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Home > Cats > How to Find Hidden Cat Pee & Get Rid of the Smell: Step-By-Step Guide

How to Find Hidden Cat Pee & Get Rid of the Smell: Step-By-Step Guide

Cat peed in shoes

As cat owners, we know the horrific smell that cat pee omits. Cat urine has a strong ammonia smell that’s quite pungent, and if you can’t seem to locate the scene of the crime, the smell can quickly take over your home.

Cat pee contains bacterium, which is what gives off the ammonia smell. As time goes on, the second stage of decomposition occurs, and the mercaptans in the cat urine will start to smell like a skunk’s spray.

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll go over the best ways to find hidden cat pee and how to get rid of the smell once you’ve found it.


Before You Start

The first step is going to be finding your cat’s urine. If the urine is dry, it’s harder to find. We feel that the best way to find cat urine is by using UV black lights. These flashlights illuminate pet stains so that you can get going on removing the stain and the smell.

When searching for a UV blacklight, look for one with a wavelength of 365 to 385 nanometers. Anything stronger than that will not detect cat urine.

If you aren’t able to purchase a UV blacklight, you may have to rely on your nose to find the spot (or spots). Search for any areas you think your cat may be going, such as a corner of the bedroom or the side of the bed you sleep on. You’ll want to check your furniture and laundry baskets, too. Nooks and crannies within your home are usually favorite spots for those felines not wanting their owners to find their accidents.

Step-By-Step Guide to Getting Rid of the Smell

Now that you’ve found the cat urine, it’s time to get rid of the stain and smell, pronto. As a rule of thumb, the sooner, the better, so let’s get down to business.

1. Blot the Area

floor cleaning with spray cleaner and sponge
Image By: Lucy Lulu, Shutterstock

Once you’ve found the stain and smell, try blotting up as much urine as possible with a clean cloth. Just an FYI, this step only applies to fresh stains.

2. Rinse the Stain

Pour clean water over the stain to saturate the area. Next, use a wet and dry vacuum to vacuum up the liquid. It’s imperative not to use a steam cleaner here because heat will set the stain, rendering it in the spot permanently.

3. Use an Enzymatic Cleaner

Hepper advance bio-enzyme pet stain and odor eliminator

Enzymatic cleaners, such as Hepper Advanced Bio Enzyme Pet Stain and Odor Eliminator Spray, will break down the stain and lift it from the surface, along with the odor. Enzymes contain beneficial bacteria that eat the molecules found in cat urine, eliminating the stain and smell for good.

These cleaners are also good for deterring your cat from soiling the same area repeatedly. Also, if you have hard floors, make sure the product is safe to use on your surface.


Other Methods To Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell

 While enzymatic cleaners are the best options for getting rid of cat stains and smells, you may not have any on hand. If you want to get a head start on the stain, you can try these DIY methods.

Sprinkle Baking Soda

baking soda
Image By: NatureFriend, Pixabay

Baking soda does an excellent job of absorbing odors, including cat urine. Simply sprinkle baking soda on the area and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Then, vacuum the area.

You may need to repeat this until the smell is eliminated. You may also want to leave the baking soda on the stain overnight. If you leave it for an extended period of time, you can lay aluminum foil over the area to keep your cat away from the area until you’ve vacuumed.


Vinegar can neutralize cat urine smells due to its acidity: mix 1 part vinegar and 1 part water into a spray bottle. Saturate the stain completely, let it sit for a few minutes, and blot the solution with a clean rag or cloth. Repeat if necessary.

Do Not Use Bleach

As tempting as it sounds, bleach is the worst product you can use on cat pee because bleach contains ammonia, which is in cat pee. If you mix these two together, it could give off a toxic gas; plus, it adds to the horrible smell.

Determine the Cause

cat pee on the carpet
Image By: Pixel Shot, Shutterstock

As we’ve mentioned, if your cat is peeing outside of the litter box, it’s important to find the root of the cause. A trip to the vet may be warranted to rule out medical issues, such as a urinary tract infection or hyperthyroidism.

If there are no medical issues, it could be behavioral. Common behavioral issues are marking their territory, a dirty litter box, not being fond of the litter box itself, or not having enough litter boxes in the home. As a general rule, you should have an extra litter box for each cat. For example, if you have two cats, you need three litter boxes.

Always keep a clean litter box for your kitty. If the litter box is not clean, your cat will more than likely not use it. Scooping the litter box once daily is an excellent way to keep on top of the cleanliness of the litter box.



If your cat is peeing outside the litter box, it’s vital to determine the cause. Usually, the reasons for this unwanted activity are behavioral or medical issues. Having your veterinarian examine your cat first will rule out medical reasons as to why your cat is peeing elsewhere.

All of these steps should work on any surface, but when using any enzymatic product, make sure it’s safe for the surface you’ll be using it on.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our step-by-step guide for finding hidden cat pee and getting rid of the smell, and it helps you eliminate hidden cat pee and smells for good.

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Featured Image Credit: AJSTUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY, Shutterstock

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