Spraying, also known as marking, is a common occurrence in cats. When a cat sprays, he is leaving a mark or a type of message for other cats using his urine. During the spraying process, the cat will back up toward the object, hold up his tail in the air, and spray the item with several short bursts of urine.
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It is more common for an unneutered male feline, sometimes referred to as a tomcat, to spray. Tomcats are not the only culprits of this behavior; neutered males and female cats can spray as well. Tomcat spray has a pungent odor that can drift into your home from urine left outside your walls by outdoor cats or can assault your nose inside your home from your own cats. Fortunately, you can get rid of the smell using several methods.
Tomcat urine odor outdoors
If the tomcat urine odor you've been dealing with is primarily from neighborhood stray cats, you'll need to neutralize the urine with a nontoxic cleaner that won't hurt your plants or the cats. Create a solution of 4 cups of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, 4 teaspoons of baking soda, and four drops of a mild dishwashing liquid. Pour the solution into a clean spray bottle.
Go around your home and find any spots on which cats have urinated using a black light. Spray them liberally with the peroxide solution. Sometimes, cats will hang out in the crawl space of your home if it's accessible. Combat any urine odors by gaining access to the area underneath your home. Spray the solution liberally onto the dirt under your home. As the solution dries, it will neutralize the odor.
Tomcat spray on carpet
Tomcat urine spray can quickly sink into your carpet pads and flooring, leading to odors that can last for months. To prevent this from happening, find any fresh urine spots in your carpeting. Blot the fresh cat urine with paper towels. For older spots, wet them first with fresh water and then blot them. Continue blotting until you can no longer soak up any urine. Discard the paper towels.
Sprinkle the area with baking soda and pour a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water over the baking soda. It will fizz. Blot the area again and allow it to dry. After the vinegar and baking soda dries, vacuum up any remaining baking soda and spray the area thoroughly with an enzymatic pet urine cleaner. Allow this to dry naturally for up to two days. Re-treat the area as necessary with the enzymatic cleaner if any odors return.
Tomcat urine on upholstery and drapes
As with carpeting, you'll need to blot away any fresh urine. For older spots, wet the area with water before blotting them with paper towels. If you can, use a wet vacuum to suck up the fresh water. The vacuum works better because you can rinse the spot several times to get out as much of the urine as possible without going through rolls of paper towels.
Mix equal parts of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and water with a drop of dish soap. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Treat the areas affected on your upholstery and drapes with the solution. Allow the mixture to dry and then treat the area with an enzymatic urine cleaner that will eliminate any lingering odors.
Tomcat urine smell on clothing
Soak your clothing or any other washable items in a bucket with 1/2 cup of oxygen bleach for several hours. Then, set your washing machine to the coolest setting and allow the washer to begin filling with water.
Pour the laundry detergent into the washing machine. Add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar to the water. Place the clothing into the washing machine. Allow the washer to run through a complete cycle. Repeat the process if odor remains.