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Gray and black striped tabby cat laying on sofa looking at camera

5 Easy Steps to Get Cat Pee Out of Your Couch

Cats are all about their territory. As pet parents, we love to give them their space. But when your cat decides to use your couch as a bathroom, they’ve crossed the line!

I’ve had plenty of experience with cats’ indoor peeing, including a cat who used to mark on my stovetop! Here, I’ll share what I’ve learned about cat’s indoor peeing from my years of talks with veterinary experts and conferences about cat behavior.

Most importantly, I’ll share with you the exact method I use to remove cat pee and its pungent smell. Your couch will be pee-free in no time!

Why Does Cat Pee Smell So Bad?

When cat pee degrades, the bacteria it contains emits mercaptans, which cause the skunky, ammonia-like odor cat pee is known for.

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Pinterest sized image of gray and black tabby cat looking at the camera while on the couch.

It may smell even worse than dog pee since cats’ kidneys have the ability to concentrate their urine, much more so than dogs.

Not to fear! There are effective ways to combat the stink.

Why is My Cat Peeing On the Couch?

It’s important to understand why your cat is peeing on your couch. Even with the best cleaning products and processes, if your cat is in the habit of peeing on your sofa, you may be forever cleaning pee if you don’t understand why your cat is peeing there.

Let’s talk about seven possible (and common) reasons why cats pee outside of the litter box and on your couch.

Reason #1: Stress or Anxiety

Feline anxiety is quite common and not always recognizable. For a full list of signs of cat anxiety, read this post. If your cat is stressed out, peeing on your couch may be one way they’re letting you know.

Cat looking scared hiding under blanket

Reason #2: Medical Issues

Kidney disease, a urinary tract infection, or a bladder infection may be causing your cat to feel a lot of urgency. Your couch may simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time!

It’s important to visit your veterinarian to rule out any medical issues that might be causing your cat to pee inappropriately.

Reason #3: They’re Pissed off at Their Litter Box

Cats are very particular about their litter box preferences. If it’s in the wrong place, if it’s the wrong size, if it’s not cleaned regularly, or if they have to share it with other cats, they may make you aware of their displeasure by avoiding the litter box altogether.

An orange cat is avoiding litter box.

If you’re unsure if litter box avoidance is at the root of your cat’s peeing on the couch, be sure to review this article on the right way to provide your cat with a litter box they’ll actually use.

Reason #4: Marking (or Spraying) Territory

Especially if your cat smells other animals on the sofa, they may be marking their territory to claim it as their own. Marking (or spraying) and peeing are very different issues, so be sure to read this article to understand the difference.

Even if they don’t smell other animals, they make want to make your sofa their own. Cats are territorial and sometimes they claim objects as their own by marking them with urine.

Reason #5: Habit

Unfortunately, even if you clean up the mess thoroughly, your cat may return to the scene of the crime out of habit.

If they peed on the couch when they were a kitten or if they developed the habit before you caught on to them, they may continue to pee in the same spot.

Kitten being held while looking at its owner.

One trick you can use is to put their food dish right next to, or over where they are habitually peeing. Most cats won’t urinate where they eat, so with repeated feeding sessions on the pee spot, you can train your cat that the couch is not an appropriate place to pee.

Once you’ve identified and solved the reasons behind your cat’s peeing on the couch, you can confidently clean up the mess and the smell for good.

But how do you remove that noxious cat pee odor from your couch? It’s simpler than you might think!

What Cleaning Product Gets Cat Pee Smell Out?

In my quest for the right cleaning product to remove cat pee and its smell, I must have tried dozens of products.

Angry Orange is a popular one, but I found the smell to be too strong and even worried about how it would affect my pets.

My Pet Peed is becoming very popular on social media, but from what I understand, it’s made from commercial-grade hydrogen peroxide, so there’s a strong risk of discoloring your sofa if you use this product.

There are many other enzyme products, but in each I found issues, like the spray top would either arrive broken or stop working after a few uses. Other brands kept changing their formula.

Homemade remedies, like vinegar, do indeed get the smell out but they can discolor fabrics.

Eventually, and mostly out of frustration, I decided to create my own enzyme cleaner. My life’s work has been to help pet parents solve problems and strengthen the human-animal bond. So it seemed like a natural next step to help pet parents solve a pervasive issue like indoor peeing.

My article on urine marking in dogs is what started it all. Look at all the comments from frustrated pet parents!

So, Kinderbean® No-Stress Mess Eraser was born! I don’t want to turn this into a sales pitch, but there are reasons why it works so well and I want to share those with you because I truly believe getting the right cleaning product and using it correctly are at the heart of getting your cat to stop peeing on your couch.

Bottle of Kinderbean No Stress Mess Eraser

If you’re not interested in learning more about how the product works, feel free to scroll to the next part about how to get the cat pee smell out!

Here are a few reasons why I’m so proud of my No-Stress Mess Eraser.

  1. It was created with pet parents in mind. As a pet parent myself, I needed to make sure it worked and worked simply, safely, and effectively for all pet messes.
  2. It’s a limited-ingredient product. It contains just four ingredients: purified water, plant-derived cleansers (from coconut and palm oil), enzyme blend, sodium citrate/citric acid, and a blend of grapefruit and tea tree essential oils.
  3. It comes with two methods of application – a sturdy spray top and a squirt top for saturation.
  4. The scent is mild and not noxious to pets.

Regardless of which enzyme cleaner you use, the method you use to clean up the accident is important.

How to Get Cat Pee Out of Your Couch

Step 1: Blot the Mess

First, soak up as much of the mess on your couch as you can, using a clean, dry, white towel.

Step 2: Get a Bio-Enzymatic Cleaner

Next, get out your bio-enzymatic cleaner, which works by “eating” the bacteria that causes stink and stain.

As I mentioned, No-Stress Mess Eraser is a strong but gentle enzymatic cleaner that’s designed specifically for pet messes.

Always spot test to make sure the cleaner won’t affect the color of your fabric. No-Stress Mess Eraser is designed not to affect your fabric color, but some fabrics that are not color fast may be negatively affected.

kinderbean how to use

Step 3: Saturate the Stain

This can trip up many pet parents. The “spray and wipe away” approach doesn’t work with pet messes. Since it’s a biological mess, you need your enzymatic cleaner to fully soak the mess so that it can “eat” the bacteria.

You can use the bottom of the cleaning bottle to gently massage the cleaner into your sofa.

For cat pee on your couch, you’ll want to fully saturate the area, and even just beyond it. The squirt top on No-Stress Mess Eraser works best for that.

Step 4: Cover and Let it Sit

It might be tempting to scrub away until it’s dry. But remember, the enzyme cleaner must have sustained contact with the urine in order for it to eat the bacteria.

Instead, after you saturate the area, cover the spot with a dry, clean, white rag or towel and then put something heavy on top of it to weight it down.

Wait 12-18 hours and then simply remove the cloth. At this point, the urine is nothing more than water since all the bacteria has been “eaten.”

Step 5: Repeat

For tough stains, you may need to repeat this process even several times, especially if your cat has been peeing on the same spot on your couch for a long time.

How to Get Cat Pee Smell Out of A Leather Couch

While leather sofas are not as porous or absorbent as cloth ones, they can still retain odor.

Cat on leather soft looking at camera.

You can use the same process described above for fabric couches, with one exception. Instead of the squirt top, you’ll want to use the spray top to saturate the area.

Always spot test to make sure the cleaner won’t remove color from the surface of your sofa.

The Final Woof

If your cat is peeing on your couch, it’s important to get to the bottom of the matter. There may be behavioral or medical reasons why your cat is peeing outside of the litter box.

Next, make sure to clean up the mess properly and repeatedly, if necessary. A bio-enzymatic cleaner is the best way to clean up pet messes.

When your cat pees in the litter box, and not inside your home, you can better strengthen the bond you have with your cat, ensuring the both of you are living your best lives together!

Kristen Levine is a nationally acclaimed pet expert, influencer, and Fear Free Certified® Professional with over 30 years of experience working with pets.

Through this blog and her book, Pampered Pets on a Budget, Kristen has helped millions of pet parents solve problems and provide the best care for their dogs and cats.

Working alongside hundreds of pet professionals, including veterinarians, behaviorists and trainers inspired Kristen to become a pet parenting “guide”, providing readers with reliable information about health, wellness and lifestyle for dogs and cats and the people who love them.

A dogged advocate for pet adoption and rescue, Kristen has featured over 1,000 adoptable dogs and cats from the SPCA on live television and radio appearances to get them adopted. Her blog, has been featured in over 100 media outlets – including the New York Times, USA Today, FOX & Friends, Good Morning America, Women's Day, Reader's Digest, Good Housekeeping, Pop Sugar and more.

To stay up to date on the latest health and lifestyle trends for pets, Kristen regularly attends the top veterinary and pet product conferences, where she’s often a featured speaker.

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