You probably know about the wonders of vinegar in household cleaning. Did you know it’s also a good way to combat cat-related odors in the home? This simple pantry item is also a wonderful deterrent, discouraging harmful or distasteful habits, and, best of all, it’s 100 percent natural.
Here’s how to treat cat urine, cat spray, and other stinky feline messes with vinegar.
Deodorize the Litter Box
Between litter changes, wipe down the inside of your cat’s litter box with diluted white vinegar and let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse with clear water and wipe it dry. Wipe down the area in front of the litter box, too. It’s a great way to clean without using harmful chemicals and helps remove odors from tile, grout, and linoleum flooring.
Spray on Rugs To Prevent Cats from Spraying
I own a cat who has temper tantrums whenever the suitcase comes out, and this usually involves his inappropriate urination or defecation… not fun. When it happens, out comes the vinegar.
To discourage this, it’s important to keep kitty away from areas he likes to frequent as an alternative toilet. Make sure the carpet or rug is safe to clean, and then blot at any stains with a rag dipped in equal parts water and vinegar. Cover with baking soda and wait until it’s dry, and then vacuum it up.
If your walls are painted with latex, you can also use vinegar to deal with stains and odors from your cats. If you have a cat that likes to rub (marking and claiming) a favorite corner, you probably know that the oily-looking stains can be a pain to clean. Wipe down walls with a rag dipped in equal parts vinegar and water, and rinse with clear water. Wipe down with a dry rag.
Use It To Reduce Skunk Spray Smell
If your cat’s had a tussle with a skunk and lost, baths might be a solution…albeit a challenging one. However, you can use wet washcloths dipped in equal parts white vinegar and water. It helps to neutralize the stink — and probably helps save your arms from being shredded over the bathtub by a wet cat!
Wipe down the floor around your cat’s bowl with a paper towel soaked with vinegar. It prevents ants from going after your cat’s food and helps remove lingering odors (that canned food can get a little whiffy). After you wipe down the floor, bury the damp paper towel in garden mulch that outdoor cats like to visit: cats don’t like the smell of vinegar and will stay away from the spot.
Vinegar is a weak acid, and in small amounts won’t hurt plants and may actually help keep your cats from chewing on their leaves, but in large amounts and undiluted, it can burn leaves. To be safe, dilute any vinegar you use around your houseplants.