Cat pee/urine smell removal

10 Replies

I am looking at a property that smells of cat pee. I've seen it a couple of times, and it was obviously worse when the weather was warmer and it's barely warm at all right now. The house is still furnished and has one large throw rug. I think once the carpet and upholstered items are out, it will smell better but I don't think it will be smell-free.

I've read a number of posts here on this topic and see that some of you look for these places since others tend to run from them. I like that approach! But I still need to get rid of the smell. 

Most posters say to use oil based Kilz, but are you also using some sort of enzyme odor remover prior to this? I have had sick cats in the past and am familiar with black lights to find it, but the best results I had were when I re-shellacked my floors (which is what was originally on my floors anyway). That said, my house smelled like roses compared to this one so I know I'm dealing with a different beast!

Are there companies that are good at eradicating odors or am I better off doing it on my own. Any suggestions are appreciated as I need to factor this into my budget for purchase.

@Diane Dib I can sympathize with cat pee houses. Seems like I have a tendency to get into that kinda thing! :)  I just did one that was really bad. Ripped the carpet and a lot of the baseboard out. Cut out some of the bad spots in the drywall. Once we had it stripped down, we sprayed the floors down with Odaban (Home Depot) then aired it out a lot and ran an ozone machine for a few days. After that I rolled on a coat of oil based Kilz to seal everything off. I was happy with the results. Odaban is your friend! Love the stuff! 

If you have vents in the floor you need to have them cleaned and or replaced as well.
Good chance cat was using those as a litter box.

@Jeremy M. this is plaster and I didn't check the walls at all, but I expect to find some there. Thanks for the tip on Odaban - I'll check that out.  Have you gone through any warm humid weather yet?

@Rob Golob There ARE vents and I didn't even think about them! I'd be replacing the entire heating system anyway... wouldn't that be nice if it was a good source of the smell. Could I be so lucky?

Hi @Diane Dib , I have had several houses with this issue. I have found the best way to address is to pull all the carpet and spray the floors with Kilz, as you mentioned. I have not found that using any type of odor remover. If the subfloor has been so drenched that it is brittle or falling apart, I replace it. Also check the baseboards as the smell may be located there as well, also apply Kilz as a resolution. If you want to spray down with enzyme odor reducer, it can't hurt and is cheap enough to do yourself. 

Any company that specializes in odor removal is going to do pretty much the same and it would not justify the cost over DIY.

Best of luck!


@Diane Dib   That's not the smell of cat pee, that's the smell of money!  I've bought a few cat pee houses and usually because the competition held their noses and ran.  All of the suggestions above are spot on.  I actually had one house where I removed the lower 2ft of drywall throughout the entire house and then treated everything.  What you don't want to do is assume the smell is gone and then proceed with your finishes.  Make certain it's gone.  Keep the house closed up for a few days, no furnace or fans running, and then bring someone into the house who is not a pet owner and watch their reaction.  Good luck!

@Diane Dib I had a house last summer that was a hoarder house and neighbors said old man had 15-20 cats living there!  I love animals but GROSS.  Unfortunately after he died some of them must have been left here, we actually found some remains there.  So sad.  Anyway, agree that you have to sometimes replace subfloor- and definitely clean the venting system for HVac- and also any cabinets in the basement or anywhere else saturated leakage could go.  In my case the house had great hardwoods under carpet which all had lots and lots of pee especially one room, but we pulled up all the carpet, saturated with an ozone remover, let dry, did it again, sanded the floors until the smell was gone, refinished, cleaned the vents, cleaned the base boards or replaced, and smell was finally gone.  Think about this: whatever you do to treat the pee has to penetrate, saturate, or remove to the depth that the pee penetrated/saturated. And if it can drip into something, you have to find that and clean it too ...good luck!  One more tip- don't leave the cat pee stuff outside in a pile or in a dumpster for long- will attract more cats and animals to your job site...and they will  mark outside which potential buyers might see/smell after the house is all nice on the inside.

Thanks Shannon! Do you remember the name of the ozone remover? The depth worries me, if it's been happening in the same place(s) for years it can certainly be deep and hit the beams below. And gotcha - carpet goes in the bed of the truck and to the dump immediately!

Originally posted by @Shannon S. :

@Matt Stewart one of my mentors used to say "mold is gold"... lmao...

Absolutely!!  I couldn't agree more!

Originally posted by @Diane Dib :

Thanks Shannon! Do you remember the name of the ozone remover? The depth worries me, if it's been happening in the same place(s) for years it can certainly be deep and hit the beams below. And gotcha - carpet goes in the bed of the truck and to the dump immediately!

 Citrus neutrox, and odorpet.   Can find this and also DSV at wildlife control online stores.   Dsv is a serious disinfectant.  Have also been told kennelban is a good odor remover but haven't tried it.  Please make sure you or workers wear cartridge style air respirator when removing that carpet and spraying with any of these strong chemicals also probably should wear a white tyvek style suit etc.  Just protect yourself and your airways.

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here