If your cat has been peeing outside the litter box or spraying your furniture, you probably understand how frustrating and difficult it is to get rid of the cat urine smell from your house. It is mentally, physically and emotionally draining coming home and discovering new puddles of urine all over your house and furniture, especially in hard to reach places and having to clean it all up. It is enough to make any cat owner lose their mind.
Prolonged exposure to cat urine can cost thousands of dollars in damage to the structure of your home and can create respiratory health problems for your family. The worst part is you start thinking about having to give up your cat. There are several effective cleaning methods both readymade products and homemade remedies that work especially well when combined. Different treatments are also used to attack urine stains on soft surfaces, hard surfaces and machine washable items. The good news is that you can handle most cat sprays on your own without spending a lot of money. The following steps will walk you through neutralizing, sanitizing and deodorizing cat urine stains that you can catch quickly.
However, instead of always cleaning cat pee, you may want to check out the amazing guide Cat Spraying No More that guarantees to stop your cat peeing outside the litter box.
How to neutralize cat urine – Finding and identifying the stain
Your priority is to find the stain, clean and then eliminate the smell. Since cats return to the area where they urinated, it is critical that you completely get rid of the cat pee. To do this you must first find every place that you cat has urinated. When a soiled area is already dry, it can be difficult to pinpoint its exact location. A better method for finding the stain is using a black light. (UV Flashlight Pets Urine Detector) Turn on the UV flashlight in a completely darkened room and then scan the floor, furniture and lower walls. You are looking for glowing fluorescent green patches. Check corners, chair and table legs and stacked books on lower shelves. Outline the stain with a chalk or a string so that you know where to clean when you flip on the lights.
Cats love to snuggle up in things that are soft and snuggly. Therefore, carpets, rugs, sofas and mattresses are easy targets for urine. If you are lucky enough to catch a wet spot on a surface before it dries, then you need to soak up as much liquid as possible. Grab a pair of rubber gloves, a roll of paper towels and a stack of newspapers. Place a thick layer of newspapers on the stain and then add a thick layer of paper towels. Terry cloth towels also work well since they are able to absorb more liquids and are easily washable using the methods we will talk about later. Blot the stain by applying pressure with your hands or feet. Once the rags are soaked, swap them out and repeat blotting until the towels are no longer absorbing urine. Do not scrub the stain back and forth with a towel or a brush. This will push particles deeper into the carpet fibers. While you will be tempted to toss those urine soaked papers straight into the garbage can, place some in the litter box to reinforce the scent where your cat should be doing business.
How to neutralize cat urine – Homemade methods
The thing with home remedies is that they may work well for one person but fail for another person. Therefore, it is important to try different things if the previous remedy did not work for you.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
Simply use a dry cloth and soak up as much urine as you can. You should make sure that you are blotting the urine with the cloth rather than wiping it, so that you do not spread it around and make it bigger than it is. Next step is to soak up the area in a mixture that is one-third white vinegar and two thirds cup of water with a little bit of soap or dishwasher detergent. Then use another piece of cloth and soak up the liquid spot by pressing down on it hard repeatedly until it is close to dry. Now add some baking soda on top of the area and clean it with a vacuum cleaner within 24 hours.
Peroxide works pretty well in breaking down the chemicals in cat urine that is responsible for stains and odors. One thing to keep in mind is that peroxide can damage the color of surfaces. Therefore, you need to be careful before you use this method. To use peroxide, all you have to do is, place little bit directly on the stain area and let it sit to dry. Once it is dry, pour warm water over the area and then dry it with a piece of cloth.
Listerine is usually added to the above recipes to increase the effectiveness in removing cat urine odors. The reason it works is that it is an alcohol, which is a common disinfectant. Just add a few drops to any one of the previous remedies – baking soda or peroxide and just apply it to the stain area or you can just mix it in warm water and apply it to the same area.
How to neutralize cat urine – Branded products
If you find that the home remedies are not working then you may want to try some commercial cleaners. Neutralize odors with an enzymatic cleaner. Store bought enzymatic cleaners are not chemicals or odor masking products like carpet fresheners and fabric sprays. These microbe solutions are non-toxic and biodegradable, which makes them safe for your home, your family and your pets. The biological enzymes attack the bacteria in the urine and break down the proteins to neutralize the overpowering ammonia smell. Using other chemicals on the stain before trying an enzymatic cleaner can interfere with the ability of natural cultures to do their job.
The functional ingredients in Nature’s Miracle Original Just for Cats Stain and Odor remover is a bio-enzymatic formula. This formula targets proteins and starches, which are the main components in organic stains. The formula immediately begins to remove stains and odors instead of just masking them.
Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator is a child and pet safe formula with a pleasant smell. A bio-enzymatic formula that not only eliminates pet stains but also discourages pets’ attraction to stained areas. It can safely be used on carpets, upholstery, rugs, pet bedding, automobiles and laundry.
Amazing Solutions Pet Stain and Odor Remover is another best selling product, which uses enzymes rather than traditional chemicals. Therefore, it is non-toxic, environment friendly and certified by The Carpet and Rug Institute. The manufacturer also offers a lifetime satisfaction guarantee on purchase of this product.
Many pet owners have had success with all the above products. These are strong formulas created specifically to get rid of the cat urine smell. When you are ready to apply the enzymatic cleaner, for best results, you must carefully follow the directions on the bottle. In general or if you are using a homemade cleaner, you will need to thoroughly saturate the area, so that it wicks down into deeper padding. You also want to cover a large area than the visible stain in case the urine spreads further out as it seeped down beneath the surface. Allow the cleaner to air dry. This may take a few days if you are cleaning a mattress or a couch cushion.
If you still have trouble, then it is recommended that you invest in a multi-purpose deep cleaning machine to suck out all the urine from your carpet. A carpet cleaner or a wet vacuum is handy for removing urine particles as well as sucking up excess cleaners and deodorizers that you have applied on the soiled area. The machine drenches the spot with clean cool water and then sucks up the loosened dirt. You should not use steam cleaners or very hot water as the heat will permanently set the stain.
The revolutionary BISSELL Spotbot Pet Handsfree Spot and Stain Cleaner is hands free and easy to use. No more manual chemicals needed. Just set the machine on the stain and enjoy the freedom to walk away while it does the work for you. The deep reach technology delivers solution further into the carpet where the deepest part of the stain resides. When the cleaning solution is released into the carpet and then suctioned back up, it removes those tough stains. Its automated computer controlled action does the work for you. It offers two customized cleaning cycles. The surface stain cycle is for use on fresh stains and the set-in cycle is for older tougher stains. It even lets you know when the cleaning is complete. It also features Microban antimicrobial product protection, which prevents the growth of odor causing bacteria, mold and mildew.
Neutralizing Cat Urine: Some more tips
How to neutralize cat urine – Cleaning wooden floors
When you see the pee, wipe the puddle and use absorbent cloth or tissue to get as much as you can of the substance off the floor. You may want to have a lot of old rags handy since you want to dry the wet spot as thoroughly as you can. Mix white vinegar with three parts water and wipe in on the affected area. Wipe it dry with fresh rags after. After vinegar, sprinkle a bit of baking soda on the area. Then use everyday cleaning liquid mixed with water and using an old toothbrush, brush the baking soda into the wood. This helps with the odor as well. You can vacuum it after you have left the baking soda to dry for a while.
How to neutralize cat urine – Cleaning hard surfaces
Although it is simpler to tidy up hard areas when the cat urine continues to be wet, the urine can do intensive damage to your hardwood or concrete floors, furniture, countertops, baseboards and walls. You should try to absorb as much urine as possible with a moist cloth using hot water.
The next step is to disinfect the area with your favorite all-purpose surface cleaner. Make sure it does not contain ammonia since this pungent gas smells like urine and will serve as an attractant to your cat. To completely disinfect the area, prepare a spray bottle with ten parts water and one part bleach. Saturate the area and allow the solution to soak in for one minute. Wipe it up with a damp warm cloth. Be careful about where you apply the solution since bleach can discolor or eat away at many materials. Also, be careful that you do not mix bleach with any ammonia-based products as this can create a toxic reaction.
How to neutralize cat urine – Cleaning linens
It is fairly easy to remove cat urine from machine washable linens ranging from clothing and backpacks to bedding and towels. You can also use this method for cleaning terry cloth towels so that you can reuse them. On the first washing, add an enzymatic cleaner to cold water. If there is still odor after the wash cycle, rewash the load with regular detergent, one box of baking soda and one-cup apple cider vinegar. Allow the linens to air dry so that you do not set the stain. Repeat this process until the smell is gone.
How to neutralize cat urine – Using deodorizers and aromas
To ensure complete elimination of the smell, treat the soiled area with a homemade deodorizer. While wearing a pair of rubber gloves, mix up a solution of one cup of baking soda with a half cup of hydrogen peroxide. Add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil such as lavender, lemongrass or eucalyptus. Sprinkle the mixture over your carpet or furniture and let it air dry. After several hours or the next day, vacuum it with your regular household appliance.