How to get rid of cat urine smell is a question most cat parents ask at some time or another. You may love your cute fur baby, but realizing she’s urinated on your best duvet cover is no joke. The smell of cat pee is probably one of the worst imaginable. In this article you’ll learn useful tips on eliminating pet odors from carpet, wood, laundry, and more. You’ll also discover why your cat has started eliminating outside the box, and ways to deal with it.
Why your cat pees outside the box
Cats are by nature very fastidious and spend half their waking life grooming. Normally, toileting is also something your cat will be fastidious about. Burying urine and faeces is a natural instinct. In the wild, cats do this to hide any scent from predators, and will naturally do the same in a litter box.
If your cat has the odd accident it’s nothing to worry about, but if it becomes a regular occurrence, you need to find out why. There are many reasons why your cat decides to pee outside the box.
Firstly, you need to ensure your cat has enough litter to dig around in. A depth of at least two inches is recommended. Some cats like to dig deep, whereas others only scratch the surface lightly.
It may be tempting to change your brand of litter if you find a cheaper one, however, your cat may not agree! Soiling on the carpet or bed may in some cases simply be because your kitty doesn’t like the new litter.
Would you use a dirty toilet?
I shouldn’t need to say this, but how would you like to use a dirty toilet? Of course not! The same goes for your cat. Always clean the litter box at least twice a a week. That means completely emptying and disinfecting it. Replace with fresh litter.
Secondly, if your cat is elderly, arthritis could make it difficult for her to climb in and out of the box. A medical problem such as kidney infection or diabetes can also cause inappropriate soiling. Thirdly, changes in environment can be stressful for your cat. This can be anything from moving home to introducing a new baby or pet. In this case Feliway may help.
Cats are such sensitive creatures, easily upset by change. You may not notice any outward signs apart the nasty odor of cat urine. Remember, your kitty can’t tell you how she feels. In some cases, bullying from other pets in the home can be the reason your cat pees outside the litter box. Your kitty may even be intimidated by other cats in the neighborhood! Next door’s big ginger tom could well be the culprit!
What makes cat urine smell so bad
There are several reasons your cat’s urine smells so bad. Firstly, cats have evolved from desert regions where water is scarce. Large amounts of fluid from your kitty’s urine keeps her sufficiently hydrated. The downside is concentrated urine smells terrible. It also contains ammonia which gives that familiar strong odor.
How to get cat urine smell out of carpet
One of the worst things about being a cat parent is coming home one day only to be greeted by the stench of cat urine soaked into your carpet. Urine spills on laminate flooring are easy to mop up, but carpet is different.
Once cat urine soaks into the fibres, it can be notoriously hard to get rid of the smell. If your kitty has only just made her mark and the area is still wet, soak up as much as possible. Use absorbent kitchen paper as it’s great for mopping up spills. Next, if you have white vinegar in your kitchen cupboard grab it now. Pour 1/2 cup of vinegar into a bowl and add 1 and 1/2 cups of hot water. White vinegar neutralizes odors very effectively, and acts as powerful disinfectant.
Using a sponge, rub into the area of carpet affected. Make sure you work thoroughly into the carpet so as to remove as much as possible. Next, let it dry. This will take some time, so be careful to avoid the area. Lastly, when the carpet is completely dry, sprinkle baking soda over it. This is fantastic for soaking up any unpleasant odors. Leave it for a few hours before vacuuming it up.
This should help eliminate the smell, however, it all depends on how long the urine spent on the carpet. If it was a while before you noticed, it may have soaked through to the underlay.
If this is the case you’ll probably never get rid of the smell, and will need to take the carpet up.
How to get rid of cat urine smell in wood
If you need to take the carpet up after your kitty’s little accident, you may find it’s spread into a few floor boards. One very effective solution is to soak the affected area with hydrogen peroxide, then cover with plastic film. Leave for at least eight hours before removing the covering. Hydrogen peroxide is highly effective in eliminating odor and removing stains, however, it’s also a powerful lightener.
If you’re covering the floor boards with carpet you won’t have a problem. However, if you’re trying to get rid of odor on exposed wood you’ll need to sand the whole area and re-varnish. In this case you may want to hire professionals. Watch the video below on how to remove cat urine smell from wooden floors
What if your cat has peed on wooden furniture?
If you discover your feline friend has peed on your best wooden table or chest of drawers don’t panic. You need to act immediately though, as the longer you leave it, the less chance you’ll have of completely getting rid of the odor
If you have baking soda and white vinegar to hand, you can make a very effective cleaning solution. This will only work though if the stain is fresh. Simply mix baking soda with enough vinegar to form a paste and rub into the wood. You should find the smell is neutralized within a short time. For stains that have become ingrained you could try a citrus oil soap. Citrus is good at getting rid of cat pee odor as well as being a deterrent. Cats hate the smell of orange and your kitty will think twice about peeing there again! You can also get citrus oil wood polish to finish off.
How to get cat urine smell out of a mattress
If your kitty has suddenly decided to use your bed instead of the litter box you’ll need to act fast. Once cat urine has soaked into a mattress it’s very hard to get rid of. The lingering smell can become a permanent reminder. The best natural remedy is vinegar. Using equal parts of white vinegar to water, sponge the affected area. You can also add a few drops of washing up liquid to create a lather.
Work into the mattress with a brush so you’re eliminating as much urine as possible. finally, sponge the mattress with fresh, clean water. Leave to dry for as long as possible. Use a fan heater to speed up the process. Lastly, sprinkle the whole area with baking soda and leave for a few hours, then vacuum.
What if your cat has peed on the laundry basket?
If your kitty has mistaken the laundry basket for a litter box, you’ll need to quickly sort the affected items. Never be tempted to just throw them into the washing machine. If you do, you’ll be contaminating everything else and never get rid of the odor.
Dash to your local store and buy some laundry detergent that contains bleach. Soak the clothes in a large bowl or sink and leave for a few hours. After rinsing thoroughly, add a mix of one part white vinegar to three parts cool water and soak the clothes for a further few hours. Let everything dry on an airer, before sniffing to see if the odor has gone. If everything seems ok you could add the clothes to a machine wash.
How to find where your cat’s peed without sniffing
You can smell the stench of cat urine but you’ve no idea where it’s coming from. You sniff the cushions on the couch, get down on your hands and knees to sniff the carpet, but nothing. Eventually you find the offending object your cat’s peed on, but by this time it’s almost impossible to clean.
A good solution to this problem is to arm yourself with a UV light. This is an amazing tool for finding cat urine as it will give off a yellow or green glow. The Vansky 51 UV blacklight not only detects pet urine, but bugs as well. It’s thirty times brighter than a normal torch and covers a wide area. This is great for quick urine detection, especially if you live in a large property.
The LED lights are extremely long lasting with a lifespan of up to twelve years. As you’re able to pinpoint the exact spot your cat urinated on, you can save yourself unnecessary work. You’ll also save money on expensive professional cleaning! Note that UV torches work better in total darkness, and can’t highlight urine puddles.
Average rating 4.4 out of 5
You can buy the Vansky 51 UV blacklight here
How to get rid of cat urine smell if it’s very stubborn.
While natural solutions may work well in getting rid of odor that’s not impregnated, you may need a stronger product if it has. The following are 100% safe for pets and children and have a high rating. I can’t guarantee they’ll work, and I’m only giving you my own honest opinion.
Pet Stain & Odor Miracle – Enzyme Cleaner for Dog and Cat Urine, Feces, Vomit, Drool
Miracle enzyme cleaner is a multiple surface product, saving you money. It claims to be safe for children and pets making it kinder to use. This product also has a minty fresh scent to replace foul odors, and you get a full money back guarantee.
As well as eliminating odors, Miracle enzyme cleaner is advertised as being able to remove stains embedded in carpets. A few buyers found the scent too strong, but most seemed happy with it.
Average rating 4.2 out of 5
You can buy Miracle enzyme cleaner here
SCOE 10X – Natural Probiotic Odor Eliminator Concentrate
Natural probiotic odor eliminator is non-toxic, biodegradable, and hypoallergenic. It’s safe for the environment, and advertised as suitable for colorfast material. This is a concentrated product with one unit making up ten ready to use. Once diluted, it can be stored for up two years.
You’re advised not to use it in a carpet cleaning machine as it won’t penetrate the underlay. Instead, it’s suggested you pour the liquid directly onto the carpet and let it soak in.
This odor eliminator is fragrance free and contains no solvents or alcohol.This makes it far safer to use than products such as Febreze or Resolve. A few buyers found it didn’t work for them.
SCOE 10X are so confident you’ll like it, they’ve agreed to buy it back if you don’t.
Average rating 4.4 out of 5
You can buy SCOE natural probiotic odor eliminator here
Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator – Enzyme-Powered Pet Odor & Stain Remover for Dog and Cats Urine
Rocco & Roxie stain and odor eliminator is environmentally safe with a natural bio-enzymatic formula. Being a natural product, It can be used around children and animals without worry.
You can use this stain and odor remover on sofas, carpets, and flooring, making it a very useful addition to your cleaning cupboard.
Rocco & Roxie stain remover has been approved by the carpet and rug institute, so you know you can confidently use it on your rugs without fear of damage, It’s advertised as removing all stains as well as odors, even really stubborn ones!
If you have soiled laundry you can simply pre-spray and soak for ten minutes before adding to your wash. It’s also recommended you add 1-2 cups of stain and odor eliminator in a pre-soak cycle. This will help get rid of most stains and smells before adding to your normal wash.
Average rating 4.3 out of 5
You can buy Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator here
Can you save your carpets and furniture if your cat’s left her mark?
In this post I’ve covered many ways you can get rid of cat urine smell using both natural methods and using products that have a bit more power. As previously mentioned, cats are fastidious about keeping themselves clean. Training your cat to use a litter box shouldn’t be hard, and for kittens raised by their mum it should be a natural thing to do.
I hope I’ve helped show you how to get rid of cat urine smell, without the need to throw out favorite rugs or clothes. In many cases things can be saved, however, once cat urine has become deeply impregnated it may be too late.
If you have any experiences you’d like to share, or would like to ask a question, please leave your comments below.
Wishing you a purrfect day:)
6 thoughts on “How To Get Rid Of Cat urine Smell For A Fresher Home”
You gave so much helpful information here for preventing the urine smell from lingering.
It can be a real problem if you don’t clean it up properly as quickly as possible. You clearly are an expert at getting rid of the smell effectively.
I grew up with a couple of cats and whenever there was an accident, the cleaning supplies came out.
I did not know about most of these ideas for how to get the smell out of the carpet or the mattress. I will certainly use these tips the next time that I have to clean up one of these messes.
Thanks for all the useful and practical information!
Thank you Jesse, yes, cat urine can be a real problem unless it’s cleaned up immediately. I’m glad you found the information useful, and that you’ll try these tips next time your kitty has an accident 🙂
Get a standard size plastic spray bottle and add two tablespoons of baking soda, then fill the bottle with hydrogen peroxide leaving about 2 in. at the top, then add two pumps of dish liquid (I personally like Dawn). The solution is effective for about 24 hours. This recipe was originally created to be used on skunk spray. It will eliminate stains and odors practically immediately. Just be sure to spot test a small area to be sure that it’s not going to damage whatever material you’re using it on. I’ve used it just about everywhere on all sorts of material and I haven’t had any issues so far.
Hi Jessica, thank you for comment and sharing your useful tip on getting rid of cat urine smell. This is a great idea and one I’ll try! Glad you enjoyed this post and thanks for stopping by:)
Thank you for this article, I live in a complex and when I go out I have to close my windows otherwise the neighbours cat comes in a pees on my furniture, this has been driving me mad because my miniature sausage dog then pees on things in the house too, I have tried all the home remedies to prevent this. I am so glad you have recommended Pet Stain & Odor Miracle – Enzyme Cleaner for Dog and Cat Urine, Feces, Vomit, Drool, this will should work well for my cat, dog and for my 13-year-old labrador who tends to vomit every now and then due to her old age. Thank you Kathy I will be sure to try it.
Thank you Kay:) How annoying that your neighbour’s cat comes in your apartment! He or she’s marking their territory, and obviously, not afraid of your dogs! Yes, pet and stain odor miracle should help with all your pets mishaps:) Glad you found my post useful.