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Cat Urine – Ask Annie

Submitted by on Monday, 12 April 20102 Comments

kittenHi Annie,
Some of our cats have been peeing and spraying in our fireplace and on the brick around it. I’ve used those enzymes, but it’s perfumed and now I associate that smell with the cat urine. So now I’ve tried spraying undiluted while vinegar on these areas. The cats still go back and I can still smell the scent from the enzyme spray. This is driving me crazy. Any ideas you might have would be greatly appreciated!

Dear Cynthia,
I love this question because, happily, the solution is so easy! In your case, it will also do double duty by also neutralizing the smell of the scented enzyme spray.

Cat urine has components to it that are both alkaline and acidic. Vinegar will neutralize the alkaline component, and baking soda the acidic. You did just half of the equation using vinegar: the acidic component will still be there, so you need to add cleaning with baking soda to your arsenal. That’s it! Alternate baking soda and vinegar and you’ll get rid of the smell.

Given that the material being sprayed by the cats is, in your case, brick, you’ll most likely want to use a baking soda spray to start. If it isn’t doing the trick, you’ll want to then scrub with a baking soda soft scrubber paste (with a dab of unscented eco-friendly liquid detergent to make for better rinsing), but that will require more work and rinsing.

Baking Soda Spray
1 cup almost-boiling water
3 tablespoons of baking soda
spray bottle

The best of luck!
Combine the baking soda and very hot water in a glass measuring cup. Stir to dissolve the baking soda. Cool to lukewarm and then pour into a spray bottle. Spritz the area of concern.

By Annie B. Bond, the best-selling and award-winning author of five healthy/green living books, including Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Home Enlightenment, Clean & Green (1990), and most recently True Food (National Geographic, 2010 and winner of Gourmand Awards Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World). She has authored literally thousands of articles and was named “the foremost expert on green living” by Body & Soul magazine (2009).

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  • […] error to find out if you need baking soda or vinegar to neutralize an odor. Sometimes, such as with cat pee, you need to alternate both since the pee is both acidic and […]

  • agerardi says:

    Had difficulties when using a plastic spray bottle to spray baking soda. Used near boiling water and the correct amount of baking soda.
    The first time it sprayed ok. However on subsequent spraying…it would not spray….and noticed that the baking soda had formed cubes in the bottom…and of course the spray tube was clogged as well.
    Can you offer any more advise? Do we have to use the near boiling water every time we spray?

    Thank you in advance
    Albert Gerardi

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