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How to Get Cat Pee Smell Out of a Couch (3 Quick & Easy Methods)

Nicole Cosgrove

April 30, 2021

Cats typically come pre-programmed with the natural ability to litter train themselves. However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be accidents.  And if your pet cat loves to hang around the living room area, it just might pee on your couch.

And yes, we know. That sounds absolutely ghastly.

If your cat has ever peed outside of its litter box, it will soon be very evident to everyone around. Cat pee is noxious and will quickly stink up your whole house. And that’s not the worst thing about it either!

Cats usually urinate in the same spot where they can smell their previous pee. So, if you don’t get rid of the pee smell from the forbidden spot completely, your cat will pee on your couch again. And this can perpetuate a cycle that may lead to you needing a new sofa.

Fortunately, there are some tactics you can use to remove the stench and prevent the behavior from happening again.

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Why Cats Pee on Your Couch

Instead of just cleaning up the urine, it’s important to tackle the root of the problem and understand the reason why your cat is not using its litter box.

Normally, if a cat is urinating in places they’re not supposed to, there’s a genuine underlying cause. They aren’t just being mean or sassy. Here are some of the primary offending issues:

  • Medical Problems: The biggest concern you’ll run across is if your cat’s behavior is caused by medical problems. UTIs and other issues can be chief reasons why your cat is eliminating outside of the litter box. Their behavior is just them trying to tell you that something is wrong. If your cat starts having frequent accidents, it’s probably time to get them to the vet to have them examined.
  • Dirty Litter Box: It could just be that your cat’s litter box needs cleaning. Cats like to keep themselves clean. If they notice that their litter box is already full of clumps and looks dirty, they will try to pee somewhere else. Also, while it may not look dirty, the litter itself may need changing. Make sure to clean out your cat’s litter box very regularly to avoid this from happening.
  • Litter Box Too Small: When your cat was still a small kitten, you may have gotten them a smaller litter box perfect for their size. However, as time goes by, your cat will outgrow a kitten-sized litter box. If you notice your cat refuses to go inside its box to pee or poop, it could just be because it doesn’t fit inside anymore.
cat lying on the couch
Image Credit: Pixabay

3 Easy Methods to Clean Cat Urine Out of Your Sofa

When it comes to getting cat stains and odor out of your couch, you’re going to need to employ more than soap and water. Thankfully, there are some natural, safe cleaning solutions you can utilize to get the job done.

1) Vinegar

Even though vinegar can be just as smelly, it works wonders when getting rid of different kinds of foul odors. This is because vinegar kills the bacteria that cause the bad smell in the first place. It also contains acid that can neutralize the alkaline salts from the cat’s urine.

To use:
  1. Create a mixture of one part vinegar and one part water.
  2. Pour your solution into a spray bottle.
  3. Spray the spot where your cat urinated.
  4. Leave it to dry.
  5. Repeat the process until you cannot smell the cat pee any longer.

2) Baking Soda

baking soda
Image Credit: NatureFriend, Pixabay

You can also use baking soda to get rid of cat urine smell. This is very easy to find as you might already have it inside your pantry.

To use:
  1. Pour a generous amount of baking soda on the area where your cat peed.
  2. Leave it for at least 30 minutes.
  3. It’s best to do this while your couch is outside, under the sun.
  4. Use a vacuum to remove the baking soda from the couch.
  5. Repeat the process until you get rid of all the urine smell.

Important note when using baking soda: Baking soda can be dangerous to your cat if inhaled. Make sure that your cat is nowhere near the couch during the cleaning process. Ensure there are no remnants of baking soda left on the couch after you are finished.


3) Enzyme-Based Cleaners

Shop Care Super Enzyme Pet Urine & Odor Destroyer

These are among the most commonly used to eliminate odors and pet stains from mattresses, carpets, linens, and couches. Enzyme-based cleaners are effective in breaking down the acid in the urine which helps get rid of the foul smell.

Several products contain enzyme cleaning solutions made specifically for pet urine. And you’ll definitely be able to find them in any of your local pet shops. Shop Care Super Enzyme Pet Urine & Odor Destroyer is a great example of this.

  • These products usually come in spray bottles.
  • Follow the instructions that come with the product for the best results.

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Cleaning Products to Avoid

Not every household cleaner is ideal to clean up cat pee. In fact, there are a couple of products you should avoid at all costs.

Ammonia

Ammonia is what causes the stinky smell from your cat’s urine. And it’s because of this reason you should avoid cleaning products that have ammonia in them. Your cat might mistake the ammonia cleaning solution for its own pee and think it’s their designated spot to urinate.

Bleach

Although bleach is a common cleaning product, it might not be the best one to use for this situation. Bleach is a very strong solution that can ruin the color of your couch. Not only that, inhaling the smell of bleach can be dangerous for you and your cat.

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What Happens if you Leave Cat Pee on your Couch?

While leaving cat pee on your couch doesn’t sound like a great idea, sometimes the situation may be out of your control. For instance, if you had to leave your cat at home for an extended period, you may arrive home to a sofa full of pee.

But are there any real issues with it staying on your couch other than smell?

Cat urine is filled with nasty bacteria. As the bacteria decomposes, it releases a stench that is very similar to ammonia. When your cat pees on your couch, the bacteria will attach itself onto the fabric. This not only makes it more stinky, but it also makes it harder to clean. Plus, this can lead to future illnesses from festering bacteria.

Once your cat pee dries, it might not leave any stain, making it difficult to know which spot to clean. And when your cat smells its own pee on your couch, it may perceive that location as its pee spot. It will keep peeing on your couch until you get rid of the smell completely.

This is why it’s so important to clean up the cat pee out of the couch as quickly as possible. This, coupled with ensuring that your cat’s intended bathroom area is clean and usable, will hopefully make an accident on the couch a very rare occurrence.


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.


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