There’s no denying cats can be cute, elegant, and absolutely adorable. There’s also no denying that all it takes is one whiff of a cat urine or the unsightly sight of your feline friend marking their territory on your couch to send all those good thoughts straight into the litter box.
On the one hand, you love your cat, and understand even the best of us, kitties included, make mistakes from time to time.
On the other hand, you’re now stuck with the ugly odious evidence of that “mistake,” and need to get rid of that cat pee ASAP – and this guide can help you do just that.
1 – “Aye, There’s the Rub”: Blot, Don’t Scrub
Your first instinct might be to rub it out, but this is actually one of the fastest ways to make the problem even worse. Rubbing or scrubbing a cat pee stain will simply push the staining molecules deeper into the stained fabric, and may even cause smearing. Worse still, doing this can actually spread the odor.
Instead, you want to blot the stain. Press a paper towel or rag on the spot and dab and blot the spot so that it soaks into the fabric. Remember, you don’t want to press too hard and spread the stain, so a little goes a long way here.
2 – Cover and Dry
Now that you have dabbed the area and soaked it up some, you’ll want to keep it covered. Not only do you not want potential guests to see it, but you don’t want your cat to either.
Cats pee on furniture in part because they think of it as marking their territory. They know that the litter box is where they’re “supposed” to go to the bathroom, so going somewhere else either means a bladder control issue or they are marking their territory.
As long as it isn’t the former issue, you need to make sure that you focus on the second, and that means stopping your cat from “returning to the scene of the crime,” as it were.
The more your cat does this, the more likely it will continue to pee there, even if you soak up the initial stain. As a result, you want to make sure you keep the area covered and deodorized so your cat doesn’t feel the temptation to come back to what it now sees (and smells) as “their territory.”
Leaving fabric over the stain can also help continue to absorb the stain, thus helping your furniture dry quicker.
3 – Baking Soda and Vinegar
If you have ever tried to get a stain out in a DIY fashion, there’s a fair chance you have tried to do so with vinegar. It is by far one of the most common DIY stain remover options, and easily one of the most affordable. Thankfully, it’s one of the most effective, and can be used to get out cat pee stains.
Different stains call for different mixtures of the two, but in this case, you want about a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water on the stained area. Allow this mixture to sit for 10 minutes, lightly dabbing or absorbing the area in question once it’s had time to sit with a paper towel or rag to remove excess moisture.
Once you have done that, you’ll want to add a liberal amount of baking soda.
Let the baking soda sit on top of the water-white vinegar solution for between three to five hours. This should be enough time to break down and remove the stain (and the vinegar scent). If not, you may need to try a second course of treatment or a stronger cleaner.
4 – Baking Soda, Dish Detergent, and Peroxide
Consider this Baking Soda Part Deux. It’s a handy little ingredient for cleaning stains, and this is yet another way of making it work for removing cat urine stains.
It is worth noting that hydrogen peroxide is a step up in terms of intensity from the white vinegar used in the last method. On the one hand, this may prove helpful, but as always, you should test it first to make sure that it isn’t too strong for the material in question.
As with every other method, you’ll want to soak up the urine as best as possible by dabbing and blotting. Once you have done this, put a pinch of baking soda over the stain, and allow it to sit for a few minutes while you mix half a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 1 tsp of detergent.
Pour this mixture onto a fresh towel, and begin the dabbing and blotting process anew. The detergent should attack the odiferous uric acids in your cat’s urine, while the peroxide should vaporize the stains.
5 – Beware of Ammonia
While baking soda may be a wonderful material when it comes to removing stains, ammonia could be a bad move. A cat may think that its odor is too close to urine.
At best, this will make the cat think that the area is ripe for “marking” again, and at worst, it’ll think someone else has “marked” there and get competitive and territorial, potentially marking again and being far more aggressive in doing so this time.
6 – Getting Out the Cat Urine Smell
Even if you’ve removed the cat urine stain itself, despite your best efforts the smelly evidence may well remain. If so, you’ll need to take additional steps to get the cat pee odor out once and for all.
For starters, you may want to try enzymatic cleaners. These are often used to break down cat stains and remove the stains when water-based methods aren’t quite cutting it.
That pungent cat pee odor we all know and loathe is due to uric acid, and enzymatic cleaners specialize in breaking this down so as to better eliminate it once and for all.
Simply soak the stained area with an enzymatic cleaner and let the solution sit for at least 10 to 15 minutes. That being said these cleaners can lighten dyes or leather, so you want to be careful with how you use it.
Test it on a bit of material first to make sure it is safe for the furniture in question before using it to get out the cat pee smell.
In addition, the baking soda and peroxide method mentioned above can also help remove cat urine odors from fabrics.
If you want a more long-term solution, you might consider a vacuum with wet extraction capabilities. These vacuums can soak the stains and then suck the moisture and particulates of the stain and the accompanying odor right back into the unit.
This can be a highly effective way of getting rid of large stains, or several stains at once, which may happen if you have several cats getting in on the act.
On the other hand, you’ll want to avoid steam cleaners. These can actually press the particles deeper into the fiber, making it hard to finally extract them and remove the stain and odor.
All of these tips can help you eliminate cat urine stains along with any odiferous traces they ever existed, restoring your couch and décor without troubling your feline friend.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard.