Anyone who shares their home with a cat has probably had their kitty urinate outside of the litter box at one time or another. Regardless of the reason, whether it’s medical or behavioral, it’s vitally important to clean up any mess – as quickly and as thoroughly as possible to eliminate odors and prevent future accidents. Here are some tips to clean up cat urine from the various surfaces in your home:
If the stain is still wet, blot up as much as possible with paper towels. Stand on the towels to help absorb as much as possible. Then use a carpet cleaner or enzymatic cleaner to neutralize the odor. Enzymatic cleaners release cultures that literally eat the urine, leaving things sanitary and smell free once dry. Simply follow the directions for the specific cleaner you purchase, but remember to blot, rather than rub or scrub, to preserve the texture of your carpet. Avoid using a steam cleaner on urine stains, as the hot steam can actually cause odors to set into the fibers of your carpet! We use and highly recommend Unique Pet Odor + Stain Eliminator.
If the stain has already dried, use a black light to identify soiled areas. Cat urine will glow green under black light, so just turn out your lights and move the black light around the floor, walls and your furniture until you’ve located all the spots that need cleaning.
If the odor remains despite all the cleaning, you may need to replace the pad underneath your carpet and clean the floor under the pad.
Cat urine can leave challenging ugly black stains on hardwood floors. It’s imperative to clean it up immediately! But, if your cat urinated on the wood floor and you didn’t catch it, there are a few things you can try before sanding and refinishing the floor as a last option:
• Make a paste out of baking soda and white vinegar and apply it to the stain. Leave the paste until it’s completely dry and then wipe it up.
• Soak a cloth or paper towel in 3% hydrogen peroxide and lay it over the stain. Leave it for several hours, or even overnight. You’ll notice an increase in odor as the hydrogen peroxide pulls the urine from the wood. Repeat if necessary then clean the area as you normally would. The dark stain should lighten slightly and the odor should decrease.
• Try a product like Dr. Elsey’s Urine Removal Program.
The drawback to these home remedies is that they could damage your wood floor’s finish. But, they’re worth a shot first if you’re planning on refinishing your floors to get rid of the stains and odors.
If your cat urinates on your laundry or bedding, simply machine wash the laundry with a cup of white vinegar and no detergent. After the cycle finishes, wash again as you normally would with detergent.
Cat urine on the sofa will make it unbearable to sit on. Simply cleaning the cushion’s surface won’t do the trick, either. First, blot as much urine as possible if the stain is fresh. If possible, remove the cushion cover and wash it with white vinegar. Then, sprinkle baking soda on the cushion to soak up any remaining urine and neutralize the odor. Let it sit for 3 hours and then vacuum it off. Fill a spray bottle with equal parts white vinegar and water and thoroughly soak the stain. Allow it to dry completely. Put your clean cushion cover back on and enjoy your fresh smelling sofa!
A Final Word:
If your kitty is urinating outside of his box often, you should have him or her seen by a veterinarian to rule out a medical reason, like a urinary tract infection or kidney problems. Additionally, see this guide that goes into further detail about the many reasons cats may choose not to use the litter box.