How-to: Rubbing Alcohol on Cat Odors

Some kittens urinate inside the house when they can't find the litter box.
Some kittens urinate inside the house when they can't find the litter box. (Image: kitten image by Radoslav Lazarov from

One of a cat owner's worst nightmares is coming home to a soiled floor or piece of furniture. The ammonia in cat urine has a distinct smell that unfortunately lingers for a long time. If your cat has sprayed inside your house, remove the odor for comfort but also to prevent any future accidents from happening in the same area. By using alcohol and a few home supplies, you can nip the problem in the bud.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Towels
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Vacuum

Put rubber gloves on, then place a washcloth over the area where the cat has made a mess. Press firmly down and absorb as much of the liquid as possible. Use several washcloths if necessary. Immediately throw them in the washing machine or discard.

Soak a clean towel with alcohol, then firmly wipe the stain. Do not pour the alcohol onto the spot or you will have more liquid to absorb. The idea is to mask or neutralize the odor.

Make a mixture of water and vinegar, 2 parts to 1, respectively. Dip a clean towel into the mixture and place on the stain. Again, press firmly so that the vinegar will absorb the odor. Do this several times, then repeat the process with only warm water. Dry the stain, then sprinkle with baking soda. Let it sit for at least 24 hours, then vacuum.

Determine the cause. It is crucial to absorb the odor as quickly as possible so it does not penetrate furniture or carpet fibers. However, of equal importance is determining why your cat urinated outside of the litter box. Check to see if the box is clean and in a location that the cat can get to. Examine your cat to see if he is displaying other symptoms of illness or stress. If so, contact a veterinarian.

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