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

Written by: Rachel Giordano

Last Updated on July 2, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cute little kitten in a sneaker shoe

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

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 has 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 the cat pee smell out of shoes and sort out those stains.

Here are the steps to take to clean urine smells and stains out of your shoes so you can wear them again.

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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 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.1

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. 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

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.2

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 your shoes still smell like cat pee 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

Clean Shoe
Image Credit: Jakub Ustrzycki, Shutterstock

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.

There are also deep-clean odor removers available, which can help with shoes that smell like cat pee. 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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How to Effectively Clean Up Cat Messes, Odors & Stains 

The first part of cat mess prevention is ensuring you are taking the time to properly clean any accidents -  and that starts with investing in the right products! Of course, you'll want to opt for something safe first and foremost, to protect your feline's health, but secondly, you'll need a solution powerful enough to lift the toughest, stinkiest, most set-in stains. After careful consideration, we fell in love with one product and highly recommend it to all pet owners! 

Our Favorite Enzyme Cleaner 

Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray
  • ADVANCED ENZYMATIC CLEANER - Penetrates the most stubborn smells and stains at the deepest molecular...
  • FOR ANY MESS, ON ANY SURFACE - This pet odor eliminator cleans your carpets, floors, furniture,...
  • FRESH, NATURAL ODOR - Our unique formulation doesn't rely on dangerous or unpleasant chemical...

There are several reasons we can't get enough of the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray.  It permanently removes the very worst smells and stains, it can be used on a multitude of surfaces and its neutral scented, meaning no odor masking! It comes in a generous 32-oz bottle and comes with 100% satisfaction guarantee. Learn more about this holy grail of a cleaner here!

At Catster, 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!

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Just because your cat pees on your favorite pair of shoes doesn’t mean they have to go into the trash. Following our steps to get the cat pee smell out of your shoes will give you a good chance to wear them as if they were new again sometime soon.

Related Reads: 

Featured Image Credit: Duet PandG, Shutterstock

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