You may have heard that vinegar is a good solution to eliminate cat urine smell.
Does it really work? Let’s find out.
The Science Behind Vinegar
Vinegar is made up of acetic acid and water. Acetic acid is a compound that is found in many different household products, including cleaning agents. Most of us will have vinegar on hand at home, which also makes it convenient to tackle cat pee accidents right away.
Plus, how many of us now use vinegar for cleaning jobs around the home and garden (weeds in brick paving)?
When vinegar comes into contact with cat urine, it neutralizes the ammonia. This process not only eliminates the odor, but it also helps to break down the uric acid, making it easier to clean.
It is the ammonia smell that drives us crazy.
To use vinegar to remove the dreaded cat urine odor, make a vinegar and water solution by mixing equal parts vinegar and water. Put it into a spray bottle and spray on the affected area.
Some people also like to add a drop of a perfumed fragrance. This is not for me as it just adds to the smell, but it may work perfectly for you-maybe a pine type of scent would be okay.
Let the mixture sit for a few minutes on the affected area before blotting with a clean cloth or paper towel.
You may need to repeat this process several times to completely remove the odor.
What Sort Of Vinegar Is Best To Use?
Distilled white vinegar is the best type of vinegar to use to get rid of cat pee smells because it contains a higher concentration of acetic acid than other types of vinegar.
When using vinegar to remove cat urine smells, always dilute it with an equal amount of water. This will help to prevent damage to surfaces in your home and will also make the odor less intense.
What If You can’t find The Affected Area
Sometimes it is obvious but sometimes it just isn’t.
If this is a an ongoing issue I would suggest getting a black light, an ultra violet light.
Get A Black Light
They are super simple to use. They are best used when it is dark, so at night, turn off any interior lights and off you go, urine spotting.
The area will light up when the culprit is found. What I like about this is that it is specific. It takes away any guessing.
Some surfaces where the cat has urinated will respond better to black light detection than others. For example a hardwood floor or polished concrete may have been washed, and the cat pee will not be as visible.
The cat pee is more likely to be visible on carpeted areas or soft furnishings because of the nature of the fabric will allow the urine to sink in and thus show up more easily with the black light.
You do not need to spend a fortune on a black light.
Some people take a black light to hotels. Yikes, I think that would tell me things I maybe didn’t want to know.
The torch below also detect scorpions apparently. I don’t have a need to detect scorpions but imagine it could be very useful.
Should I Use Baking Soda With The Vinegar?
When you use baking soda with vinegar, you’re creating a chemical reaction that will help to remove the odor-causing molecules from the air. The mixture will also help to break down the urine so that it’s easier to clean up.
How To Use Baking Soda With Vinegar
Blot up as much urine as possible with paper towels. Then, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the stain. Next, pour vinegar over the baking soda. It will begin to foam. Wait a few minutes for the foaming reaction to stop.
Finally, blot up any remaining liquid and vacuum the area thoroughly.
Does Vinegar Really Work To Get Rid Of Cat Urine Smells?
What If The Cat Pee Smell Returns?
While the smell of cat urine might not be pleasant to us, it’s actually appealing to cats. That’s because it contains chemicals that are attractive to them, including ammonia.
When a cat urinates, they’re actually marking their territory. The strong smell helps to communicate to other cats that this is their space.
Unfortunately, that strong smell can also linger long after the urine is gone. Even if you clean up the urine right away, the scent will often come back.
That’s because the chemicals in cat urine can penetrate deep into porous surfaces like carpeting and upholstery. Sometimes, the only way to truly get rid of the smell is to replace those materials. That is a last resort by the way.
if you have no luck using vinegar and water or vinegar and baking soda, you can try using a pet odor neutralizer to help mask the scent.
Why Is Your Cat Urinating Outside Of The Litter Box?
You don’t want to have to keep dealing with this problem, so if you have a persistent problem with your cat urinating outside of the litter box, speak with your veterinarian about possible health problems that could be causing this behavior. This is the number one thing to do.
In some cases, cats urinate outside of the box because they are suffering from a urinary tract infection or another health issue that is making them feel uncomfortable when using the box.
Treating the underlying health problem will often resolve the behavioral issue as well.
If you can rule out medical issues, then it is possible to go through the list of “other things” that can cause litter box refusal.
If you are not keen on using vinegar then Jackson Galaxy has a pet urine remover that is non toxic and has no smell at all. Just blot it on, let dry and then give it the sniff test. Maybe you may need to do it again. That’s okay.