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Home > Cats > How to Get Rid of Cat Smell in the House? 10 Possible Solutions

How to Get Rid of Cat Smell in the House? 10 Possible Solutions

bengal cat on carpet

The smell is part of pet ownership, there’s no way around it. Whether you are a cat owner needing some everyday tips for getting rid of those unpleasant odors that come with sharing your home with these wonderful little creatures, or you need some tips for eliminating the smell of cats in a home you recently acquired, you have come to the right place.

Thankfully, there are some worthwhile methods to getting rid of these unwanted smells to restore your home to a pleasant-smelling oasis. Let’s take a look!


How to Remove Cat Smell From Your House (10 Possible Ways)

1. Regular Vacuuming

cat near vacuum
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

When trying to keep odors to a minimum, it is always a good idea to keep your home vacuumed regularly. Cats leave behind hair, dirt, dander, and other debris that will accumulate regularly if not vacuumed. These smells will naturally set in and become harder and harder to eliminate if regular cleaning is put off.

Vacuuming is never a bad idea, and it is recommended that any pet owner (or non-pet owner) keep up on this chore for the overall cleanliness of the home. However, if it is cat urine smells you are trying to take on, vacuuming alone will not get the job done. We will go over some other techniques if urine smell is your main issue.

  • Keeps dirt, dander, and loose hair under control
  • Prevents smells from setting in
  • Leaves home looking nice
  • Will not eliminate urine and other intense odors
  • Prevention of odors only

2. Routinely Wash Anything Your Cat Lays On

Cleaning Carpet
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Another way to keep typical cat smells at bay is to regularly wash anything your cat comes in regular contact with. This includes your furniture, bedding, blankets, pillows, cat trees, and anything they get their precious little paws on. Smells happen, but they don’t set in if you keep your laundry going.

The typical recommendation is to wash these items at least once every 3 weeks on the cold cycle. You can also keep all surfaces wiped down. While smells don’t set into things like countertops and tables, it will help control all the excess hair and keep dander from making its way into carpets and furniture.

  • Keeps fabrics clean and smelling nice
  • Removes hair and dander from fabrics
  • Not effective for odors set into the floors

3. Baking Soda

woman holding baking soda
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The odor-neutralizing effects of baking soda go unmatched. There is a reason that baking soda is an ingredient commonly seen in commercial deodorizers because it works wonders. Baking soda is not only effective but also safe, making it the perfect odor eliminator for pet-owning households.

For regular set-in odors on the carpet or furniture, you can simply sprinkle some baking soda, allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes, and then vacuum it up. Baking soda can even help you tackle more intense odors, like cat urine. In this case, it can be mixed with white vinegar (or water,) shaken up, and sprayed on the affected area. You may have to repeat this process several times to eliminate urine odor.

  • Natural, safe, and effective
  • Neutralizes odors and lifts stains
  • Can be used with other cleaning solutions
  • Must vacuum thoroughly to remove the powder

4. Hydrogen Peroxide

hydrogen peroxide
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Another popular odor eliminator is hydrogen peroxide. This versatile liquid has many uses, including getting rid of set-in smells and stains. Products containing hydrogen peroxide can be very effective on urine odors and stains as well.

Hydrogen peroxide helps destroy the odor-causing bacteria and can also help lift stains and any discoloration without the use of bleach. It is important to be careful when using hydrogen peroxide on fabric; if it is left on too long or is not diluted enough, permanent discoloration can happen.

  • Kills bacteria that causes odors
  • Can help lift stains
  • Safe and natural
  • Can cause discoloration if left on too long

5. Vinegar

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The acidic properties of vinegar can be your best friend when it comes to odor elimination. Granted, vinegar has a strong smell, but its ability to fight strong cat odors makes it well worth it. This is another safe and natural alternative to harsher chemical cleaners.

You can use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, just mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle then spray the solution on the affected area. Simply blot away the solution with a paper towel or cleaning cloth and repeat the process until the unwanted odor has been eliminated. For an even stronger concoction, the vinegar solution can also have some baking soda added for that extra odor-neutralizing kick.

  • Natural, safe, and effective cleaner
  • Odor neutralizer
  • Can be used alongside baking soda
  • Strong odor

6. Enzymatic Cleaners

Cleaning spray
Image Credit: Polina Tankilevitch, Pexels

Enzymatic cleaners can be found in your local store in the cleaning section. These cleaners are effective against urine odors because they can break down ammonia, sulfur and the other compounds found in cat urine, vomit, and even feces. Make sure you check that the surface you need to clean is appropriate for these types of cleaners.

Enzymatic cleaners contain harsh chemicals, which are needed to break down these compounds that cause the most unpleasant, lingering odors. They will come with thorough instructions and a warning label so that they can be used safely and effectively. Just ensure these products are kept out of reach from your cats, other pets, and any children in the household.

  • Breaks down ammonia and other harsh compounds
  • Very effective with odors
  • Not for all surfaces
  • Harsh chemicals

Our favorite enzyme cleaner is the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray because it permanently removes even the very worst pet stains and smells you can imagine (and makes clean-up a breeze). They even offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee! Click here to order a bottle and freshen up your home today.

Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray
  • ADVANCED ENZYMATIC CLEANER - Penetrates the most stubborn smells and stains at the deepest molecular...
  • FOR ANY MESS, ON ANY SURFACE - This pet odor eliminator cleans your carpets, floors, furniture,...
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At Pet Keen, we’ve admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding products of this cool cat company!

7. Carpet Cleaner

Rug Cleaning
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Carpet cleaners are not a bad investment to make if you are a pet owner. Stains and odors are bound to happen when you share your home with any animal and having a heavy-duty piece of cleaning equipment in your arsenal cannot hurt. Carpet cleaners can dig deep down into the carpets for a thorough shampooing.

A carpet cleaner can be dragged out for routine carpet cleanings or as-needed spot cleaning. They even make smaller versions geared toward spot cleaning and even vehicle use. They are a great asset to keeping pet odors at bay.

  • Great to have on hand for routine carpet cleaning
  • Provides spot-cleaning
  • Provides thorough carpet cleaning
  • Expensive upfront cost
  • For carpeted areas only

8. Seek Professional Help

Woman with cleaning materials
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Another option on the table to help you eliminate cat odors from your home is to bring in professionals. Professional cleaners will bring in their high-grade equipment and expertise to help you reach your cleaning goals. Hiring a professional cleaning service can be expensive, but it is a great way to get off on the right foot.

A lot of landlords and new homeowners will bring in professionals to help tackle the odors from previous tenants within the home. You can rest assured they have been tasked with eliminating cat odors and stains in the past.

  • Professional-grade equipment used
  • Experience and expertise of a professional cleaner
  • Thorough, customized cleaning
  • Expensive

9. Paint

man painting the wall
Image By: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Odor-killing paint can help tackle unwanted odors within the home that just seem to be so deeply set in that it is radiating from the walls. This typically happens in more extreme cases where these smells are left to fester and eventually take over the smell of the home. If you have recently acquired a home that is riddled with cat odors, try a new coat of paint for good measure.

  • Blocks/kills residual odors from prior paint coating
  • Only good for eliminating odors trapped in the walls

10. Redo the Floors

man fixing wooden floor
Image By: Levent Konuk, Shutterstock

Occasionally, there will be those unfortunate times when you may just have to redo the flooring in the home. Sometimes odor gets down into the subflooring. This kind of situation happens with a lot of landlords who have had tenants with pets who have been allowed to use the bathroom on the floor regularly with no cleanup efforts taking place. This is also seen in situations where new homeowners must come in and do some updates to the house to restore it a bit.

Cat odors that are allowed to set in for long periods are very difficult to get rid of; that’s why regular cleaning is so important to avoid situations in which the entire floor needs to be pulled up and replaced. This is a very expensive option but sometimes, it’s just what needs to be done. There is a way to cut down costs, such as laying the floor yourself or checking for sales and specials on the pieces of flooring.

  • Eliminates all residual floor odors
  • Cleans out subflooring
  • Expensive
  • Hard work



Regular, everyday cat odors and the dreaded cat urine smell can make for quite a daunting task. Keeping the home free of cat odor is the wish of any cat-lover. Routine cleaning is key to keeping normal smells at bay but when it comes to the more intense, unpleasant smells, there are many different methods you can try to help get rid of those unwanted odors.

Featured Image Credit: Elena Sonmez, Shutterstock

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