How do I get Rid of Cat Odor?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Cat odor can be a problem in several ways. First, one can have problems from odor produced by one’s one cats. Second, the issue could arise with cat odor from cats that have access to your property, but are not your own cats. This brings up another obvious point, which is that your cat odor problems may be indoors, outdoors, or both. And the last point is whether you are trying to prevent cat odor or deal with existing cat odor.

Scented cat litter can be used to get rid of cat odor.
Scented cat litter can be used to get rid of cat odor.

To prevent cat odor by keeping cats away from your outdoor property, you can try several methods. One is a sonic cat repellent, a motion-sensitive device that operates by battery and can help keep nuisance cats away. It will not work on cats that are hard of hearing. Since most cats hate spray, a spray bottle filled with water can be used to drive away cats who get past other defenses.

Cat odor can be a big problem in many homes.
Cat odor can be a big problem in many homes.

If it is your own cats that are causing the problem, then you may wish to try a more selective approach. Plants they don’t like the smell of are another effective means of preventing cats from creating odors in your yard. Check with your extension service to find plants that meet this need and grow well in your area. Folk wisdom suggests a number of mixtures that you can sprinkle selectively to keep cats out of certain yard areas, so you may wish to research these.

For indoor use, pet stores provide a number of spray repellents that you could use, say on a couch or other piece of furniture you wanted to protect from cat odor, and cat claws as well. These may be used in conjunction with cat training, if you wish. In any case, there are a number of products, including organic ones. Repellents are also available in other forms, such a sticky strips that are aimed to make cats refrain from climbing on a piece of furniture because the feel of it is distasteful to them.

Eliminating cat odor may require different solutions depending on exactly what the problem is. If the problem is odor drifting from the cat pan, you can try several remedies including getting a hooded pan, getting a carbon filter, cleaning the pan more often, or trying a different brand or scent of cat litter. If, on the other hand, you are trying to remove cat odor from a room, fabric, carpeting, etc., make sure you choose a product that actually removes odor, rather than just a scented freshener. Pet stores carry special pet odor eliminators that may help with stains as well as odor.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to wiseGEEK about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

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Use hydrogen peroxide with water to wash. Using acetic acid (vinegar will also help). Try a combination of the two. Hydrogen peroxide does not leave traces and I think there are no residues which can harm cats. --danny


There are ways to reduce cat urine odor. If your cat's bathroom breaks are extra smelly, it could be diet related. Dry food diets, especially low quality dry food diets, are known to make kitty's urine smelly. Cat's can also get urinary tract infections or become dehydrated causing concentrated urine.

Changing your cat's diet from a dry diet to a whole food, or high quality wet food diet can eliminate some of the uric acid in the cat's urine. There are books and online resources that will help you create whole food meals for your pets.


If your cat odor problem is with the litter box, you can try using cedar cat litter. Cedar cat litter is good for eliminating cat litter odor. The natural cedar litter is absorbent, and cedar's antimicrobial properties prevent the growth of odor causing bacteria. You can also get cedar litter that clumps, making clean up easier.


if a cat pees on the floor, white vinegar will help eliminate the smell. I haven't had to use it where a cat sprays, but would imagine it would be just as effective.

We have also found cat litter crystals (available at supermarkets)as opposed to the usual kitty litter, while more expensive, definitely works effectively, longer, and is odorless.

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