How to Remove Cat Urine from Carpet

Cats are wonderful companions. They are cute and cuddly, love to curl up in your lap, and can provide endless hours of entertainment; but they can also make a mess. In general, cats are among the cleanest of animals. Some do, however, miss the litter-box from time to time or will choose to eliminate in an area outside the litter-box.

As cats get older, their litter habits tend to change as well. They may not be as careful about covering their mess as they used to or may actually “overshoot” the litter-box while urinating. Other cats may be very particular about “sharing” their box with other cats and will not go in the box if another cat has used it. Regardless of the reason, when cats decide to go somewhere else other than the litter-box one time, they are bound to return to that area on a regular basis; especially if they can smell the urine.

You may be able to cover the smell of urine with cleaners and deodorizers to the point where humans can’t smell it but the cat’s sense of smell is so much more sensitive than ours. If you don’t clean it properly the odor will still be there to attract them to come back the next time.

I have tried numerous cleaning agents designed for pets, cats and general carpet cleaning. Some of them have worked to remove the smell until the carpet is dry and when I go back about a day later I can smell the odor again.

The key to getting rid of the odor starts with removal of the urine.

If you can catch the stain while it’s still wet, use a wet-dry vac or even better, a carpet shampooer, to suck up the urine. This will pull the urine from both the carpet and the pad.

After you have removed the urine, saturate the carpet with ‘white vinegar’. Yes, white vinegar. Vinegar not only covers the smell of urine but it also discourages cats from returning to the area to re-soil it. Let the vinegar stay for about 5- 10 minutes. You want it to go to the pad so that it also eliminates the odor from there as well.

After about 5-10 minutes, suck up the vinegar from the carpet.

Let it dry completely and then shampoo using a carpet shampoo designed for stain removal. This will clean up any stain that may have been left from the urine.

Finally, spray with a mixture of white vinegar and water to discourage the cat from returning to the area.

Touch up sprays may be needed every few days to remind the cat that this is not a place that he wants to go.

You may opt to jump to step four after the first step and shampoo the carpet immediately after the urine is removed to clean the carpet stain before using the vinegar. This is perfectly acceptable, but if you think your cat may go back to that area and use it before the carpet has a chance to dry it is best to saturate with vinegar first as this will discourage the cat from returning before the cleaning process is complete.

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