How to Successfully Combat Cat Urine

Cats can and do add pleasure to our lives. But oftentimes when they share our lives on a daily basis, they can grow ill. When a cat is sick, or stressed, the target organ for that stress is generally the bladder. That is when litter pan accidents result as cats find alternative places to urinate or defecate.

If you are lucky, your cat will choose a smooth slick surface, like the bathtub, shower, or sink to relieve herself. Cat urine in these places is a snap to clean up, because of the non-porous surface. A quick spray with a regular household cleaner and a soak in hot water, and you are good to go. Your cat should go too, not outside because you are angry with her, but to the veterinarian's office because it is quite likely your cat is suffering from a Urinary Tract Infection.

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You need to rule that out FIRST before you move on to any behavioral issues that might be the reason why your cat missed the litter pan.

There are hundreds of websites and places on the Internet that explore why your cat peed out of the box. This article will not concentrate on that aspect of the issue, but rather on how to rid your home of the cat urine stain.

So let's look at the most common location for litter pan accidents... your carpet.

A cat sitting inside his litter box, How to Successfully Combat Cat Urine

Be Combat Ready! Arm your Cat Pee Preparation Box!

Forewarned is forearmed, what you need in your arsenal are the following items:

A black light - A black light with a fluorescent tube, not an incandescent tube is what you need. The black light will (when turned on in complete darkness) make cat pee glow bright yellow for new stains, and light yellow or even green for old stains.

Rubber gloves - Cat urine is caustic. You want to be wearing rubber gloves anytime you are removing cat urine.

Sponges - if you have cat pee on your floor or carpet, you have a cat that is either ill and can’t help herself from peeing wherever she may be, or she is stressed about something going on.

If you see your cat peeing on your rug or carpet, don’t shout at her and rush over to move to the litter pan. Simply grab an absorbent sponge and slide it under her, so most of the cat pee catches in the sponge.

Cat pee is very caustic and it travels quickly. If you can catch it before that happens, you are ahead of the game. That is why sponges come in handy in the battle of the cat pee.

Cloth diapers - these are the best as far as absorbent cloths go. Have a stack in your Combat Cat Pee Box.

Neutralizers - You need one of the following neutralizers: Anti-Icky Poo, Nature’s Miracle, Zero-Odor, or Urine-Off! These are all molecular-based neutralizers that break-down the enzymes in the urine, dissolving them completely and eradicating the smell. These are all products that I have used, and I know from experience that they work.

Feliway Spray - this is the finisher for cat urine odor. After the neutralizer has had a chance to work, Feliway Spray is applied to the area.

Target Areas to Clean

When it comes to tile floors, getting rid of cat urine is simple. Soak up the urine with an absorbent diaper, and then rinse with hot water and household cleaner. After that has dried, apply a neutralizer to the area to remove any lingering odor.

For carpets, cat urine is much more difficult to remove. Not only do you have to worry about the carpet fiber, but also the carpet backing and the padding which can quickly become saturated with cat pee resulting in bacteria, corrosion and mold.

First, blot up as much of the cat urine as you possibly can with the cloth diapers.

Next, apply the neutralizer. Make sure that you allow the solution to soak through. Give it about 5 minutes to sit on the stain, and then taking another cloth diaper blot the area gently. Continue blotting (not rubbing) the area until it is completely dry. You may have to repeat this process more than once.

Finally, spray the area with Feliway Spray and then cover the area with a thin sheet or blanket, weighted down for at least six hours.

If the cat urine is near the wall or baseboard, you would be wise to scrub both of these down. Cat pee can really travel. If you are removing cat pee off your floors and rugs, chances are your cat is ill and needs a vet. If the cat's urine is on the walls 2’ up and higher, your cat is spraying and marking his/her territory. If that cat is intact sexually, then the cat needs to be neutered or spayed. Yes, females can also spray cat urine.

Throw rugs and area rugs - Your best bet for these is to take them outside and clean them. Then let them air-dry at least 24 hours if not longer. If the rugs are backed in rubber, you may as well either, after they are cleaned and neutralized, store them in the garage or throw them away. Rubber-backed rugs invite cat pee.

Hardwood floors - Urine-Off will work on hardwood floors to pull the stain and odor out. It generally takes two treatments to do so. Once the stain has been dissolved and the floor has dried, then you have to see if sanding and re-varnishing the floor is going to be in order.

Soft items - clothes, your bed, beanbag chairs. If your cat is peeing on your clothes, more than likely she is stressed. This peeing on your scent is a way that she calms down. The two scents mixed together will soothe her. Most owners become quite irate when their cat is peeing on clean clothes or their beds. Reacting negatively to this situation will only increase the frequency of it occurring.

Focus on the Solution to Each Cat Urine Problem

If the item can be washed, then throw it in the washing machine. Use a laundry detergent made to wash diapers. Air-dry the item instead of putting it in the dryer.

If the item is a bed or a chair, this gets a bit trickier. You need to blot up the urine as quickly as possible. Never rub urine it will just make it harder to remove. Then use a neutralizer and cover the area. Take a large heavy blanket and place it over the area, but leave breathing room underneath. Use books to make an opening under the blanket so the air can get through. Keep the cats out of the room for at least 8 hours while this is working, then uncover and spray Feliway Spray in the pee area.

Anytime you are working on a cat urine stain, be sure your cat stays out of the room. If you don’t isolate her from the area, the first time your back is turned, she might go over to the scene of the crime, and pee on the spot for you. Isn’t that special? But that is what could happen.

Do not use ammonia, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, FeBreeze, or lemon juice to remove cat urine. Ammonia and vinegar will encourage your cat to continue to pee on the spot, and the other products will cover up the smell for Your satisfaction, but not for your cat’s incredible olfactory unit. If she even gets a hint of urine scent, she will return every three days to refresh it.

If your cat persists in peeing in the same spot, and you have taken her to the vet to be sure she is not ill, invest in a computer mat and flip it upside down on the spot she is using as her bathroom. She will not like the feel of the rubber prongs against her pads and will stop using the spot.

Written by Mary Anne Miller

Mary Anne Miller is a freelance writer and member of the Cat Writers' Association. She is a web copywriter, and passionate about feral cats/kittens and bottle babies. You can read more by Mary Anne on her Feral Cat Behavior Blog.

Comments? Leave them using the comment section below. Questions? Please use the cat forums for those!

2 comments on “How to Successfully Combat Cat Urine

SandraLesniak July 19, 2022
These many articles are confusing… use vinegar.. don’t use vinegar, hot water? Cold water? Use lemon juice, don’t use lemon use, scrub the area, don’t scrub? I have read many articles, bought multiple products! Cat is not I’ll! Still trying to figure out how to get the smell out of hardwood floor! Help!!!
segelkatt November 30, 2013
I have used Stink Free successfully to get rid of cat urine stink on carpet. Just soak the area and leave it until it dries which may take several days. Cover the area with towels etc so you won't step on the wet carpet yourself. I had light colored carpet and the urine had left a stain. I removed the stain with peroxide straight from the bottle and never let the cat back into that area. Maybe she could smell it still but I certainly could not and the black light did not show any urine either.  Stink Free also worked on tile, including the grout. My cat has NOT gone back to the spot on the tile.

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