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Home > Cats > How to Get Cat Urine Smell & Stains Out of Carpets? Expert Tips & Tricks

How to Get Cat Urine Smell & Stains Out of Carpets? Expert Tips & Tricks

cat pee on the carpet

Cat pee has one of those smells that is unmistakable—if you have cat pee in your home, you know it. Thankfully, most of our feline friends stick to peeing in their litter boxes. However, sometimes an accident can happen.

Cat pee in the carpet is the worst because it seeps in and can take a great deal of effort to remove. To help, we look at different methods to properly clean cat urine from your carpet and remove the unpleasant odors that go along with it. Let’s get started.


Before You Begin Removing Cat Urine Smell & Stains

Cleaning supplies stored in shelf
Photo Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

You may be tempted to break out the carpet steam cleaner for this job, but cleaning up cat urine is not a job for a steam cleaner. The heat and steam from these machines will bond the protein in cat pee to the carpet fibers. Instead, keep the following supplies on hand in the event of a cat pee emergency.

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Dishcloths
  • Dish soap
  • Enzymatic cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Water
  • Carpet shampooer

Steam Cleaner vs Shampooer: Which Is Better?

Unlike the steam cleaner, the carpet shampooer uses cold water and soap to clean the carpet and then suck out the excess, dirty liquid. It’s scrubbing the fibers clean instead of using steam. Carpet shampooers are acceptable if you wish to use them on cat urine spots. If not or if you don’t have access to one, there are still plenty of ways to remove the pee from your carpet using other household items.

3 Methods for How to Remove Urine Smells & Stains

1. Enzymatic Cleaner Method

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An enzymatic cleaner means the product contains enzymes to break down and destroy stains and odors from urine. These cleaners usually come in a spray bottle for easy application. This may be the easiest method to use for cat pee on the carpet.

First, blot as much of the stain as you can with paper towels. Then, spray the enzymatic cleaner onto the stain, covering it completely. You’ll have to follow the directions on the bottle, but most cleaners need to sit for 10–15 minutes to reach their maximum effectiveness.

Then, use a clean cloth to blot up the cleaner. Change to a dry cloth when necessary, and repeat the blotting until the stain is dry.

You may have to repeat these steps if you still notice a stain or odor after the area is thoroughly dry.

2. Vinegar & Baking Soda

Baking Soda & Vinegar Solution
Photo Credit: FotoHelin, Shutterstock

Start by mixing 1.5 cups of warm water with ½ cup white vinegar. You can leave this solution in a bowl or add it to a spray bottle.

Blot as much of the pee up from the carpet as you can by using a clean cloth.

Saturate the stain with the vinegar mixture by pouring or spraying it on. Let it sit for 5 minutes. The vinegar will neutralize the odors and kill bacteria. Your carpet may smell like vinegar afterward, but that fades away much quicker than cat pee odor.

Blot up the vinegar mixture and cover the area with baking soda. Let it sit overnight to absorb the rest of the cat’s urine odor.

Vacuum the baking soda up in the morning, and your carpet will be stain-free.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide, Dish Soap, and Baking Soda

Cleaning spray
Photo Credit: Polina Tankilevitch, Pexels

Blot up as much of the urine from the carpet as you can with a clean cloth.

Cover the stain with baking soda. While that’s sitting, mix ¾ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide and 1 teaspoon of dish detergent. Make sure the dish soap does not contain bleach.

Pour the solution over the baking soda, and use a cloth to gently push it into the carpet. Don’t scrub! Scrubbing can push the urine out into a larger area, creating a bigger stain. Blot up any excess liquid, and let the solution sit overnight to dry. In the morning, vacuum up any remaining baking soda.


Repeat Cleaning

If you notice that the odor still isn’t gone, repeat the cleaning process or try a different one. You want to make sure no trace of the pee odor is lingering. This could be a sign to your cat that it’s okay to pee there again.

If all else fails, use a carpet shampooer. You can rent one if you don’t own one. Most carpet shampoos have options for pet odor removal that are made with ingredients to fight urine stains. Remember not to use a steam cleaner!

When to Be Concerned

Cats don’t like to pee outside of their litter box, but they will sometimes for various reasons. One of these reasons is an underlying health problem. If you notice that your cat is peeing repeatedly outside of the box, have them seen by a veterinarian.

Your cat could be trying to alert you to a urinary tract or bladder infection. Crystals in the urine could also be the cause of this behavior.

If you notice blood in their urine, take your cat to the vet immediately.

Other symptoms, such as straining to urinate or hissing, growling, or crying while they pee, are signs that something is wrong.


For Dried Cat Pee Stains

Cleaning Carpet
Photo Credit: Syda Productions, Shutterstock

Sometimes we don’t notice soiled areas on the carpet right away. For dried stains, it’s best to use an enzymatic cleaner and baking soda.

Spray the stain with the cleaner and blot up any excess liquid. While the stain is damp, thoroughly cover it with baking soda. Allow it to sit overnight. Vacuum up the baking soda the next day.

Keep the Litter Box Clean

Cats pee outside of their litter boxes when the insides are too dirty for their liking. If your cat pees outside the box, check to see if it is clean. You may want to empty the litter, wash the box, and refill it with fresh litter to see if that stops the issue.

If the litter box is clean, consult your vet for an exam to rule out health issues.

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Cat pee on the carpet can be frustrating. No one wants to deal with that stinky mess. It is possible to get rid of the stains and odors, though. By following these methods, you can get back to having an odor-free home in no time.

If these methods don’t work completely the first time, it may take a few tries before all the odors are eliminated. Once you get rid of them completely, your cat will be less likely to pee there again.

If your cat is still peeing outside of the litter box, have them checked by a veterinarian. Sometimes, behavior or health issues are to blame for this behavior. Eliminate any medical issues right away.

Featured Image Credit: Pixel Shot, Shutterstock

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