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Why Does My House Smell Like Cat Pee And I Don’t Have a Cat?

If you can detect a whiff of cat pee you may be truly confused if you do not own a cat. And, its normal to wonder why this could be happening… 

Why Does My House Smell Like Cat Pee and I Don’t Have a Cat? 

Smelling cat urine without the presence of a cat happens for many reasons!  It may indicate you have a mold problem and often appears on humid days after it rains. However, it could also be the previous home owners cat, cleaning products that leave weird smells, or even water damage.

So, now you know. But, how long does this smell typically last for? How can you get rid of it? How can you detect old cat urine? Keep reading for these answers, and so much more…

5 Top Reasons For Cat Pee Smells In Your Home

Cleaning spray.

Cleaning spray.


In this section I will share with you 5 of the top reasons for this foul smell of cat pee in your home…

01. Some Plants Smell Like Cat Pee 

Nature can smell good, and it can also stink! It should come as no surprise that many plants smell like cat pee. Boxwoods, junipers, and a few other plants are known to give off this overwhelming stench.

These plants may not always stink. But if you notice a bad smell every time you open the window, it might be your plants!

02. The Previous Kitty Tenant Left Pee Smells 

Funky feline smells do not go away without fierce treatment. Unless you inquire directly, you never know the exact behavior of the cat who lived in your home before you. If they had bladder issues, then your home might have a significant odor.

03. Mold Smells Like Cat Pee 

Certain types of molds, like the toxic black mold, smell like cat pee. When it is humid outside, this pungent odor becomes alarmingly relevant. When you find toxic mold it should immediately be treated by a professional.

04. Ammonia-Based Cleaning Products Smell Like Cat Pee 

Ammonia reeks of cat pee! If you recently cleaned or are using an ammonia-based cleaning product, that may be why you are smelling cat urine. Avoid using ammonia-based cleaning products so you do not smell this. 

05. Water Damage Smells Like Cat Urine 

Water damage may also be the culprit for feline funk. Soggy floors can make your carpet smell like it has been soiled. Follow the smell and find the parts of your house that smell like cat pee.  

If there is a leak, this needs to be fixed as soon as possible before it causes more damage than just a foul smell! 

What Could Smell Similar to Cat Pee in a Home? 

The smell of cat pee inside your home is completely normal and does not mean a cat is running wild in your home! So, worry not, there are many logical reasons that you may notice a cat urine smell inside your home. 

Reasons you may smell cat urine inside your home include: 

  • Using ammonia-based cleaning products 
  • The presence of mold 
  • A previous cat left the smell 
  • Nearby plants are giving off this smell 
  • There is water damage somewhere in your home 

Could a Previous Homeowner’s Cat Leave a Cat Pee Smell? 

A previous cat might leave their cat’s odor behind if its owner did not give the carpet a thorough cleaning. This odor becomes especially noticeable on rainy days and hot days. Remove these smells by placing odor eliminators in the targeted areas.

How Long Does Cat Pee Smell for? 

The amount of time cat pee odor lasts depends on the reason for the smell. In some cases, the smell might be removed quickly and in other cases, it could take drastic measures.  

For instance, if plants are causing the pee smell, it will remain forever unless you choose to remove the plants from your property. On the other hand, if the odor is coming from a previous cat, then it will remain only until you clean wherever the smell is coming from.

What Can I Do to Get Rid of Cat Pee Odor? 

The best way to remove cat pee odor from your home is to use an odor neutralizer. Whether you are removing it from your carpet or trying to get the smell out of the air, there are always tactics for getting rid of feline smells

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Top 10 Cat Breeds

Odor Eliminators Removing Cat Pee 

A 1:1 water and vinegar plus 2 tablespoons of baking soda solution is a perfect, all-purpose cleaner that removes odor as it cleans. Vinegar is an odor neutralizer that comes at a very affordable cost!  

There are multiple methods for using vinegar. It can be left out in bowls overnight to soak up smells, used as a cleaner, or as an air freshener.

Baking Soda as an Odor Eliminator  

Recipient with baking soda.

Recipient with baking soda.

Baking soda is perfect for soaking up and eliminating odor in target areas. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on top of any target area and let it sit for at least ten minutes before vacuuming or wiping it up. 

Use Commercial Cleaners

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Commercial cleaners are are made to remove cat pee odors (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad). These can be purchased at local pet retailers. While they are wonderful solutions for removing odor, a commercial product is sometimes unreliable.

Air Out Cat Urine Smell 

Air out your home to get rid of cat urine smells. Turn off your air conditioning first and then open your windows to create proper airflow. Leave your windows open for a few hours or until the smell has disappeared.

 Turning on overhead fans will increase airflow and it is suggested to use rotating fans as well! Combining aeration and vinegar odor elimination is a great way to make the most of the things that you have got! 

How Can I Tell if My House Smells Like Cat Pee? 

There are a few distinct ways to discern if your home smells like cat pee. The stench of cat urine can be confusing to someone who has never owned a pet before. 

If you ruled everything else out, use a UV blacklight to look for stains. This will help you find key areas in your home and get rid of the smells with odor neutralizers! 

What Does Cat Urine Smell Like? 

Cat urine has a very specific, pungent smell. The smell of cat urine is noticeable, but it should not be overpowering. Cat urine has a strong resemblance to ammonia.

What Absorbs Bad Smells in a Room?

Odor eliminators absorb bad smells like cat pee. The most effective method for removing bad smells are the products you can find right in your own kitchen! This includes things like baking soda, vinegar, coffee grounds, and tea.  

These kitchen-found odor eliminators are all fantastic for getting rid of nasty feline funk! 

Will Cat Pee Smell Eventually Go Away? 

The smell of cat urine will not go away until you clean it. In fact, the longer you let the cat urine sit the worse the stench is going to become. 

Let odor neutralizers sit longer on a carpet that has held a cat urine smell on it for a long time. Avoid vacuuming with heat and hot water because this can make the cat pee smell become even more noticeable. 

How Do You Detect Cat Urine? 

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You can typically detect cat urine (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad) by its smell. In the chance that you are unable to detect cat urine by smell, you may also use other tactics like searching for dampness on the ground, using UV lighting, and looking for stains. 

A urine stain will appear green or yellow underneath a black light. When a room or home has an overwhelming cat pee stench, using a handheld blacklight to find these centralized stains can solve your problem.

If a cat who lived in the home previously was the cause for the cat’s urine smell, stains along the bottoms of the wall may be leftover from their litter box use. Look for these spray patterns and then clean the wall with a 1:1 vinegar and water plus 3 teaspoon baking soda solution to neutralize the odor. Follow this up with deep sanitation and rinsing!

Lindsey Browlingdon