The Best Cat Urine Cleaner Methods

A gray cat on the edge of an orange couch.
A gray cat on the edge of an orange couch. Photography ©Remains | Thinkstock.

One of the most frustrating things that can happen to a cat guardian is inappropriate cat urination, especially if it happens to take place on your furniture. Here are some cat urine cleaner methods using enzymatic cleaners or alternative methods.

STEP 1: Blot and press — don’t scrub — to clean up cat pee

A gray kitten asleep in a bed.
Here’s how to effectively remove cat urine on your furniture or floors. Photography by hamacle/Thinkstock.

Rubbing a cat pee spot to absorb the moisture only spreads the stink. Instead, get a cloth or paper towel and press down hard to get out any soaked-in urine. After you’re finished, leave another cloth or pile of paper towels on the spot to soak up more.

STEP 2: Use an enzymatic cleaner for cat urine

Uric acid, the stuff that causes the odor, is not water soluble and will not respond to water-based cleanup methods. An enzymatic cleaner breaks down the uric acid and removes the smell. Soak the soiled area with the enzymatic cleaner — as deep into the cushions as the urine did. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

Enzymatic cleaners can cause stains or lightening of the dye on leather furniture. Test the cleaner in a small, less visible place to see if it damages the leather before using it.

STEP 3: Cover the area and let it dry

Cover the area where you used the enzymatic cleaner with a towel or anything that helps cats and people avoid the spot. If the stain and the cleaner went deep into the cushions, it could take several days to dry. If possible, leave the cushions outdoors in the sun to help dry them and remove odors.

Alternative cat urine removers

Vinegar and baking soda are alternative cat urine cleaners.
Vinegar and baking soda are alternative cat urine cleaners. Photography ©BilevichOlga | Thinkstock.

If you don’t have enzymatic cleaner, here are a couple of alternative (but somewhat less effective) methods for cleaning cat pee:

Alternative 1: Vinegar and baking soda. Soak up as much urine as possible from the upholstery. Liberally sprinkle baking soda on the stain, and let it sit for 5 minutes. The baking soda will help to deodorize the stain. In a spray bottle or other container, mix equal parts water and distilled white vinegar. Spray or pour the mixture onto the baking soda-covered stain, and let sit for another 5 minutes. Then blot the stain with a cloth or paper towel to dry it.

Alternative 2: Peroxide, dish detergent and baking soda. Hydrogen peroxide can break down some of the chemicals in urine through a process called oxidation. Start by soaking up as much urine as possible. Then sprinkle baking soda on the stain and let it sit for 5 minutes. Mix ½ cup of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide and 1 teaspoon of grease-cutting dish detergent in a bowl. Pour mixture onto a towel, and blot it on the stain. The detergent will get rid of odor-creating fatty acids, and the peroxide’s fizz will lift out crystals that leave stains.
If you used any of these methods with leather furniture, apply leather conditioner once the cushion is dry and odor-free, because these methods tend to dry out leather.

Get Your Cat to Love the Litter Box — and Not Your Furniture

The best way to avoid having to use cat urine clear is to keep your cat from peeing where he shouldn’t. Make sure that the places where he should pee are attractive to him.

  • Keep it clean. Scoop every day, add or replace litter as needed, and sanitize the litter box at least once a month.
  • Remove the hood. If you use a covered litter box, take the lid off to see if your cat likes it better. Covered litter boxes can make cats feel they don’t have enough escape options. The space inside can also be too short for a cat to do a proper “pee squat.”
  • Try different litters. Your cat may not like the texture of your current litter, so find out what he does like. Line up a few disposable litter boxes next to your cat’s regular box, each with a different brand and/or texture of litter, and see which one your cat likes best.
  • Use a cat-attractant litter. There are brands that claim to attract cats to the box. One of my friends swears that using cat attractant litter put a stop to her cat’s inappropriate urination.
  • Have multiple litter boxes. Older cats can’t travel too far to do their business. Put litter boxes in rooms where your elderly kitty likes to sleep. In multiple-cat households, having litter boxes in different locations makes it impossible for a dominant cat to “guard” the box and not allow other cats to use it.
  • Try pheromone diffusers if you believe that territorial stress is part of the inappropriate urination issue. These products give off a synthetic version of the “happy cat” pheromone, which makes cats feel less stressed and more likely to use their litter box.

Plus, read one cat parent’s personal experience with cleaning up lots of cat urine >>

Thumbnail: Photography ©Remains | Thinkstock.

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3 thoughts on “The Best Cat Urine Cleaner Methods”

  1. Pingback: Litter Box Accidents – What To do When Your Cat Soils In The House |

  2. Odors are an ongoing problem for pet owners; candles and sprays are temporary fixes, which have, to be replaced when they run out. There is a natural permanent application that will resolve your odor problems. The Ionic Paint Additive by Air-ReNu is an additive you blend with interior house paint and apply to the interior walls, and once applied it works 7/24/365 and continue to remain effective for 8-12 years.

  3. kayla engle-lewis

    My older cat started peeing around the house. I’m not sure the reason, but we finally put her on Prozac and she stopped

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