Vinegar vs. Cat Urine Smell: Unleashing the Secret Weapon

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Cats are the best companions, but when they pee outside the litter box, they suddenly become the most irritating living creatures. Though you can clean away their urine, sometimes the smell is hard to remove. So, how do you remove the smell? Does vinegar get rid of cat urine smell?

Yes, vinegar does get rid of cat urine smell. Vinegar is an acid that makes it effective in getting rid of any stinky smell, including your pet’s urine. It can neutralize the smell and the bacteria from your cat’s pee, offsetting the foul odor.

If your kitty is missing the litter tray, don’t only learn how to clean the pee and remove the smell but also work on getting them to stop doing it.  

Why Is It Hard to Get Rid of the Smell of Cat Urine? 

Cat’s urine has ammonia and uric acid, which can stay in fabrics, furniture, and carpets for years! While vinegar and other cleaners can neutralize the smell, unfortunately, the odor is hard to eliminate. On a humid day, the uric acid tends to recrystallize, and the disgusting smelly odor will return.

The best way to clean cat urine is to allow the vinegar to soak in the affected area until it dries up. Vinegar turns the uric acid into gas, while natural drying will help the smell evaporate. You can add essential oils later to help the affected area smell fresh.

Why Cats Pee Outside of the Litter Box?


It’s important to know why your cats urinate outside the litter box. Knowing this will help you prevent them from urinating where they want.

There are a lot of factors why a cat may start urinating outside their designated pee area. Most fur parents think it’s their way to get even, but cats don’t have the sophisticated abilities to think of revenge.

Health issues like arthritis, diabetes, kidney disease, and urinary tract diseases can cause pets to have inappropriate urination. If you think your feline friend suffers from these conditions, seek medical attention from a professional vet. The untreated condition may get worse, as well as their urinating problems.

Does Vinegar Get Rid of Old Cat Urine Smell?

Sometimes, you can catch your cat peeing outside the litter box. Other times, you will just smell it. Whatever way it is, keep calm because vinegar has your back. This solution may have a potent smell, but it’s not as disgusting as your cat’s mess.

Vinegar can remove the lasting odor of sprayed cat urine because the solution can neutralize the alkaline salts formed in old or dried urine.

Mix equal parts vinegar and water, then spray to remove the dried urine of your pet. For extra measure, apply an enzyme cleaner after using the vinegar.

How to Remove the Smell of Cat Urine from Carpet with Vinegar?

Here’s what you can do to eliminate cat urine odor from the carpet.

Things you’ll need:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Vacuum
  • Clean Cloth
  • Aluminum foil/laundry basket (optional)


  1. Find where your cat urinates and use a clean cloth to blot the pee.
  2. Rinse the area with water and remove the liquid with a carpet cleaner. 
  3. Pour some vinegar into the affected area and leave it for 5 to 10 minutes. Blot the wet spot with a clean cloth again.
  4. To prevent your cat from returning to where he recently peed, you can cover the area with aluminum foil or an upside-down laundry basket until the carpet has dried up.

Does Vinegar Get Rid of Cat Urine Smell from a Mattress?


Catching your cat urinating on the mattress can ruin your mood. However, instead of taking the time to scold them, you must act fast to remove the smell of cat pee with vinegar. This cleaning method also applies to cushions or pillows.

How to Remove the Smell of Cat Urine from a Mattress with Vinegar?

Things you’ll need:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Clean towels
  • Tarp or plastic sheets (optional)


  1. Soak the affected area with water. Blot the urine as much as you can with a clean cloth. 
  2. Pour the vinegar slowly and allow it to soak into your mattress. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, and blot it.
  3. Put layers of clean towels on the mattress and make the bed. Replace these towels each day until the mattress is dried up. 
  4. To discourage your cat from urinating on the mattress again, you can cover it with a tarp or plastic sheet when you are not using it. 

How to Remove the Smell of Cat Urine from Clothes Using Vinegar?

When your cat urinates on your clothes or any linen, take note of this: don’t use bleach! Harmful gases will occur when urine and ammonia (from the cat urine) mix. Here’s how you can remove the smell of urine from clothes:

Things you’ll need:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Detergent
  • Baking Soda


  1. If your clothes are machine washable, rinse the affected with cool water first.
  2. Now, put the clothes in the washing machine. Add detergent, baking soda, and vinegar.
  3. After the cycle, and if you can still smell the urine, add vinegar again and then run another cycle.
  4. Air dry your clothes. 

Best Products to Get Rid of Cat Urine Smell

Besides vinegar, several products can neutralize the smell of cat urine. Here are other options that will help you eliminate your cat’s urine smell.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar and baking soda go well together and work great for cleaning drains. They also work great for removing foul odors. If vinegar can’t remove the urine alone, pair it with baking soda. Both are cheap, pet-safe, and effective in neutralizing the smell of urine. 

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide can be used to clean away urine smell, too. However, it may not be as effective as vinegar. To remove the urine smell effectively, you may need to combine this solution with other household products like liquid dish soap. 

Laundry Detergent

Laundry detergent can eliminate pet urine odor from fabrics – linen, clothes, and bedding. However, it needs to be mixed with water to use.

Dish Soap

Dish soap is likewise effective in neutralizing pet urine odor. You can combine it with hydrogen peroxide and water to remove stains and fragrances. 

How to Prevent Cats from Urinating Outside the Litter Box?

Don’t wait until your cat’s behavior of peeing outside the litter box becomes problematic. Prevent them from doing so as soon as possible.

  • Call a professional vet. Underlying health conditions may cause urinating problems.
  • Evaluate whether there are any life stresses on your cat. If this is the case, make a way to soothe their stress. 
  • Put more litter boxes around the house.
  • Clean the litter box frequently. Get a self-cleaning litter box if you’re too busy to clean them.


We hope this blog post answers your question – Does Vinegar Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell? When your cat urinates outside the litter box, the smell is difficult to eliminate, especially when it dries.

Whether they pee on the floor, carpet, or your bed linens, it’s crucial to neutralize the smell to prevent your pet from being a habitual offender.

Cats typically return to the area where they have previously urinated. So, if you notice an undeniable pet odor at home, act fast and follow our approved vinegar-cleaning hacks to remove the urine.

Do you have a dog? Learn how to clean their pee using vinegar in our article – Does Vinegar Clean Dog Pee?

To learn what the best and safest non-toxic floor cleaners are to use around pets, read our post – What are the Best Non-Toxic Floor Cleaners for Pets?