Knowing how to remove cat urine from your home can appear impossible. This section covers permanent removal of cat urine odor and stains using homemade or commercial solutions.
Why is your cat peeing on your furniture?
I realise that you have arrived here to find some Feline Friendly ways for removing cat urine. But before I get into the actual cleaning process there are a couple of important points I need to highlight so you can prevent it from being an ongoing problem
There are some fantastic cat urine cleaning products that are available, as you will see below. However, none of them will provide a permanent solution if you don’t find out why your cat is peeing. Even if you are an expert and know how to remove cat urine, nothing will change without attending to the cause of the behavior.
Finally, there are only two ways to prevent a cat from spraying or peeing outside the litter tray.
One is to clean thoroughly (which will reduce spraying by 50% on its own) and then changing the environment (or medicating the cat) so the cat can cope without marking your home.
The other still involves cleaning, but you may have to change the cat. Some just don’t want to live in some homes! And if changing cats is not a preferred option, the next section will give you a few of the questions that need to be answered…
Important questions to ask yourself while you clean…
Listen to my secrets for removing cat pee in this podcast. Starts at 9m.35s
- Are you keeping the litter tray clean enough and have you put it somewhere quiet but not too far away from where your cat likes to spend its time?
- Does it have a nice feeling underfoot? Is the tray too close to the food dish (do you eat your dinner in the toilet?)
- Has the cat been upset when it was using the tray and now doesn’t know where to go that might be safe?
- Is there another big bad cat out there preventing comfortable access, or maybe the tray is too hard to get to. Stairs and steep sides become a barrier for some cats, especially as they age.
- Are there unpleasant smells like new paint nearby?
- Does your feline friend have some other anxiety issues causing bladder problems?
Choosing how to remove cat urine in the best way
Cat urine odor problems?
The enzymatic approach among cat urine removers is highly popular. The ingredients common to them all seem to be (as in Nature’s Miracle Stain and Odor Remover).
- 15 – 30% isopropyl alcohol with citrus fragrance
- 1-3% hydrogen peroxide
- and “enzymes” which are found in most laundry powders and liquids.
To make your own version of cat urine cleaner you need to mix
- 15% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
- 3% Hydrogen peroxide
- 5% Orange Power laundry liquid (or Biozet Attack)
These ingredients are not easy to come by, and you also have to figure out your percentages / volumes.
One ‘easy fix’ is to dilute 1 tablespoon of Biozet Attack (powder) into 1 litre of cold water (to make a 10% solution) and spray or soak that into the affected area. Remember to rinse and soak the water back out of fabric / carpet / couch or you will just have spread the urine further!
Leaving the bought or homemade cat urine remover overnight – especially on hardwood or old floors – gives the enzymes more time to work and the water to rehydrate the urine so it can be rinsed out again.
Some of the products recommend just leaving them to dry and that will fix the problem. The enzymatic agents work to break down the fatty acids and proteins so they are no longer volatile (i.e. can no longer get up your nose!) and are water soluble.
For fabrics that can be soaked, an overnight bath in Biozet or one of the other enzymatic pre-soakers followed by a regular wash is usually enough to make clothes and bedsheets serviceable again.
Hydrogen Peroxide on its own is a great dirt lifter – be aware of its bleaching (as in colour removal) effect. It is pretty non-toxic (be careful of your eyes!), and a bit of elbow grease will help it along. Once the urine has resurfaced, you will need to rinse it away. It basically acts to rehydrate the urine so it becomes moppable again.
Chlorine bleach (dilute to 2%) is the ultimate urine neutraliser because it ionises the volatile or pheromonal component so it can no longer be absorbed into the nasal (specifically the vomero-nasal) mucus membrane and so cannot be smelt. It needs detergent in the proprietary mix (eg Domestos) in order to clean away fatty acids etc. Leave to soak on stained surfaces such as hardwood, lino and concrete and rinse off the next day. Naturally, it will cause colour change in most things.
Get the full story on removing cat urine from my book: What Your Pet Cat Is Trying To Tell You? It’s not just about cleaning up the mess…
We humans are not always very good at ‘reading’ the message and may mistakenly treat it as spam. So we are more likely to get cross with the cat when we find the pee-mail message left on the bench or beside the door rather than see it as an important call for help.
Cats who ‘internalise’ their emotions often end up with cystitis which is an extreme bladder irritation that causes them to try to urinate every few minutes, and also often ends up with them peeing blood. This makes for a VERY unhappy bladder and cat.
Bacterial cultures Urine Free, and Urine Off has both enzymatic agents and biological cultures. The bacteria are selected to be able to degrade the uric acid crystals and organic matter in urine, with the residual products being rinsed out later. These are GOOD BACTERIA and you have to keep disinfectants away from them, so these products are best applied first.
Urine Out ™ from the USA claims to be a once only (usually) treatment for carpet –sprinkle, wait and vacuum
How to remove cat urine with homemade recipes
Homemade cat urine removers or a natural cat urine spray recipe will probably only work on small areas, if the urine is fairly dilute and has not set in over a long time.
Try this recipe
16 0z Hydrogen Peroxide 3%
1 Teaspoon dishwashing liquid
1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
1 qt. 3% hydrogen peroxide
1/4 C. baking soda
1 tsp.liquid dish soap
Cleaning cat pee from carpets
Based on looking at the various ‘powder and vacuum’ products, it may be worth trying sprinkling the crystal cat litter into carpets, allowing to soak and dry and vacuum up.
Fine bentonite (a form of clumping cat litter and also found in Biozet Attack!) may also be useful in scavenging the urine out of carpet. With the bentonite – if it gets wet it will either sludge or clump. Finely ground calcium carbonate is another likely candidate for the ‘dry powder’ treatment on carpets – it is used as an anti-caking agent.
The test of success is whether the combination works on a fabric car seat – often the smell comes back when the car heats up in the sun! Same with feather comforters and duvets – the surface areas of the feathers and fibres means it is VERY difficult for the cleaning agent to capture all the odour particles!
Cleaning cat pee from hardwood, ceramic tiles and deeply stained concrete
Once the maximum amount of urine has been coaxed out using hydrogen peroxide, the recipe above and rinsing, you will need to reseal the surface to keep the smell from re-emerging.
Cat urine can penetrate nearly anything, and can destroy galvanised iron. It is a bit of an overachiever in the area of staying power!
If you liked How to clean cat urine you’ll also find feline pee detection useful!