As much as people love their cats, and we know that love is boundless, there are certain aspects of life with pets that can be a challenge — odors being top of the "arrgh" list for many. We dug through our archives for some reader intelligence on the issue and according to our commenters, here are three top tips to try.
• From Jennifer
I have a cat and the things that have worked the best are Nature's miracle or a deodorizer called XO odor eliminator. I had a closet in an apartment that I just couldn't find the source of the smell and the XO stuff knocked it out and left a fresh, but light scent.
• From Susan
PetZyme is an enzyme cleaner that can work for small problems. If it is an item like a throw pillow, bag, etc, saturate it and throw it in a large plastic bag and seal it so things stay damp for a few days, allowing the enzymes to work rather than dry out. Anything that doesn't take care or for larger places try Simple Solution's Oxy Odor Destroyer— buy the powder so you can mix your own solutions. Allows you to vary the strength plus goes farther. That works extremely well, even on old stains and odors. I have an extremely sensitive sense of smell and can no longer pick up any cat urine scent. Works well in the laundry too. Best wishes!
• From Rob
I've had some good luck in my own apartment with using some of the enzyme based pet cleaners that were recommended by my local pet shop. Not all of them are the same, so you might want to start with the small bottles to see which ones offer you the most improvement. I've taken to keeping a big bottle of Nature's Miracle around.
• From Stacey
I have a "Lampe Berger." It's a kind of oil lamp with a catalytic converter. It clears rooms of odor - you can use a scented oil or non-scented. I've found it good for getting rid of lingering smells (cigarette smoke, cooking) though never had to deal w/cat pee. Anyway, they're a bit pricey and you have to buy the oil, but they do work.
• From Edmond
I have a cat and it pretty much lives in my room. Cat urine is not the big problem, it is cat poo as the litterbox is in my room. Ok, besides replacing the litter every so often, I used Lampe Berger and gosh did it work. It was a miracle. My family wanted to throw the cat out, but now that the smell is gone the cat's here to stay
• From Jwo Yee
Over from where I come from, Lampe Berger is the ultimate way of killing odor. I had a cupboard used to store food that stinked like cockroaches. Decided to pop the Lampe into the cupboard one day, closed it for 10 minutes, and not only did the roaches pour out of the cupboard like rats running from a flood, the cupboard smells like cinnamon now..
• From Carol
I clean the soiled areas with clear vinegar and water (2:1 ratio). Works real well.
• From AJ
The secret is to clean the spot with vinegar and water before you use anything on it. Other cleaners can destroy the enzyme, so make sure to clean it with a solution of vinegar and water several times, then use Nature's Miracle. Use it on the area around the trouble spot also, sometimes several times as big as the problematic spot. Make sure to soak it with the product. If you use it just on part of the spot, it's not going to do any good. Some people say extend the area by 5 times of what you see with the black light if you have thick carpet padding. You can also buy a syringe (as large as a turkey baster) and use it from "inside out" by poking through the carpet and soaking it from underneath.
• From Alex
My cat has peed twice (large puddles) in the same spot on my carpet. I usually sprinkle baking soda then dump white vinegar down and scrub as it foams.
What works for you? Please share your tips on removing cat odors in the comments below …
Image: Laure Joliet