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Cats are pretty neat creatures, you have nothin’ to worry about”, they said!

Now the whole house smells horrible because your cat thought that peeing on the carpet was a fantastic idea. 

Newsflash, it is not! 

Do you know what the most annoying part is?

The longer cat pee sits on the carpet, the more it stinks up the place and the harder it becomes to get rid of that horrible smell. 

So, 

How do you get rid of cat urine odor, whether from a freshly soiled spot or an old spot that has dried out? 

I’ll show you.

First, let’s see why cat pee smells so horrible and why it is so difficult to get rid of.

What’s Behind Cat Urine’s Powerful Odor?

Two words… Concentration and bacteria.

Cat urine contains a high level of uric acid and proteins which gives it a very distinct odor. Since most healthy cats would barely take a sip of water even at gunpoint, this makes their urine more concentrated – BTW, check out these quiet cat water fountains to help with your cat’s hydration levels.

At the time of urination, the pee is really acidic and filled with nutrients (protein and uric acid). This makes cat pee attractive to bacteria that begin breaking its content down into the most pungent-smelling odor.

Why Is It Difficult to Get Cat Pee Smell Out of Carpets?

Photo by lord_ photon from Pexels

The main reason cleaning cat urine from carpet proves difficult is because of how carpets are made.

A well-made carpet has more than four different layers: the carpet yarn, the primary backing, the adhesive layer, the secondary backing, etc.

When a cat pees on the carpet, the urine soaks through all four (or more) layers until it reaches the floor. This makes it harder to remove from the carpet, especially when the pee has dried in.

It’s even worse when there is concrete flooring underneath the carpet because concrete is super absorbent.

Irrespective of whatever method (natural home remedy or commercial product) you’re using to get rid of cat pee smell, you must have it in mind that the solution needs to reach the urine in whichever layer of the carpet it is.

Don’t just focus on the carpet yarn. You need to soak the carpet with the urine odor cleaner the same way the cat urine soaked it. This way, it can reach and neutralize all urine crystals in and under the carpet.

Now that you know what you’re dealing with, let’s see the best way to deal with a fresh cat urine spot, as well as the most effective way to get rid of odor from old or dried cat urine.

The Most Effective Strategies to Remove Cat Pee Smell.

There are 2 methods to get cat pee smell out of the carpet. The natural, homemade treatment method and the commercial treatment method. The effectiveness of each method depends on how much of the urine you can target, as well as the age of the urine stain.

1. The natural treatment methods.

These methods are best for dealing with cat pee as soon as they happen (since you’ll probably have the tools at home) instead of letting it sit in the carpet until you get a commercially made enzymatic cleaner.

Vinegar and Water.

Mix a cup of white vinegar with an equal amount of water and ensure you soak the carpet stain with this solution. I recommend saturating a larger area of the carpet than the size of the stain i.e. if the cat pee is 10 inches wide, then saturate an area that is 15-20 inches wide and ensure the stain is in the middle.

This is because when cat pee (or any other fluid) wets a carpet, the visible stain on the top yarn is usually smaller than the area the fluid has spread into.

After about 30 minutes, remove as much of the liquid as you can from the carpet. Several treatments may be required to remove the strong cat pee smell. The smell of vinegar will dissipate once it dries off.

Hydrogen Peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide is a really powerful pet-odor banishing chemical. This chemical is a simple home remedy that is suitable for the removal of old cat urine odor from carpet.

As hydrogen peroxide oxidizes, the chemical naturally helps in breaking down odors irrespective of how long they have been on the carpet. Simply pour the solution and let it sit on the affected area for roughly 10-15 minutes before blotting it up.

However, it must be used with caution on carpets because it can bleach dyed carpets, especially carpets made of wool. To avoid this fate, you have to test it out on a small part of the carpet (try the edge of the carpet or a piece of leftover carpet) before applying it to your precious carpet.

Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide Combo.

This method works perfectly on its own or as a secondary treatment to the vinegar and water method.

What you have to do is sprinkle some baking soda over the stained portion of the carpet and work it into the carpet yarn. Get a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution and pour it over the baking soda.

Use an old toothbrush to work it into the carpet, then let it dry – don’t worry, it won’t smell. Once dry, use an upholstery brush attachment to vacuum the residue away.

Club Soda.

First off, this is not a home remedy that will work on old cat urine. It works best on fresh stains that are yet to set into the carpet. And, it’s a great alternative to use when you want to avoid the smell of vinegar or don’t want to risk bleaching your carpet.

Simply pour club soda onto the carpet and wait for the effervescence to stop. Use a towel to blot away the liquid.

You can also use a club soda and baking soda combo.

2. The commercial products methods.

Except your cat has peed outside her litter box before or you envisioned it happening, chances are, you will not have a commercial cat pee cleaner lying around at home when your cat wets the carpet.

Commercial cat pee cleaners are great for fresh stains as well as old and dry stains. If the natural, homemade remedies listed above do not remove the cat pee smell from your carpet (I see no reason why they shouldn’t, especially the ‘hydrogen peroxide’ and ‘vinegar’ method), then grab a commercial product and remove the cat pee smell once and for all.

Treatments with enzymes.

Enzymatic cat pee cleaners neutralize and get cat pee smell out of the carpet, couch, hardwood, or concrete floor without producing a strong smell like vinegar.

Although you may still need to treat the carpet or any other surface multiple times for the formula to destroy all cat pee molecules, enzymatic cleaners are very effective and safe for use on most carpets.

2 good enzymatic cleaners I recommend for removing cat pee from the carpet are Mister Max Anti Icky Odor Remover and Rocco & Roxie Supply Professional Strength Stain and Odor Eliminator.

Their formula contains cultures or enzymes that chew away at the odor-causing chemicals in cat urine leaving your carpet odorless and clean.

Oxygen cleaners.

If you are looking for something to help you clean the smell of dried cat urine from the carpet, then avoid oxygen cleaners. That’s because they work best on recent stains i.e. less than 48 hours.

Carpet cleaner with pet stain removal solution.

If you have a carpet cleaner in the house, you can use it to get rid of cat pee smell without breaking a sweat.

Most carpet cleaners remove stains from carpet by flushing it with clean water mixed with a cleaning solution. The dirty water is then sucked back from the carpet.

The cleaning solution is usually a very strong soap, like the Hoover Renewal Deep Cleaning Carpet Shampoo. However, you can throw in 4 or 5 caps full of enzymatic cleaner to neutralize and banish the cap pee smell from your carpet. I recommend ANGRY ORANGE Pet Odor Remover

If your carpet cleaner uses steam to soften and remove stains, don’t use it on cat pee. That’s because heat ends up making cat pee on the carpet stubborn and angry.

Now that you know what to use on cat pee, the next question is where to use it.

How do you find the spot that your cat peed on before it’s too late?

How Do You Locate Invisible Cat Urine Spot?

Photo by dan from Pexels

How do you get rid of cat pee smell naturally or with an enzymatic cleaner when you can’t find where it is?

The first challenge of cleaning fresh or dried cat urine from carpet is finding it. That’s because cats rarely eliminate (pee or poop) in the open. They tend to urinate in hidden areas, corners, and against borders.

An effective strategy is to first inspect the perimeter of the carpet. Cat pee stains may be visible on some carpet, but that’s not always the case.

You can do it in the difficult, ugly, and distasteful way – by crawling on your knees and hands while using your use to sniff out the source of the smell.

It shouldn’t be difficult to find!

Or…

You can locate the source of the smell with the help of a handheld black light. That’s because cat pee in the carpet produces a noticeable glow under black light.

I recommend Vansky 51 LED Blacklight, the beam is strong and it has removable batteries – meaning you don’t have to worry about charging it every 30 days to prevent the built-in battery from dying.

For best results, do this at night or turn off all the light and cover the curtain to block out sunlight. Use some object to mark the stained spot so you can easily find it again once you open the curtain.  

So, we come to the final question that will help prevent a re-wetting of the carpet:

Why on earth did your cat pee outside her litter box?

Why do cats urinate outside the box?

First off, a cat peeing outside the litter box is not doing so to spite you or as a form of revenge. She is sending you a message that needs to be decoded and acted on immediately.

Here are the various reasons your cat is urinating outside her litter box:

1. Medical Problem.

Peeing outside the litter box may be an indication that your cat has some health issues. This could be a urinary tract infection, kidney disease, or diabetes.

It can also signal that your cat is unable to step into the litter box because she has arthritis – BTW, read how to help arthritic pets feel better this season.

To rule out medical issues, you need to get your cat evaluated by the vet as soon as possible.

2. Behavioral Problem.

If your home is a multi-cat household, it is likely that one cat will urinate outside the litter box – on the carpet, couch, wooden floor, or a pile of dirty clothes.

The main reason this happens is that there are more cats than there are litter boxes or the litter box is not clean. Read this article now to learn how to get rid of litter box stench forever!

Litter box sharing is often a night because cats generally don’t like sharing. To solve this, you have to add more litter boxes for your kitties.

Small piss, terrible smell.

Photo by Jenna Hamra from Pexels

How long does cat urine odor last?

Short answer, very loooong!

Cat pee is not something that you should leave on the carpet thinking time will make it fade. That’s never gonna happen!

A teaspoon of cat pee can make your whole house smell bad. 

And, yes! I know the title says ‘How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell Like a Pro’.

However, if you think you have done everything you can, but the smell still persists. Then it’s probably time to call the real experts to do their thing on the cat pee smell.

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