cat smells old urine, chances are that spot is treated worse than the bathroom at your local truck stop.

And what is the best method for removing the smell? Well, you do have a few options, both commercial and homemade. You want a product that contains enzymes that will break down and eat the bad-smelling bacteria (go little enzymes, go!). But remember, not all products are created equal, so do some research into which ones actually work. And by research, we mean ask your veterinarian and the helpful folk down at your local pet supply store. Online customer reviews are another invaluable resource.

Now here are some basic tips for you budding domestic gods and goddesses, also known as do-it-yourselfers.

Carpet Stain:

For carpet stains, get some white vinegar (the old, plain kind will do), hydrogen peroxide, washing-up liquid, and baking soda. First, use a sponge to mop up as much of the liquid as possible without rubbing it in deeper, and then mix equal parts water to vinegar. Pour the mix over the spot where kitty was naughty and let it dry. Once it has dried, liberally sprinkle baking soda over the spot. Then stir up a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and dish liquid (four parts hydrogen peroxide to one part detergent) and lightly rub the mix onto the urinated area. Use a brush (old toothbrushes work wonders), gloved fingers, or whatever else you have on hand to get the job done. After it dries, vacuum the area. If the smell remains, repeat the process.

Non-carpeted surfaces:

Spray bottle and wipes

Removing cat pee from non-carpeted surfaces, on the other hand, requires cleaning with a non-ammonia based detergent/cleaning product. The cleaning product can be commercial, all-natural, or homemade, just make sure the product does not contain bleach, as bleach mixed with the ammonia in cat urine would be a bad combination. Clean the spot, by mop or by hand, rinse thoroughly, and repeat. Then, making sure the room is well ventilated, give the area a final wash with a bleach and water solution (about one part bleach to seven or eight parts water).

Bedding & clothes:

And what if kitty has stained the bedding or clothes? This can be remedied by adding about a quarter of a cup of cider vinegar to the wash cycle, along with the detergent.

Avoid yelling at your cat during these"episodes." Yelling will not help the situation. In fact, it may only make the problem worse -- a stress-ridden cat will have even less compulsion to follow the rules. If the problem does not end, instead of getting angry take your cat to the vet for a checkup. Kitty may just be acting naughty, but there could also be something medically wrong. Conditions like polyuria, dysuria, and pollakiuria are all urinary disorders that are outward conditions of more complex underlying disorders.

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Photo credit: Image Source / Photodisc/ Getty images, Fuse / Getty images


Comments on "Tackling the odor from kitty's indoor accidents"

Valerie October 11, 2011 | 10:48 PM

Mamamia, You said this started with the new male cat after he was neutered. Sometimes (often) in fact a cat will go into the litterbox after surgery and they may have some pain during trying to go. They will associate this with the litterbox and they will avoid it as a result as they think the pain has something to do with the litterbox. Since he was using the box prior then this is probably the problem and you will have to retrain him to the box. You can try putting another box in a new location and or setting him up in a small room offering him a new enviroment with new litter may fix him, it may take a little time and patience but it (will) work in the end. The other comment about several litter box for multiple cats is very good also as cats get very territorial it will be good to have different potty locations to assure everyone has there place. If you rehome him it won't work because you have to fix the behavour or he will end up at the shelter and his fate is most certainly grim if that were to happen. He will be worth the effort. Good luck and hang in there.

Deb August 29, 2011 | 4:47 PM

Mamamia - I also have a rescued from near-death feral male cat that has litter box issues. My kitty is 2-yrs old now, and fixed of course, but for awhile there he was peeing on everything (my bed, the furniture, it was aweful). I found a litter called "Cat-Attract" (you can find it at petstores) that has helped quite a bit and reduced the number of incidents. Make sure you have 1-litter box per cat, plus an extra, as cats sometimes don't like to share. Also, some cats do not like hooded litter boxes, as they trap in the smell, my cats hate them. If you're using a hooded one, take off the top and see if he responds better. You should also mention this to your vet, sometimes bad litter habits are related to illness. Good luck!

Mamamia August 08, 2011 | 3:46 PM

My cat was found half dead in a barn. My hubby and his friends found him and nurtured him back to life. My hubby decided he'd surprise me with this kitty. He came home and loves it here! We got him fixed and declawed. and since then he will urinate in the litter box but poops on the floor. How do you get him to stop that? Everyone once in a while he will stop. Maybe a day or 2- so we dont know what else to try. We use the above cleaning solutions, we have covered the floor everywhere, he still manages to go where he wants. HE is a sweet kitty. Well hes 1.5yrs old now. but still my baby. :) Can anyone help me with this? I'd appreciate it. I dont want to have to give him up. I love him so much..... But he is wreaking the house. We can't afford to replace the flooring..... ugh! We have a couple of other kitties as well. My sis in laws and 1 I already had. And none of this pooping started til he got fixed. Please help if you can! And by the way he gets along with all of them. :) Thank god for that!

Svetlina January 01, 2010 | 9:00 PM

the best and tryed with years way to never let that hapens is really easy and simply.Once you are taking the kitty to her future home and after you enter put her at the place her toilet will be and leave her there till she lol mine is she untill it trys it,it may take minute or hour but once she did her job there she will never even think to search for another place.Believe me it work 100percent and i am thankfull to my grandmom for learning me 20 years ago!!!ohhh and by the way take good care of her toilet,cats hate the smell of urine and everything dirty and awful!!!Now i am hugging my Jinjer and we go to bed because it is 5a.m. and she is waiting for me almost an hour!sweet dreams sweeties kisses and hugs

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