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Ewwww… You can smell it from practically miles away when the accidents happen… Cat pee! Whether kitty just sometimes misses the litter box, has a UTI that has her temporarily avoiding the litter, or a number of other health or behavioral reasons… sometimes cats develop a displeasure for the litter box and pee everywhere else, leaving a big mess.
Did you know that cat pee can be incredibly difficult to get rid of completely? Even if you can’t smell it anymore, your cat might be able to and she might be drawn by that scent to pee in the same place again. Here are the best ways to clean cat pee when it lands outside the litter box:
Blot Don’t Rub
First, blot – don’t rub – the excess cat pee that’s puddled on the floor. Use a paper towel or a regular towel to blot up the excess urine. Avoiding rubbing the spot because you don’t want to actually rub the urine into the carpet and get it in deeper. Just blot lightly until the excess is up. If you’re really sensitive to the smell, where a mask over your nose. Cat urine can smell really strong so you don’t want to gag while you’re cleaning it!
You might not realize this, but ammonia actually mimics the scent of cat pee. So using a cleaner with ammonia can leave behind a scent that confuses your cat. If she thinks the ammonia is cat pee, she’ll want to spray that same spot again right after you cleaned it!
Make Your Own Cleaner at Home
Want to get a little crafty at cleaning cat urine? One home remedy is to mix 3 parts warm water for every 1 part vinegar and soaking for about three minutes. You can sprinkle baking soda over the spot after you’ve cleaned off the water/vinegar mixture. A slightly more complicated recipe involves mixing 1 teaspoon of liquid dish washing detergent with ¾ cup hydrogen peroxide and sprinkling over the baking soda.
Use an Enzyme Cleaner
Homemade cat cleaners won’t always work 100 percent on cat pee. If you’re not getting the best results or if kitty seems to be coming back to the same spot, it’s time to try something different. The number one tip for cleaning cat pee is to use a cleaner with enzymes, also called an enzymatic cleaner. The label or ingredients will point out if the cleaner has enzymes in it. Enzymes break down the uric acid in pee and neutralize it. Uric acid is the hardest part of cat urine to clean! Regular cleaners may just temporarily cover up the smell or get rid of other parts of the urine without really affecting the uric acid.
With an enzyme cleaner, you shouldn’t just spray a little on top of the pee. Instead, really soak the urine with the enzyme cleaner, let it sit for 15 minutes, blot up the excess liquid, and then let it air dry.
Use a Wet Vac
You can buy a home wet vac to make cleaning cat urine easier. Most wet vacs look a lot like a regular vacuum cleaner and can be purchased online. Just make sure you buy special pet cleaner that has enzymes to go with the wet vac. This can be the fastest and most efficient way to get rid of cat urine. Wet vacs spray water and cleaner onto the spot and then use a suction to pull the dirty water into a tank.
Use a Black Light
You might not always get every spot of pee or you might miss an entire area where kitty’s been peeing. But lucky for you, cat urine glows under a black light! Just buy a black light, turn off all the lights so the room is super dark, and you’ll find any spots that you missed when you shine the black light on the floor and the base of the walls. Don’t forget counters or tables where your cat may jump.
Cat pee can be hard to get rid of, but definitely not impossible. If even the best enzyme cleaner doesn’t seem to remove the smell completely or if kitty keeps returning to the same spot, try the process several times. Sometimes the first time isn’t quite enough to get rid of all the cat pee, especially in a carpeted area. And remember, no matter what type of cleaner you decide to use, test it on a small spot of carpet or floor first, just to make sure it’s safe and won’t remove any color.