How To Clean Cat Smell?

Disclaimer: The information presented below is for general informational & educational purposes only. Always consult with animal professionals in case of specific concerns.

In this blog post, we will explore effective and practical tips on how to clean and get rid of that lingering cat smell in your home once and for all.

Nothing ruins the scent and feel of your home like discovering areas that smell like your feline friends have claimed territory. Whether it’s the occasional accident marking their space or litter boxes that need attention, cat smells can linger long after Fluffy has moved on. But have no fear – cleaning up cat smells is possible with the right know-how and products. In this post, we will dive into the causes of common cat odors throughout your home and share our best tips and tricks for eliminating them permanently so you and your pets can both enjoy a fresh-smelling living space. We’ll cover strategies for tackling odors on carpet, upholstery, litter boxes and more using odor-eliminating cleaners, deodorizing sprays and other hacks. By the end, you’ll be equipped to keep your home smelling cat-free for the long haul without forgetting what makes it feel like home for your furry companions as well.

How To Clean Cat Smell?

Cleaning cat smells involves addressing the source of the odor and ensuring thorough cleaning to eliminate any lingering scents. Here’s a comprehensive guide:

  • Regular Litter Box Cleaning: Cleaning up your cat’s litter on a daily basis can significantly reduce unpleasant odors. Remove solid waste daily and completely replace the litter every week.
  • Regular Bathing: Depending on your cat’s grooming habits and lifestyle, regular bathing can be an effective measure to control the smell. 
  • Cleaning Spots: If your cat has an accident outside the litter box, clean the spot immediately with a pet-friendly, enzyme-based cleaner. These cleaners break down the proteins in cat urine, removing the source of the odor.
  • Proper Ventilation: Ensure your living space is well-ventilated. Fresh air can help dissipate any lingering odors.
  • Regular Vet Checkups: Unusual odors can sometimes be a sign of health issues. Regular vet checkups can help identify and address these concerns early.
  • Quality Cat Food: Feeding your cat a balanced, high-quality cat food can also minimize bad odors. Cheap diet often contains fillers and by-products that can result in smelly waste. 

Remember, patience and consistency are key when addressing cat odors. With time and regular maintenance, your home can be free of any unpleasant cat smells.

What Causes Cat Smell In The Home?

Several factors can contribute to cat smells in the home. Understanding these factors can help you address and minimize the odors. Here are common causes:

  • Inadequate Litter Box Maintenance: If the litter box is not cleaned regularly, the strong odor of cat waste can permeate your home.
  • Improper Diet: Low-quality cat food or a diet that doesn’t suit your cat can result in smelly waste.
  • Health Issues: Certain medical conditions can cause a cat to have unusually smelly breath or waste. 
  • Lack of Grooming: Cats that don’t groom themselves adequately or have a harder time doing so (like older or obese cats) can often be smellier than others.
  • Accidents Outside the Litter Box: If a cat urinates or defecates outside the litter box, and the mess isn’t cleaned up promptly, the smell can linger.
  • Unneutered Male Cats: Male cats that haven’t been neutered have particularly strong-smelling urine, which can contribute to a strong odor in your home.

How Can I Prevent Cat Smell From Occurring?

To prevent cat smells from occurring in your home, consider implementing the following measures:

Frequent Litter Box Cleaning: Develop a routine of cleaning your cat’s litter box regularly. This includes removing solid waste daily and changing the litter entirely every week. 

Healthy and Quality Diet: Opt for high-quality cat food that ideally suits your cat’s specific dietary needs. Lower-quality cat food can lead to smelly waste.

Regular Vet Visits: Regularly scheduled veterinary checkups can help detect and treat potential health issues that might be causing unpleasant odors.

Pet Hygiene: Ensure your cat maintains good grooming habits. If your cat is unable, assist with grooming, or consider a professional service though the cat grooming cost might be expensive.

Prompt Accident Cleanup: If your cat has an accident outside the litter box, clean and deodorize the area immediately with pet-friendly, enzyme-based cleaners.

Neutering: Consider neutering male cats to reduce the strong smell of their urine.

Regular Bathing: Depending on your cat’s lifestyle, regular baths can help control and prevent odor. 

Adequate Ventilation: Keep your living space well-ventilated to disperse and minimize any lingering smells.

Can I Use Air Fresheners To Mask Cat Smells?

While air fresheners can be used to mask cat smells temporarily, they are not a long-term solution as they simply cover the odor rather than eliminating it. More importantly, many commercial air fresheners contain chemicals that can be harmful to cats. Always ensure to use air fresheners that are specifically designed to be safe for use around pets. Additionally, opt for products that work to neutralize odors, instead of just covering them up. Remember, the key to effectively prevent and manage cat smells is regular cleaning and proper hygiene practices.

What Cleaning Products Are Safe To Use For Removing Cat Smell?

When choosing cleaning products to remove cat smells, it’s important to opt for those that are safe for both your cat and your household. Enzymatic cleaners are often recommended for dealing with cat urine and other organic odors. These cleaners contain enzymes that break down the compounds causing the smell, effectively eliminating the odor. Look for products labeled as pet-safe or specifically designed for pet odors. Additionally, consider the following options:

Enzyme-Based Cleaners: Enzyme-based cleaners are safe for use around pets and can be highly effective in breaking down the proteins in cat urine and feces, thus eliminating the source of the odor.

Baking Soda: This pantry staple can be used to absorb odors from various surfaces, including carpets and upholstery. Simply sprinkle baking soda on the affected area, let it sit for a few hours, and then vacuum it up.

White Vinegar: White vinegar is a safe, natural cleaning agent that can help neutralize pet odors. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and use it to clean surfaces where your cat has had accidents.

Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide can help clean cat pee and odors from carpets and upholstery. Always do a patch test first to ensure it won’t discolor the fabric.

Pet-Friendly Air Fresheners: There are air fresheners specifically designed to be safe for use around pets and to combat pet-related odors. Choose one that neutralizes odors, rather than just covering them up.

Odor Absorbing Gel: These gels can be placed in various locations around your home to absorb and neutralize pet odors.

How Often Should I Clean To Prevent Cat Smell?

To prevent unpleasant cat smells, it’s advisable to clean the litter box daily by removing all solid waste and changing the litter entirely every week. If you have multiple cats, you may need to change the litter more frequently. Regularly bathe your cat according to its lifestyle and grooming habits. Any accidents outside the litter box should be cleaned immediately. Surfaces should be cleaned with pet-friendly products weekly, or as needed, to maintain a fresh and clean environment. Regular cleaning not only prevents cat smells but also maintains a healthy environment for both you and your cat.

Read more: How To Clean Cat Poop?

Are There Any Specific Areas In The Home That Tend To Have More Cat Smell?

Certain areas in your home can indeed be hotspots for cat smells. These typically include:

Litter Box Area: The most obvious source of cat odor is the litter box itself. If not cleaned regularly, it can produce a strong smell that can permeate the entire house.

Feeding Area: Leftover wet cat food, if not cleaned up promptly, can result in a strong smell. Additionally, if cats dribble when they drink water, the damp area can develop an odor over time.

Sleeping Area: Cat dander and saliva can accumulate on your cat’s favorite sleeping spots, leading to a distinctive smell. Regularly washing their bedding can help mitigate this.

Scratching Posts or Cat Trees: These often-overlooked items can harbor cat odors as they are frequently marked with scent glands on cats’ paws.

Carpeted Areas and Upholstery: If your cat has had any accidents outside the litter box, carpets and upholstered furniture can absorb and trap the odors.

Regular cleaning of these areas is crucial in maintaining a fresh and pleasant home environment.


In conclusion, learning how to clean cat smell is a crucial step in keeping your home fresh and free from unpleasant odors. From identifying the source of the smell to using the right cleaning products and techniques, we have covered everything you need to know to effectively eliminate cat smells from your home. Whether you are a new cat owner or have been struggling with lingering odors for years, these tips and tricks will surely help you achieve a clean and fresh-smelling home. Don’t let the fear of clingy cat smells hold you back from giving your furry friend a loving home, instead, follow these steps and see the difference it can make. Remember, consistency is key when it comes to odor control and by implementing these strategies regularly, you can enjoy a pleasant and welcoming space for both you and your feline companion.