Cats are cute — until you spot them "relieving themselves" on your favorite rug, bedpost, or somewhere other than their litter box. While you might just think that your cat is acting up (it's possible), there may be a reason for this strange — and smelly — behavior. According to PetMD, dirty litter boxes, the type of litter used, mounting stress, or various medical issues, including urinary tract infections and diabetes, may be to blame. Regardless, accidents happen but you shouldn't accept living with the stench.
If you don't clean up the mess with the right product, the smell will linger. "The best way to get rid of cat urine smell for good is to use a stain remover with enzymes," Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, suggests. "Enzymes kill the bacteria in the urine that causes the smell." Still lost? Think of enzymes as the little guys that eat up all the bad stuff a.k.a. that odor.
When you notice a not-so-pleasant surprise in your house, work quickly to remove the stain and smell. "It’s important to get rid of the smell as well as the stain because it is the scent that brings animals back to pee on the same spots over and over again," she says. And let's face it, nobody wants to deal with this mess more than once. Follow this guide to remove unwanted cat pee odors from carpet, upholstery, wood, and tile.
How to Get Rid of That Cat Pee Smell
Bissell Pet Stain & Odor Remover, an enzyme-based cleaner and Good Housekeeping Seal holder, is your best bet for cleaning carpets and area rugs. Before using, soak up — don't wipe! — as much of the stain matter as you can with a paper towel or rag. Spray the product (which also removes stains and smells from feces, vomit, and blood, FYI) on the trouble spot until the area is thoroughly saturated. Gently blot the area with a clean, damp cloth to remove as much of the stain as possible. Cover the spot with a damp towel and let sit for up to 12 hours.
If the cushion covers are removable, stick them in the wash ASAP or take them to the dry cleaner. For stains that have set into the sofa cushions, try the Bissell Pet Stain & Odor Remover and follow the same steps above. If worst comes to worst, hire a cleaning service to deep clean your couch cushions and pillows to remove the odor.
If your wood floors have a sealant, you're in luck: Simply, use paper towels to absorb urine and clean with your favorite hardwood floor cleaner like Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray. Say you're a little late to the game and you didn't realize that the accident happened a few hours ago, use a pet-specific hardwood floor cleaner like Simple Solution Hard Floor Pet Stain & Odor Remover. If a dark or discolored stain forms, it may be best to call a professional.
Unless the urine has spread to the grout, you simply wipe up the mess with a paper towel and clean with a tile cleaner like Lysol Clean & Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner. If the tile isn't glazed or the liquid has spread to the grout, use CLR Bath & Kitchen Cleaner to remove discoloration. To remove odor, make a thick paste with water and baking soda, rub into the grout, and wipe once dry.