Cat urine has a very distinctive smell.
Even people without cats are familiar with it. It’s one of those smells that can overpower your guests as soon as they walk in the door. Removing cat urine and odor isn’t always easy.
In fact, if the urine has been allowed to dry in furniture stuffing or in the carpet pad, the smell can be awful and it can be impossible to remove.
Getting to the source of the odor as quickly as possible is key to cat urine removal.
1. Dry the Area Well
If the cat urine is in a piece of furniture, the carpet or a mattress, you’ll first want to blot up as much of it as you can. Use clean, white rags or paper towels and press them into the urine to absorb as much as possible. Wear gloves to avoid getting urine on your hands.
Depending on the size of your cat’s bladder, you may have to use several cloths and a lot of paper towels. Continue to blot the area until there’s no liquid coming up on the cloth or paper towel.
If you have a piece of furniture and the seat cushion cover can be taken off and washed, take it off and wash per instructions. Blot up the liquid from the padding below.
2. Saturate the Area with Vinegar
Saturate (but don’t flood) the area with plain white vinegar. Water can be mixed with the vinegar but water poured into furniture stuffing or a mattress may spark mold growth if it isn’t completely soaked up and allowed to dry completely. Vinegar will help to kill the bacteria in the urine. If you don’t use enough vinegar or use a vinegar/water mixture, the initial urine smell will go away, but it might come back because you won’t be able to soak up as much of the urine that is still staining the area.
Vinegar is a mild disinfectant and antiviral as well as a natural deodorizer.
- Slowly pour distilled white vinegar over the area
- Start with ¼ cup and cover the urine stain completely
- Begin the blotting process again with a clean towel and blot until dry
- Remember to blot, don’t rub to avoid damaging the fabric or carpet fibers
- Let the area dry completely overnight
3. Add Baking Soda to the Dry Carpet
While baking soda will be more effective on a carpet than it will on a mattress or furniture, it will help in all cases.
Baking soda is also a great solution to neutralize the odor. Sprinkle a liberal amount over the dry carpet stain and allow to stand for 24 hours and then vacuum.
4. If Extra Stain Removal is Needed:
The urine stain and odor should be gone by now, but if you still have a stain, you can try removing it with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.
- Mix ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide with a 1/2 teaspoon of gentle dishwashing liquid
- Pour onto the stain and let stand for 15 minutes
- Using a soft brush, for example, a toothbrush or a clean soft bristle brush, gently scrub
- Blot with a clean towel to dry
- Vacuum well
Using a Commercial Enzymatic Cleaner:
Cat urine has more protein in it than dog or human urine. An enzymatic cleaner that breaks up protein may also work to remove cat urine. Products such as Nature’s Miracle and Urine Off sometimes work well.
However, these products can be expensive and often aren’t any better at removing cat urine stains or odors than vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.