Paint smells like cat pee.


We have one room in our house that was painted two years ago using Olympic interior satin latex paint from Lowe’s. In the past few days the room has developed a distinct cat pee odor. We, however, do not have a cat and there has not been a cat in the house. Does anyone know of something specific about this paint? The color we used was Aloe Vera.

13 Responses

  1. The problem has been resolved. We first placed a dehumidifier in the room to dry it out. Then we painted with an oil-based sealant (e.g. Bin) over the malodorous (Olympic low odor/ low voc latex) paint. Then we painted with latex over the oil-based. The room is back to normal. The problem was definitely the paint.

  2. This seems to be a major problem with some manufactures; Valspar, Behr and Olympic

    Best to choose a non toxic type of paint.

  3. I have the same problem–purchased paint from Lowes–never had a cat in my home. Started to smell within 2 days of painting. It gets worse everyday. I used white paint. What can I do?????????

  4. You will need to primer over the paint then repaint. The primer will seal up the smell. The best is shellac primer but Kilz or equivalent should work.

  5. I am also from Sioux Falls, also painted about 2 years ago, and the color we used was also Aloe Vera. I am the one who posted earlier that I used Bin oil-based to seal the paint, then repainted with Diamond Vogel paint. The smell went away immediately, but it does return when the house is warm and humid. Please give me a call at 999-1232. We should go to Lowe's together. I went there by myself initially, and they told me they had not heard of this problem, called Olympic for me and Olympic said they had not heard of this problem either. Interesting that we used the exact same paint and had the exact same problem, reporting it independently.

  6. I can tell you from personal experience that the shellac paint is only a temporary fix. I mentioned above that I used Bin oil-based paint. That was a shellac-type paint. The smell went away initially, but came back a year or so after repainting when the room became warmer than usual in the summer. I think more needs to be done, and Lowe's or Olympic needs to correct the problem. At one point I was afraid this paint would ruin my whole house. That could possibly happen if not corrected if I allow my house to get too warm.

  7. Paint has nothing in it, which would smell like cat urine. It is ludicrous to believe that this is the case. If the wet paint in the can does not smell, then it will not convert to an acid smell. Paint does not have magical powers.

  8. Okay not to change this into a banter post here. but

    "Answered by Anonymous
    Paint has nothing in it, which would smell like cat urine. It is ludicrous to believe that this is the case. If the wet paint in the can does not smell, then it will not convert to an acid smell. Paint does not have magical powers."

    Unless you are there, to see what these people are talking about do not make them out to be liars. They are here to get constructive input.

    There is every possibility, that the paint they used could have had some sort of reaction with either the previous paint or a chemical used at some point. Unless you happen to be a paint engineer and know beyond certainty then there is simply no need to call the people out like this. Instead lets ask more questions and see if we can find a solution.

    Thank You,
    Steve M.

  9. I've had the same problem with Behr. The color is Gem Turquoise (bright green/blue color). Behr sent me Kilz Max (a new latex primer that is supposed to work like an oil-based primer). It's been a week since we primed and re-painted. The smell is a little less, but still there. We've been running fans, and air purifier and a dehumidifier (along with keeping the windows open) for two months!!! This is crazy. I think the colorant went bad. Many friends and neighbors have painted with Behr within a couple of weeks of us and haven't had any problems. They used different colors though. This is really making me sick (physically and mentally). I hope Kilz original primer will fix it, but it doesn't sound like this nightmare will end any time soon! Has anyone had any luck removing the smell permanently??? Please help if you have! Thank you!

  10. Looks like we are going to skip the primer and just get new drywall and possibly a new ceiling! What a mess! I will NEVER USE BEHR PAINT AGAIN!

  11. I am experiencing the same cat urine smell. I used Pittsburgh paint latex over Kilz primer. The only common thread seems to be we all painted a variation of green. (I am assuming Aloe Vera is green)The Kilz primer said it would take 2 weeks to fully cure. Maybe I should of waited 2 weeks to paint over it?

  12. We painted a room which had had a new doorway put in. Because there was bare plaster my husband painted the plaster with old white paint before we put the top coats on. Within two days just that one wall began to stink of cat pee. We were devastated as we'd spent a lot of money on the room only to find we couldn't let anyone in there!! It gets worse as time passes so we will try the sealant idea mentioned above. To the person who thinks this is ludicrous I'd say come and sniff it for yourself. Unless there's a cat with acrobatic skills or one that walks a hire wire to ensure covering the wall from ceiling to floor my money's on the paint.

  13. Hi! I'm the person that painted with Behr, Gem Turquoise. I've spent thousands of dollars just to fix the smell in my daughter's room after painting it the color I just mentioned. I took the paint to an EPA specialist (scientist) and had it tested to help determine the reason for this smell. Behr indicates their paints are low VOC, and I thought that maybe VOC's were causing my problem and Behr was lying. According to the EPA specialist, my paint was very high in ammonia. According to this specialist, ammonia is not considered a VOC (in paint anyway). He told me there was way more ammonia in my paint than necessary and I think that is what caused my problem. I ended up replacing the drywall (huge expense and mess) but in the long-run it was worth every penny. The smell was awful. I fought everyday for months for reimbursement from Behr and even consulted an attorney. After spending months talking to Behr and Home Depot, Home Depot ended up filing a claim with their insurance company (after MONTHS of calling Behr everyday). A $30 paint job should last 2 days and cost $30. NOT thousands of dollars. I was reimbursed for the cost to replace the drywall, but the aggravation during this time was terrible. I hope everyone here gets a permanent solution to your problem. My solution was replacing the drywall. Keep fighting. We should not have to live with paint that smells like cat pee! Good Luck!

    FYI: After the new drywall was ready for painting, I ended up going to my local Sherwin Williams store. They let me smell every can of primer and paint before I bought it. I wouldn't buy anything that smelled even slightly like ammonia. I'm sure they thought I was crazy, but they let me do it anyway. 🙂

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