Cat urine smell in the backyard is repulsive. The culprits could be from the alley or could be the over-curious neighborhood cats, or maybe, your very own darling little kitty.
Cat urine odor could last way longer than you would expect. They also leave stains on cement and turfs if not cleaned on time. So how will you clean or neutralize the urine from the soil?
Some effective ways on how to neutralize cat urine in garden soil could be by using simple home remedies. Using food items that have mild acid in them, like vinegar, lemons or oranges could work wonders. These items remove the odor and also deter cats from peeing near that spot again.
This article will walk you through some effective home remedies and commercially available products to alleviate cat urine odor problems.
Science Behind Cat’s Urine
Cat urine may not be potentially harmful to your soil or your plants, but it may cause the garden area to stink. Do you want to cover up the odor or want to get rid of the smell once and for all?
At first, you should know about the components present in a cat’s urine and to what extent it is hazardous to your garden plants. Let’s start digging!
Cats prefer to urinate and defecate in the garden soil. It is one of their favorite spots to finish their business in. If it is not its owner’s garden, then the neighbor’s garden, but garden it is!
When garden soil is exposed to the sun and rain, the odor may turn intolerable. Cat’s urine may not be particularly harmful to plants, but observations have revealed that grass-covered areas that have been urinated on, appear brownish with time.
This is because of the uric acid present in the cat’s urine that dissolves through the chlorophyll in plants. If there are cemented areas around your garden or wooden ornaments, they might have stains of urine left on them. Cemented surfaces may appear yellowish-green over time, instead of the usual grey-white appearance.
The uric acid present in a cat’s urine can stay in fabric, carpets, or wood for years. Washing the material in soap, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide will neutralize the cat odor but only for a short time. When the humidity level is high, then the uric acid may crystallize, causing the unbearable, foul-smell to reappear.
A very good way of getting rid of a cat’s urine and its smell from rugs, carpets and fabric is to use enzyme cleaners for pet urine. They do not only remove the urine odor but also adds a fresh, lemony scent to the fabric, unlike the harsh smell of soap or detergent wash.
Cleaning fabric to remove the urine smell is much easier than removing smell from the garden area or neutralizing urine from garden soil. So how would you solve the problem?
How to Neutralize Cat Urine in Garden Soil
Vinegar or lemon: Everyday objects like vinegar and lemon can work wonders in breaking down the urine components into harmless substances. Acids are dissolvers of dirt compounds, and vinegar has acetic acid while lemons have citric acid in them.
Take equal parts of vinegar or lime, and water, and mix them well, and then pour the mixture in a spray container preferably. Then spray the mixture on grass and lawn areas, especially in the urine-covered areas.
Citrus Rinds: Take some citrus fruits like orange peels or grapefruits and crush or grind them. Then take 1-2 spoonfuls of the juice and mix with water and apply on the affected turf or soil areas. They not only dissolve the urine but remove the odor and add a citrusy smell which is very pleasant.
Cats do not like citrusy smell therefore the smell will deter them from urinating there again. Remember though that this solution needs repetition or reapplication, especially after a rainstorm.
Dish soaps: Sometimes, certain dish soaps have lime or vinegar flavors. They could be used too if you do not have vinegar or lemons in your house. Just spray a little onto the affected garden areas. If you have sprayed onto cemented surfaces, just rinse off later with a garden hose.
Sprinkler system: Water is the safest and cheapest resource available for getting rid of cat urine from turfs and soil. When you use water for this purpose, you can be fully sure it is not going to cause any harm to the pets in the vicinity.
Either you can manually spray water onto the potted plants or flower beds, or you can use a sprinkler system. There are garden oscillator sprinkler mechanisms available. Make sure it is working and sprinkling water at regular intervals.
Water works the best when it has been applied within 8 hours starting from the time the cat urinated. Also, a profuse amount of water needs to sprayed or sprinkled—at least 3 times the volume of the urine to properly dilute the urine.
The sprinkler system will not only dissolve the urine from the garden areas but will also deter cats from urinating in the garden soil. The water will also mix with the urine and dilute it until the mixture gradually seeps through the layers of the soil.
Baking soda: You may have heard of the endless benefits of baking soda—it is one step ahead in soil cleansing too. Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda per quarter of water and then pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the affected areas of the soil, and let it sit for an hour or so.
Letting it sit will allow it to neutralize the urine compounds and also reduce the stink. If you want to use this remedy on cemented areas that have been urinated on, scrub the surface with a brush first and then spray.
Baking soda, contrary to popular belief, does not cause any harm to your turf. Instead, it helps discolored grass to recover into greener patches and also prevents fungus or other pathogens from invading your lawn.
Bleach: Cemented surfaces around garden areas are porous, so when cats urinate on such surfaces, the urine seeps through into the deeper layers. If urine is left to dry, the cement gets discolored and starts smelling terrible.
To clean such surfaces off the urine and its odor, you can go for bleach. Mix bleach and water and apply the mixture onto the affected areas of the cemented surfaces. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes before rinsing the surface off with scrubbing or a water hose.
Chlorine: Chlorine has strong disinfecting properties, and it might kill the good bacteria in the soil that is much needed by the plants. So it is advised that you do not add chlorine to the soil, but products like Clorox or the ordinary chlorine that you use to disinfect your pool could be used to clean cemented surfaces.
Spray diluted chlorine onto the affected surface. The chlorine will dissolve the urine components and will evaporate together.
Commercial Products to Neutralize Cat Urine in Garden Soil
If you find that the home remedies using stuff lying around the house are not working for your garden, you may try some commercial products.
You might be suffering through a notorious pest infestation in your neighborhood or maybe you have a lot of cats of your own, but deterring pets from the garden area becomes crucial if you want your plants to grow and bear fruits!
Some products like ODORx Un-Duz-It or Angry Orange Ready-to-Use Citrus Pet Odor Eliminator are well-known for removing the cat urine odor. After they dry off, they leave a sweet scenting or lemony odor behind.
ODORx product could be used on almost any surface including wood, plywood, cement, natural stones, quarry, bricks, or grout.
If you use artificial or synthetic turf in your garden area, products like Pure Nature Pets Turf and Kennel Deodorizer will be helpful. These are made of 100% natural Clinoptilolite Zeolite which has been extracted from volcanic ash and has natural cleansing properties.
For application on soil, grass, plants and gravel, you may use products like NaturVet Yard Odor Eliminator, or Simple Green Outdoor Odor Eliminator. They are safe to be used around animals in your house.
1. How do I use outdoor odor eliminator products?
Ans: At first remove any solid waste from your lawn or garden, like leaf piles or wood chunks, or any other rubbish. Then take the product bottle and give it a good shake.
Attach a water hose to the back end of the spray bottle, and turn on the water supply. Then turn the nozzle to the on-position and start spraying on the affected areas of your garden.
These products have active enzymes in them, and for them to work, you need to allow the content to dry out for 10 minutes. Products by Simple Green, for example, are non-toxic and biodegradable and safe for use around pets, lawns and other landscapes. It requires no rinsing later.
2. How can I stop my cats from urinating on garden soil?
Ans: Cats urinate for different reasons and training them not to do so, would solve most of the problem from the root. If you can smell a strong and penetrating urine odor from your garden areas, then there is a huge chance that a lot of neighborhood cats are spraying in your garden areas.
If it is not the neighbor or alley cats, it could be your furry buddy himself. Your cat might decide to urinate if, for example, you have moved furniture from one room to another or have shifted from one house to another.
In that case, the cat is emptying its bladder out of stress or due to territorial habits. Neutering your cat or asking the vet to curb down your cat’s overactive bladder will help to solve the excessive urinating issue.
Cats are adorable, doubtlessly. But when they urinate in your backyard, gardens, or lawns, it could turn out to be a real problem. For one thing, cat urine smells horrendous. Not only that, if not cleaned on time, cat urine could stain turfs and cemented surfaces.
They could be removed or neutralized. So, how to neutralize cat urine in garden soil? Home remedies such as vinegar or orange peels work wonders at removing the smell and stopping cats from urinating near that spot in the future.
Some commercial products come with enzymes in them that digest the harmful compounds in the urine and turn them into harmless substances. Also, train your cats not to urinate here and there. This will solve the problem from the root.