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How to Get Cat Urine Smells & Stains Out of Shoes: 4 Simple Tips

Cat Shoe
Image Credit: Duet PandG, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Rachel Giordano

Cats may urinate on our belongings for various reasons. They might think that their litter box is too dirty, or they may get carried away with playing and forget to go to the litter box until it is too late. Some cats, especially older ones, urinate outside their box due to medical reasons. Others seem to do it just for fun. No matter the reason, no person likes to find their shoes soaked in urine.

If you find that a pair of your shoes have become the victim of your cat, your first thought might be to throw those shoes away. But what if they are your favorite pair, or what if there is nothing else wrong with them? The good news is that there are a few things that you can do to get rid of the urine smells and stains from your shoes. Here are the steps to take to clean urine smells and stains out of your shoes so you can wear them again.3 cat face divider

The 4 Steps to Get Cat Urine Smells & Stains Out of Shoes

1. Pre-treat the Shoes

Pretreat Shoe
Image Credit: Nor Gal, Shutterstock

The first thing that you should do is pre-treat your shoes before trying to clean them. Throwing them in a washing machine or cleaning them with soap and water can cause the urine smells and stains to set in, making it even harder for you to rid your shoes of these unwanted elements. Start by spraying your shoes with apple cider vinegar, as the acids in the vinegar should help neutralize the bacteria that are responsible for making the cat urine smell so bad.

Let the vinegar penetrate the urine-soaked areas, but make sure you get the entirety of the shoes moist with the vinegar before letting the shoes sit for a couple of hours. After the vinegar dries, you should already notice a less offensive scent coming from your shoes. Now, it is a good idea to treat the urine stains with borax or another concentrated cleaner. Use an old toothbrush or your finger to rub the cleaner in, and let the shoes sit for another hour or two.

2. Clean the Shoes

Clean Shoe
Image Credit: Jakub Ustrzycki,Shutterstock

After pre-treating your shoes, it is time to clean them and finally get rid of those urine smells or stains. If you are working with leather shoes or those that cannot go in a washing machine, wipe your shoes clean with a dry cloth, then rub them with veggie oil, a banana peel, or petroleum jelly to make them look and smell new again.

If you can put your shoes in the washing machine, now is the time to do so. Let them run on the longest cycle available, and use extra soap. If you still smell cat urine on your shoes after the first cycle, run your shoes through the washing machine one more time. You shouldn’t smell any urine or see any stains after that.

3. Dry Your Shoes

Before you start wearing your spiffed-up shoes again, you should allow them to dry in the sunlight for a few hours. The sun will help further disinfect your shoes so you can have peace of mind knowing that you will be safe while wearing them and that others will not smell offensive odors whenever you are nearby. The sun will also help ensure that your shoes are thoroughly dry before wearing them, which will help you avoid the risk of your feet getting moist throughout the day.

4. Consider Commercial Products

If you are not satisfied with the results after pre-treating, washing, and drying your shoes, consider investing in a commercial solution. There are many enzyme cleaners available on the market that are designed to break down cat urine so it no longer emits an odor.

hepper enzyme cleaner dog cat spray bioenzymatic

The Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray is our favorite enzyme cleaner out there. It permanently removes even the very worst kitty stains and smells, leaving your home fresh and clean! Click here to learn more about this amazing product and get yourself a bottle.

At Excited Cats, we’ve admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding products of this cool cat company!

There are also deep clean cat urine odor removers available, which can help with shoes that have been the victim of a cat more than once. These cleaners can be harsh, so always try them on a small part of the inside of your shoe to ensure that you do not end up ruining your shoes altogether.

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Just because your cat pees on your favorite pair of shoes does not mean those shoes must go into the trash. Try the steps outlined here, and there is a good chance that you will be wearing your shoes as if they were new again sometime in the near future.

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Featured Image Credit: Duet PandG, Shutterstock

About the Author

Rachel Giordano
Rachel Giordano
Rachel Giordano is a Pensacola, Florida-based musician and writer. She lives with her partner and their two dogs, Sophie, a Boston Terrier, and Aero, a Border Collie/Sheltie mix. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and loves writing about all types of cat breeds. When she’s not writing about cats, she loves to write suspense/thriller novels. A musician by night and writer by day, she enjoys sharing her knowledge of the needs and requirements of our furry friends.

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