Although cats are good companions to have around, cleaning up after them can be a bit of a chore. Especially if they’re urinating outside the litter box. This is because, you can’t hide the smell and cat pee is notoriously hard to clean. 

However, it is important that you do clean the urinated area, if not, the smell can lure a cat back to the same place to pee there again. Also, in order to prevent your cat from continuing to pee outside the litter box, you’ll need to understand the source of this behavior. 

So, in the hope of helping you with this not so enviable task, below are some tips on “How To Clean Cat Pee.”

WHY DOES CAT PEE SMELL SO BAD?

Overtime Cat Pee Stinks 
When compared to other animals, there’s nothing especially different about cat pee. However, when trying to understand why cat pee stinks, it’s crucial to understand that time is a major issue. 

Typically, when a cat urinates outside the litter box, it can go undetected up until the point that it becomes an issue. After a period of time, decomposed bacterium in the urine, releases a smell that is similar to ammonia. This characterizes the odor we come to know as stinky old cat pee. 

As time passes and the bacterium in the urine further decays, it releases a safe, yet pungent gas called mercaptan. This process raises the smell of cat pee to skunk levels—which is quite offensive.

Senior Cat Pee Smells Worse 
The effectiveness of a senior cat’s kidneys, tend to decline in later years. This results in cat pee that smells significantly worse. 

Male Cat Urine Contains Hormones
Male cats—that aren’t neutered—have strong hormones that are contained in their urine. These hormones add to the urine odor and communicates to other cats. The message is simple; males keep away…and to females, a suitor is here.

Why Is My Cat Peeing Outside The Litter Box?
Abnormal behavior is often consider a method of communicating discomfort, stress or frustration. For cat’s, peeing outside the litter box, might be their way of saying, that somethings not quite right here. So, let’s take a look at what could be causing this unusual behavior. 

Problems With Health
When trying to determine the reason your cat is urinating outside of her litter box, the first thing you need to do is to take her to the veterinarian. 

You’ll want to make sure that your cat is not being affected by any medical problems, so consider having the vet run a complete examination on your cat. Describe your cat’s litter box behavior as best as you can, so that the veterinarian has a complete picture from which to draw a conclusion. 

If the veterinarian gives your cat a pass, then you can take a look at some other issues that may cause your cat to pee outside of her litter box. 

Below is a list of medical conditions that can be related to urinating outside of the litter box.

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Kidney Disease
  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Diabetes

It’s important to seek immediate medical help for your cat, if you think that she has any of the above conditions. Some cases can become quite serious, if the proper medical attention is not provided.

Arthritis Issues
Arthritis can impede a cat’s ability to use the litter box. Especially if the design of the litter box, requires your cat to be nimble in order to use it. Litter box designs that have high sides or lids with an overhead entrance, can be physically demanding for cats with arthritis. 

To help your kitty, you may want to provide a basic litter box with low sides. Furthermore, place the litter box in an area that is easily accessible. Make sure your cat doesn’t have to use the stairs or go through an obstacle course to use the litter box.

Behavioral Reasons
If the veterinarian determines that there are no medical causes for your cat’s elimination problem, then try to investigate your cats behavior to understand why she isn’t using her litter box. To get to the bottom of the situation, you’ll have to be very observant. Below are a few things to consider as you watch your cat’s behavior.

  • Is there another cat lurking around outside?
  • Do you have a more dominant cat/animal in the house?
  • Is your home a multi-cat home?
  • Is a new person or pet in the house?
  • Have you moved to a new home?
  • Does your cat have enough hiding places?
  • Have you provided platforms for your cat to perch on?
  • Have you recently rearranged furniture?
  • Do you have enough litter boxes in the house?
  • Do you have 1 litter box per cat, plus 1 extra in the house?
  • Is it easy to access the litter box? If not, consider removing all obstacles
  • Is there a lid/cover on the litter box? If so, try removing it
  • Have you changed from her usual litter brand?
  • How deep is the litter, some cat’s don’t like it too deep, try two inches
  • Do you scoop and clean the litter box regularly? If not, scoop/clean the litter box daily
  • Is there enough food and water?

Do you have a daily routine for your cat? If not, consider creating a schedule that involves a predictable time for feeding, playing and sleeping.

The idea is to identify any source of stress and do your best to—reasonably—minimize or eliminate it. Cats are typically routine, territorial and clean creatures. It will help if you make these characteristics the framework for your observations.

Why Do Cats Spray?
Typically, when a male cat sprays, they do so to mark their territory. When a female cat sprays, they want to let male cats know that they are ready to mate. Spraying is mostly done on walls or vertically upright surfaces, however, there are some cats that actually spray on rugs, floors or furniture.

Other reasons your cat may be spraying:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Frustrated with living situation
  • Territory conflicts with other cats
  • Not enough food
  • Boredom
If you have multiple cats, try to keep them apart for a while. Then gradually reintroduce them. As you do this, treat them with edible goodies when they are on their best behavior. 

In order to reduce anxiety, consider using a calming synthetic pheromone that is designed to help cats relax.

If none of the above tips work, consider consulting a cat behaviorist to help you find a solution to your cat’s spraying issues.

Clean Cat Pee As Soon As Possible
When it comes to cat urine, time is not your friend. Cat pee smells bad, however, because the bacterium within urine decays over time, the smell tends to get worse. 

Also, regardless of whether or not the urine stain is still visible, the odor serves as an invitation for your cat to come and mark the same place once more.

Therefore, if you have to deal with cat pee, it pays to clean it up sooner, rather than later.

What Can I Use To Clean Cat Pee?
Now, let’s get to the task of learning the best way to clean cat pee. First you’ll need products that are suited for the job. Below are a few products that have been proven to be effective when cleaning cat pee.

Enzyme Based Products
Enzyme-Based cleaners serve to neutralize cat urine acid, while helping to eliminate the odor. The strong cat urine odor that is created by decaying bacteria, is counteracted by natural enzymes and good bacteria.

Baking Soda
Baking soda is good for soaking up the smell. Try to clean the urine with club soda. After the club soda dries, shake baking soda onto the area and let it sit for about 15-30 minutes. Then vacuum the baking soda up.

Vinegar
Vinegar is acetic acid, combined with water. The acid in vinegar works to extinguish the alkaline salts, that are found in urine stains that have dried. Consider a formula of 1 part vinegar and 1 part water. Use this solution to clean the problem areas and allow a few days for the smell of vinegar and urine to fade away.

Avoid Ammonia
If you use an ammonia based product to clean up cat pee, your cat will most likely be encouraged to pee there again. This is because cat urination contains ammonia and cats tend to remark their territory, based on the odor from their last urination. 

So, if you clean the urinated area, with an ammonia based cleaner, the scent will invite your cat to pee there again. 

Also, ammonia and some other chemically based products, tend to fix the stain, making it difficult, if not impossible to remove.

HOW TO REMOVE CAT PEE SMELL

How To Get Cat Pee Smell Out of Carpet

  • Soak up the urine, by blotting the area with a cloth that’s clean
  • Use water to wash the area 
  • Afterward, vacuum the area dry with a wet/dry vacuum
  • Pour liberal amounts of enzyme cleaner on the urinated area
  • Allow the enzyme cleaner to soak for 10-15 minutes
  • Use a clean cloth to soak up the cleaner by blotting the area
  • Place something over the area to prevent your cat from urinating there again. Consider using an upside down laundry basket or aluminum foil
  • Repeat this process for older, stronger smelling stains

Note: The heat from steam cleaners can fix the stain, making it hard/impossible to clean.

Cleaning Cat Pee In Subfloor(s)
It’s common for urine to seep through to the flooring underneath the carpeting. This can embed an odor and stain, that can be hard to get to with conventional methods of cleaning.

In situations like this, it’s probably best to replace the carpeting and also the padding underneath. For the subfloor, you can counteract the smell with an oil based primer, that’s designed to prevent staining.

How To Get Cat Pee Out of Cushions

  • Add liberal amounts of water to the urinated section
  • Then soak up as much of the pee as possible, by blotting it
  • Slowly pour liberal amounts of enzyme cleaner onto and around the urinated section
  • Allow the enzyme cleaner to soak in the cushion for 15 minutes
  • Afterward, completely ring out the excess liquid
  • Then use clean towels to blot the cushion

Note: Because it takes a few days for a cushion to dry, consider letting it sit outdoors. To discourage your cat from peeing on the cushion again, consider putting aluminum foil over the cushion for a while or at least until your cat understands, that the cushion is off limits.

How To Get Cat Pee Out of Mattress(es)

  • Put liberal amounts of water onto the urinated section
  • Then soak up as much of the water by blotting it with a clean towel
  • Slowly pour liberal amounts of enzyme cleaner onto and around the urinated section
  • Allow the enzyme cleaner to soak for 15 minutes
  • Blot up as much of the cleaner as possible, then place clean towels over the mattress 
  • Afterward, make up the bed
  • Depending on how bad the damage is, you may need to repeat these steps

Note: As it can take several days for the mattress to dry, continue to replace the old towels with fresh towels. Also consider using a plastic covering, to protect it when you’re not using the bed—waterproof mattress covers are ideal.

How To Get Cat Pee Out of Clothes and Linens

  • For machine washables, use cool water to wash the urinated section in the sink
  • Next, put the affected clothing/linens in the washing machine  
  • Add detergent and a quarter cup of vinegar or a cup of baking soda 
  • If the clothing/linens still have an odor, repeat the above steps using enzyme cleaner
  • Be sure to follow the enzyme cleaner instructions
  • Since machine drying can trap odors in fabric, consider air drying the clothing/linens
  • Repeat as needed

Note: Avoid using ammonia and bleach. Bleach combined with ammonia and cat urine can create hazardous gases

Prevent Future Occurrences 
When you have cleaned the urinated area, you’ll want to train your cat not to pee in that place again. To do this, consider playing with your cat in the previously urinated area or putting there food and water bowls there. Place their favorite toys in and around the spot they once soiled.

In conclusion, cat pee is definitely an unpleasant problem. However, if it is not dealt with immediately, it’s an issue that can worsen with time. The resulting stains, odors and repeated markings can create an environment, that can be unbearable to live in. With this in mind, the above tips are provided to help you quickly and effectively manage this issue, so that you and your cat can live in a comfortable environment. Thanks for reading, “How To Clean Cat Pee.”