How long does Cat Urine Odor Last?

Cats can be great pets, but they’re not always the easiest to take care of. One of the most common problems cat owners face is dealing with urine odor. Cat urine typically has no scent until it starts decomposing, which means if you notice a strong smell coming from your cat’s litter box or wherever your pet has been going, this might be a sign that the liquid hasn’t completely dried yet or left untreated for too long.

This blog post will discuss how long cat urine odor lasts so you can know when it’s time to clean up and how to deal with the matter.

how long does cat urine odor last

Cat urine odor lasts forever.

Practically, cat urine odor can last for many years or forever. The scent of cat urine is powerful that it can hang around no matter how hard you try to cover up the stain or scrub out all evidence. The worst part about this are those pesky little black flies attracted by its pungent scent, buzzing their way into your living space and landing on everything in your home.

You might think the cat urine smell has finally gone after a good scrubbing with detergent and carpet cleaner, but what you probably have not yet realized is that it can come back again in another form. Sometimes this happens because cats like to mark their territory; sometimes, they just spray without any warning at all.

Why does cat urine odor seem to disappear and then return?

As mentioned above, cat urine smell lasts forever, but pet owners still don’t feel that toxic smell. That’s because they become desensitized to the urine smell while it hasn’t gone anywhere. When you’re exposed to any kind of smell for an extended period, the neurons involved with your nervous systems stop spreading the signal.

Additionally, you will come across many pet owners claiming that their cats are odor-free even if you sense a strong odor of cat urine when you visit their place.

Moreover, this is extremely frustrating and embarrassing for the proud pet parents. The only thing worse than having a continuous smell of urine in your home is that you can’t detect it, but your visitors can.

However, often this smell comes from the pet’s litter box, and in this case, you can resolve the issue just by replacing the old litter box with a brand new one, or you can get rid of the foul smell by cleaning the litter box more frequently. The best practice is to wash the cat’s litter box with a household detergent on a daily basis.

Additionally, sometimes the strong urine smell comes back due to the humidity level in your home. Remember that humidity enhances the odor’s sensitivity, and for urine smell, it works as a sensor. So the more humidity in your house is, the stronger and smellier the urine odors become.

This problem is more common in hot summer months as compared to the cold months as the humidity level is higher. Similarly, routine home activities such as cooking, showering, and drying clothes can also raise the humidity level in your home. And when it rises, they revive the latent urine deposits, and you will feel that terrible odor smell once again in your home.

Preventing Cat Odors

The best way to prevent the cat’s urine smell is to avoid it. This is easy, but you need to put in some effort. You can do this easily by regularly cleaning out and changing the litter box, use Tidy Cat Breeze Pellets as well as adding baking soda in the litter box, around doorways, windowsills, etc., if needed. Remember that baking soda can absorb the smell.

Furthermore, suppose there is any urinary stress in your cat (which causes her/his frequent accidents), or she is throwing hairballs frequently. In that case, you will have to transition your cat to a balanced diet that reduces hairballs and other UTI symptoms but after consulting the vet.

Most pets, including cats, have strong smells due to bodily fluids, not from the urine. You need to confirm that first before taking any action. In this case, you will have to remove the cat’s hair from upholstery, mix a fabric softener with water in a sprayer and then clean the affected areas of your home. When removing the cat’s hair, always wear rubber gloves.

One of the best methods to keep your house smelling fresh is by providing a clean litter box and healthy food for your cat. If they have accidents, just take them outside quickly before it stains or soils anything inside.

Can Cat Urine Get Worse With Time?

Cats usually don’t leave their urine outside the box, but sometimes they do. It can become a problem when this happens because cat urine contains urea and enzymes that decompose over time, giving off an ammonia-like smell. You will also notice stale old smells that will permeate throughout any furniture or curtains or any other thing that comes in contact with them.

Moreover, the cat’s urine discharges mercaptans in the second phase of decomposition, which can cause a strong bad smell in your home.

Another thing you need to know as a pet owner is that cat urine contains a high amount of uric acid, ammonia, and urea than other pets. Similarly, cats tend to have a high protein diet, but most cats don’t drink much water, and all these things make the cat’s urine smellier and stronger. That is the reason cat urine smell is worse to get rid of, and when you think it’s gone, the smell will come back after some time.

Do aged cats have Smellier Urine?

Yes, the urine of older cats is smellier and stronger than the young kittens. The reason for this is that aged cats don’t have healthy kidneys, and their efficiency is either not the same. So, as a result, their urine smell is stronger and worst.

Clean Up Cat Urine Stains Before They Smell Worse

Cat pee has a pungent, toxic smell that gets worse over time. The odor becomes more concentrated with each passing hour. The stench from cat urine is so strong it can make you feel physically sick if exposed for too long.

If you want to avoid the cat urine disaster, it is crucial that once they are done using their indoor litter box, you need to clean up right away and get rid of odors as soon as possible before another unfortunate incident occurs.

How to Clean the Cat urine smell and stains?

When cleaning up the cat’s urine mess, the first thing is to identify the place of urine. This is a simple task, and the best way is to look for urine stains on your floor or find any discoloration on your carpet. If you are unable to locate the urine spots, ultraviolet light will glow the spots.

Cleaning up after your pet is often a challenge, but it doesn’t need to be an obstacle in life, give your cat a bath even if it dislikes it. Whether you just found out that they urinated on something or have old stains and odors from when we first got them as kittens (or even worse), here are some helpful guidelines for getting started:

  • Grab an old towel so that you can absorb as much urine as possible and find the exact spot.
  • Then you can use an enzyme-based cleaner on the affected area for some hours and let it dry naturally.
  • Always cover the affected area and keep your kitten away from the cleaner.
  • Open all the doors and windows and switch on the fans to keep the air circulation.
  • Lastly, try to pinpoint why your cat is having frequent accidents. In this case, your pet might be suffering from a urinary issue, stress, or diet changes.

Some Considerations when cleaning urine smell:

Most importantly, don’t use any cleaners that have ammonia. This is because cat urine contains Ammonia, and when your cat smells that, she will go there.

Another critical thing to keep in mind when dealing with the strong smell of cat urine is to avoid using a steam cleaner or heat on the affected area or on the cat urine stains. This is because steamer can set the stain, and they will become permanent. This is another reason why cat urine lasts forever in some houses.

In addition, try to use other chemical cleaners or enzyme-based cleaners when cleaning the urine. Quite often, urine odors linger in fabrics, clothes, and carpets longer than the other objects. Hence you will have to treat them multiple times.


The odor of cat urine can last for a long time. You might think that you have successfully get rid of the urine smell, but even after weeks or months, the smell will come back again. This is because cat urine contains higher uric acid levels and other similar components than other animals, which results in stubborn stains and a bad smell. Even if you remove all traces and evidences, the smell may come back again weeks later.

So, the best way is to deal with it as soon as it occurs and clean up the mess right away. Besides, try to teach your pet basic ethics. Lastly, if the problem still persists, take your pet to the vet as she might be suffering from urinary problems.

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