The 6 Best Ways to Clean Cat Pee


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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!

Avoid Ammonia

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.



  • 417els

    My big guy, Cecil, began not using the litter box. Always peeing (and pooping) in the same places/area of my hand tied oriental rug. He’s always been very fastidious. Noticed he was drinking a lot of water. To the vet. He has diabetes. Is now on special prescription food and 2 tiny shots of insulin after he eats. 1/4 cup every 12 hours (no more grazing for him or my 2 other kitties). He was also having problems jumping up on the bed. Well, he has neuropathy in his hind legs/feet. Vet said it will go away, but might be a couple of months.

    Yesterday he tried for the first time to use litter box again, but couldn’t manage it. He jumps in & out of boxes…? I’d never actually paid attention, but now see that all of my kitties balance on the edge of the litter boxes with all 4 feet – for just a NANO second. That is his problem…the BLINK OF AN EYE push-off with his hind feet. He cannot do it right now.

    Wasn’tkox about to put chemicals on my rug (even the good ones I’ve used in past years on regular carpeting). Baking soda seemed as though it would end up gooey and hard to get out. In the past, I discovered regular table salt will remove feline urine odor…favorite automatic pencil – buried it in a little box, submerged in salt. A few days later, it was odor-free….the rubber parts, eraser and all.

    SO. Blotted up the urine on my rug. Then poured, coated it, with salt. Voila! Odor was gone (or at least to human noses). I spoke with the people who wash our rug. They say the salt won’t hurt a thing. Salt absorbed the liquid, dried to a thin crust.

    I think when I scoop the crust off, there may well be something up close to sniff, but nothing like it would have been. May try the Dreft as suggested in the article and wet-vac it up as I go, with a hardware store small one that fits on a five gallon bucket.

    After he regains more strength in his back legs. Then cart it away to the professional oriental rug washers. He is such a sweet guy, and he truly tries to please. I love him to bits. No scolding. This is just one of those inconveniences in life that I am willing to endure. When he’s back to normal re strength/coordination in his back quarters he will be able to use his litter box again. Bless him, he tried yesterday.

    SO. Salt is another item in the kitty pee tool kit. A round generic 1 pound box is 43 cents 🙂