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Our house smells like cat pee.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Which really sucks since we don't have a cat. :

We haven't had a cat in 2 years. This is a very recent development for us and we can't figure it out. There are plenty of ferile cats in the neighborhood, but they couldn't be getting in. The only thing we can figure is maybe they're peeing under the house and the smell is coming through the floorboards? It's really strong and annoying.

Or maybe we have a ghost cat?

At any rate, it's really getting on my nerves. Anyone know how to get rid of the smell when you can't get to the source?

peace, Beth
post #2 of 8
Beth I can totally relate. My cat peed in the closet and even though I cleaned it very well I still get a whiff of it every now and then. My dh thinks I'm crazy, he can't smell it at all.

By the way I'm moving this thread to Natural Home and Body Care.
post #3 of 8
We bought a house that was previously inhabited by a cat breeder and her 35 cats... At the time we thought it was a great idea because we got an awesome deal on the house. Cat pee isn't that hard to get rid of, right??? WRONG!!! Almost a year later, we are still working on renovations, but have most of the smell under control. Here's what we had to do: tear out all baseboards, and as we replaced them, put lots of caulk between boards and wall so smell couldn't sneak through. All walls were primed with an oil-based Kilz odor-killing primer, then painted with 2 coats of regular paint. All floors were replaced- the subfloor is plywood, so dh painted that with primer before we put down our wood flooring and ceramic tiles. All that work wasn't enough---- our a/c and heat registers are in the floor, so the cats had been peeing in them. The airducts were full of old cat pee. So, dh replaced all the ductwork for the entire house. And there's still some smell. Dh said the smell is probably in the insulation within the air conditioning/heating unit. So, he is going to have an a/c person come out and take the unit apart and really clean inside and replace the insulation. We also had to take all the kitchen cabinets out because the particle board they are made from had actually swelled from being peed on so much. We tried to clean them but they still STANK. Gutting the kitchen was the only solution.

I'm sure you don't want/need to do a bunch of stuff like that; I just wanted to list a lot of the possibilities for smells... If you can find the source of the smell, I've heard washing the surface with vinegar might work. If you haven't had a cat for 2 years, I don't know where it could be coming from. Have you done any recent work on the house, where you'd be cutting into walls that might have been peed on? (for example, even after we painted our house, when we cut the door trim to fit the tiles under them, the smell was horrible because the pee had soaked into the wood). Or is there any way a cat from the neighborhood is somehow getting pee into your a/c system (I don't know how).

I know I'm probably not that helpful. But I did want to share my cat pee story (couldn't resist!) and tell you that I feel your pain!!! That's some nasty stuff!
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

That's awful. Our smell isn't as bad as all that. I would sooner move than go to all that trouble! You are a brave, strong woman!

I hadn't thought about the a/c ducts. I'll check and see if there's an entrance anywhere outside.

It's weird, but the smell seems to come and go. We'll not smell anything for days, then one day we'll come home from the grocery store and *wham!* cat pee!

I can't wait til the weather's warm and we can just open the windows...

peace, Beth
post #5 of 8
Suggestion, obtain a black light and see if you can find it. Cat pee fluoresces under black light.
post #6 of 8
I know how you feel unfortunately.....I had a cat that peed in my bedroom floor for a couple of months before I found him a new home. Now I don't even sleep in there anymore I've tried carpet cleaning with a machine and some kind of spray, but I know I'm going to have to take this carpet up. Oh and the blacklite idea works I've tried it too I'd defintely like to hear what others have tried....

post #7 of 8
I think cat pee is the worst smell in the world, I feel for you folks. I know the original question was about not being able to find the source, but if you do find the source, there is a product out called " natures miracle". It eats smell using enzymes, I found it helpful on couches and carpets with cat pee, just make ure when you use it to let it dry completely before passing judgment if it works or not. as far as the smell in the house, a diffuser has saved my life. If you have an aromatherapy store where you live or even a health food store, a diffuser can make a world of difference. just put water and a cheery essential oil in it like orange, and a candle underneath. It may not get rid of it but for several hours at a time you may be able to have smell peace.
post #8 of 8
We live in a mobile home, and cats get under it and we get that smell alot too. YUCK!

Besides airing it out, I have no clue...maybe boiling some potpouri would help if it's just in the air. If you think it's in the carpets (and maybe "coming out" when it gets damp???) you could try cleaning the carpets with white vinegar?
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