How To Get That Dreaded Cat Pee Smell Out Of Your Carpet

Make haste! Your carpet is absorbent.

It’s all fun and games until the cat pees in on your carpet. Kitty tinkle is one of the most unique and pungent smells on the planet, perhaps rivaled only by the notorious durian fruit.

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Cleaning cat pee isn’t very intuitive either. It’s actually sort of like a science experiment. Whereas you’d instinctively use warm or hot water to clean basically anything else, using hot water on cat urine is only going to set and amplify the stench. So if you’re having a cat pee-mergency, follow our guidelines below to clean your carpet and neutralize that stinky cat pee smell.

  • Track down the source of the smell. And do it quickly! Carpets absorb fast. The longer the cat urine sits there, the worse it’s going to smell – not to mention, cats love to pee in the same spot.
  • Use paper towels or an old rag to blot the spot with cold water. You’ll want to absorb as much of the cat pee as possible from the carpet. If you’ve got an extracting wet vac on hand, feel free to use that on the cold setting. Do not scrub the carpet, that will just make the cat pee angrier and more resilient, rubbing it further (and more permanently) into the carpet. And do not use a steam cleaner, since the heat from it could cause cat urine odors to set. Definitely don’t want that.

Douse the spot with an enzymatic cleaner. This type of cleaner uses special enzymes to break down tough stains and can be found in pet stores or most major retailers. If you can’t get your hands on that, make your own cleaner at home by combining (white or apple cider) vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio. Because the vinegar is acidic, it will neutralize the bacteria in the cat pee, offsetting its odor. Let the solution sit on your carpet for 3-5 minutes or carefully follow the instructions on the cleaning product’s label. This step is essential because cats are creatures of habit and prefer to pee in the same spot. So, make sure you neutralize the cat pee in the carpet to help them forget all about it.

  • More blotting. Using a wet towel (remember, cold water!), blot up the enzymatic cleaner from the carpet.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on the stain, letting it sit for about an hour before vacuuming it up from the carpet. This will further aid in neutralizing the cat urine smell.
  • Freshen up the room. For additional freshness, try using Febreze FABRIC Pet Odor Fighter when it’s completely dry.

To help prevent future cat pee incidents, keep a clean litter box

To avoid future rogue cat pee incidents, be sure to keep a clean litter box. Kitties loathe a dirty litter box and some cats are more particular than others. If your cat continues to pee outside of its box for no apparent reason (new pet, new house, change of scenery, change of kitty litter), consider taking it to the vet for a check-up as there may be underlying behavioral or health issues.

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