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How to Get Rid of Cat Urine
Smell in Carpet, Wood, Upholstery, and More

December 7, 2021

When your cat urinates outside the litter box, the odor can be challenging to get rid of and nearly impossible to cover up. Whether your cat pees on the carpet, a piece of furniture, bed linens, or clothing, it’s crucial to promptly neutralize the odor and remove the stain. Cats will often return to a spot where they have urinated if they can still detect the scent, so taking care of it promptly can help prevent them from becoming repeat offenders.

If you have a cat, it’s essential to know how to get rid of a cat pee smell. But once that’s done, it’s equally important to determine the cause of this behavior. If your cat suddenly starts urinating in areas they haven’t before, something’s going on. From medical problems to unappealing litter boxes, if your cat pees on your floors and furniture, you have to pinpoint the problem to end the pattern of behavior.

So, how to get rid of cat urine smell? First, check your cat’s litter box. An unappealing litter box is a common culprit for why cats start urinating in places they shouldn’t. Don’t give your cat a reason to pee anywhere else—make sure the litter box is uncovered, large enough for your cat, and cleaned regularly. If the litter box is in good shape, but your cat still uses other areas as its bathroom, fear not. Have a dog too? Check out how to keep dog odors under control after learning how to get rid of cat urine odor in the house.

How to Get Cat Pee Smell Out of a Couch

Cat pee can be hard to clean out of upholstery, and if it has soaked through to the cushioning, it can cause lingering odors, mold, and mildew. Fortunately, learning how to remove cat urine smells on your couch isn’t too difficult with the right tools and know-how.

Your best bet to get rid of the cat pee smell is to use an upholstery cleaning machine. These cleaners have scrubbing attachments that make it much easier to remove stains and odors from your couch. You can soak the pee area without worrying about overdoing it because you can simply suck up the water, urine, and cleaner when you’re done.

Use the carpet cleaner attachment to soak the stain with a natural cleaning solution designed for pet odors. Then vacuum up the urine and cleaner. Be warned; you may need to soak and vacuum the cat urine several times to remove the stain and odor.

If you don’t have access to an upholstery cleaning machine, enzyme cleaners can get the job done. Enzymatic cleaners are cleaning products that use enzymes to help break down stains and eliminate odors. Making your own enzyme cleaner with natural ingredients is easy. Mix three parts white vinegar with one part water in a spray bottle—that’s it!

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Once you have the mixture, here’s what you’ll do:

  • Blot up as much of the cat urine as possible with dry towels.
  • Soak the urine stain thoroughly with the enzymatic cleaner, ensuring the solution soaks into everything.
  • Allow the solution to sit overnight.

There’s no need to rinse, but you may have to repeat the process to get out all the urine odor and stains.

How to Get Cat Urine Smell Out of Carpet

If you have pets, you know the messes they can make. Your carpet is the perfect landing ground for your cat to relieve itself, whether by accident or intentionally! Using a carpet cleaning machine is the best solution for how to get rid of the cat pee smell on carpet. That’s because it forces cleaning solutions deep into the carpet, and it sucks up all the water, cleaner, and urine.

If you don’t have an upholstery cleaner, you can use the same enzyme cleaner we recommend for couches.

  • Blot any wet urine spots immediately with dry towels and continue blotting with new towels until they come away clean.
  • Spray the urine spot thoroughly with your homemade enzyme cleaner and cover it with a clean, damp cloth. You may need to cover the cloth with something heavy to help the cleaning solution soak into the carpet.
  • Let the enzyme solution dry overnight. If the carpet isn’t dry, use towels to blot up excess moisture.

You may have to repeat the process to get rid of the stain and cat urine odor. For older stains or a deeply embedded urine smell, especially in carpets, it may be worth it to hire a professional carpet cleaning service to eliminate the odor once and for all.

How to Get Cat Pee Out of Hardwood Floors and Wood Furniture

Figuring out how to get rid of the cat pee smell on wood can be a challenge. If the urine has soaked into the wood for a while, you must use a urine cleaner with a little more muscle. Hydrogen peroxide is safe and is a natural odor and stain remover. But before you get to work, check an inconspicuous area of the wood to make sure the hydrogen peroxide doesn’t damage the finish.

Pour the hydrogen peroxide over the stain and then cover it with a cloth soaked in hydrogen peroxide. Cover the cloth with plastic wrap. Place something heavy atop it to hold it all down and let it sit overnight. The hydrogen peroxide will remove stains and eliminate the cat urine odor.

You can also give baking soda and white vinegar a try. These ingredients are a safe way to get cat pee out of floors and furniture because they won’t damage most wood — but spot-test an out-of-the-way area first to ensure your finish is safe. The acid in the vinegar neutralizes the odor in fresh and dried urine stains, and the baking soda gives you some mild abrasives to work with.

How to Get Rid of a Cat Pee Smell in Bedding and Clothes

Cats aren’t very picky about where they pee, so you’ll also want to know how to get cat pee smell out of clothes, bedding, and other laundry. Here’s the cleaning process:

  • Blot up as much cat urine as you can with paper towels.
  • Use an enzyme cleaner specifically designed for urine and test it on a hidden area of the stained laundry (especially if you’re cleaning delicate fabrics).
  • Soak the stain with your enzyme cleaner (once deemed safe for the fabric) and let it break down the uric acid for about 15 minutes.
  • Use paper towels to blot up the cleaner and let the stained area air dry.
  • Wash your laundry with the cat urine separately to avoid transferring the odors.
  • Use an enzyme detergent and a pound of baking soda and wash the clothing or sheets in cold water.
  • Line dry the laundry to ensure the stain, and odors, have been eliminated.

After all of that, if you still have a lingering smell, wash the laundry again with a cup of white vinegar only and let it air dry.

How to Get Rid Of Cat Urine Odor in The House

Even when you follow these proven tips for getting rid of urine odors, that offensive smell can linger throughout your home. You know you’ve cleaned the cat urine stains right and just changed and cleaned the litter box, but somehow you still smell cat urine! To get rid of the cat pee smell in your home, you’re going to have to clear the air and give your home a refresh.

You can spray air fresheners and use plug-ins to mask the odor, but they won’t eliminate the cat urine smell. Instead, open the windows, turn on ceiling fans, and run your HVAC blower. Let the air circulate for an hour to help eliminate odors in the air. The next step is to give your home a deep cleaning. That means cleaning the walls, floors, upholstery, and more or finding a residential cleaning service experienced with pet odors.

Now that you know how to get rid of cat urine odors around your home, check out this post to learn how to handle other unpleasant pet messes. If your pets, kids, and busy schedule make housekeeping a full-time job, why not let The Maids lend a hand? Our healthy approach to cleaning is more important than ever, and we’re probably just around the corner.

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