Ultimate Solution to Get Cat Pee Smell Out of Carpet on the First Try

Ultimate Solution to Get Cat Pee Smell Out of Carpet on the First Try

Is your cat a whiz at peeing on your carpets? Find out how to solve this frustrating problem and put an end to the lingering odors!
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Does your cat like to color outside the lines? If your cat tends to pee on the carpets versus inside the litterbox, this can lead to major odor problems in your home.

To make matters worse (and smellier), cats often revisit the scene of the crime, peeing in the same spot over and over again if the odor isn’t completely eliminated. To reclaim your carpets – and your sanity – keep reading about how to get cat pee out of carpet, for good!

Why Does Cat Pee Smell So Bad?

No one wants their home to smell like cat pee, but if your kitty is going on the carpets, the odor problem can spiral, fast. That’s because the smell of cat pee gets worse with time. Many people are unaware of an issue until they’re thrust into a full-on cat-pee nightmare.

Here’s why cat pee odor is so pungent: as bacterium decomposes urea, a compound found in cat pee, it emits a stale, ammonia-like smell. During the second stage of decomposition, the urine releases mercaptans, the compounds that give skunk spray its notoriously bad smell.

Cat urine can also be smellier if you have an older cat with kidney issues, a diabetic cat, or an unaltered male (this is due to the hormones in their urine). Keep in mind that male cats, even if they’re neutered, tend to have smellier urine compared to female cats due to the presence of certain steroids. But let’s be clear: any kind of cat urine smell is a bad smell and needs to be cleaned up completely!

Floored by cat pee? Don't make this top mistake.

The biggest mistake cat parents make regarding how to get cat pee out of their carpets is letting the stains sit too long. Remember: cat urine becomes more concentrated with time.

To compound the problem, if the cat pee dries and you’re unaware of it, the cat will be attracted back to the spot to add more urine to the party. This is called re-marking and it’s a battle many cat parents have faced. You’ll want to be on high alert for urine spots and then clean up the stained areas right away.

My Cat Peed Again?! Getting to the root of the problem.

Knowing how to get cat pee out of your carpet will save your nose and quite possibly a relationship or two, but that’s only half the battle. You’ll also want to uncover WHY your cat isn’t using the litter box. Despite the lore, it’s not your cat getting revenge on you. (I told you salmon treats, not chicken!!!) There are a variety of more plausible reasons your cat could be choosing to pee on the carpets, from stress to not enough litter boxes. To help you get to the bottom (sorry) of this troubling bathroom behavior, check out: 5 Top Reasons Your Cat Isn’t Using the Litter Box.

How to Get Cat Pee out of Carpet: Products to Avoid

Don’t reach for any old product when you’re attempting to get cat pee out of your carpets. You’ll want to avoid any products with bleach. Cat urine has a high ammonia concentration, and bleach mixed with ammonia releases harmful gases. In addition to being dangerous, bleach doesn’t neutralize cat urine odors and can make the smell worse. If you clean up your cat’s pee spots with towels, don’t launder them with bleach either.

Also, don’t use any cleaning product with ammonia. Because ammonia is a component of cat urine, adding more ammonia to the mix will make the spot smell even more like their own pee and encourage them to keep going there.

Avoid using a steam cleaner on urine stains too, as the heat of it can set the stain.

Will Vinegar Get Cat Pee Smell out of Carpet?

This acidic pantry staple WILL get cat pee smell out of carpet, as well as stains. While the stain removal process is quick, it’s the odor removal that takes longer ... up to 24 hours to get rid of the cat pee smell.

To get stains and cat pee smell out of your carpets with vinegar, mix one part distilled white vinegar to two parts water. Blot up as much of the cat pee as you can with a cloth. (Tip: it helps to stand on the cloth to soak everything up.) Then liberally apply your vinegar mix to the area. Let it sit for 5–10 minutes, then blot with a cloth. Sprinkle a layer of baking soda to the treated area, let it sit for 24 hours, and then vacuum it up.

If your cat is spraying/urinating on the walls, this mix of vinegar and water will do a wonderful job of removing odors from those areas too.

The downside of using vinegar to get cat pee smell out of carpets, besides the time it takes, is that vinegar itself smells. Many people HATE the smell of vinegar, and especially if there are multiple pee spots, this is just not a viable option for them.

Best Commercial Products to Get Cat Pee Smell out of Carpet

If you don’t like the fuss, time commitment, or smell of vinegar to get rid of cat pee smells, that’s OK. You have options. Here are the best choices to get rid of cat pee odors from your carpets.

Enzyme Cleaner for Cat Pee

Enzyme cleaners are a tried-and-true method for quickly removing cat pee odors from carpets. Enzymes act as catalysts to speed up the breakdown of uric acid and other organic waste in cat pee. (Uric acid is the cause of that stale cat-pee smell.)

The downside of using enzyme cleaners for cat pee is many leave a greasy residue behind that attracts dirt and oils. This doesn’t give your carpets that like-new look you’re going for.

Additionally, if you see the word fragrance or parfum on the label, this is a red flag for harmful chemicals. (Fragrances are protected by trade secret law, so these chemicals aren’t listed in the ingredient section.) If you do roll with an enzyme cleaner for cat pee, look for a fragrance-free product. After all, you don’t want to mask cat pee smell with another strong smell.

Oxyfresh Stain & Odor Remover (AKA the Best Cat Pee Cleaner Ever)

Move over, enzyme cleaners! There’s a revolutionary new cat pee cleaner on the market that works just as fast, but without weird residue or fragrances: Oxyfresh Stain & Odor Remover.

Only Oxyfresh cat pee cleaner is formulated with proprietary Oxygene® to neutralize cat pee smells and other offending pet odors right at the microbial source, through the gentle process of oxidation. Combined with Fresh Air® technology, even the most stubborn cat pee smells are no match. No more lingering odors = no more re-marking!

USA made with no fragrance coverups, you’ll love having carpets so fresh and clean you could eat off ‘em if you wanted to. ;)

Ooh! Like-New Carpets!

  • Free of parabens & fragrance
  • Won’t attract dirt or grime
  • No harsh chemical smell
  • Helps prevent re-marking
  • Safe for kids & fur kids
  • Odors completely gone

To get cat pee out of your carpets with Oxyfresh cat pee cleaner, do this:

    • Remove as much of the cat pee as possible using a highly absorbent towel.
    • Apply a liberal amount of cat pee cleaner to affected area. Let stand for 5–10 minutes, then blot with a towel and let air dry.
    • Once dried, vacuum and inspect. While Oxyfresh generally works on the first try, for older or epic stains and odors, you may need to apply twice.

You can also use Oxyfresh cat pee cleaner to get cat pee smell out of clothes, couches, or anywhere else your kitty goes. It’s purrfect for all surfaces! Try it today and put your kitty’s smelly urine to the test!

stain and odor remover five star review

melissa gulbranson oxyfresh cmo

Meet the Author

Melissa Gulbranson is the Co-Chief Operating Officer & Chief Marketing Officer for Oxyfresh. A recipient of the Pet Age's "Women of Influence" Award, she’s passionate about educating pet parents in ways that really resonate with them. Melissa loves days on the lake and hiking with her fur kid, Parker, and husband, Doug. Parker (a total ham) can be spotted running laps through the office each morning, greeting every team member. You can find Parker near the treats, and Melissa on Linkedin.