17 answers

House Smells like Cat Urine??

I went to look at a place for rent and was overpowered by the odor. The owner said he is at a loss because the previous tenants had a cat and dogs and he can't seem to get rid of the smell. There are no drapes or items in the house that would contain odor beyond the carpets. He said the carpets were all recently installed and said the padding was replaced as well. He said they put some Kilz down before installing the new carpet. The hardwoods and tile look like they are in excellent shape with no staining. I don't see anything on the walls either. This would be a good house fit for us except for this one glaring thing. Any suggestions? I thought about putting a big coat of baking soda on the carpet if I did go there, but there is no guarantee this would work. I don't want to move some place and get so used to the smell that I no longer smell it-- but everyone visiting would.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks everyone. I agree that it isn't something that I want to take on right now. The owner seems very bothered by the cat urine smell, but he needs to take care of it first and I am running for another place to rent. Thanks everyone!

Featured Answers

Many years ago we had renters that owned cats. The floor in one room reeked of them (I guess that was their room).

My husband pulled up everything down to the subfloor. I tried among a number of things, lysol and bleach. The smell would go away for a day or two BUT then it was BACK!! It seemed like nothing would get rid of the smell. In desparation we went on the net and asked for help. Just about everyone recommended going to a home improvement store and asking for Kilz (in the paint dept). Hsd to do 3 coats but it worked. It's been over 10 yrs. and we haven't smelled it since.

1 mom found this helpful

Dry wall will absorb smells, Using the Kilz on the walls then repainting, especially in the room where the litter box was will help tremendously. If the carpet pad was removed and the Kilz was painted on the subfloor... it's the walls. Plaster is like a sponge, sorry.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

FInd another place to rent. You will NOT get rid of this smell if the new carpet was put down over that odor. I agree that it's most likely in the sub-floor. You might get used to it, but all of your stuff would take on the smell also, if it's that bad. Your daughter would be breathing it all the time, and think about your friends walking into your new house to be greeted by that smell! Ugghhh!

3 moms found this helpful

I can only agree: keep looking!
My friend had to replace part of the floor and dry wall in a condo they bought, because the cat urine had seeped into the materials and they just could not get rid of it! You might get problems with flea infestations as well... they can come back after being gone for months and no new pets in the house...RUN!

2 moms found this helpful

Unfortunately, I am of the opinion that there is not much you can do about it. I've had several experiences with cats and houses. The first was a rental when I was a kid. They had a cat that "lived outside" but had obviously come in periodically since every time the house heated up (in ARIZONA!) you could smell cat urine in several of the corners (always the story about having the carpets cleaned etc). Second, my parents just recently purchased a new home from a man who had a cat which lived INSIDE. They were told the carpets had been replaced, cleaned, etc and that there was nothing to worry about with the cat. They were shown receipts to prove this. THey were told it had been kept in the garage since the new carpets had been installed and it did appear to be true. (as much as you could see, all the cats belongings as well as the cat were always stowed in the garage) They visited the house TONS times and it always smelled OK. Well, once they moved in and his furniture and air fresheners (we discovered about 30 of them in places that would have been behind his furniture)were gone it was apparent that he had been lying. The carpet was new (as of a few months) but, again, in places where his furniture had been stragegically placed there were spots, spots and more spots! They had the carpets cleaned (even though they had been cleaned AGAIN prior to the signing of the papers), re cleaned and finally gave up. You could not go anywhere in that house without the stink. You could not sit on the floor without bringing the stink with you. Your clothes, body, everything would stink like cat urine. We came home from a visit, opened our suitcases and were hit with a smell of cat urine. Finally, after a month or so they gave up and ended up replacing the entire house worth of carpet. I wish I could send you the pictures they took of what the backside of this new, and VERY washed carpet still looked like! It looked as if someone had walked around the house with buckets of pee and dumped them out all around the house. It had not only stained the carpet and pad but once they had those ripped up they had to SCRUB the floor boards below them with bleach several times as they were also horribly stained and stinky. It took thousands of extra dollars and several days of ripping and scrubbing but they finally have a clean house. My point is this: The stink will ALWAYS be there until the floor is overhauled from the ground up. Our house in Arizona smelled like cat urine just as much on the day we moved out three years later as it did on the day we moved in. No amount of carpet cleaning, air freshening or waiting it out will remove that smell. Apparently the scent this man used will mask the odor but it was obviously still in the carpet as the smell came off on us! Would you want your child playing and laying on carpet this unsanitary? You will have to have them rip up EVERYTHING and disinfect and scrub the floorboards and start over with new carpets. If I were you, I would keep looking. Sorry - and good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Don't rent it. There is nothing you can do at this point to eliminate cat urine - it is likely in the floorboards (from soaking through carpet).

2 moms found this helpful

White vinagar is good for taking out cat urine smell. You need to get down and smell the carpet to see if that is where it is comming from, also heater floor vents, furnace filters and wall corners. Also check for rodent tracks, their urine is bad and if there are a lot of them, this maybe a problem also. Be sure to check all the closets too.
The landlord may have just cleaned the carpet hoping to get by.
Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

There are companies that deal with smoke damage and smells and use special chemicals, and something like negative ion treatments or whatever. Ask him to call one of them. Otherwise there is a cleaner called Odiban. Its for cleaning and air freshening. I use it when my litter box is overpowering and the owners of my complex put it in the carpet cleaner mix when tenants move out. Works great.

L.

1 mom found this helpful

I would have the homeowner check under the house. Make sure that all the vents in the foundation are intact. We had a very similer problem with our home, only the owner didn't feel the need to tell us. The carpets were replaced and all the walls painted before we ever saw the house, but after we moved in and had some floor pillows and blankets sitting in the corners we noticed that they stunk of cat pee. Every single vent in our foundation had been kicked out and there were dozens of stray cats living under the house and even having kittens under there. Even though we fixed the problem IN the house it just needs to be fixed UNDER the house. But the smell isn't noticeable anymore in the house. (unless you stick your nose to the floor in the corners)
Good luck!
~V.

1 mom found this helpful

I have bad news for you. The urine has soaked into the concrete below the padding. Concrete is porous works like a sponge. Yup sounds wierd, but there is no way to get teh stink out unless you steam clean those carpets at least 4 times a year AND that is pricey. I suggest you keep looking! Because the smell will just "get to you" and you not like living there after a while :( sorry! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

There is no guarantee the odor will go away since you do not know the extent of the damage. The fact that you still smell it after it's been cleaned and everything raises a red flag. I would tell the owner to use Bac Out. It has enzymes and five strains of good bacteria that eat bad bacteria. It won't harm the carpeting and it can be sprayed into the carpet where the odors are coming from and allowed to soak all the way down to hopefully neutralize the odor causing bacteria. Ideally this would have been done when the carpets were ripped up. A black light is great for spotting cat urine as well. It's an easier issue to deal with if it's your home and your pet and you are on top of the issue. But dealing with a problem that could have been extreme, there is no telling how bad it is. You could be moving into a real stinker. If the owner won't treat it for you before you move in, I wouldn't even consider it. If they treat it and you come back and the smell is gone, then you should let it sit a week and check it again, make sure the heat is on to release an odor into the air. If you smell anything at all, just walk away.

1 mom found this helpful

Cats, rabbits, and dogs had free reign in our house before we bought it. We knew we were in trouble when we saw that the carpet pad had melted in puddles of urine. We had to replace floorboards in some places, and a few of the walls needed Kilz, but in the end we ended up using the schellack that people use to waterproof boats on most of the non-replaced floor and then put in carpet. The smell had permiated the cabinets, too.

I wouldn't do that for a rental. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Cats, ewwwww. The say vinegar and water works for dog urine, not sure for cats. My gues is it soaked into the wood beyond the carpet and padding which may be a total loss. Or as my friend had that bought a condo that had retched cat urine she had to pay to replace all carpeting and found that because he had a MALE cat that she also had to replace the BASEBOARDS. And that fixed the smell. So maybe it is only in the wood of the baseboards. I hope you can have some resolution and your perfect fit house. Good Luck and Take Care.
S.

1 mom found this helpful

You should find somewhere else to live. Cat pee is impossible. It's probably in the sub-floor, if you can't see it anywhere else.

1 mom found this helpful

I would say keep looking for a place. The problem is that the cats and dogs could have urinated on the carpet it went through the carpet and padding and has now gotten into the flooring. it could also have gotten absorbed into the walls.
paula

1 mom found this helpful

I'd ask him to call a carpet cleaner. They don't have to actually clean anything unless they find a stain, but they have a way of looking for urine with (I think) a blacklight. Anyway, you will be able to find if it is on the wall or in the carpet, or you may find nothing, but it is worth a try. Baking soda will not solve your problem. Cat marking is seriously hard to take care of. Even with cleaning, it commonly comes back months later. I recommend you run and be glad it isn't a house you own.

1 mom found this helpful

Many years ago we had renters that owned cats. The floor in one room reeked of them (I guess that was their room).

My husband pulled up everything down to the subfloor. I tried among a number of things, lysol and bleach. The smell would go away for a day or two BUT then it was BACK!! It seemed like nothing would get rid of the smell. In desparation we went on the net and asked for help. Just about everyone recommended going to a home improvement store and asking for Kilz (in the paint dept). Hsd to do 3 coats but it worked. It's been over 10 yrs. and we haven't smelled it since.

1 mom found this helpful

Dry wall will absorb smells, Using the Kilz on the walls then repainting, especially in the room where the litter box was will help tremendously. If the carpet pad was removed and the Kilz was painted on the subfloor... it's the walls. Plaster is like a sponge, sorry.

1 mom found this helpful

F.,

We bought a house several years back that had the same problem. We thought we could just put kilz down and replace the pad and carpet which we did but the odor came back in short order. the problem with pet urine is that once it soaks into the floor boards under the carpet the only way really to get rid of it is to replace the floor boards. It was really disappointing and we did eventually sell the house 4 years later. Good luck on your home search

1 mom found this helpful

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