Basement Smells Like Cat Pee (What now? & Prevention)
If you have noticed a smell of cat pee in your basement you may be wondering what that is, and if it is truly cat pee, how to get rid of it (Click here to see the price, on Amazon #Ad).
Why is my basement smelling like cat pee?
It’s either cat urine or mold. If you don’t have a cat, its important to understand that certain kinds of bacteria and mold, when reacting with certain materials, can smell like cat urine, and if you’re smelling something very similar to it, there is a good chance your basement might be infested with mold.
What you will need for basement cat pee smells
|01. Enzyme Cat Pee Stain Remover (My Best)
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|02. Basement Dehumidifier
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|03. UV Light & Blacklight for Cat Pee
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So, now you know, that your basement can start smelling like cat pee even if you do not have a cat, as well as being able to rule out any other cats getting down there.
But, what can I do to get rid of the smell? Why do some basements have moldy smells like cat pee? Keep reading for these answers, and much more.
What if I have checked, and the smell is not caused by mold?
If you’ve checked and double-checked for mold, and are positive there is none, as well as owning a cat, there is a good chance that instead of blaming this on water leakage your feline friend might be the culprit.
What can I do to get rid of the pee smell in the basement?
To get rid of the smell in a concrete basement you need an Enzyme cleaner (Click here to see the price, on Amazon #Ad). Normal soaps and cleaners won’t get rid of the smell due to the fact the crystals won’t bind with the cleaning agent, thus remaining in the concrete.
The chances are, now that you’ve identified the smell, and possibly the source of it, you were pulling your hair out wondering about the best solution for getting rid of the odor, right? So now you know what you can use.
Why is concrete hard to clean?
Concrete is hard to clean because it’s a strange and unique building material, typically found in basements, it is porous, similar to a sponge. This means while you may be doing away with a stain, the pores in the concrete are absorbing what is causing the odor, making conventional cleaning methods all but useless.
What’s more, when urine comes into contact with concrete, it reacts by crystallizing (which is actually what releases the odor), which not only makes regular cleaning harder, those crystals aren’t coming out of the pores anytime soon.
I get it, you’ve tried everything you could think of, scrubbing and cleaning every possible square inch of what might be mold, or that your cat seems to spend a suspicious amount of time around, but nothing you do seems to even make a dent in the smell.
How can you improve your cleaning efforts?
There are a few things you can do to improve the effectiveness of this, however:
- Identify the areas that have been urinated on
- Thoroughly clean them with regular cleaning products to remove bacteria
- Properly use the enzymatic pet cleaner to remove the crystals
- Re-clean the area with a regular cleaning product to get rid of anything left over
How do you keep a basement smelling fresh?
So, you’ve gone through all the trouble of getting your basement clean, and smelling A-OK, now begs the question, how do you keep it that way? If the cause of your concern wasn’t cat pee, it could be one of a few things, all of which have more or less the same cause: moisture.
Understanding the root cause
Typically mold is the result of some kind of water leakage, rot, or another kind of decay. A deodorizer or an air freshener might make the room smell nice, but the reality is that the product is just covering up the smell, and sometimes even making it worse.
Your action plan, depending on the issue
You need to look for anything showing signs of decay, mold, or moisture, and get them out, or cleaned up. If a wall has a large stain or patch of mold, check with a plumber because what you’re looking at is water leakage.
If it isn’t direct leakage, you need to find a way to reduce the overall moisture in your basement. Try using a dehumidifier (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad), or air out the area by opening some windows or doors (Assuming any are available).
Why do cats pee in basements?
Cats may pee in basements because they can occasionally fixate on an area outside of their litter box (Assuming they’re trained to use one), and will go to this area frequently to relieve themselves in this fashion, and to your dismay.
So it was your cat, and not just regular water damage or mold, and preventing it from happening isn’t as easy as just removing the cause of the smell, and you were wondering what you do, right? So now, you have a better understanding as to how to prevent it from happening, as well as a better understanding in general.
Why do cats like basements?
Without factoring just plain old personal preference into the equation, cats tend to like basements for the sole fact that rats and mice happen to prefer them as well. Consider if your area is a hot spot for mice and rats to occupy your house before considering the fact your basement might just be quieter, or more furnished to its liking.
Can I put a litter box in the basement?
Technically, you can put a litter box in a basement. But, should you? And, the answer to that question is no. Litter boxes should not be placed in corners, dark areas, in a garage, or otherwise any place where they could be hidden from the cat, or you.
Is it okay to keep Cat in the basement?
You should not keep your cat in a basement if it is a traditional dark and cold location. But, Since basements can range from a completely furnished room that just happens to be underground, to just a dark, dank storage room under the house, it depends heavily on whether or not you think it’s fit for a cat to live in.
This is one for you to think about. But locking a cat in a dark, desolate room, while not exactly a pretty picture, to begin with, can spell horrors for your cat, such as health issues, as well as the mental strain of being locked in a room like that for most of its day. Think of it this way, would YOU want to spend that much time down there? How would it affect you?
Why do some basements have mold that smells like cat pee?
Basements can smell like cat pee because of mold resulting from water damage. Water damage can come from a leak in the wall or a broken pipe. This can either come from neglect of the previous owner, or more usually something that is out of sight, or not very apparent at first.
Maybe you see a water pipe that looks a little wet, with just a drop outside of it, and think nothing of it. This could easily be something that is already causing mold, or something that in time will lead to a build-up of it. Be sure to check your pipes carefully, and hire a plumber if you think faulty plumbing is at play.
If the issue is mold, How can you get rid of it?
To prevent mold, keep your basement nice and dry, invest in a dehumidifier (Click here to see the price, on Amazon #Ad) possibly. If there is a large outbreak, covering an entire wall, it may not be safe for you to stay in your house, and you may even need to have a professional address the situation.
Water is what makes mold grow. If mold doesn’t have water, it dries and dies. Dry mold is a lot less intimidating and gross than wet, “Healthy” mold, and is easier to clean and get rid of.
How to find cat urine stains in a concrete basement
To find cat urine stains in a concrete basement use a blacklight or UV light (Click here to see the price, on Amazon #Ad). You can buy a reliable enough one in many places, and you can shine it over the basement floor, successfully revealing any of the stained areas, assisting in cleaning detrimentally.
Maybe you can’t locate the source of the smell, having looked everywhere, nothing looks like a stain. Maybe you bought the house from someone else, and anything that was making it is long gone. And, since then you have been looking for the answer, right? So, now you know.
Does cat urine get absorbed into concrete basement floors?
Yes, cat urine and just about anything else liquid that is sprayed or spilled on an unsealed concrete basement floor can soak into the concrete and become rather tasking to clean. This is because the surface of the floor is porous, despite looking smooth to the naked eye.
Keep in mind, however, that if the concrete HAS been sealed, then as long as the seal integrity is intact it should keep the urine from soaking in – making it much easier to clean effectively.
How can I clean the cat pee out of my basement?
Typically, if you have a concrete floor in the basement, then the best cleaning method, once it has been thoroughly swept, is to mop it with a commercial enzymatic cleaner, allowing it to dry using a fan and as much ventilation as you can get down there.
After this, then you’ll want to do a ‘heavier’ cleaning with tri-sodium phosphate, missed at a ratio of ½ cup to 1 gallon of hot water. Make sure to use gloves and eye protection for this and pour water directly on the affected areas first, distributing it around with heavy scrubbing from a wire brush.
Let this soak in for about 10 minutes and then vacuum it up with a wet vac until it’s as dry as you can get it, and then give it another 2 – 3 cleanings with the enzymatic cleaner, followed by an air dry with one or more electric fans.
The enzymatic cleaner will break down the uric acid content of your cat’s urine, so that it doesn’t come back as it would with a detergent clean, and the TSP will destroy the bacteria that has settled in the concrete over time. It seems like overkill — but you’ll appreciate the results!
How can I seal my concrete basement from cat urine odor?
Garage floor coating will work, but you will want to consider assistance from a professional if you want to have this applied once the area has been thoroughly cleaned. While garage floor coating will seal it nicely, the floor will need to be acidly etched first for the seal to properly take hold.
If you have not done this before, then due to the chemicals involved your best bet will be getting the assistance of a professional or a friend who has sealed a concrete floor before.
Is powder or liquid enzymatic cleaner better for a concrete basement?
With a concrete floor, liquid enzymatic cleaner is going to be your best bet, and as cat urine can soak deeply into the porous concrete then you will need to keep in mind that you might have to soak it for 2 to 3 days.
This gives the enzymes time to soak deeply into the concrete, so that they may properly break down the uric acid content of your cat’s urine that has been absorbed over time.
What could cause a rotten egg smell in your basement?
If you smell rotten eggs coming from the basement, then you need to get everyone out of the house immediately. Don’t turn on any new lights or use a landline phone if you have one – just get out of the house and contact your gas company immediately.
Natural gas has no odor of its own and so, as a safety precaution, gas companies add an odor to it that you cannot miss – which smells like rotten eggs. As such, until your gas company has inspected the basement, it will not be safe to enter your home.
What else can smell like cat urine?
Don’t always blame your cat – they’ll remember this and if you’re wrong, you’ll never hear the end of it! Several scents can make it smell like your cat has had their way with various corners of the basement, with a sewage leak being one of the top most common scenarios.
Aside from this, freon leaks can also cause a cat urine smell and even the decomposition of certain foods. Finally, some plants, such as Boxwood or even the presence of certain molds can smell like cat urine if you aren’t familiar with their scents.
A thorough cleaning of the basement should help you to sort it out, just be sure that you have plenty of light in the area so that you can see what you are dealing with.