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Home > Cats > How to Get Cat Poop Stains & Smells Out of a Couch: 5 Steps

How to Get Cat Poop Stains & Smells Out of a Couch: 5 Steps

grey tabby laying on couch

Cats come with a great deal of responsibility. One of these responsibilities is cleaning up accidents that range from items knocked off shelves to unpleasant messes on your carpet or couch.

Where cat poop is concerned, it’s always best to take action quickly. Sometimes, it isn’t always possible to catch our cats in the act, though, and we’re left to handle a stubborn stain and a lingering smell. When the couch is involved, it can make a comfortable living room a place to avoid.

Fortunately, there’s still hope. There are ways to remove both the stain and the odor from your couch. This step-by-step guide will tell you how.


The 5 Steps to Remove Poop Stains & Smells Out of a Couch


You’ll need a few supplies to tackle this challenge. Some of these are interchangeable, and you won’t need all of them, depending on which of the following steps you decide to take. Read through the step-by-step guide first to figure out which items you’ll need.

You will need:
  • Kitchen paper
  • Vacuum
  • Enzyme cleaner
  • Hydrogen peroxide and Dawn dish detergent
  • Fabric deodorizer
  • Baking soda
Cleaning supplies stored in shelf
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

1. Remove the Poop

First off, removing the poop is your priority. The faster you can do this, the easier it’ll be to fight the stain and ward off any lingering smells. This isn’t always possible, though, especially if your cat has an accident when you’re at work.

Either way, remove the poop as soon as you notice it. Grab kitchen paper or a plastic bag — even a doggy poo bag will do the trick, if you have any — and clean up the main bulk of poop.

2. Clear Debris

Once you’ve got as much poop off the couch as you can, it’s time to grab the vacuum cleaner. Vacuuming your couch won’t help the stain, but it’ll make it easier for you to catch any small pieces of poop. If there are dried pieces or some fall between the cushions, you’ll find it easier to clean up with your vacuum doing the work. It’ll also help control any odors still coming from the remaining poop.

You can also wipe the area with a damp paper towel, especially if you have a leather couch or you found the mess early. You mustn’t rub too hard, though, as you might push any remaining poop deeper into the material. Use a light touch and don’t use too much water.

handheld vacuum
Image by: sebra, Shutterstock

3. Break Down Stains

Once you’ve removed the remaining debris, you can start working on the stain. This is where the enzyme cleaner or the hydrogen peroxide and Dawn dish soap solution comes in.

Enzyme Cleaner

Safe for the environment, around your pets, and for most surfaces, enzyme cleaners are a good way to clean stains and odors. They use bacteria and enzymes to digest organic matter, like your cat’s poop. You can get enzyme cleaners specifically made for pet-created stains too.

Our favorite enzyme cleaner is the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray because it permanently removes even the very worst pet stains and smells you can imagine (and makes clean-up a breeze). They even offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee! Click here to order a bottle and freshen up your home today.

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  • ADVANCED ENZYMATIC CLEANER - Penetrates the most stubborn smells and stains at the deepest molecular...
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Hydrogen Peroxide & Dawn Dish Soap

A solution of 3/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide and 1 tablespoon of Dawn dish soap is an alternative to enzyme cleaners, especially if you don’t have one available. Gently rub the solution into the stain. It’ll help remove the stain from the material and control the lingering odor too.

4. Deodorize

Unfortunately, removing the stain doesn’t always remove the smell. This is where fabric deodorizer or baking soda comes in handy.

You can buy fabric deodorizers in a range of scents that may or may not please your cat. In general, felines aren’t fond of citrusy smells like lemon or orange. This can be a good and a bad thing. Your cat will be unlikely to poop on the couch again, but they also won’t want to curl up with you for a nap.

Remember to do your research here, though. Not all chemical deodorizers are safe to use around pets, and you need to make sure the one that you pick won’t pose a health risk to your cat.

A safe alternative is baking soda, it doesn’t contain any essential oils that can be toxic to your cat, and it’s a great way to remove odors. You can use it while the couch is still damp from using the enzyme cleaner.

Baking Soda & Vinegar Solution
Image by: FotoHelin, Shutterstock

5. Cover the Couch

Accidents happen and it’s not your cat’s fault, especially if they’re sick. Either way, you can protect your couch from future messes by using an old sheet or couch cover. You’ll be able to protect the couch while you’re away and toss the sheet in the wash if you need to.


Things to Consider

Knowing how to clean stains and get rid of odors is always useful, but it won’t help if this is a reoccurring event. If your cat keeps pooping on the couch, you should try to figure out why to prevent future events.


Cats show their displeasure in different ways. Sometimes this involves pooping or urinating in your shoes or your favorite spot, like the couch or your bed. There are a few reasons that your cat might want to show their disappointment.

Overcrowded Litter Tray

Litter trays fill up quickly, especially in multi-cat households. If your cat is pooping where they shouldn’t, make sure their litter tray isn’t full. Cats can be incredibly fussy when it comes to their toilet, and too many other cats using their litter tray or too much poop there already can put them off using it. Eventually, they’ll have no choice but to go somewhere, and your couch is a good a place as any.

Check the litter tray regularly and keep it clean. It’s also a good idea to have several litter trays for your cats. One for each of your feline family members and one extra are ideal.

multiple kittens in a litter box
Image by: Albina-Tiplyashina, Shutterstock

Uninvited Guests

Cats don’t like sharing their turf. New arrivals like a kitten or a puppy can irk them enough to poop where they shouldn’t. Human visitors can also invoke their ire, especially if they don’t like the guests you’ve invited over.

While you can’t force your cat to be friendly toward people they don’t like, you can soften the feeling of betrayal a little. This is particularly true in the case of a new four-legged family member.

Introduce the new kitten or puppy slowly, and be sure to show your cat the same level of affection as always — and maybe throw in a few extra treats. Showing your cat that you still love them will help them adjust to their new family members and learn that they’re not being replaced or forgotten.

Health Issues

Sometimes an accident is just an accident. Health issues can range from stomach upsets like diarrhea to age-related conditions. Sudden diarrhea can mean your cat will struggle to make it to the litter tray.

Aging, arthritis, or other joint issues can also make it harder for your cat to get up to go to the toilet. They’ll be less likely to want to jump around as often, which makes clambering onto their favorite spot on the couch a laborious challenge. Consider getting steps to help your cat reach their favorite places.

Your veterinarian will be able to help you narrow down the cause of your cat’s sudden tendency to poop where they shouldn’t. If your feline is using the toilet everywhere but in the clean litter tray, consider getting your vet to check them over.

tired sick cat
Image by: natata, Shutterstock



Cats are notorious for their cleanliness. They’ll prefer to use the litter tray over your furniture, but there are occasions when they want to make a point or just don’t make it to the litter tray in time. In these cases, it’s a good idea to know how to remove stains and unpleasant smells.

The best way to counteract stains and lingering odors from cat poop is to act as quickly as possible. Clean up the mess, remove any debris, and use enzyme cleaners or a solution of hydrogen peroxide and Dawn to clean any stains. With odor control like baking soda, your couch will be back to smelling fresh in no time at all.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

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