How to Get Rid of Cat Odors Outside

Outdoor cat odors typically involve inappropriate marking behavior.

Outdoor cat odors typically involve inappropriate marking behavior.

A cat uses little spritzes of his urine to mark his territory, be it a tree, a bush or your new patio furniture. While this scent is part of a cat's communication, it is rather pungent, stinky and overpowering to us. Removing the odor can encourage the cat to move on and will give you back your sense of home.

Collect any solid pieces of cat waste the unwelcome visitor may have left, wrap them in plastic and throw them away. Do not bury them in your garden, as the cat may still smell it and think the space is an appropriate place to do his business. Scoop it and toss it.

Water the area thoroughly to dilute the leftover urine and waste. Keep watering until no scent remains. Solid surfaces typically rinse quickly, while porous surfaces, such as concrete, and your garden or yard will require longer watering to completely dilute and eliminate the odor.

Use a scrub brush and some soap and water to completely scrub any nonporous surfaces to remove areas of urine spray, such as on furniture or concrete. Male cats will continue to return to this area if they can still smell it, to mark over the spot and claim your patio or garden as their territory. Scrub thoroughly and then rinse completely. Repeat if necessary.

Use an enzyme-based cleaner — available at your local pet store — to break down and completely remove the odor associated with cat urine. Mix 1 part white vinegar with 2 parts water to make a solution that works in much the same way. Clean the sprayed area to thoroughly remove all traces of urine odor.

Prevent cats from returning to your yard and refreshing their markings by using scents they don't like, such as citrus, lavender or peppermint. Keep your garden from becoming a litter box by covering the dirt with rocks or some other material the cat can't stir up.

Items you will need

  • Soap
  • Hose
  • Scrub brush
  • Enzyme-based cleaner
  • White vinegar
  • Citrus peels or essential oil
  • Rocks


  • Urine contains ammonia, so do not use any ammonia-based cleaning products to clean up the spray area. This will simply increase the smell and keep the cat coming back to continue marking. Also, don't wash ammonia with bleach, as the two compounds will react poisonously.
  • Stray tomcats will travel for miles if they smell a female in heat, so if you have an intact female indoor cat, she may be attracting your outdoor visitors. Get her spayed or keep all windows and doors closed when she goes into heat.


  • A popular piece of advice for discouraging cats is to use cayenne pepper. Don't. Though it's true that cats are averse to the spicy powder, they could actually go blind if they get it into their eyes. Use other deterrents that will not harm the cat.

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About the Author

Jane Williams began her writing career in 2000 as the writer and editor of a nationwide marketing company. Her articles have appeared on various websites. Williams briefly attended college for a degree in administration before embarking on her writing career.

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