Removing Cat Urine Stains and Odors

Close Up of a Cat Sunning Itself.

How to Remove Cat Urine

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 it’s associated 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 sometimes be impossible to remove.

Getting to the source of the odor as quickly as possible is key to cat urine removal.

Removing Cat Urine from Carpets, Furniture and Mattresses

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 the liquid as you can. Use clean, white rags or paper towels and press them into the urine area to absorb as much as possible. Replacing absorbent material as needed. Continue to blot the area until there’s no liquid coming up on the cloth or paper towel. Wear gloves to avoid getting urine on your hands.

If your cat has urinated on a chair or couch that has a removable cover, after soaking up as much liquid as you can, remove the cover and blot any liquid from the underlying padding.

If the cover can be washed, follow manufactures instructions. If you do wash the cover, I would let it air dry as it may shrink some and therefore disfigure the cushion when you put it back on. Yes, this did happen to me once.

2. Saturate the Area with White Vinegar

Vinegar is a mild disinfectant and antiviral as well as a natural deodorizer, I use it for so many things around the house and keep plenty on hand.

Vinegar will help kill the bacteria in the urine and help remove odors. Vinegar does have an odor itself but it will dissipate over a short period of time. After you’ve cleaned the area and have let it dry, if you still notice a lingering odor, repeat the process.

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.

  • Slowly pour distilled white vinegar over the area
  • Start with 1/4 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 Neutralize Odors

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.

So if after using the white vinegar and there is still a small odor remaining, sprinkle a liberal amount over the area, work it in a little with your fingertips then allow to sit for 24 hours 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 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide with a 1/2 teaspoon of gentle dishwashing liquid
  • Pour over the stain and let stand for 15 minutes
  • Using a soft brush, for example, a toothbrush or a clean soft bristle brush, gently scrub
  • Rinse with plain water to removing any remaining dishwashing liquid
  • Blot with a clean towel and let air dry

Do a spot check in an inconspicuous place first to make sure no discoloration happens from the hydrogen peroxide.

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 or Urine Off.

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.

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