Getting rid of cat odor - special snowflake - cat no longer in house
August 26, 2012 3:07 PM   Subscribe

Getting rid of cat odor - special snowflake - cat no longer in house

My cat passed away last April. She had issues with barfing on carpet and couch, but to my knowledge, never urinated on anything.

Although I no longer have a cat in the house, visitors say it 'smells like cat'. I notice it too, if it's humid and/or I've been away all day. It smells a little like urine.

I have about 700 square feet of carpet upstairs. It has been professionally cleaned since my cat passed away.

Litter box was kept in the basement, but that area has been thoroughly scrubbed.

What would account for continued odor, and how can I track it down? Is there a 'sniffer' device of some kind that would help? I'll replace carpet if I have to, but as it's expensive I'd like to avoid it.

Any ideas?
posted by 4midori to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried to use a blacklight to find urine? I think that they sell them at Petco just for this purpose.
posted by pickypicky at 3:11 PM on August 26, 2012 [3 favorites]

Blacklights will show cat urine - they're cheap enough that it probably makes sense to get one and wander through the house some night to make sure there aren't any hidden patches. (There's no need to get a specifically pet-branded one, any blacklight will do.)
posted by restless_nomad at 3:13 PM on August 26, 2012

It's possible that the smell was from past tenants, if that's applicable, as they can resurface years later due to a variety of factors.

Black light won't show a soaked-through carpet pad or couch interior, so if you use the light and don't find it anywhere, that might be the problem. In those cases, only replacement will work.
posted by batmonkey at 3:16 PM on August 26, 2012

Try buying multiple freezer/fridge type boxes of baking soda. Set them around the space, in different rooms, etc. Toss after a few weeks.
posted by Michele in California at 3:22 PM on August 26, 2012

My sister had a similar issue. After a great deal of sniffing things out ;) she discovered that Miss Kitty had been peeing in the floor air vents. So, sis removed the vent grills, cleaned as far down as she could reach with Nature's Miracle, and then bought charcoal filter sheets and cut/pasted them to fit. Things improved. Miss Kitty is an outlier, but the idea of temporarily installing filters in vents if you have them, floor or otherwise, might just help.
posted by likeso at 3:33 PM on August 26, 2012 [7 favorites]

Anti Icky Poo. It is hands down the best product on the market for getting rid of cat smell. Definitely use the black light to find the problem areas, then treat the hell out of them with Anti Icky Poo.
posted by biscotti at 3:57 PM on August 26, 2012 [3 favorites]

Flip Men episode 205 The Stench may give you some ideas.
posted by plokent at 6:27 PM on August 26, 2012

Do you by any chance have juniper bushes outside your dwelling? I say this because occasionally I get a major whiff of something that smells strikingly like kitty-whizz from the juniper plants in my front yard, particularly when it's warm out.

That aside, I nth the blacklight suggestion. You can get little flashlights made with UV LEDs specifically for the purpose of finding phantom pet-messes at a lot of random drugstores for about $7.
posted by aecorwin at 9:08 PM on August 26, 2012

This ozone generator will get rid of the smell. I know from personal experience (if you want horrifying details Memail me). It is well worth the $122 + shipping. Just don't use it while there are plants, animals, or people in the house.
posted by bolognius maximus at 10:24 PM on August 26, 2012

We moved into a rental that had pretty clearly had a cat in it previously. We're still fighting the smell in one closest where the cat used to mark, but we've found cat evidence in all kinds of places, the vents in various place and down around the molding. Check out the vent on your refridgerator. The one in this rental place was almost completely clogged up with cat hair. It didn't add much smell, but it was certainly taxing the cooling system...
posted by Feantari at 10:13 AM on August 27, 2012

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