Remove cat urine – Tips & Tricks

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There are a bunch of reasons why a cat may occasionally or temporarily have accidents. In many cases, the problem will quickly go away once you have eliminated the cause and your cat is feels good again. That’s great, of course! But what remains are the stains and the smell caused by cat urine. This is especially annoying on the couch, bed or carpets. This guide gives you some options for removing cat urine around the home.

Remove cat urine with purchased cleaners

There are several varieties of cleaners you can buy to remove the stains and cat urine odor. Be sure that these cleaners do not contain ammonia! Cat urine contains ammonia, whihc might encourage your cat to continue peeing in the wrong place.

Before you try the different remedies, be sure to remove the cat urine completely, with a household roll or an old towel. After cleaning, it’s important that the odor eliminator you use is completely dry before your cat is allowed back on the furniture.

PS: Please keep in mind with all these tips that there are many different fabrics and textiles and not every cleaner will help with every carpet or sofa. So you should test the cleaner on an inconspicuous spot beforehand, so that after the treatment you don’t have a white, gray or otherwise discolored spot or destroyed tissue instead of the urine spot, which bothers you just as much!

Orange background is cleaned with sponge and cleaner
Especially with colored material, you should first try the cleaner on a non-visible area!

Chemical cleaners and household cleaners: remove cat urine with alcohol, vinegar or baking soda.

Chemical cleaners such as alcohol (70% isopropyl alcohol), vinegar solution, or other household cleaners may help with a fresh cat urine stain that has just been discovered.

You should not use vinegar cleaner (or also household vinegar mixed approx. 1:2 or 1:3 with water) first, but only at the end to remove the odor.

If you useto begin with, before you have removed the urine stain with neutral soap or another cleaner, you could make the problem worse, as vinegar solution can fix the stain in the fabric, smaking it harder to remove.

Little kitten sitting on a small red dotted sofa
Small cats and kittens are particularly prone to peeing on furniture.

Enzymatic cleaners for urine removal: BactoDes, Ecodor and Co.

Enzymatic cleaners contain bacteria that break down the substances responsible for urine odor, thus neutralizing the cat urine odor. Often more than not one application is necessary for odor elimination. It is especially important to use the agents generously, because they must penetrate deep into the fabric to reach and neutralize the deep-lying urine crystals.

Some of the well tested options are:

  • BactoDes Animals
  • Ecodor UF 2000
  • Bio Urine Attack Spray
  • Biodor Animal Spray

Other cleaners for odor elimination

You can also try Sagrotan or carpet shampoo to remove the stains. In instances where the urine is not yet very deeply absorbed or the fabric is not very absorbent, it may help guard against the urine smell. From Febreze there is even a special textile freshener against pet odors, which can definitely help against cat or dog urine in the milder cases mentioned above.

However, these agents do not remove cat urine, but only fight the smell!

You can read more about tips for neutralizing odors here: Neutralize pet odor in the apartment – this helps!

Microfiber cloth is held over a stain on a light sofa
You should always make sure to wipe away the urine first and let all cleaners dry well.

Household remedy for removing cat urine

Before you try the different enzyme cleaners, you can also try the following home remedies for stain and urine odor:

  • Apply soda, baking soda or cornstarch, rub well with a brush, leave overnight and vacuum. For particularly stubborn stains, repeat the process by mixing the baking soda or cornstarch with water beforehand to make a paste and then rubbing it in. The paste should remove both the stain and the urine odor.
  • Mix mild detergent with water, apply to the stain and blot dry, repeat if necessary. This will not neutralize the smell, only mask it. Hopefully you have found the cuase of your cat peeing in the house and are no longer having repeat episodes.
  • Rub coffee or espresso powder onto the dry urine stain (caution: both stain!). So use only on dark fabrics, not light). First clean the area with neutral detergent and let it dry well, then rub the coffee or espresso powder with a brush and vacuum it after a while. This method does not remove stains, but does mask the smell.
  • Dilute Listerine or mouthwash with water, apply to the stain and allow to dry. This should remove the stain and odor. However, you should avoid using colored mouthwash on light-colored fabric.
  • If your bedding is affected, you should wash it at the highest possible temperature, adding a dash of apple cider vinegar or chlorine to the wash if the fabric is not delicate. Some mattresses have washable covers as well, so you can use this solution to help eliminate odors.
  • Another method I discovered at involves a mixture of 240 ml of hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons of baking soda, and 2 to 3 drops of a dishwashing liquid that is as colorless as possible. Simply mix, pour into a spray bottle, apply to the stain and leave for a few minutes.

Protective measures during the period of household accidents

Whilst your cat is still hvaing accidents around the home, only use the above-mentioned treatments occasionally. All of them take a little while to dry and for the smell to go. They do not prevent your cat from peeing in unwanted places again.

These are few simple ways to protect your home from further pet urine staining:

Place incontinence pads where your cat pees. This does not look very elegant, but absorbs cat urine much better than a towel or blanket. And such a pad protects the underlying fabric much better than a soggy towel. They are available in a variety of sizes.

Set up disposable cat toilets. Ideally you would place a litter tray in every spot your cat pees. But what do you do with all the litter trays once the problem is resolved? You can use other types boxes or cartons, but again, there’s a risk of them leaking or not being accepted by your cat. Therefore, disposable cat toilets have been developed specifically for such cases.

If your bed is the place of unwanted peeing and you don’t want to further unsettle your cat by locking them out of the bedroom, you can cover your bed with an oilcloth blanket during the day. This has the advantage that it is smooth and therefore not so inviting to pee, and that you can simply wipe it off if a mishap does happen. You can get them in countless colors and designs from hardware stores, garden centers or even Amazon:

However, before you cover your sofa with incontinence pads or oilcloth blankets, you can use a picnic blanket. These have a relatively waterproof layer on the bottom, but a soft top that you can sit on quite comfortably. These also come in different shapes and sizes. The cheaper ones are usually not washable. The more expensive ones can usually be washed.


There are many ways to rid your furniture or floors and tile grout of cat urine and its odor without leaving stains. So if you find yourself experiencing this problem, all is not lost, there are cleaners on your side.

And always remember: it’s only temporary and your cat doesn’t want to annoy you!

Do you have any questions or know of another method to remove cat urine?
We are always happy to receive your hints and tips in the comments!


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