How To Clean Cat Urine - Step By Step Instructions | Toileting Problem

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Cat World > Toileting Problems > How to Clean Cat Urine Odour

How To Clean Cat Urine - Step By Step Instructions

Table of contents

Choosing a urine odour remover   Locating cat urine   Why does cat urine smell so bad?   Homemade cat urine remover recipes   Removing cat urine from carpets   Removing cat urine from upholstery   What not to clean cat urine with   Preventing cat urine/spraying recurring  

Why does cat urine smell so bad?

Cats originated as desert dwelling animals and don't consume as much water as other mammals, this results in the cat's urine being more concentrated and the more concentrated, the stronger the urine will smell.

Along with that, the urine of entire (un-neutered) male cats contains hormones which make the urine smell much stronger than that of females or neutered males. These hormones serve a purpose, they enable the tom to mark his territory, attracting females and deterring any possible competing males.

As cat urine dries, bacteria break it down forming ammonia substances making the odour even more unpleasant. To avoid this, cat urine should be cleaned as quickly as possible before it begins to break down.

Choosing a pet urine odour remover:

urine removerWhen looking for a product to remove cat urine and odours, the enzymatic cleaners are the best. They break down compounds in the cat odour, which is what attracts your cat to keep returning to the same spot. Most pet stores sell these products.

Cat urine odours can also be removed cheaply and effectively with common household items such as white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and hydrogen peroxide.


Locating cat urine:

black lightThe simplest method is to locate cat urine stains, which can be done with the use of a black fluorescent light.  Stains appear on furniture, walls, or carpet as a yellow splatter or spot.  Black lights can be purchased cheaply from pet stores or eBay.



Homemade urine removers:

White vinegar odour remover:

  • 100ml white vinegar

  • 200ml warm water

Place ingredients in a plastic spray bottle and shake well.

Remove as much urine/spray as you can using paper towels. Mist the vinegar solution over areas of cat urine and rub with a paper towel.  An alternative method is to mix the solution in a bucket and dip a clean cloth into the liquid.  Rub the stain with the vinegar solution.  After the vinegar dries, wipe away both solution and stain with warm water.

Hydrogen peroxide odour remover:

  • 5.5oz (220ml) hydrogen peroxide

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

  • 1 squirt liquid hand soap

Place ingredients in a plastic container and mix well with a plastic or wooden spoon. Apply the solution to cat urine stain, then rinse well with warm water.


Many cat owners and breeders use in Australia with great success is Bio-Zet, which is an enzymatic clothes laundry detergent. If you have washable cushions or the cat has urinated on your clothes this is a product you may want to try also.

Removing urine from carpets:

  • Remove as much of the urine as possible by blotting the stain or wet area with paper towels.  Don't rub the area as you will push the urine further into the carpet. If the stain has already dried, moisten with warm water before beginning the stain removal process.

  • Lay additional paper towels over the stain and gently press to absorb as much of the moisture as possible. Repeat several times until you have removed most of the urine.

  • Apply any stain and odour removal product.

  • For best results, choose a bacterial/enzyme cleaner that will remove all parts of the urine stain as well as the odour. 

  • Rinse with warm water, and dry. 

Removing urine from upholstery:

  • Blot stain with a paper towel and sponge with cold water. 

  • Blot away any excess moisture and clean the area with a solution made with two cups warm water and one tablespoon vinegar. 

  • Apply a stain and odour remover that is a bacterial/enzyme cleaner.

What not to clean urine with:

Ammonia based products should be avoided at all costs. Cat urine contains ammonia, and cleaning urine with an ammonia product will just encourage your cat to return to the area.

Preventing cat urine/spraying reoccurring:

If cat odour urine is a frequent problem, cat owners should take steps to prevent future recurrences.  First, have the cat checked by a veterinarian who can identify any medical reason for urinating outside the litter tray or spraying.  If medical causes are ruled out, there are several things that can minimise and prevent urine incidents. 

  • If possible, place litter boxes where the cat has been urinating. 

  • Cats are sometimes stressed by outside events.  If it seems that the cat is spraying in response to outside stimuli such as other cats or animals, block the view.  Another option is to confine the cat to a clean area with a fresh litter box, water, and food.  This should teach the cat that he or she is not to urinate on carpets or furniture.  Praise the cat when urination takes place in the litter box.

  • If cats use potted plants as a litter box, place a few pine cones or orange peel on top of the soil.  Cats should avoid the plant if these scents are in place. You can also purchase cat deterrent sprays from your local pet shop which may be of use preventing your cat re-offending.

  • Make sure you have the right sized litter tray. A tiny tray for a large cat is not going to work.

  • Clean the litter tray(s) daily. The rule of thumb is one tray per cat, plus one spare. No cat wants to go to the toilet in a dirty litter tray and they will find an alternate spot to go to the toilet.

  • Cats are extremely clean animals and don't like using dirty litter trays. You should have one tray per cat, plus one spare. So if you have three cats, you should have four trays. They should be scooped out at least once a day (I scoop twice a day, morning and night), and completely emptied and disinfected at least once a week.

  • Desex your cat. Entire cats are more likely to spray than altered ones.



How To Clean Cat Urine - Step By Step Instructions | Toileting Problem
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How To Clean Cat Urine - Step By Step Instructions | Toileting Problem