Cleaning Cat Spray Smells

Clair S. writes in with a question about getting rid of the smell from a cat's marking spray.  Clair writes:

Bought a lovely cat kennel from pets at home for my 12 month old tom, Ozzy, to go in outdoors when we are not home and it’s raining. The kennel was indoors for two days and he loved it, slept in it etc. I put it out and monitored it from a window whilst he was out one night . A strange cat was in there so I went and got the box and it smelt of tom spray (Oz is not spraying yet as he’s quite contented). Horrified, I brought the box in and gave it household antibac spray then put it under a shower for ages. I dried it and put it back indoors. It’s been a week now and Oz won’t go near it, even though the other cat’s spray is gone from it. What do I do? Please help.

Clair, it's important to note that Ozzy's sense of smell is roughly 40 times that of the average human.  That means he can smell things that you or I would never notice.  In order to completely eliminate the marking scent on your kennel, you're going to have to go beyond standard cleaners and water.

 
 

To get rid of the odor completely, you'll need to wash the kennel down with an enzymatic cleaner.  Be sure to choose one that doesn't contain any extra ingredients that might harm Ozzy.  There are several of these sorts of cleaners on the market and most pet stores stock at least one.  Do not use ammonia or vinegar as they will not effectively remove the odor and they could actually set it so that you'll never get it out completely.

 
 

It may also help to clean the area outside where the interloper sprayed the kennel.  Chances are, he also sprayed the area around it.  The only way to know for sure is to examine the area with a black light.  Cat spray will glow under black light so that you can see if other areas, like the side of your house or a doorway, might also need cleaning.

We know that every situation is different, but the fact remains that Ozzy will face more conflicts with the strange cat and potential predators if he's allowed outside.  No doubt the spraying cat will return to spray in Ozzy's territory again and again.  You obviously care for Ozzy.  We just ask that you consider how much safer he'd be if he were kept indoors.

If anyone else has any advice for products you've successfully used to remove spray odors, please leave a comment below.