How to Get a Cat Pee Smell Out of Plastic

Spinx cat lying on hotel bed

Cats pee on all sorts of things that they shouldn’t: carpet, clothing, furniture, bedding, toys…

Cleaning it up is both annoying and time consuming and especially if your pet is doing it regularly.

Feline urine smells horrendous, too, and unless you remove the odour entirely, then your darling fur baby will keep returning to that spot and doing it again and again.

No one wants to live in a house that smells like a litterbox.

Why Does Cat Pee Smell So Bad?

Cat urine is super-concentrated.

Cats are so good at retaining water that they actually absorb an insane amount of ingested liquid in order to stay hydrated. 

Cats were originally desert creatures so holding onto moisture was a necessity of survival.

And compare them to canines; dogs go to the bathroom far more regularly and as a result their urine is much less concentrated and therefore, far less stinky.

Your cat’s kidneys are so good at getting all the moisture they need from their food and drinking water that all that’s left to pass through them is urea. When this starts decomposing it forms into ammonia and absolutely STINKS.

Cats also use urine as a way of marking territory, so it makes sense that it’ll have a pungent aroma.

Unneutered male cats will smell worse than females.

If there’s a change in your cat’s behaviour or if the smell of urine seems stronger than it has previously, make an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out illness or a UTI.

Cats can also pee themselves when they’re scared or anxious.

Cats peeing on plastic isn’t new.  There are a tonne of forum messages where desperate parents ask how to get it out of Lego bricks, racing car beds and dollhouses.



Gray cat with face close to the camera




Getting the Smell of Cat Urine Out of a Hard Carrier

You might also be wondering how to get the smell of cat pee out of a plastic cat carrier.

Most cats aren’t big fans of their pet carriers or for many of the reasons that we put them inside: veterinarian appointments, injections, short-stays at boarding catteries, car journeys, plane rides etc.  If your cat is likely to be stressed by its box, then we’d recommend choosing a hard carrier over a fabric one as they’re easier to clean.

We’ve been fortunate that our cat has never peed in a plastic carrier but she has peed on laminate flooring as well as on carpet so we can appreciate how smelly and embarrassing reoccurring issues can be. 

Most cat owners choose 1 of 2 ways to get the job done: using natural solutions and enzyme cleaners.


Natural Cleaners

Natural cleaning solutions to a pee problem are attractive because they’re not chemically based, their inexpensive and you may already have the components in the cupboard.

One of the most common and simple natural cleaners suggests using: 1-part white vinegar to 1-2 parts water sprayed onto the area and then wiped away with a paper towel.

Vinegar is one of the most versatile store-cupboard items we own.  The ammonia in cat pee is an alkaline. Vinegar is an acid solution and therefore will help neutralise the smell.

When our cat peed on the carpet (multiple times) we used a white vinegar solution that did remove the smell.  It worked but occasionally the cat would go back and urinate in that same spot. It’s possible that we weren’t as thorough in cleaning it as we believed as obviously, she could still smell something there.  It’s worth being thorough to avoid the problem repeating itself further down the line. Now we use white vinegar to re-fresh the linoleum and carpet around her litter tray.  

Baking soda with white vinegar can work well, too. The soda it’s a weak alkaline that helps break down ammonia.

Some people swear by these natural solutions to cat pee problems.  And they’re a cheap option and a first-response if you don’t have brand-name cleaners in the house.

For anyone looking for a more powerful solution then try enzyme cleaners. We’ve used the RSPCA’s wee-removing spray (available in the UK), and whilst we think it definitely helped, it didn’t stop our cat revisiting the scene of the crime and doing it again. If it happened again, then we’d probably opt for one of these popular solutions below.

You can buy enzyme cleaners from pet stores but they’re also available to buy on Amazon.

Here are some of the more popular brands available:

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