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Odor or cat...ugh

Posted by hgtvme (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 23, 11 at 21:31

What can be done, besides removing all carpeting, to remove the odor of cat urine? We are considering buying a vacant house and cats have been running in and out of it. How difficult will it be to get rid of the cat odor? We don't see any poo, but it must be males spraying and marking the territory.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Odor or cat...ugh

I would move on the another property.


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RE: Odor or cat...ugh

I would move on the another property.

I agree.


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RE: Odor or cat...ugh

Geez, give up that easily? It's a historic building, would be gorgeous once it's renovated. There has to be something that can kill the cat odor once we get it gutted?


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RE: Odor or cat...ugh

The floors/subfloors can be removed if they're stinky. You might be able to just paint them with a good Kilz-type product. You might have to remove some plaster, but sealing it with paint first after a good bleaching would be a good place to start.

People deal with cat stink every day. You don't need to burn the place down. I have a feeling the pet forum might have some advice, too.

And you're sure it's cat pee? Not a boxwood hedge? :)


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RE: Odor or cat...ugh

. You might be able to just paint them with a good Kilz-type product.

If you go that route, forget the KIlz and go with BIN, it works


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RE: Odor or cat...ugh

Nature's Miracle or similar enzyme products are designed to chemically alter animal elimination and permanently remove objectionable odors. It may take several generous applications for the liquid to fully contact all the deposited materials.

The painting idea will work, as long as the primers(Kilz/BIB/Bullseye) are shellac based.

I bought a repossed house that had at least three inside only dogs kept in it for several(up to 5) years. The odor drove off most prospective buyers.

I bought two gallons of Nature's Miracle and flooded the floors using a regular mop. Then let the floors dry.

The only issue was two years later when the water heater leaked and soaked a bit of framing. I poured more liquid on the area and the smell was gone.


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RE: Odor or cat...ugh

Thanks for everyone's advice. I will check into the products suggested. Handymac...I would imagine a wet incident in the house would bring the odor back in full force.

We once had a house where cats used the dirt under a deck as a litter box. Every time we got a lot of rain, the dirt under that deck would reek and we couldn't have the windows open in that room until it dried outside. We finally took the deck off, removed about two feet of the dirt and replaced with fresh. Ditched the deck and replaced it with a paver patio...problem solved.


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RE: Odor or cat...ugh

The painting idea will work, as long as the primers(Kilz/BIB/Bullseye) are shellac based.

Kilz is not


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RE: Odor or cat...ugh

If 2 gallons of Nature's Miracle is what you need for dogs, you'd best get 4 for cats. :) good luck! Hope you get a good deal on the stinky place.


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RE: Odor or cat...ugh

The wet incident in our house was in an untreated area in the basement. I actually never imagined the odor would have been there and did not treat it in the initial phase.

That area has been wet twice since with no more problems with odor.


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RE: Odor or cat...ugh

Don't bother with Nature's Miracle for strong cat odor - it won't work (this is coming from a 3 cat owner). Your better bet is either a product called 'anti icky poo' or PetTastic. Both seem to work a LOT better than NM IMHO!


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RE: Odor or cat...ugh

I have an adorable old cottage and six cats (rescued from the neighborhood) and the sweetest music to my ears is "Gosh, your house doesn't smell like cat." Full disclosure: three of them are brought inside at night and sleep in huge dog crates in my kitchen with litter boxes, food, water because they cannot handle being free in the house. I have more experience dealing with cat pee issues than I care to admit! One thing that keeps me grounded when I get frustrated with cat issues is to remember that stray/feral cats are a problem created by us--humans. It's not their fault if they used this vacant house to shelter in. What were their options? Having said that, do not give up on this house if it is a good deal. If the house is vacant, you'll probably be tearing the sheetrock down to the studs, anyway. Douse the studs with diluted bleach. Rip up the carpet and if you have wood/plank floors below, sanding and refinishing them should eliminate the odor. If in doubt, douse with dilute bleach solution. Cat pee is heinous, no doubt about it, but the odor is cut pretty well with dilute bleach. Good luck! Your house project sounds like it has a lot of potential. Oklahoma Rose


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RE: Odor or cat...ugh

Hi,Finding the source of the smell will help you to eliminate the smell. I have a device called Pet Urine Locator its a light that shows up the urine. It works pretty well. I bought it at one of the Pet Store chains. Cost less than five dollars. It works in the dark so get some chalk to mark the spots you find.
Good Luck Woodbutcher


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RE: Odor or cat...ugh

If you still have a black light from the 70's hippy days, it is the same thing.


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RE: Odor or cat...ugh

It's like buying a car from a smoker; no amount of treatment (ozone, sprays, detergents, etc) will prevent the odor from returning in warm humid weather. So, it's a matter of how good your air conditioning system is, how sensitive you are to unpleasant odors and how sensitive you are to the discomfort of guests.


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RE: Odor or cat...ugh

I think I'd look further to verify where the problem exists -- walls, floor, baseboards, etc. I'd also want to look at the type of subfloor and construction in the home.

We have just reclaimed a room after losing an 18 year old cat who had some real issues in the last couple/few years. We have a concrete slab, so we couldn't replace subfloor, but we cleaned with bleach, enzymes and hydrogen peroxide (only one at a time). Each one helped, but I'm not sure if any one would have done the entire job. We pulled up the carpet and painted the floor with KILZ (they do make a shellac version -- it's the original one) a while back, and we had to reclean and reKILZ the floor near the walls after she passed. We removed all the baseboards and pitched them, removed the bottom 15" or so of sheetrock, sprayed the bottom of the framing with enzyme (Nature's Miracle Urine Destroyer for cats version) then saturated rags in the MN full strength and applied them to the bottom to let the cleaner wick in the same way the urine had so we could get past the surface. We washed the rags and repeated. We poured hydrogen peroxide along the base of the wall one night and let that bubble and dry. We didn't use bleach again at this point, but we'd mopped the floor with a solution of it in the past. When we got close, we removed the insulation (it's been 100 degrees plus here so we did that last), treated everything again and let it dry. We were good at that point (other than replacing the filter on the shop vac), so we painted the studs and base of the frame as well as the slab around them with the shellac KILZ. After that dried, we replaced the insulation and the sheetrock. I'm picking out new paint now and we're not getting any smell.

Our process may have been a bit on the overkill side, but we wanted to make sure we got it. We were prepared to replace studs if we had to, but the damage was mostly in the baseboards and insulation.

Historic home makes me think pier and beam foundation with a wood subfloor. Removing the carpet will get rid of a lot, but it may open up another layer, so you probably need to be prepared to replace at least some of the subfloor and treat the rest. If the walls themselves have been sprayed, you may be replacing the drywall, but as pointed out, you may be doing that anyway. You could have outlets that have been shorted out -- but you may be doing electrical upgrading anyway. If door and window trim are saturated, what impact does the historical status have on being able to replace those? Are you prepared to deal with all that?

I believe it is possible to get rid of the problem, but it may be pretty involved if you have to get into framing. If you are going to be opening walls and can deal with the subfloor, you should be able to get to everything to remove or treat it. Allow time to saturate, dry and repeat before you start putting anything back together.


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RE: Odor or cat...ugh

Thanks for the continued advice everyone. The building in question has brick walls and concrete floor throughout. There have been various remodeling attempts over the years so there is some wood paneling in rooms, and sheet rock in others.

What we would do is totally gut the building taking it down to the original brick walls, then start treating for the cat urine. We would have the luxury of time on our hands to let it sit empty, go through a summer and see if treatment worked or needed to be done again. The cat urine is just the beginning, there is mold all over an addition so we have to assume it's also in the original building where it's attached.

We have to get this place very cheap in order to make it cost effective for the demolition and renovation's. We haven't come to terms yet...


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RE: Odor or cat...ugh

If it's worth the effort, I hope you are successful, in getting the place at a great price, at cleaning her up and restoring her. I would think that most folks would only be looking at this as a tear down and considering lot value, so that shouldn't come as a shock to the seller.

The concrete and brick are porous, but they have the advantage of not rotting on you. Should clean up, but will take some work. Bleach might be a good starting point to kill the mold, sanitize and start on the urine, then move on to the hydrogen peroxide or Oxyclean solution and the enzymes. Good luck.


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RE: Odor or cat...ugh

Eek! Cat pee might be the least of this house's problems! By the time you remove all the mold and old paneling, sheetrock, etc., you might have some of the cat smell taken care of.

I sense a really good respirator in your future!


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RE: Odor or cat...ugh

Yeah, I was thinking I might not have missed the boat on investing in Nature's Miracle and rubber gloves. ;-) Respirator is not a bad idea either.

Trust me, being able to remove everything down to the studs and then replacing will be a huge part of the clean up. I'd try to book a dumpster removal after the demo and get a new one for the construction.


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