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How To Clean Cat Urine

  • Post category:How-To / Recommended
  • Post last modified:April 21, 2020
  • Reading time:10 mins read
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If you’re a cat owner, you have probably smelled that awful ammonia-like cat urine smell coming from a certain area in your home.  There are definitely a few reasons why your cat may decide to urinate outside of the litter box such as health-related issues, litter box quality issues, and general cat spraying

And if you don’t clean up the area where your cat relieved itself, they will probably continue to pee in the same spot over and over again.

Getting rid of that awful cat pee smell doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Using a combination of things that you may have around your home at this very moment can be the key to getting rid of the smell of cat urine.

You can usually get by with just using baking soda and white vinegar. There also some inexpensive commercial alternatives as well.

Locate the Area Where Your Cat Is Peeing At

The first thing you need to do is figure out where your cat is peeing at. Most of the time, this is pretty obvious. You may smell the ammonia odor stronger in certain areas of your home. 

Common areas that cats will urinate in include carpet, bedding, clothing, and furniture. 

If your cat is an unneutered male, they may also be spraying on the walls. If the urine is quite fresh, it may be easier to find the spot because it will probably look wet. Do you see a wet spot on your carpet that you can’t explain? 

If the urine spot has dried up already, it may be more difficult to find. A great way to find a dried up cat urine spot is to purchase a UV blacklight flashlight. 

I have one of these and it works wonders. Beware though. What you may find as a result of shining this unique light may disgust you, but it’s a great tool to use for finding dried up feline urine stains. 

When using a UV flashlight, the problem area will illuminate greatly. Trust me, you won’t miss a urine spot with these lights. They are that good.

Use a Paper Towel To Blot Up a Wet Soaked Urine Spot

The first thing you will want to do once you have found a wet cat urine spot is to soak up as much of the pee as possible using a paper towel or an old rag. Make sure you don’t rub the stain. This will make matters worse. Simply blot it. That’s it.

If you use an old rag or towel, make sure you throw it away after you are done. Since the smell of cat urine tends to linger, there is really no advantage in washing the towel or rag so you can keep it. Just throw it away.

Sprinkle Baking Soda on the Urine Stain

After you have soaked up what you can with a paper towel, the next thing to do is to sprinkle some baking soda on the stain. You will definitely want to use quite a bit of it too. Baking soda not only helps to lift the stain, but it is also a great deodorizer as well.

And don’t worry, baking soda is not going to harm your beloved feline companion at all. It is completely safe, I promise. 

Let the baking soda sit on the area for around 15 to 20 minutes. After the allotted time, pour a little bit of white vinegar on top of the baking soda. You will usually hear a sizzling sound when you do this, but it is completely normal. 

After you pour on the white vinegar, you can now scrub the area thoroughly. I would recommend using a hand brush for cleaning. You can usually find these at your local dollar store or Walmart.

Do Not Use Ammonia-Based Detergents

One thing to NOT do is use any ammonia-based cleaners. Since cat urine itself smells like ammonia, using a cleaner that has ammonia in it will not help matters. Your cat may think its just urine and continue to pee in that area regardless. Not to mention, ammonia itself can be harmful to your feline friend. 

how to clean cat urine

Removing Cat Urine From Clothing or Bedding

A great way to remove the cat urine smell from your clothing or bedding is by using apple cider vinegar. Simply put your clothing or bedding in the washer, and instead of using regular detergent, use the cider vinegar instead. White cleaning vinegar will do the trick as well. 

You may have to use this method a couple of times for it to get the smell completely out your fabrics. You may even want to try a pre-soak solution of this first before going through the actual wash cycle. 

A Word About Commercial Cleaners

Some commercial cleaners that are designed to clean cat urine odor work very well and do the job just fine when used correctly. However, there are many cleaners that do not work well at all. 

You may have to try a variety of cleaners to determine what will work better for you. They can be quite expensive, though. A homemade baking soda and vinegar wash may work better, will definitely be cheaper, and is much better for the environment than most commercial cleaners. 

Either way, test out a small inconspicuous spot first to see if any discoloring occurs. As always, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

How To Prevent Urination Outside of the Litterbox

There are some ways that you can prevent your feline companion from doing their duties outside of the litterbox. One way is to always make sure they have clean litter available. 

I clean my litterboxes twice a day to make it more welcoming to my cats. This has helped tremendously. 

Another rule of thumb is to have more than one litterbox. If you have one cat, have at least two litterboxes in your home. You can find a large variety of litter boxes online. I recommend buying one with high sides to prevent litter from scattering everywhere.

If you have more than one cat, I’d recommend having several litterboxes scattered throughout your home. 

Put them in areas that are easily accessible to your feline companion. In other words, make it super easy for them to use the litter box.

Another way to prevent “accidents” is to make sure that your cat is neutered or spayed. Both males and females will spray their urine for mating reasons, whether it’s to mark their territory or to let other cats know they are ready for mating.

If you have an intact male in your home plus a hidden urine smell somewhere, this is most likely the issue. Simply getting him neutered will solve the problem.

What If My Cat Is Still Urinating Outside of the Litterbox?

If your cat is still peeing outside of the litter box, they may be trying to tell you that something is wrong with them. Don’t disregard this as a cat that’s just being stubborn or “getting you back for something”. Take them into the vet for a check-up and discuss your concerns with your veterinarian.