Cat urine creates a significantly unpleasant smell and needs to be cleaned up right away. When urine is allowed to sit on carpets, floors or furniture it is often an invitation to one cat or more to use the spot as a toileting space. It can also create stains because it has an oily quality, and the smell of the urine can permeate the house. The first rule of getting rid of this smell is to clean the urine up as soon as possible after the cat urinates.
There are plenty of commercial products that promise to clean cat urine, but most people are better off making their own cleaning solutions at home, which can be easily accomplished with a few common household ingredients. Those who plan to use a commercial preparation should read ingredients carefully. Do not use any products that contain ammonia. Ammonia may actually encourage cats to urinate more, and may be viewed as an invisible signpost for cats that reads, “Cat bathroom here!”
Once a cat has “gone,” people should plan to use absorbent cloth towels or paper towels to soak up as much of the urine as possible. The goal is to remove the fluid so it doesn’t get rubbed into carpets, floor or furniture. Place several cloths over the cat “bathroom location” and push down gently to absorb the liquid. People may want to leave these cloths down for a few minutes, though it may be wise to change the cloths in a minute or two if they become totally saturated.
The next goal is to clean the area, and here pet owners must be advised that even homemade products may have an effect on fabric. The most common solutions to clean cat urine are a combination of gentle dish soap, white wine or apple cider vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda. People may want to skip the peroxide for light fabrics since this will lighten them slightly. With this solution, dab the urine soaked area (don’t rub it in). Keep dabbing over the affected area. Go back over the area with awater-saturated cloth, and then perhaps repeat again with the cleaning agents.
Some people merely use a combination of vinegar and water, since dish soap can be hard to get out of fabrics. On hard floors it’s fine to use dish soap because this can be easily removed. Another method is to fill a spray bottle with approximately 3 parts vinegar to 7 parts water, and spray the area. Once sprayed, begin the dabbing process until the fabric is nearly dried. For carpets and furniture it may be a good idea to follow up initial cleaning with professional steam cleaning or shampooing. Simply make sure that a cleaning company doesn’t use ammonia in their cleaning products.
To clean cat urine on exteriors like doors and windows, the most efficacious way is the spray bottle method. Liberally spray things like front doors or areas where cats seem to urinate most with vinegar/water solutions. This often stops cats from continuing to use these areas as toileting spaces.
It is usually easier to prevent cat urination on surfaces than it is to clean cat urine. A few things can help in this matter. Make sure cats have clean, regularly changed litter boxes as they are picky and may not use dirty ones. Alter cats before they reach the age of six months as this can eliminate or reduce spraying and marking behavior. Consider limiting areas of the home in which the cat is welcome, and crating the cat (with ample space and a litter box) at night. When cats seem unable to control toileting issues, they may have medical problems. Take any cat that appears to suffer from incontinence to the vet for a full checkup.