The Cat’s Meow: How to Get Rid of Cat Smell

Can’t get enough of your furry friend? Here in the U.S., we’re obsessed with our cats, and it goes far beyond watching cat videos: over a quarter of all American households have at least one cat in the mix.

Of course, just because you love your pet doesn’t mean you’re in love with the smells they make. Cat vomit, cat urine, and your cat’s general musty odor can make you want to air out or spray down your home on a daily basis!

However, you shouldn’t just cover up the scent and hope for the best. Knowing how to get rid of cat smell is crucial, as harsh scents like cat pee can grow worse with time as bacteria in the urine begins decomposing. Here’s how to deal with it fast.

General Cleaning Tips

If you’re worried about musty cat odor or wet cat smell rather than specific issues like cat vomit or urine, there are a few general cleaning tips that can often help.

Clear the Air

The air in your home can take on your cat’s smell over time if you aren’t careful. One of your best weapons against this is to vacuum often, clearing away cat hair and dander. You’ll want to vacuum your carpets as well as any areas where your cat spends a great deal of time, such as their favorite sofa.

In addition, don’t forget to change your air filter. Experts recommend doing this at least once every 30 to 60 days, but you should aim for a more frequent timeline if you have a pet at home. Ventilating your home by opening the windows can also help.

Regular Washing

Make sure to wash any fabrics your cat comes into contact with often. This includes things like blankets and sofa cushion liners as well as any cat bedding you own.

Grab the Right Products

When you’re dealing with the bitter scent of urine, your first response may be to panic and reach for harsh chemicals to clean it away. However, you may be surprised to know that natural products are often the better solution when it comes to cat pee.

When cleaning, the goal is always to remove the scent so that not only you don’t smell it, but your cat doesn’t either. Otherwise, your cat may associate the area with urine and use it again. For this reason, it’s crucial to avoid any products with ammonia, which smells similar to cat pee and may attract your cat instead of repelling it.

Baking Soda

Household baking soda works great on intense odors, and it can help neutralize the acidic properties of cat pee. To use it, sprinkle it on the area in question and let it sit for at least 15-20 minutes. You’ll need to vacuum or wipe it away when you’re done.


The acids in common white vinegar can help neutralize the bacteria in cat urine. If needed, you can mix vinegar with baking soda in a 1:1 ratio for a stronger solution.

Hydrogen Peroxide

This chemical oxidizes the bitter scent of ammonia, which can make it disappear fast. To use it, place it on the affected area for five minutes before wiping it away. For lighter staining, you can use a 1:2 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water.

Enzyme-Based Cleaners

These specialized cleaners work to break down the acid in your cat’s pee, removing the smell as well. You can find them in a spray bottle form online, or you can shop for them at most home goods stores.

How to Get Rid of Cat Smell in Different Areas

Urination is the trickiest cat smell issue you’ll have to deal with it, so it’s important to know how to address it. Depending on where your cat has urinated, you may need to use different tactics to remove the smell. Here’s what to try:


For blankets, linens, and clothing, soak the fabric in cold water using a 1:3 solution of vinegar to water. Next, throw them in the wash, but be sure to sprinkle some baking soda into the washing machine.

Instead of using the dryer, you’ll want to air dry them for a smell test until you’re sure the scent is gone. The heat from a dryer can lock in the acidic scent of urine, making it harder to remove.


Blot the affected area as much as you can with cold water, and take care not to scrub, which can push the scent further in. Afterward, vacuum the area—using a wet/dry vac, if you have one—and use your choice of the cleaning products mentioned above. You may need to let them sit for a while, and you may have to reapply the solution multiple times as needed.

If the scent doesn’t vanish in a few cleanings, or if the stains are too widespread or old to handle alone, consider reaching out to a company like Pro Carpet Cleaning Swansea for professional help.


If the furniture has a removable cover, remove it and wash it using the instructions for fabric listed above. If not, try the steps for cleaning carpets. If your furniture is delicate or antique, reach out to a professional upholstery cleaner for aid.

Deal With Cat Smells Before They Get Worse

As we’ve mentioned above, cat smells often get worse the longer they’re allowed to sit in place—which is why it’s crucial to use the tactics above fast! Now that you know how to get rid of cat smell, it’s time to start addressing any areas of your home that are prone to urine, vomit, or other cat scents. If you struggle to get rid of the smells on your own, consider reaching out to a professional for a fresh start!

Looking for more helpful lifestyle guides and tips? Be sure to take a look at the other posts on our site for additional insights like these.

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