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Getting rid of cat smell in your house

weirdspaceshipsweirdspaceships i will eat your still-beating heartRegistered User regular
edited April 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm making a lot of threads over here! Okay, probably just this one more. My house smells strongly of cat. I've gotten used to the smell, but if guests come over, it's like running into a brick wall, bam, very strong.

My room-mate has a cat, and I have two. Our two parties of cat don't get along, so mine stay in the bedroom (where they are very happy, it seems - they resist any and all escape attempts, they just want their privacy). But the whole house is just cat stink central.

I need something that will get rid of that smell. The room-mate has converted the old laundry area into his cat's litter room, and hardly ever changes the litter. It's a pretty disgusting little nook, not blocked off by any kind of door, leading straight into the kitchen. Everything that isn't my bathroom and my bedroom has no door, as my room-mate "doesn't believe in them," so everything is free and open. Whatever, I have doors, that's all I care about.

So I'd like to kill the smell throughout the house. We've put down the Arm & Hammer baking soda stuff in the carpet that kills pet odors, and Febreezed like machines, but it's still there. Is there anything we can do that doesn't involve ripping up carpet or anything extreme?

Posts

  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    Get your roommate to change the litter more often and crack open a window?

  • weirdspaceshipsweirdspaceships i will eat your still-beating heart Registered User regular
    Well, yes, but I meant aside from that. There's still a smell that's already there that I want to get rid of.

  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    I guess you could steam clean the carpets and all that stuff but sometimes time is the best remedy for things.

  • wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    Have they peed on the floor or on furniture or something? Or is all the stink really just from the litter being changed infrequently?

  • weirdspaceshipsweirdspaceships i will eat your still-beating heart Registered User regular
    I don't think they've peed on the carpet or furniture. I'm trying to do some investigating, but things point towards the litter. I'll change that shit myself if I have to. But all the cats seem litter-friendly. The place just fucking reeks, and traditional air freshener doesn't seem to combat the smell very well.

    Tycho: So just air the place out, basically?

  • EuphoriacEuphoriac Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Cat pee is foul stuff. It has a very VERY strong odour only a small amount of time after being um...left by the cat.

    Yes, airing out in conjunction with a thorough clean and constant vigilance are the only ways to be sure. Once you get it down to a certain point, auto-release air fresheners should help go the final distance. You'll need the air fresheners because lets face it; cats go whenever they please and if they can't find a litter box they won't hold it in for very long at all. And since you can't be there all the time, there WILL be going-stale leavings to greet you when you come home...

    Euphoriac on
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  • EshEsh Tending bar. Eating out. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Number one, get new litterboxes and start using litter liners. That shit is ingrained into the plastic now.

    Get on your roommate about changing the litter. Every day. The easiest thing to do is buy rolls of dog poop bags (the ones that people take on walks with them) and just scoop the dirty litter into one of those every day, tie it up, put it in the garbage.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."

    Final Fantasy XIV:Lilja Sunblade
  • weirdspaceshipsweirdspaceships i will eat your still-beating heart Registered User regular
    Is there something specific I should be using to clean? I was going to hit up Petsmart and get some Nature's Miracle, since I hear it's best for that kind of thing.

    Fucking cats.

  • EshEsh Tending bar. Eating out. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Is there something specific I should be using to clean? I was going to hit up Petsmart and get some Nature's Miracle, since I hear it's best for that kind of thing.

    Fucking cats.

    Uhm, it's not your cats, it's you guys not taking care of their litterboxes.

    And yeah, Nature's Miracle is good.

    Esh on
    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."

    Final Fantasy XIV:Lilja Sunblade
  • weirdspaceshipsweirdspaceships i will eat your still-beating heart Registered User regular
    I take care of mine. My cats' litter is good to go. It's my roomie's that's the issue.

  • That_Spoony_BardThat_Spoony_Bard Registered User regular
    If you're thinking that the cats peed somewhere else in the house, getting a portable black light will help you find stale cat pee. Cleaning cat bee has already been covered, but I've used the black light to find stale pee and it works pretty well.

  • wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    I imagine it'll look really cool when the entire house interior lights up, too. ;-)

  • EshEsh Tending bar. Eating out. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Yeah, the blacklight will find a lot more than cat pee.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."

    Final Fantasy XIV:Lilja Sunblade
  • wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    I was intending to convey that the entire place would be aglow with cat pee... :)

    The thing with Nature's Miracle is that, while it works great, I don't know how you would apply it to a general pervasive stink rather than at specific pee incidents. For the pervasive smell, I think you have to go with shampooing or discarding all cloth surfaces (carpet, couches, curtains), spending a lot of time with the windows open, and of course, getting those roommates to stay on top of that litter box!

    You can rent shampooers or steam cleaners from places like Home Depot, and that should help a lot. I don't suppose that for the going forward plan, there's some way you could have the cat boxes be outside the house? I've seen some people set aside caged areas outside accessible by cat door.

  • WildEEPWildEEP Registered User regular
    New litter boxes.
    When you buy litter, get an big box of baking soda from the baking isle.
    Before you put in the new litter, put down a good coating of baking soda all along the bottom of the pan.
    Put the litter on top...and then shake the pan back and forth to distribute evenly.

    I know they sell cat litter that already has baking soda in it, but they never add enough.

    Also, how often do you change the litter. Its not enough just to remove the clumps. That's just maintenance. You need to completely swap the litter out roughly every 5-7 days.

    Another big thing - grooming. Get a Furminator and brush the hell out of your cats on a regular basis. The cats will come to love it and it will remove the excess hair...that is the 2nd most smelly thing about cats. Buildup of fur in the carpet and on cloth surfaces will make the place smell like cats. Here is a good test..rub your cat until it rolls onto its bell and the bury your nose in the belly fur. If you recognize that smell as "the cat smell" then you've found the culprit. Remember that the cats belly is whats going to flop onto the ground and rub against everything you own...if it smells like yuck, then yuck is what everything smells like.

  • MulletudeMulletude Glorious Leader! Registered User regular
    Multiple cats means you may have cat pee in places other than the litter boxes. After you get the house aired out and know the litter isn't causing any odors, do a smell test of your carpet, corners, etc...

    XBL-Dug Danger WiiU-DugDanger
  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    1) tell your roommate to shape the fuck up

    2) Use litter crystals instead of paper/cardboard litter. They absorb odours much better and don't need to be changed anywhere near as often. We go 1.5-2 weeks between changing the litter. You only need to scoop out solid waste.

    3) wait. it will take time for the smell to dissipate.

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This discussion has been closed.