General Question

jonsblond's avatar

Help! How do I get this skunk odor off my kitty?

Asked by jonsblond (36885 points ) April 24th, 2013

I’ve had the same problem with my dog once, but dogs are easy to bathe. A 10 month old kitty is a whole different problem.

What do I do? I have him locked in the mudroom now (with food, water and litter box) so he doesn’t spread the stink in the main house.

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34 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Wait about six months. Best I’ve got for a kitty.

marinelife's avatar

Wash him with water and lemon juice.

Judi's avatar

Have you tried tomato juice? I know it’s hard to bathe a kitty but its possible. Otherwise I would say take the poor baby to a professional groomer.
I did see some products for this when I was in Cabellas yesterday.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

My sister’s cat got sprayed by a skunk. N and I went to the pet store and found a spray that would help get rid of the smell. We soaked an old tea towel with the solution and rubbed it all over him. Had to do it 4 times, but it worked.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Skunk out cleanser from the pet store. It works!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Does that work on clothing too? I had to pick up my dogs after they got sprayed to take them for a booster shot and my coat stunk forever until I got rid of it.

jonsblond's avatar

Thanks everyone. The smell is seeping into the house from the mudroom. It’s awful. I’m reading your responses as I’m removing all fabric from the bathroom and searching for clothes I can toss when I’m done.

@Adirondackwannabe I don’t think the odor can be removed from fabric. If it can, it’s not very easy. :/

ugh. I was walking my daughter to her bus and when I came back our kitty wanted in and that’s when I smelled it. I’ve got such a busy day planned already preparing for our daughter’s surgery on Monday (tonsils and adenoids). I’m going shopping for pudding, jello and all those goodies for her. I looked at kitty and said “Ain’t nobody got time for that”.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@jonsblond I never got it out. Good luck with your daughter’s surgery. I made a note on my calendar and I’ll send you some special thoughts on Monday.

Judi's avatar

@jonsblond, I think you will never want to see the inside of a hospital again!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe It will work, but you’ll have to wash your clothes about 3–4 times with it. No drying between washes.

jonsblond's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Thank you!
@Judi You’ve got that right. :/

Well, I started by trying to wipe his eyes because it looks like his face was sprayed. He did not like it one bit and now he’s hiding. It’s going to be a long day, that’s for sure.

Rockstar0224's avatar

Bathe it in tomato sauce? I never had a cat do that.

gailcalled's avatar

I just sent this question off to syz and tinyfaery.

I’ll be keeping all my fingers and toes crossed for your daughter’s surgery.

Tomato juice works on dogs, who are easier to dose or douse.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Same thing I told you for the dogs goes for the cat, Skunk-Off.
None of the natural stuff works as well as ^^^this stuff does, or as quickly.

Since skunks seem to be a common issue where you live, you may want to check your property & fill foundational holes.

jonsblond's avatar

Thank you @SpatzieLover, but it would be days before I could have that delivered here and I need something that will work today. We don’t have many shopping options where we live and all I could find is your average kitty shampoo. I may have to keep that on hand for possible future problems though! Foundational holes? We are in the boonies, surrounded by farmland. Skunks are all over.

I have a big bottle of lemon juice that I’m going to give a try.

syz's avatar

Here’s a MythBusters recommendation. Of course, any potential treatment should not be ingested by the cat, or get into the eyes.

Your best may be a quick trip to your veterinarian for a professional bath.

WestRiverrat's avatar

1 qt. 3% hydrogen peroxide
¼ cup baking soda
1–2 tsp. good dish detergent (I used Dawn)

Mix in bucket and gently but thoroughly bathe them. For a real good spray of skunk, you may have to wash, rinse and repeat. Be careful of the face, it can get in their ears with no problem if washed out well. Good luck!

I also heard Scope will cut the odor, but have never tried it. Soak cotton balls in Scope and pat and stroke them on the cat until you get down to the skin.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@jonsblond Since this has happened before, and will likely happen again I would recommend you get Skunk-off to keep on hand.

I agree with @syz for the vet recommendation. With a cat, it’s probably the best option.

I used to live in the boonies before they built a city around my family ;) We found large rocks to head the skunks off from going under porches/sheds/garages/out buildings.

jonsblond's avatar

@SpatzieLover Our porch is concrete and there are no holes right near the house. There are dens between the two fields and near the stream on our property about ½ mile from the house. I’m assuming that’s wear they live. I will take your recommendation and buy that product for future use.

I’m going to kick myself for saying this because I know that many here frown upon those of us who don’t have emergency funds for vet bills, but I just don’t have that extra cash right now. I could borrow the money if it was an emergency, but I don’t feel this is an emergency. This will need to be something I can take care of myself. My biggest problem right now is catching kitty. He keeps hiding from me. He didn’t like it when I cleaned his face.

Thanks again everyone.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

All the farmers around here concur to bathe your cat or dog in tomato juice if they get sprayed by a skunk.

ccrow's avatar

@WestRiverrat has posted what I would recommend; I’ve used it on my dogs and it does work very well. It’s not fun bathing a cat, that’s for sure, but I don’t see any other way to de-skunk him.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@ccrow I bathe my four cats regularly. I agree it’s not fun, but it can be done.

@jonsblond You may literally need to hold him by the back of the neck for the entire bath. This works best with either a hand held shower sprayer or a kitchen sink sprayer, IMO.

I agree with the Dawn recommendation of @WestRiverrat‘s too.

WestRiverrat's avatar

You may get lucky and the cat will tolerate the bath because it stops the itch. The baking soda, and the hydrogen peroxide will cut and neutralize the irritants in the skunk musk that is probably driving the cat crazy by now. The dish soap will help lift the musk out of the cat’s fur.

tinyfaery's avatar

Suck it up. Give the cat a bath and keep it inside from now on. Cats behave the way you let them. You’re in charge.

jonsblond's avatar

No 24/7 indoor cats for us, especially if my hubby has anything to do with it. We live on a farm and farm cats are very common around here. The kitty would be outdoors 24/7 if it weren’t for me. I can’t see a kitty being outdoors in the cold weather we’ve had, so the kitty stays inside when it’s terrible out. I’ve been doing a lot of sucking up this year and your response is not helpful @tinyfaery. Give the cat a bath with what? That’s what I needed to know.

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SuperMouse's avatar

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WestRiverrat's avatar

@jonsblond so did you get the poor cat bathed and descented?

jonsblond's avatar

@WestRiverrat He got scrubbed down with the mixture you suggested and he smells a lot better than he did. He’s been happily chasing chipmunks and sunning himself outside today. Thanks for your help!

The lemon juice helped to get the stink off my hands. I appreciate those who helped. You know I always do. =)

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