Getting rid of cat urine smell involves eliminating the odor-causing bacteria and mercaptans by properly using an enzyme cleaner. First, soak up as much liquid as possible. Then, saturate the spot with an enzyme cleaner, allowing the good enzymes to eat the bacteria causing the cat pee odor. Next, place a clean cloth over the area and let it sit for up to 24 hours. Repeat if necessary on tough or pre-existing stains.
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Few things are as frustrating for cat parents as when your feline friend decides to pee outside the litter box. Not only does it create a lot of extra work, but that lingering cat urine smell can be really hard to get rid of.
Even worse is the fact that our cats can smell the faintest trace of cat urine (even if we don’t notice it), and it will actually draw them back to the same place to pee again.
The good news is that you can get rid of even dried urine stains and odors. The key is to clean up those messes properly.
Why Does Cat Pee Smell So Bad?
Cat pee is notorious for an ammonic, almost skunky smell that permeates everything. This is part of the biological decomposition process. As the bacteria begins to break down, it emits mercaptans, which are compounds that cause the pungent odor.
How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell on Wood Floors
Getting rid of the smell on your floor can be especially tricky if it’s wood because you don’t want to use a harsh cleaner that will damage the finish, but you need something that will penetrate a little bit to remove the cat urine odor—especially if you find a urine stain that’s been sitting for a while.
Ideally, you’d catch the accident early and wipe the cat urine up before it has time to set in. Then follow up with an enzyme cleaner specifically formulated for removing pet stains and odors. Enzyme cleaners are so great because they use enzymes and good bacteria to break pet messes down into plain old water and carbon dioxide.
Kinderbean No Stress Mess Eraser is an enzyme cleaner that uses only five natural ingredients to safely and completely break down any remaining cat urine. This not only eliminates any lingering cat pee smell but also prevents your kitty from returning to the scene of the crime.
First, using your Kinderbean No-Stress Mess Eraser, cover the area where the accident occurred. Let it sit for a few minutes to work its magic, then blot with a rag and let it air-dry. For sealed surfaces, leave it for up to 15 minutes but only five for non-sealed ones. This makes sure it has enough time to get into all the nooks and crannies—but not so long that your hardwood floor soaks it up!
One word of caution: If you’re using another brand of enzymatic cleaner, please read the directions carefully. Most cleaners are formulated for sealed wood floors. If your floors are untreated, you risk staining or damaging them further with many cleaning products. In some cases, it may be necessary to sand and refinish them.
How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell on Tile
If there’s cat urine on a single nonporous tile, your job is easy. Just wipe it up with your favorite all-purpose cleaner. If it has seeped into the grout, though, that’s another story!
Even sealed grout will probably need to be cleaned with an enzymatic cleaner. Remember, just because you don’t notice any cat urine odor doesn’t mean your feline can’t still smell it.
This product works for tile as well as wood floors. When choosing an enzyme cleaner for tile, make sure it won’t damage or stain non-sealed surfaces.
How to Get Cat Pee Smell Out of Carpet
If your cat pees outside of their litter box and on your carpet, the first thing you’ll want to do is soak up as much of the urine as possible. Use a clean cloth and blot until you’ve absorbed most of the cat urine. Make sure you put some pressure on the cloth, especially if your carpet is thick and plush. You might even want to step on the cloth to give it a little extra push.
Next, rinse the area with clean water and blot with a new cloth or use a wet/dry vacuum to suck up the water. Avoid using anything that heats up (like a steam cleaner), since this could set the stain.
The next step is to use an enzymatic cleaner like Kinderbean No Stress Mess Eraser. First, pour a generous amount on the area you need to clean and gently rub it into the stain. You can use the bottom of the bottle to agitate the carpet and get the product absorbed. Then cover it with a clean, damp cloth for several hours or overnight. Finally, remove the cloth and let it air-dry.
How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell in Cushions and Mattresses
Probably the last place you want your cat to have an accident is on your couch or pee on your bed. If it happens, though, don’t toss your mattress! Cleaning furniture is a similar process to cleaning carpets. It just takes a little longer to dry since cat urine penetrates so much deeper.
Start by blotting up as much of the urine as possible and cleaning the soiled area with water. Follow up with a good enzymatic cleaner from the Kinderbean brand. Pour on a good amount, let it sit for 10–15 minutes to allow the enzymes to work, and then blot the excess with a clean towel.
Cushions and mattresses will dry much more slowly than carpets. If the weather is nice, leave your cushions outside to dry. If you bring them inside before they’ve dried completely, cover them with a sheet of tin foil to discourage your kitty from jumping up and revisiting the area. You probably don’t want to drag your mattress outside, but you can lay down a towel to absorb any lingering moisture before you remake your bed. Then change the towel daily until the mattress is completely dry.
You may need to repeat this process a few times to completely remove the cat urine smell.
How to Get Cat Pee Smell Out of Clothes
You’re getting ready to do your laundry when you notice that all-too familiar smell on one of your favorite shirts. Yep, that’s cat urine!
First things first, don’t just throw the soiled clothes with your other clothes. Blot up as much pee as possible until it’s quite dry. Afterward, spray your enzymatic cleaner liberally onto the affected area and let it sit for 15 minutes or longer before washing. This’ll make it easier for you or your washing machine to do its job.
After pretreatment, wash the clothes as you normally would. You may want to repeat this process for a particularly strong urine odor.
Does Cat Urine Odor Ever Go Away?
As long as the urine is cleaned properly with an enzyme cleaner, the smell will go away. Pet parents frequently ask this question, and I’ve seen so many articles incorrectly state the odor will never go away. Will it take some effort? Absolutely! And likely with repeated treatments.
But it’s important to understand how that the smell and stain can be treated because this directly affects our relationship with our cats. If we’re frustrated at the smell of cat urine in our house, it will make it more difficult to maintain a close bond with our cat. So don’t give up! You can get rid of the smell.
What if your feline friend is frequently peeing outside their cat litter boxes even after you’ve cleaned up the mess properly?
How to Prevent Your Cat from Having an Accident in the House
A while back, my cat Olivia developed the unpleasant habit of going outside her litter box—usually on my brand-new bath mats. In her case, I was able to resolve the problem with a good enzymatic laundry pretreatment and a few tweaks to her litter box.
Usually, if your cat goes outside their litter box, she is trying to tell you something. A trip to the vet can rule out any medical issues, like kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, or other possible diseases common to older cats, that could contribute to accidents.
Once your cat has a clean bill of health, you’ll want to make sure that her litter box meets her needs. Dr. Liz Bales gives us some good litter box tips in this post. Otherwise, all the cleaning in the world probably won’t keep her from peeing where you don’t want her to.
If you think your cat could use a little extra convincing, my favorite cat litter, World’s Best Cat Litter, makes a litter especially for picky cats. It contains a safe plant-based ingredient that naturally attracts cats to the litter box. How great is that?
Obviously, prevention is the best solution to a pesky cat pee problem, but even if your cat still has the occasional accident, the right cleaning routine will prevent it from becoming a habit.