Cat and Other Animal Fiasco: Cleaning an Animal Hoarder House

Animal Hoarder Cleanup

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Cleaning up a house after an animal hoarder can be a daunting task. Cats especially have a way of causing more problems when there are large amounts of them.

Not only is there an overwhelming amount of clutter and debris to contend with, but there may also be health hazards such as animal waste and parasites, as well as the potential for structural damage caused by the animals themselves.

In this blog post, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to safely and effectively clean up a house after an animal hoarder, including tips and techniques for dealing with the specific challenges that come with this type of cleanup.

Recognizing the Signs: Understanding Animal Hoarding

When dealing with a case of animal hoarding, it's important to first understand the signs of hoarding. These can include:

  • A house full of animals, where the hoarder believes they are providing care and rescue.
  • A home that appears unclean, with poor living conditions for both the animals and the hoarder.
  • Clutter and disorganization, making it difficult to even spot the animals.
  • Denial from the hoarder that they are hoarding animals, believing they are providing care.
  • Neglect of basic needs for the animals, resulting in potential harm or death.

It's crucial to approach the situation with tact, as the animal hoarder may be unaware or in denial of their actions. Careful handling is necessary to properly address the situation and ensure the well-being of both the animals and the hoarder.

Challenges for Animals in the Hoarder's Home: Understanding the Impact on Animal's Health

One of the major challenges associated with animal hoarding is the negative impact on the health and well-being of both the animals and the individuals living in the hoarding environment. Basic care, such as providing adequate food, cleanliness, and veterinary attention, is often lacking in hoarding situations.

Some specific challenges cats and other animals in hoarding environments may face include:

  • Malnutrition due to lack of adequate food and resources to care for a large number of animals.
  • Increased risk of disease and illness as a result of overcrowding, lack of cleanliness, and lack of regular veterinary care.
  • Neglect and lack of basic care, such as failure to clean up feces or provide necessary medical attention.
  • Overcrowding and lack of appropriate living space, leading to increased stress and potential harm or death of the animals.
  • Negative impact on the health and well-being of the hoarder, as well as individuals living in the same environment.

It is important to note that animal hoarders may be unaware of the negative impact their actions have on the animals in their care, and may require professional help to address the situation. A professional team can assist in cleaning the home, provide animal care and veterinary attention, and help the hoarder address any underlying issues that may be contributing to the hoarding behavior.

Feline Challenges: Why Cats Can Be Worse Than Other Animals in Hoarding Situations

We love our little friends but often some pets, when not taken care of properly. Cats often can be worse than other animals in hoarding situations for several reasons:

  • Cats are known for being fastidious groomers, which means they clean themselves often. However, when they are living in a hoarding situation with many other cats, they may not have the opportunity to groom themselves properly, which can lead to matting, flea infestations, and other hygiene issues.

  • Cats are also solitary animals and usually do not live in large groups. Therefore, they may become stressed and aggressive when living in a hoarding situation with many other cats.

  • Cats are known for marking their territory with urine and feces, when in a crowded space with no proper sanitation facilities, their droppings and urine can accumulate and cause a strong smell and health hazards.

  • Cats are known to be good at hiding when they are sick or injured. When living in a hoarding situation, it can be difficult for the hoarder to keep track of all the cats, which can lead to untreated health issues.

  • Cats also require specific diet and care, when living in a hoarding situation, the hoarder may not be able to provide the proper care, which can lead to malnourishment and other health issues.

Overall, cats can be worse than other animals in hoarding situations because they have specific needs that may not be met in a hoarding environment and the presence of many cats in one space can lead to health and behavioral issues.

Cleaning up an Animal Hoarder’s House

When cleaning up a house with a lot of animal issues, it's important to approach the task with safety and compassion in mind. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Get our hoarder cleaning materials checklist to help you gather all the supplies in one trip.

  1. Wear protective gear: When dealing with animal waste and debris, it's important to protect yourself from potential health hazards. Wear gloves, a mask, and other protective gear as needed.

  2. Prioritize safety: If the animals in the house are still present, it's important to prioritize their safety as well. Work with a veterinarian or animal control professional to safely remove the animals from the house before beginning the cleanup process.

  3. Address any structural damage: Animals can cause significant damage to a house. Before beginning the cleanup process, it's important to address any structural damage and make any necessary repairs.

  4. Remove debris and clutter: The first step in cleaning up a house with a lot of animal issues is to remove debris and clutter. This may include animal waste, food containers, and other items that have accumulated over time.

  5. Clean and sanitize: Once the debris and clutter have been removed, it's important to thoroughly clean and sanitize the house. This may include washing walls and floors, scrubbing surfaces, and using disinfectants to kill any bacteria or germs that may be present.

  6. Address odor issues: Odors can be a major issue in houses with a lot of animal issues. Use odor-neutralizing products and methods like charcoal, baking soda, white vinegar, ozone treatment, and thermal fogging to neutralize odors. Get more info on deodorizing a hoarder house.

  7. Hire professionals: Cleaning up a house with a lot of animal issues can be a daunting task. If you're not comfortable doing it yourself, consider hiring a professional cleaning service that specializes in animal hoarding cases.

  8. Follow up with the animal hoarder: It's important to address underlying issues that may have contributed to the hoarding behavior and help the animal hoarder with their recovery.

In summary, cleaning up a house with a lot of animal issues requires patience, care, and safety precautions. It's important to address any structural damage, remove debris and clutter, clean and sanitize the house, neutralize odors and follow up with the animal hoarder.

For a larger problem, you can check out our step-by-step guide on cleaning a hoarder house.

Why Is Cleaning up an Animal Hoarder’s House Important?

Cleaning up the hoarder's home is vital for the following reasons:

  • The animal hoarder may not realize their living situation is an issue, thinking they are doing a favor to the animals when in fact the opposite is true.

  • There could be dead animals for lack of a better term rotting in the house. Not cleaning the home means there would be an accumulation of germs and bacteria.
  • The problem often will get worse if taken care of, causing damage to the structure.
  • Not cleaning up the place can cause clutter and stress.
  • There would be garbage, rotten food, and dead animals in the house. Other animals might see this as adequate food if they are malnourished, and this could be devastating for their health.

How Can You Help?

When you see someone hoarding animals, it's time to take action. Even a small step counts! Consider the following:

  • You can call the vet or a health department and explain the whole situation. The good news is that they can tell you where to contact and may even provide the numbers!
  • You can do a quick online search and see what options are available to help the animal hoarders and the animals.
  • Politely address your concern to the animal hoarder. They may not understand or accept the situation, but it's wise to convey your message in a polite tone.
  • If you have the time, you can offer to take small steps to help in the meantime. For example, offer to remove clutter or take dogs for a walk. You can try doing the basics for helping someone in need!


There could be some questions on your mind, such as:

Can ammonia from cat urine and feces affect you?

Yes, ammonia from cat urine and feces can affect your health as the large quantity of ammonia in the cat's urine is not suitable for humans. In addition, it's important to clean the place as the urine and feces also cause unwanted odor and damage to the home.

Can animal hoarding affect the house?

Many animals living under the same roof can affect the overall place. For example, cats or dogs can fight, so there would be an impact on the windows, walls, and other areas of the house. Also, the germs in the area can spread diseases.

Is it important to deodorize the animal hoarder house?

Yes, it's vital to deodorize the house as there could be an odor of dead animals in the house. Also, when animals are neglected for long, there could be rodents and other such animals in the house that may die too. Thus, there could be too much smell to bear in the place, which is why deodorizing the home would be vital.

How do you clean the animal hoarder house easily?

The best way to clean an animal hoarder's house is to take professional help. Professional cleaning companies can come with the right equipment. It becomes a lot easier to manage the whole situation when professionals deal with the issue. Also, it's a good idea to ask the volunteers to help if it's hard to afford the professional cleaning companies.

What's the best way to approach the animal hoarder about the situation?

You have to be polite, and it's best to ask the expert's advice for such situations. You can reach out to vets or animal shelters and ask them to guide you better. When you see animal cruelty, it's best to address the issue even if you have known the animal hoarder for years. However, you have to ask the opinion of the experts as it's better.

Wrapping It Up: Help Animals in Hoarder Homes

Cleaning up the house of an animal hoarder is a must. It's necessary for the animal's health and everyone living in the house. It starts with removing the animals and unwanted items from home. Next, get rid of clutter and everything in touch with animal feces, urine, blood, or remains of dead animals. Finally, sanitize, deodorize, and make the place livable for the animals in that place.

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