a tabby cat resting on a white carpet

Meowful stains & smells: How to clean cat pee from a carpet

Carpet cleaning pointers for those with naughty cats

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Having a cat can be a source of joy and comfort in a household, especially for those who prefer the company of felines as opposed to people. However, being a cat owner means accepting the possibility of various pet-related incidents, such as cups falling off tables, furniture getting scratched, and carpets being stained with cat pee.

The last one can be especially hard to deal with since it is challenging—though not impossible—to completely remove cat urine stains and smells from carpets. If it is of particular concern to you, just follow this guide on how to clean cat pee from carpets to get one problem off your mind.

Preparing to clean your pee-stained carpet

how to clean cat pee from carpet - a man vacuuming a carpet next to a bucket of cleaning tools

Before proceeding with cleaning cat pee from your carpet, you should first gather all the tools and products that you need:

  • Bucket of cold water

  • Enzymatic cleaner in a spray bottle

  • Paper towel or cloth

  • Rubber gloves

  • Vacuum

How to remove cat urine from your carpet

Step 1: Blot the wet spot on the carpet

how to clean cat pee from carpet - a woman dabbing a dirty carpet with a small towel

The first thing to do in the cleaning process is to wear a pair of rubber gloves to avoid touching the pee and cleaning solutions with your bare hands. Afterwards, use a clean cloth or paper towel to soak up as much urine as possible from your carpet. It’s preferable to do a dabbing motion instead of scrubbing to prevent the spread of pee and odour on the carpet’s surface.

Step 2: Rinse the surface

Use cold water to rinse the same spot. If you’re dealing with old cat urine odour removal, the home remedy will have to start here since the pee will most likely have dried up by the time you clean it. In preparation for the next step, use a vacuum to dry the surface. Take note that using a steamer instead of a vacuum for this particular procedure is a no-no because it can cause the cat pee smell to set in the carpet more.

Step 3: Pour or spray enzymatic cleaner

One of the best ways to get rid of cat pee smells and stains is by using enzyme cleaners. But be sure to test it on a small patch first to see if it will cause discolouration. If it does not affect the carpet’s colour, you may proceed with its usage.

To neutralise the unwanted odour and get rid of the stain effectively, pour or spray a generous amount of the solution on your carpet; a few sprays will likely be useless because they won’t thoroughly saturate the carpet fibres and reach every part where the pee has settled. After pouring the enzyme cleaner, wait 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing the carpet with water again.

Step 4: Vacuum the area

how to clean cat pee from carpet - a woman vacuuming a white carpet beside a tabby cat

Vacuuming the damp spot again is the last step on how to remove cat urine smell from carpets and the stain it comes with. You can use a vacuum specially made to handle pet urine, but a regular one is just as fine. Run it through the affected area multiple times until it becomes dry.

How to protect your carpet from another cat pee incident

how to clean cat pee from carpet - a house-trained Siamese cat sitting in a litter box

Cat urine can permanently damage carpets. As such, it’s important to prevent a cat pee incident from reoccurring by using a cat repellent. Some are available as powders or liquid sprays, while others come in the form of plants, like the aptly named scaredy cat plant.

You may also hire a professional cat trainer who can improve your pet’s behaviour and teach them that peeing should only be done in designated areas, such as cat litter boxes.

Restore your carpet’s cleanliness with Airtasker

how to clean cat pee from carpet - a woman spraying a cleaning solution onto a white carpet

Part of having a clean household is not letting cat urine stains and smells linger on any surface of your property. However, taking care of this issue can be difficult if you have a busy lifestyle. With Airtasker, you can pass on the problem to a professional who knows how to remove cat pee on carpets and how to clean rugs.

Just post a task on the website with all the necessary details (like your location and budget, as well as your carpet’s fabric type) to start receiving offers. Viewing Taskers’ performance reviews can help you decide which of them is the best fit for the job.

The pros at Airtasker also got you if you are dealing with other carpet stains, such as blood or vomit.

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Cat urine can produce an unpleasant odour because it contains substances like urea, urobilogen, and uric acid. When left on a carpet for a long time, the process of decomposition can also give off a pungent ammonia smell due to compounds called mercaptans, making the smell worse. For these same reasons, it can take years for cat urine smell to go away from carpets if left unattended.

Yes, a solution composed of half vinegar and half water can help neutralise the smell of cat pee on your carpet. However, be careful not to mix it with chlorine bleach in the hope of making it more effective because this mixture may cause irritation.

But how do you get cat urine out of a carpet if you have neither an enzymatic cleaner nor vinegar at home? Another option for the removal of cat urine smells is baking soda. Just sprinkle some on the area where your cat peed, then wait about an hour before picking it up with a vacuum.

One possible reason why your cat pees outside a clean litter box is because of an underlying medical problem, such as urinary stones or interstitial cystitis. Other plausible causes include inadequate training, preference for another surface, or physical inability due to old age. If you suspect that the problem is related to the litter box itself—like if it is not cleaned enough or too small for your cat—replacing it with another one may solve your problem.

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