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Removing Cat / Pet Smell in old house...

Last post Tue, Oct 22 2013 9:47 PM by Brookhaus. 23 replies.
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  • Tue, Aug 18 2009 5:28 PM

    Removing Cat / Pet Smell in old house...

    Hi, all!

    I live in a large, old house that I paid for out of my savings (yay!).  It was abandoned for a while before I bought it.  It had an open hole in the side of the house where someone had had an old vent that they did not close up...this was the entry / exit for animals, apparently.  I found out well after I bought it that the house was known in town as "the cat house."  Gah! 

    I need suggestions for how to make my house not only NOT stink, but actually smell pleasant.  As many examples for as many rooms as possible, please.  I am thinking I will use everything I can think of and maybe turn the tide.

    Right now the house doesn't stink badly all the time, but humidity and my being gone for a while will really bring out the...ew factor.  It just smells old and stale and faintly cat-like.

    I have tried vinegar, and even though the smell is supposed to go away, I have used so much that my living room and couches smelled of vinegar for DAYS.  Once that smell fades, the old stink comes back.

    I have store-bought "plug ins" (the oil type) in every room.  I remove my trash ASAP.  I have mixed up my own room scent spray with alcohol and essential oils.  While this smells nice for a little while, it fades quickly.  I just want my house to smell FRESH, not like old stale house covered in lemon and orange essential oil...

     

    So, please, bring on the suggestions!

     

    P.S.  Also, I have removed as much carpeting as I can, there is none left downstairs...

     

  • Tue, Aug 18 2009 6:45 PM In reply to

    Re: Removing Cat / Pet Smell in old house...

     You are going to have to seal over the soiled areas.  It is going to be your cheapest in the long run.  I've visited homes that have had it all ...vinegar, odoban, plugins,etc...many just burn your nose so you quit smelling it but the smell is still there to visitors.  You would have to use gallons of the enzyme cleaners and that would be $$$$$.  They make a sealer to put on concrete and various other surfaces then you are done with it.  I want to say it is made by Kilz but it has been awhile (we had the renters from you-know-where and had to redo many surfaces).

    You teach people how to treat you -- Dr Phil
  • Tue, Aug 18 2009 9:43 PM In reply to

    • MarthaMFI
    • Top 10 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Wed, Apr 16 2008
    • New Westminster, BC, Canada
    • Posts 10,850

    Re: Removing Cat / Pet Smell in old house...

    frankly if you can't wash it in the washing machine then it needs to be sealed or replaced.  

    my mom has cats that pee in the house and since it repeat offenders, no matter what she uses or how often she cleans (quite often) the smell is there.    the cats get creative where they pee too.  plus they are fixed. the tomcat that spray outside on the door...gross  she uses boiling water and vinegar on the steps to get rid of them. 

    basically if she can't wash it like a slipcover or clean carpets....the smell is there too a certain degree.  

    I think if you get a black light you can see the worse spots.   if there is carpet get rid of it.  hard wood or drywall may need to be replaced.  its hard to know because not enough details.

    when I moved into my apt years ago. my cat decided to become a man and spray in a couple of spots on the carpet before I got him fixed.  I ended up pulling up the carpet and pouring a mixture of half water and half bleach on the underlay to get rid of the smell.  since I was a renter it was a must!

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Hobbies and Crafts
  • Thu, Aug 20 2009 8:48 AM In reply to

    • allie
    • Top 100 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Wed, Nov 12 2008
    • Virginia
    • Posts 810

    Re: Removing Cat / Pet Smell in old house...

     I agree with the above that you need to use sealers to get rid of the odor.  Depending on the floors, simply painting with latex paint before laying carpet or some other flooring will get rid of the odor.  That's what Les did at his job for a home that a dog breeder lived in.  Apparently, they let the dogs have free reign of the house and it was horrible!

  • Tue, Aug 25 2009 1:31 PM In reply to

    Re: Removing Cat / Pet Smell in old house...

    I've been told that you can add vanilla to paint and that it will make things smell better.

    Baking soda helps to absorb odors.

    I found that Lysol Spray helped to get rid of odors from a fire.

    Seriously, vanilla is really good as a room spray. Renuzit makes solid room fresheners in vanilla. That's something I use in my house. There are room deodorizing sprays that come in vanilla.

    If you're into baking, the smells/aroma from baking breads and cookies will go all over your house and it will smell better.

    I'd pay attention to what the others posted about sealing up the holes, etc. I'm much better at getting smells gone or blended in so that you can stand them.

    Some people burn candles and/or incense.

    Best of luck to you !!!

  • Wed, Aug 26 2009 8:26 AM In reply to

    Re: Removing Cat / Pet Smell in old house...

    PsykoKat:
    I live in a large, old house that I paid for out of my savings (yay!). 

    PsykoKat:

    Right now the house doesn't stink badly all the time, but humidity and my being gone for a while will really bring out the...ew factor.  It just smells old and stale and faintly cat-like.

    Congrats on buying your home! Wow, with savings too! I'm impressed. The impression I get from reading your post is that the cat smell is there, but maybe a lot of it is just the smell of an old house that sat vacant for a while. If, after trying the suggestions other readers have offered, try airing out the house as much as possible. Leave windows open whenever you can. The problem might also resolve itself with more renovations--ie: tearing out carpet, which you've already done.

    Stacie

    http://holdinghandswithmyhoney.blogspot.com/
  • Wed, Aug 26 2009 9:12 AM In reply to

    Re: Removing Cat / Pet Smell in old house...

    There is a product called "Kitty Scram" that you should be able to get at a carpet cleaner outfit. It neutralizes pet odors, even urine smells. Odors I couldn't get rid of with baking soda and lemon juice were removed immediately and for good with this product. It smells like Bazooka bubble gum, and it works very well.

    It's been years since I've used it, so double check that what you buy smells like Bazooka bubble gum, and that will be the right product for getting rid of urine odors.

    There is also a product called "Nusense" that can be used to get rid of smoke ordors and the like.

    Good luck with your project.

    Clair

    http://www.frugal-living-freedom.com
    ...living well, and well within your means...

    http://www.self-reliance-works.com
    Personal satisfaction through self directed achievement.
  • Thu, Aug 27 2009 9:46 PM In reply to

    Re: Removing Cat / Pet Smell in old house...

     i'll stand by my old favorite- wintergreen scented rubbing alcohol.  we splash it around the garage, on the concrete floor, whenever there's been a kitty-spray contest.  get it at the dollar store, cheap!

  • Fri, Aug 28 2009 10:30 PM In reply to

    • rolo
    • Top 50 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Wed, Apr 4 2007
    • Michigan
    • Posts 1,932

    Re: Removing Cat / Pet Smell in old house...

     Depending on the amount of urine damage, you may need to remove flooring, including subfloor, floorboards, some lower wall sections, doors, etc.  Have you checked to see if the urine is down the register vents?  This needs to be checked out--they need to be replaced.  Otherwise, everytime the furnace or AC is on the smell blows through the house.  

    Lorrie

    "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost." ~~ Dalai Lama XIV -

  • Sat, Aug 29 2009 12:34 AM In reply to

    Re: Removing Cat / Pet Smell in old house...

    rolo:
    Have you checked to see if the urine is down the register vents?  This needs to be checked out--they need to be replaced.  Otherwise, everytime the furnace or AC is on the smell blows through the house.  
     

    Perhaps having the air ducts steam-cleaned would help.

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