Many owners of cats absolutely adore their four-legged friends as cats have much more personality than some people would have you believe. However, when you take on the task of raising a kitten from a very young age or even from birth, you will come to realize that raising a cat can sometimes be difficult.
For example, cats have to be litter-trained. Of course, cats are more intelligent than they often let on and will usually grasp the concept of being litter-trained in about a week’s time (maybe a little bit more if the kitten is feral). During this time, there will still, unfortunately, be accidents. Scolding a cat for these accidents will do nothing but terrorize the cat, hindering any progress it has made in becoming fully litter-trained.
What Will You Need to Remove the Smell of Urine?
When you are removing cat urine smell from carpets, there are a few materials that you will need to get the job done. Generally, you will want to remove the smell as soon as you notice and find it because it will only get worse over time because of how cat urine decomposes. Some ways to neutralize the odor are by using vinegar, baking soda, and enzymatic cleaners. By being able to reduce the smell, your cat will be less likely to urinate in that same area.
Vinegar, while it doesn’t smell the greatest, is wonderful when it comes to removing odors. This is because vinegar is an acid that will neutralize the alkaline salts that are found in dried cat urine. With one part water and one part vinegar, you will be able to remove the smell of urine from just about any carpet without having to worry about the smell ever coming back. Baking soda is similar in this regard.
Enzymatic cleaners are exactly as they sound: cleaners with special enzymes. These cleaners have special enzymes in them that are designed to break down the acid in cat urine, unlike what vinegar does. These enzymes also get rid of the bacteria that is in cat urine, making your home a safer place for your health as well. You can find these cleaners in just about any and every pet store and these cleaners can be used on couch cushions, mattresses, and linens in addition to your carpet.
You should also consider getting the contact information of a professional cleaner. This will help you out if you ever find yourself in a situation where you cannot clean your carpet yourself. There are many cleaners who will be more than happy to leave your carpet smelling urine-free.
How Do You Clean Your Carpet with Enzymatic Cleaner?
Most enzyme cleaners come in a spray bottle, making it even easier for you to spray a coating onto your carpet. Usually, you will let the solution sit for around 10 to 15 minutes so that the enzymes have time to break down as much of the urine as possible. Once this time has passed, you will want to clean up as much of the cleaner as you can with a clean cloth.
As you wait for this process to be over, you should cover the area with a piece of aluminum foil or an aluminum baking sheet so that your cat isn’t tempted to urinate there. If you cannot do this, consider covering the area with an upside-down basket so that your cat is physically unable to get to the spot that you are cleaning. If the stain in question is old or particularly smelly stain, you will want to repeat this process to get the best results possible.
If you find that the urine stain has penetrated the subflooring of your house, there is nothing that the enzymatic cleaner can do to fix this. In fact, no proper urine cleaner can remove this issue, meaning that you will have to take up the floor, place a special stain-blocking (preferably oil-based) primer beneath the carpeting, and replace the padding and that area of the carpet. Because it can be such a hassle to do this, you should probably make sure that this never happens by cleaning up urine stains as soon as you smell something wrong.
How Do You Clean Your Carpet with Vinegar or Baking Soda?
Usually, you will not want to use a pure vinegar solution because this can damage some high-quality carpets. Plus, vinegar doesn’t smell much better than urine. This means that when you are putting together your vinegar cleaning solution, you should probably mix it up to be one part water and the other part vinegar. Once you have done this, you should find a spray bottle to make it easier to apply the vinegar solution to the stain.
After you have poured the vinegar solution into the spray bottle, you simply spray it onto the stain. You will then want to rinse the area with clean water and remove the liquid with a vacuum that can remove the liquid. If you are able to, you should then follow up with an enzymatic cleaner but if you cannot, this is okay.
Sadly, this process is not nearly as quick and efficient as it is with enzymatic cleaners. With vinegar solutions, the smell will stick around for a few days. The good news is that after those few days have passed, the smell of the urine will be gone as well, leaving you with a carpet that no longer smells of cat urine. Using baking soda to remove the smell will produce similar effects in a similar time frame.
Should This Be a Time-Sensitive Issue?
Should you be more concerned about being time-sensitive when you are removing cat urine smell from carpets, then you should stick with the enzymatic cleaner. Needless to say, however, if you only have vinegar or baking soda in your house as something to remove urine with, then you should definitely use it.
Getting rid of the urine stench is important as it prevents your cat from being tempted to urinate in that same area. Because this process takes so long, you should take even more care to find something that your cat cannot get through, such as an upside-down basket that has something on top of it to weigh it down.
What About Hiring Professional Cleaners?
If you do not have the products needed to get rid of the smell of urine from your house and you do not have a good time when you can get out of the house to obtain these products, then you might want to consider the assistance of a professional carpet cleaner.
This would be especially helpful if you find that there are multiple, deeply penetrating urine stains in your carpet that normal cleaners cannot get through. With a professional carpet cleaner by your side, you can rest assured knowing that you can come back home to a carpet that smells fresh and not of urine.
However, you will want to take care to tell the carpet cleaners that you are removing urine and that they should not use cleaning products that have ammonia or use steam as both of these cleaning products can be hugely detrimental to your progress in removing the smell of cat urine from your carpet.
To put it simply, ammonia-based cleaning products will combine with the ammonia in cat urine, making matters significantly worse for everyone involved. Steam-based cleaning products will use heat to remove stains but this heat can just worsen the smell of cat urine in carpets.
These aren’t all the reasons why you shouldn’t use these products to clean cat urine out of a carpet. In fact, there are more than a few reasons why you should stay away from these products in particular.
What Should You Stay Away From?
Just as there are products that will remove the stench of urine from your carpet, there are products that you should stay far away from when you are removing cat urine smell from carpets. These two products are going to be ammonia-based cleaners and cleaning machines that use steam to get rid of stains.
Ammonia-based products are going to bind with the ammonia in the cat urine, making the smell several times worse than it already is. Not only will this be unpleasant for just about every person living in the house but it will also make all the cats in your house much more likely to urinate in that one area, which is the opposite of what you want. Ammonia, along with several other chemical cleaners, will also set the stain, which is also the opposite of what you want when you are trying to clean a stain up.
Removing Cat Urine Smell From Carpets.
You will also want to stay far away from any steam-cleaning product as well. Steam cleaners always use heat to turn the water into steam for cleaning purposes. This heat can actually make urine stains significantly worse.
It will set the stain, making it much more difficult for you to remove it permanently and increasing the chances that your cats will want to urinate in that one particular area again. You should stick with using a cleaner if you are able to as this will be the most efficient way to get rid of the smell of urine.
By following these steps, you can make sure that your carpet no longer smells of urine, making life notably easier for you and just about every other animal and person in your house.
Why Does Cat Pee Smell?
There are two major components to why cat urine smells so much worse on carpets rather than hardwood or vinyl floors. For one, carpets have fibers that absorb the urine, holding its stench well after you have cleaned up the urine itself. With hardwood floors and vinyl floors, the original smell is about the same but it doesn’t linger quite the same way that urine on a carpet does. This can make it somewhat more difficult for you to remove the smell of urine from a carpet.
The other factor that you will have to think about is why cat urine smells bad in the first place. While nobody ever really wants to think about cat urine, understanding why it smells bad is an important step in learning how to clean it up properly. Cat urine tends to give off almost an ammonia-Esque scent when it begins decomposing, which is one of the reasons why it smells so awful. During the second stage of decomposition, it begins emitting mercaptans. Mercaptans are the compounds that give a skunk’s spray the characteristic smell that it has.
When you combine the fact that not only does cat urine have compounds in it that give it the smell of ammonia combined with a skunk’s spray but that carpet fibers tend to hold in molecules of cat urine, it becomes no surprise that the smell of the urine often lingers on your carpet.
However, now that you know why cat urine smells so bad with carpets, you can begin taking the steps to combat the smell. But, before you begin tackling the task of removing cat urine smell from carpets, you should also investigate why your cat is urinating on the carpet in the first place as it could indicate something wrong with your cat’s behavioral or physical health.
Why Do Cats Urinate on the Carpet?
Cats will usually urinate on the carpet for one of a few reasons. It could simply be that your cat hasn’t yet been litter-trained, meaning that it does not know the proper place to urinate yet. This will take time to fix but it is arguably the easiest problem to fix when you are facing a cat urinating on the carpet.
Other reasons could be that the cat does not agree with the litterbox that you have for whatever reason. If your cat does not see the litterbox as a suitable place to eliminate, then there is a very good chance that the cat simply isn’t going to use it. This problem can be solved by figuring out why your cat doesn’t want the litterbox.
Some cats won’t use litterboxes that are in too open of space whereas other cats don’t enjoy sharing litterboxes with other cats. (The rule of thumb is that you should always have one litterbox per cat in the house plus an extra box.) Cats also won’t use a litterbox that is dirty so you should clean out the litterbox often to prevent your cat from urinating elsewhere.
Cats will also urinate on the carpet when they mark territory. Usually, cats mark their territory if they perceive a threat to that territory, such as another cat or dog in the house. The best way to deter your cat from doing this is to make sure that it has spaces of its own where whatever is encroaching on the territory is no longer a “threat”.
Considering a Health Reason Why Your Cat Is Urinating on the Carpet
The fourth and final reason why your cat may be urinating on the carpet is due to a health issue. Incontinence and issues with the urinary tract can lead to your cat urinating on the carpet even if it doesn’t want to. To rule out any medical issues as being the reason why your cat is urinating on the carpet, you should make sure that you take your cat to the vet unless you are absolutely certain that the reason is that your cat is not yet litter-trained.
That urine smell is horrendous
Now that you know the potential reasons why your cat is urinating on the carpet, you will be able to better deduce where the smell of the urine is coming from instead of simply knowing a general location. If the cat is not litter-trained yet, it will usually find a corner to urinate in.
This also applies to cats who are not in the mood to use their litterboxes; however, you might find some urine near the litterbox itself. With cats that are marking territory, they will usually stand up against walls to mark. This means that you will find urine along the border between the carpet and wall, which can be annoying at times.
Finally, cats who urinate on the carpet due to a medical issue will usually feel ashamed, especially if they are already litter-trained. This means that, unless it is due to incontinence, accidents will happen in hidden locations such as underneath a table, chair, or sofa or behind furniture.