How to Remove Cat Odors From a Home

If Fluffy's manners haven't exactly been up to par lately, and the litter box is feeling a bit neglected, it can become quite evident in the quality of air in your home.

As cute as cats are, the odor they can create isn't. Removing this pungent odor from the entire house may seem like an insurmountable task, but if you know how to tackle this problem ahead of time, you're already on your way to a better smelling home.

Locate and clean up any areas where your cat decided to rebel against the litter box. Your own sense of smell can usually help you get there, but if that doesn't work, you can purchase a black light to help point out any soiled areas. Cat urine will easily show up with a black light; once you know where the urine is, it will be much easier to get rid of it all.

Clean urine out of fabric and upholstery with white vinegar. Pour the vinegar into a spray bottle, and spay the affected area before scrubbing gently with a clean cloth. An enzyme cleaner such as Urine Gone is also effective in getting rid of cat urine. Cover the area with baking soda, and leave it overnight to eliminate any residual odor. Vacuum up the baking soda in the morning.

Air out the house by opening up doors and windows to circulate air throughout your home. Turning a fan on and pointing it toward the outside of your home can help push bad odors out of the house.

Make sure that the litter box is clean. The smell from the litter box can easily contribute to the overall bad smell in the house. If the litter is too dirty, your cat may not want to use it, which may be why she is using the rest of the house instead.

Cut up an onion and put the pieces in a bowl of water. Place the bowl in a room where the smell seems to be the worst. Close up the room and leave it overnight. Dispose of the onion and water in the morning. The onion and water will help to absorb lingering odors in the air.

Things You Will Need

  • Black light
  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean cloth
  • Fan
  • Onion


  • For washable fabrics, add a cup of white vinegar to the wash instead of detergent. Add another cup to the rinse cycle.


  • Never use ammonia to clean up cat urine. Ammonia smells too much like urine and may cause your cat to repeat the incident.