Cat Urine Stink – How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell?

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Cats are adorable till they ruin your expensive carpet or sofa with their cat pee smell. Cat pee is extremely pungent because their urine mark has extra communication chemicals.

If you have respiratory problems, leaving the cat urine unattended is a total no-no. It has a higher level of urea and if left unclean for a long time, bacteria can decompose the urine to create ammonia. This will worsen your condition.

Cats can ruin your day if you’re planning to host a party and come home to find your house stinking. Luckily, we have some tips and tricks that will help you get rid of that pungent cat pee smell from any surface using things found in your house.

General Guidelines for Cleaning Cat Pee Stink

  • As soon as you detect the smell, throw open the windows, and switch on the fan to get rid of as much stench as possible.
  • Blot the area with cold water and a paper towel.
  • Then use an enzymatic cleaner or diluted vinegar with water (equal parts of both). Allow the solution to sit for a few minutes then blot the area and let it dry. Repeat this step if the smell persists.
  • Pet odor eliminators can also be used to add a bit of freshness to the room.

How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell from Your Carpet?

  • Use paper towels or old rags to blot the pee area with cold water so that you can absorb the cat pee from the carpet. Remember not to scrub or wipe as that will rub the stain further into the carpet.
  • Then rinse the area with clean water and use a wet/dry vacuum to dry the surface.

Note: Don’t use a steam cleaner as the heat from it can make the stain more stubborn.

  • Apply enzyme cleaner on that area or make one yourself by combining vinegar and water in equal parts. Let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes. The acidic vinegar helps in neutralizing the bacteria in the urine. This helps in reducing the odor.

Note: Make sure that you follow this step properly because cats will pee in that same place again if you don’t remove the scent completely.

  • Now, blot the area with a clean cloth and cold water to soak up the enzyme-cleaner or vinegar solution.
  • Put baking soda on it and let it sit for an hour. Then use a vacuum cleaner for neutralizing the smell.
  • To keep your cat away from the spot during cleaning, you can place an aluminum foil or baking sheet over the area. Or put an upside-down laundry basket over it.
  • In the case of older stains, you may have to put the cleaner again. The longer the pee stays on the surface, the harder it is to remove it, so clean it as soon as you smell it.

How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell from Your Upholstery?

  • Blot the area with a cloth or paper towel.
  • You can use an enzymatic cleaner. Avoid using cleaners with ammonia because cat urine smells similar to ammonia. The cat will urinate on the same spot again if it smells of ammonia since cats are creatures of habit.
  • Use aluminum foil or place a laundry basket upside-down to cover the area while it dries so that the cat or any other family member won’t sit on that spot. It may even take days for deep stains to dry completely.
  • A home remedy can be putting baking soda on the sofa and moving your fingers in a circular motion for better absorption of the baking soda. Allow it to stay for 5 minutes. It will neutralize the smell.
  • Then combine distilled white vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio to create a solution. Pour it on the stain covered with baking soda. Again wait for five minutes before blotting it with a paper towel.
  • You can also use hydrogen peroxide to disintegrate some of the chemicals in the cat’s pee. After putting baking soda on the soiled area, allow it to remain for 5 minutes before proceeding to the next step.
  • Take half a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide and one teaspoon of dish detergent. Ensure that the detergent is effective in getting rid of grease. Put it on the soiled area to remove the odor-causing fatty acids. The peroxide’s fizz will lift out the stain-causing crystals.
  • In the case of leather furniture, test the enzyme-cleaner on leather before use. Some dyes can be water-soluble which can lead to color fading or coming off.
  • You can also mix white vinegar with equal parts of warm water. Then put it in a spray bottle and add a bit of a pet odor neutralizer. Spray it on the spot and blot.
  • Use a leather conditioner in the end because these methods can cause the leather to dry up.
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Note: Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda can’t match the effectiveness of enzymatic cleaners. These are temporary solutions till you get the time to buy an enzymatic cleaner.

  • Lastly, you can use Listerine as a deodorizer to mask the smell. This is a temporary tip that can neither clean nor remove the stain but only serves to add freshness to your house.

How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell from Linens and Clothing?

Cats can be troublesome especially when you have the habit of leaving your clothes lying on the floor or chair or sofa. Clothes kept in a laundry basket too can be mistaken as a litter box by cats.

I know it is tempting to take your soiled clothes and shove them all in the washing machine. But, it will only end up contaminating the rest of the laundry and worsen the situation. To get rid of the cat pee smell from your clothes and linens, follow these steps:

  • Remove as much urine as you can by rinsing it with cool water and then blotting the spot dry with a paper towel.
  • Then add 1/2 half cup of oxygen bleach to a sink or bucket full of water (avoid traditional chlorine bleach as it damages clothes). Soak the pee-stained clothes in the water for 1-4 hours.

Note: When bleach is mixed with ammonia in cat urine, it may release harmful gases. Thus, people with respiratory problems should avoid it. Moreover, you should only use bleach for cleaning if you are in a well-ventilated room.

  •  Another alternative method can be a two-part process which includes using a vinegar solution and then laundering. Add one cup of white vinegar to 3 cups of water to prepare a vinegar solution, then apply it to the clothes. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Coat the stained spot with baking soda to neutralize the odor. Wash the soiled cloth in a washing machine set on cold or lukewarm water.

Note: Avoid using laundry detergent and don’t use warm or hot water as this makes the stain more stubborn. The odor can become overpowering if warm water is used.

  • Lastly, air-dry the clothes. If you are air-drying indoors, it can take a day.
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Note: Avoid using a clothes dryer as heat from the device can cause the odor to set in further.

The second part includes traditional laundering.

  • Use an enzyme-based detergent to clean the soiled clothes in cool water. The enzymes break down organic material like cat urine. Check the label to find out if the detergent contains enzymes. Generally, you will find it in cold-water detergents.
  • Air-dry the clothes again. Check for any prevailing smell after the soiled clothes have dried completely. If the smell still lingers, you may have to follow the laundering process again to remove the pee stink completely from your clothes. This is needed mostly when the cat urine stain is old and left for too long without being cleaned.

How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell from Your Cushions?

  • Removing cat pee smell from cushions follows almost the same procedure as removing cat pee smell from linens and clothes.
  • Blot up the affected area with a paper towel.
  • Put an enzyme cleaner on the soiled spot slowly and carefully. Let it sit for 15 minutes. After that, you can squish out the extra enzyme cleaner.
  • Once again, blot the spot with towels. You can sprinkle some baking soda on the spot to get rid of the odor and then vacuum it after an hour or so.
  • Dry the cushion by keeping it outside. It may take a few days for it to dry. Keep a laundry basket over the cushion to prevent your cat from peeing again.

How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell from Wooden Floors?

Hardwood Floors

  • Apply Hydrogen Peroxide to the spot and then place a cloth soaked in Hydrogen Peroxide over it.
  • Cover the cloth with plastic wrap then let it sit undisturbed for the whole night or 8 hours at the very least.

(Hydrogen Peroxide removes the odor but it can lighten the floors. Hence, you will have to sand and refinish it.)

Sealed Wooden Floors

  • Sealed wooden floors can be cleaned by mopping them with a paper towel and a wooden floor cleaner that is created for pet odors and stains.
  • You can use a solution of Hydrogen Peroxide and water in a 1:2 ratio. You can also put undiluted white vinegar on the stain.

Unsealed Wooden Floors

  • Clean it up with cold water, then scrub the stain with vinegar. Then clean it with cold water again.
  • Blot the area with paper towels till it is dry. Enzymatic cleaners can damage the unsealed floor so test them out on a small spot before use.
  • If after all this the odor doesn’t go away, you will have to use a sander because the pee may have been absorbed into the wood.


Cat pee is sometimes absorbed into the subflooring and leaves a stench. Use an oil-based, stain-blocking primer on the subfloor beneath the carpeting to get rid of the odor.

Related: How to Clean Any Type of Floor—Floor Cleaning Tips

How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell from Stuffed Toys?

  • To remove cat pee stink from stuffed toys, combine 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar with laundry soap.
  • It is better to choose a laundry soap with a strong scent to prevent the cat from peeing on your prized stuffed toys again.
  • Sew up holes in the stuffed toy before putting it in the machine for thorough cleaning afterward.

Note: Before shoving it in the washing machine, check the tag to see if it is machine washable.”Surface clean only” is a clear sign you shouldn’t get the inside wet which means you have to do it manually.

How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell from Your Concrete Floor?

Rinse the spot with a cleaner that is devoid of ammonia. Wash away any residue left by the cleaning product. Repeat. Spray the spot by mixing one part bleach with 10 parts water. Clean the area with a damp cloth after thirty seconds.

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How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell from a Mattress?

Seeing your cat pee on the mattress can be the most exasperating sight if you’ve come home after a long day at the office. Fret not, removing the cat pee smell from your mattress is similar to removing it from cushions.

  • The first step is to soak the soiled spot in the water. Then blot the area with a towel to clean some of the cat urine.
  • Apply an enzyme cleaner on the soiled area to help break down the acid in the urine. It neutralizes bad bacteria in the cat’s urine.
  • Allow the enzyme cleaner to sit for at least 15 minutes before blotting it up. Cover the spot with layers of clean towels.
  • Allow the mattress to dry which may take a few days. Change the towels till the mattress finally dries. Place a large plastic sheet on the bed when you aren’t sleeping so that your cat doesn’t pee on the mattress while it’s still drying.
  • You may need to reapply the enzyme-cleaner several times on the mattress to completely remove the cat stink from it.

It is a good idea to buy a waterproof mattress cover if you have a cat that pees out of its litter box.

How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell from Ceramic Tiles and Linoleum?

  • Clean the ceramic tile or linoleum with a mop and any DIY cleaning solution that does not contain ammonia, bleach, or vinegar.
  • Rinse the area thoroughly and repeat the process if the smell persists.
  • If the room is well-ventilated then wash the area one final time with a solution that contains 1 part bleach with seven or eight parts of bleach. This is safe for ceramic tile, vinyl, and linoleum floors. But don’t use it on wood, marble, or any other porous floor surfaces.

How To Make a DIY Cat Pee Cleaning Solution?

  • To make this DIY solution, you have to mix 16 Oz of Hydrogen Peroxide with 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and 1 tablespoon of baking soda.
  • Apply it to the area soiled by cat pee. Allow the spot to dry. It leaves a white residue that can simply be vacuumed or brushed. It is useful in removing cat pee smell from carpets, cushions, and mattresses.

Points to Remember When Cleaning Cat Pee

  • Clean off cat pee as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it gets. Old cat pee stains are harder to remove than new ones.
  • Spot it with a blacklight. If you can smell the cat pee even after a thorough cleaning, then use a blacklight to spot whether the cat has urinated in any other place. When you use the blacklight in a dark room, the urine glows yellow or green which makes it easier to spot the soiled area.

Why is Your Cat Peeing Outside of Its Litter Box?

To prevent your cat from urinating in the house, you should address the reason for it doing so. The cat may be doing it because of medical reasons like bladder stones, UTI, Feline interstitial cystitis, or behavioral reasons like the move to a new house/stress/litter box is dirty/litter box is located in a ‘difficult to access’ place.

Find out the reason and then try to solve the problem. If the problem persists, consult a veterinarian.

Now, you have an ultimate guide to help you anytime your cat pees in a place it isn’t supposed to. Fret no more and host your parties without worrying about cat pee smell as this guide will help you remove the stink from any surface.

Written by Pulkit D

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