Cat scent in wool

We adopted a cat who has not yet been neutered, I oke up this a.m to a strong smell of cat urine and discovered he had marked on my knitting bag and now two feet of the complex patterned blanket and the wool inside smells like it. How do I clean my project without having to start over?! This is months worth of work and high quality expensive yarn. Any advice greatly appreciated.

There is only one thing I know of that will remove cat marking or skunk odor. Or other animal marking scents. Other than time & washing a lot.

Beware this formula contains and even enhances the effects of h2o2 (peroxide) so cotton will be slightly bleached. Wool dye & animal fiber in general may be adversely affected. (Yellowed or brassy - think of a poor bleach job on human hair) Synthetics should be OK, but might be affected too. So be safe & TEST.


  1. Quart of regular peroxide (3%)

  2. Teaspoon of dish detergent
    Mix theses 2 in advance.

  3. Wash your item as recommended on the label. Leave wet in sink or tub

  4. At the very last second, QUICKLY add 1/4 cup baking or washing soda to the above liquid and immediately work the mixture through your item while it is still foaming up. It is the oxygen bubbles that actually do the trick. It is inactive as soon as the foaming stops.

  5. Rinse (or wash again if you wish) thoroughly & block/dry/hang/lay flat as usual.

Try everything else first. Febreeze, laundry dryer sheets etc. But if it absolutely positively HAS to come out & all else has failed, this will do it.

ETA. You might try Oxyclean. I have not had any success with it because it is weaker than the above, but it is the same principle. BTW this was invented by a U of Kentucky chem prof to remove skunk odor from hunting dogs. So remember it for Fido too.

Also try laying it out in sunshine, which removes sweat stains from cotton garments (I wish I had known before throwing away my favorite blouse). I think almost any oxygen (not clorox bleach) bleaching agent should have an effect.


Oh dear, sorry to hear that!

There are some new cleaning products with an enzyme in them that works on the very stinky compund that gives off the stubborn cat pee smell.

You can get them from a pet supply shop.

Here is a post with all the details:

BUT I do not know whether these cleaners can be used on wool (or whatever type of yarn blend you have). You would need to check with the cleaning product manufacturer unless it says “okay for wool” on the bottle. And try a test on a small yarn sample.


Have you tried vinegar? It is less apt to do damage than a lot of other products. The first thing I would do is neuter that cat. It might be too late, because some cats, once they have started, will continue even after they have been to the vet. Good luck with your project.

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