How to Clean Cat Urine – Tips & Information

cat on wet spot

Cat urine is one of the hardest stains to clean up, so you need to know how to properly go about doing it.

There are some key steps that you must take to ensure the mess is taken care of completely.

Carpeting and Upholstery

If your cat has urinated on carpeting or upholstery, you’ll need to follow these steps so the mess is removed altogether.

1. Start Blotting the Mess

The very first thing you want to do when your kitty makes a mess on your carpeting or upholstered furniture is to start blotting it with a paper towel. Keep pressing down into the urine with the paper towel over and over. 

If it is a larger mess, you can use a cloth so you don’t waste a lot of paper. A lot of people make the mistake of scrubbing back and forth, which will only make it harder to clean up the urine.

You can also try putting the paper towel or cloth down on the area and standing on it. This will help soak up the urine more effectively. You only need to do this for about 30 seconds.

cat urine

2. Use an Enzymatic Cleaner

After you are done blotting the mess, you’ll want to use an enzymatic cleaner to clean up the urine completely. These cleaners are especially effective against cat urine, as they can lift it off just about anything while getting rid of the odor. If you don’t get the smell out completely, there is a good chance that your cat will urinate on the same area in the future.

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You should look for enzymatic cleaners that are specifically designed for pet urine. This will go a long way towards helping you get this mess cleaned up thoroughly. 

Take the time to read the instructions on the label before you begin using it. It is important that you use it properly, because otherwise you are just wasting your time.

3. Clean the Spot with a Wet Dry Vac

Using an extracting wet dry vac on the area that your cat soiled can really help with removing all traces of its urine. If you don’t already have one of these wet vacs, you can probably rent one from a local business.

Extracting wet dry vacs are useful for this kind of mess because they are good at rinsing out whichever cleaner you used. You’ll want to fill the wet vac with cold water to get the best results.

It is not a good idea to use a steam cleaner, as the hot water can actually cause the urine to set into the carpeting or upholstery even more.

cat in litter

4. Apply Some Baking Soda

Next it is a good idea to sprinkle some baking soda on the spot that you just cleaned. This will also help a lot with getting rid of the odor. You don’t need to use a lot of baking soda—just enough to cover the area. Allow it to work its magic for about an hour before you clean it up.


Getting cat urine off clothes can be difficult, but it possible for most materials. If the clothing that was soiled is meant to be dry-cleaned, make sure you get it to a dry cleaner right away.

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For non-dry clean garments, you’ll want to put them through a cold wash cycle. It is very important that you note use hot water. After they are done in the washer, you should hang them up to air dry. 

If you put them in a dryer, make sure that you use the lowest setting. Air drying is preferable, as it helps to remove the strong odor.

Hard Surfaces

While removing cat urine from floors and other hard surfaces isn’t quite as tricky, you still need to be careful.

The first thing you should do is to use a paper towel to clean up the urine. Clean the area thoroughly with soapy water (dish soap is fine). You can also use an enzymatic cleaner, which might work a bit better.

There is a good chance that you will have to clean the area numerous times. Make sure that you allow it to dry each time before reapplying the cleaner. You also want to keep your cat from going near it until the odor is completely removed.

Homemade Cleaner for Cat Urine

If you want to save money while cleaning up cat urine, you can create a pretty effective solution with a few household ingredients. Combine some baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, dish soap and white vinegar in a spray bottle. 

This makes for a great way to list cat urine out of carpeting and various types of upholstery. It can work well for both new and older set-in stains.

Things to Avoid Doing

There are some key things that you should always avoid doing when it comes to cleaning up cat urine, including:

  • Punishing your cat: While some people try to punish their coat for urinating outside of the litter box, this is not a good idea. Providing your pet with a clean litter box that is easy for them to get in and out of is far more effective.
  • Using ammonia: You should never use ammonia to clean up cat urine. This can actually cause your cat to urinate on the area again.
  • Applying heat: It is never a good idea to apply heat to a carpeted area that has been soiled by cat urine. This will only cause it to set it deeper, making it harder to get out.
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  • If you are cleaning cat urine off carpeting or upholstery, blot the area instead of scrubbing it.
  • An enzymatic cleaning product is the ideal way to remove cat urine smell.
  • Baking soda can also be effective at removing the odor of cat urine.
  • If the cat urine is on a hard surface, clean the area multiple times.
  • Keep your cat away from the soiled area until the smell is totally gone.
  • Rinsing soiled carpeting with a wet dry vac is a good way to clean the mess thoroughly.
  • Clothing that is soiled by cat urine should be washed in cold water and hung out to dry.
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