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How To Clean Cat Pee From Carpet

19 July 2023

Having a cat is often a delightful way of life, but dealing with dried cat urine is never a pleasant activity! If you want to remove cat urine effectively and ensure your home doesn't have that distinctive cat urine smell, we can help.

The Carpet Team is always on hand to assist with cleaning carpets, even when a cat pees. For everything you need to know in removing cat urine from carpet and flooring, we can help.

Removing Cat Urine For A Carpet

Removing cat pee from a carpet can be a challenging task, but with the right approach, it is possible to eliminate the odour effectively. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get rid of the smell from your carpet:

Blot The Spot To Absorb The Urine

As soon as you discover stains, immediately blot them with paper towels or a clean cloth. Apply gentle pressure to soak up as much urine as possible. Avoid rubbing the area, or using equipment like a steam cleaner, as it can cause the urine to spread further.

Rinse And Vacuum The Area

After blotting, rinse the affected area with cold water. This helps dilute the urine and remove any residual traces. Then, use a wet/dry vacuum or a carpet cleaner to extract the water and excess moisture from the carpet, paper towels are unlikely to be enough unless it is a very small stain.

For more learnings, you can check out our post "How To Clean Carpet Stains".

Soak The Same Spot In Enzyme Cleaner

Enzyme-based cleaners are specifically designed to break down the compounds in cat urine stains. They effectively neutralize the odour and eliminate stains. Follow the instructions on the enzyme cleaner product and apply it generously to the affected area. Make sure the cleaner penetrates the carpet fibres and reaches the underlying padding.

Let It Sit Before Blotting It With A Clean Cloth

Allow the enzyme cleaner to sit on the spot for the recommended duration. This gives the enzymes sufficient time to break down the uric acid crystals in the urine. After the specified time has passed, blot the area with a clean cloth, paper towel, or old towel to absorb the moisture. Avoid rubbing, as it can damage the carpet fibres.

Prevent Your Cat From Returning To The Same Place

To discourage your cat from returning to the same area, it's essential to address any underlying reasons for inappropriate urination. Ensure their litter box is clean and easily accessible.

Reapply The Cleaner If Necessary To Remove Cat Urine From Carpet

In some cases, particularly for old or severe urine stains, you may need to repeat the cleaning process. Follow the same steps, including applying the enzyme cleaner and allowing it to sit for the recommended time. Be patient and persistent, as it may take multiple attempts to eliminate the odour.

You can also check out our post "How To Clean Dog Pee From Carpet" for additional insights.

Removing Cat Urine From Subflooring

Removing cat pee from subflooring can be a more challenging task compared to cleaning carpets or other surfaces. Subflooring is typically made of carpet padding materials such as plywood or particleboard, which can absorb and retain odours.

However, with diligent efforts and the right approach, it is possible to eliminate smells from subflooring. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you:

Identify The Affected Areas

Start by identifying the specific areas of the subflooring that have been affected by cat pee. Look for visible stains or areas where the smell is particularly strong. It's essential to address these specific spots directly.

Protective Measures - Including Rubber Gloves

Before starting the cleaning process, it's important to take certain protective measures to ensure your safety. Wear rubber gloves and a mask to protect yourself from any potential allergens or bacteria present in the urine. Have a cloth or paper towels at hand, and open windows or use fans to ensure proper ventilation in the area.

Surface Cleaning - Especially Around A Litter Box

Begin by cleaning the surface of the subflooring. Mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water in a bucket. Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the solution and thoroughly wipe the affected areas of the subflooring.

Vinegar helps neutralise the smell and acts as a disinfectant. Avoid oversaturating the subflooring, as excessive moisture can cause damage.

Enzymatic Cleaners

Enzyme cleaners are highly effective for breaking down uric acid crystals and eliminating the cat pee smell. Follow the instructions on the enzyme cleaner product carefully. Pour or spray enzyme cleaners directly onto the affected areas of the subflooring, ensuring it penetrates the surface.

It might help to put the liquid into a spray bottle and then spray it onto the affected area.

Allow the enzymatic cleaner to sit for the recommended duration, typically several hours or overnight, to allow the enzymes to work effectively.

Rinse And Dry

After the enzymatic cleaner has had sufficient time to work, rinse the subflooring with clean water. Use a clean cloth or sponge to wipe away any excess cleaner. Make sure to remove all traces of the cleaner to prevent any residual odours.

After rinsing, allow the subflooring to air dry thoroughly. Proper ventilation or using fans can speed up the drying process.

Sealant Application

In some cases, particularly if the urine has penetrated deeply into the subflooring, it may be necessary to apply a sealant to further prevent the odour from resurfacing. Choose a high-quality primer or sealant specifically designed for subflooring.

Rebuilding Or Replacing

If the smell persists even after following the above steps, it may be necessary to consider rebuilding or replacing the affected sections of the subflooring. This is usually a last resort for severe cases where the odour has deeply permeated the materials and cannot be effectively eliminated.

What Is The Best Cleaning Product For Cat Urine Stains?

When it comes to cleaning cat pee, the best cleaning products to effectively eliminate smells and stains are enzymatic cleaners and baking soda. While carpet shampoo and vinegar have their uses, enzymatic cleaners and baking soda provide more comprehensive solutions. Let's explore each carpet cleaning option in more detail:

Enzymatic Cleaner

Enzymatic cleaners are specifically formulated to break down the uric acid crystals found in cat pee. These cleaners contain enzymes that work by digesting the proteins in the urine, effectively neutralising the odour at its source.

Enzymatic cleaners are the most effective method in eliminating both the odour and the stains. They are readily available in pet stores and online, with a variety of brands to choose from. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for optimal results.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a versatile household ingredient known for its odour-absorbing properties. It can be used as a natural deodouriser to help neutralise the odour. After blotting up the urine, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the affected area. Gently rub it into the carpet fibres or other surfaces, and you can leave overnight to achieve the best impact, but be sure to check up on the same morning.

Baking soda will help absorb the odour, but it may not eliminate the underlying uric acid crystals. Vacuum the area thoroughly to remove the baking soda and any absorbed odours. Baking soda can be used as a preliminary step in combination with enzymatic cleaners for more effective odour removal.


A vinegar solution is a commonly recommended household ingredient for removing a lingering smell. Its acidic properties can help neutralise the alkaline nature of cat pee and eliminate the smell. However, this alone may not be as effective as enzymatic cleaners for breaking down uric acid crystals.

Additionally, vinegar has a strong odour of its own that can linger temporarily. It is important to use white vinegar, as other types may stain or damage certain surfaces.

It Is Best To Remove Cat Pee As Soon As You Can

Cat urine has a distinct odour that can become increasingly unpleasant as it starts to decompose. This is because as urine breaks down, it releases ammonia and other volatile compounds that intensify the smell.

To effectively combat dried urine stains, it is crucial for any cat-pee removal solution to address uric acid, a component of cat urine that contributes to the strong and persistent smell. Enzymes are the key to addressing uric acid and eliminating the smell from dried cat urine effectively.

Any Cat-Pee Removal Solution Needs To Address Uric Acid

Uric acid is a component of cat urine that differentiates it from other types of urine. It is highly concentrated and forms hard-to-break-down crystals. Traditional cleaning methods and ordinary household cleaners often fail to fully eliminate the uric acid, leaving behind the odour.

To tackle the cat pee smell effectively, it is essential to use a cleaning solution specifically designed to address uric acid.

Can Cat Pee Soak Through The Carpet?

Yes, cat pee can soak through the carpet and penetrate the underlying layers, including the padding and subflooring.

Should You Wash Cat Pee In Hot Or Cold Water?

When it comes to washing cat pee stains, it is generally recommended to use cold water instead of hot water. Cool water helps prevent the urine from setting into the fabric or surface, making the smell and stain easier to remove. Hot water, on the other hand, can set the urine stain and dried cat urine on carpets is harder to eliminate.

Does Cat Urine Cause Health Issues For Humans?

Cat urine can indeed be a health issue for humans, and not just in extreme cases. It contains ammonia that can irritate the respiratory system, particularly for individuals with asthma. It may also carry bacteria and allergenic proteins, leading to infections and allergic reactions.

If you have more than one cat and many litter boxes, you know the challenges of keeping a clean and tidy carpet. Given many owners find cats urinating in their laundry baskets, a carpet stain isn't the worst thing in the world, but it's still unpleasant. Preventing future accidents is crucial, but knowing how to deal with an existing stain is vital.

The ammonia smell can be overpowering and if left untreated, the pee stain will smell worse. Cats prefer a clean litter box, so you can be proactive in helping them find a good place to urinate, but if you need help to ensure your home benefits from clean dried cat urine, The Carpet Team is here to assist you.

While you're using our site, we invite you to delve into our blog post titled "How To Clean A Carpet By Hand" to obtain additional insights and practical instructions.



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