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Removing Cat Urine and Odor


Cats will sometimes pee on your carpet, especially if they are not neutered or spayed. If you want to get the urine out thoroughly, enzyme cleaners are the way to go. There will be more on that in a moment. For more general advice about urine stains (human and animal), visit our page on removing a urine stain from carpet.

If you have had cat urine in your carpet before, you know how hard it can be to get rid of it. You may have even thought you had eliminated it more than once, only to have the odor return again and again. Now, if you're not sure that the odor coming from your carpet is from cat urine you can visit the page on how to get odor out of carpet, which covers various techniques. But if the bad smell is definitely from a feline source, this is the right place. Here are some basic methods for dealing with cat urine, including removal at the time of the "accident," and odor elimination for new and old spots.

Before we get started, though, it should be noted that cat urine can cause pretty persistent odors, especially if it is from a problem cat that returns to the same spots to pee again and again. In fact, if enough urine is deposited over time, it can soak into the floorboards and require total removal of carpeting as well as some of the subfloor to eliminate the smell entirely. With that in mind, if you love your leaky cat, you might want to consider putting down tile in place of the carpet.

If you see the cat peeing or find the spot while it is still wet, act fast. Grab some paper towels and soak up as much of the urine as you can. A shop-vac can help with this if you have one. Rinse with water and soak that up too, then repeat the whole process several more times to be sure you get out as much of the pee as you can. Be careful not to add too much water at once though, as this can spread the urine.

Here is a video that shows you how to use cornstarch to help clean up cat pee:

If you attack the spot right away and then treat it with deodorizers, you might prevent any future odor. To deodorize, try a spray treatment (Febreze® or something similar). Then when the spot is dry cover it liberally with baking soda and work it into the fibers with your hands. Vacuum that up a day later. If there is an odor left the cat is likely to return to the spot, so keep an eye on kitty (and take him to the litter box immediately if he is sniffing at the spot).

Enzyme Cleaners for Cat Urine

Fortunately, for the really tough spots and odors, there is another method that will usually work, using enzyme cleaners.

Cat urine is full of several different types of bacteria, the specific types depending on whether the cat was simply urinating or marking its territory. These, in addition to the uric acid, make for the awful odor that just keeps coming back. Cat's also don't drink much, making the urine especially concentrated. Regular cleaners are not designed to get at these highly concentrated bacteria, and so just can't do the job.

Good enzyme cleaners, on the other hand, are meant to attack and feed on the bacteria left behind. The enzymes immediately start to react with the urine, and eventually destroy the odor at its source. Depending on how deep the urine has soaked in, you may to treat the area two or more times.

More good news! Once the odor in an area is removed, the cat is not prompted to urinate there again.

You can find these cleaners at most pet stores. Make sure you specify that you want a cleaner with enzymes for urine (some have blood-enzymes, for example, which won't work). After soaking up any standing urine, spray the cleaner onto the area and let it dry. Let it do its work overnight before washing the area.

You can use enzyme cleaners on furniture and bedding as well, or as a pre-soak for any clothing that may have been peed on.

Carpet Stains | Enzyme Cleaners For Cat Urine Odor