While cats might be one of the world’s favorite pets, there are some downsides to these cute, funny creatures. First, of course, we’re talking about inappropriate urination, or in other words, when your cat pees outside of the litter box.
The cat pee odor is pretty pungent and certainly not one you want in your home. And, removing cat urine smells is no easy task, especially if the urine has soaked into the couch cushions.
However, in this comprehensive guide, we’re going to take you through everything you need to know about removing cat urine stains and smells from your couch and other soft furnishings.
Table of Contents
What makes your cat urine outside of the litter box?
Before we discuss removing the urine smell, it’s essential to understand why your cat chose to urinate outside of the litter box, so you can prevent this from happening again in the future.
You need to clean the cat’s litter box regularly
Although it might not seem like it when she’s urinating on your couch, your feline friend is very clean by nature. In other words, she isn’t going to be too happy about using a dirty litter box. So make sure to scoop out any wet or soiled litter every day.
Your cat may have medical problems
Your cat’s behavior might be a sign that something isn’t quite right. For example, there could be an issue with your pet’s kidneys, such as kidney disease, or she may be suffering from a urine infection. Seek veterinary advice if the problem persists.
The litter box is too small
There are a lot of litter boxes on the market, and you might have to try out a selection to find one your cat likes. Cats are known to be picky, so if the litter box isn’t big enough for her to move around comfortably, she may choose not to use it.
Similarly, consider different types of kitty litter, as your furry friend might have a preference!
Cats’ behavior can be a mystery sometimes. Inappropriate urination could mean a change in their environment stresses your pet – a house move, a new pet, or even other animals outside are common culprits. Sometimes male cats spray on the furniture to mark their territory – neutering your pet should take care of this issue.
5 ways to get cat pee smell out
So, how do you clean cat urine odors and stains from your sofa? Here are five tried and tested methods.
1. Baking soda mixture
Our first fix is pretty simple, using an ingredient you probably have in your pantry already – baking soda. To use baking soda to get rid of the cat urine smell, pour the powder directly onto the affected area.
Let it sit for a while to absorb the urine odor, then vacuum it up. You might have to repeat this a few times if the pee smell is particularly strong.
2. White vinegar method
Vinegar kills the bacteria found in cat urine which causes unpleasant odors, using air freshners will help here too. So, while vinegar might be a bit smelly itself, this is a quick and cheap fix, and you probably have the ingredients at home already.
All you need to do is use one part vinegar and one part water together in a spray bottle, spray the urine spot liberally, then leave to dry, using paper towels to remove excess moisture as needed. Repeat as necessary if you can still smell the urine.
3. Enzyme-Based Cleaners
Baking soda and vinegar are great if you don’t have any special cleaning products, but an enzymatic cleaner is a better option if you can find it. Enzymatic cleaners work by breaking down the acid in cat pee that gives it such foul odors.
You’ll be able to find an enzyme cleaner in your local pet store that is designed for cleaning up cat pee. Using a product like this will stop your cat from smelling the urine in that spot and hopefully prevent them from going there again.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide Solution
Hydrogen peroxide is another common household substance that you might already have in your medicine cabinet. As it is antibacterial, it is excellent for getting rid of that nasty cat urine odor. As a bonus, it also works well at removing stains. Yes, even cat pee stains!
To get cat pee smells and stains out of your couch using this fix, all you have to do is pour it on and watch and wait! Then, you can scrub it in with a brush before using some cool water to rinse it off afterwards.
5. Dish Detergent
Our final tip for getting a cat pee stain out of your couch is using dish soap. Yet another cheap and easy fix that you already have, dish-washing liquid can get rid of the foul smell for both you and your cat – and therefore stop your cat from urinating there again.
You should mix dish soap and water and scrub the area thoroughly, repeating the cleaning process several times to completely eliminate odors and cat stains. Essentially, you want to dilute the urine as much as possible.
Cat urine FAQs
Which cleaning solutions should pet owners avoid?
While you might want to try a range of cleaning products to remove a pet urine stain from your furniture, there are a few you should definitely avoid in this case.
Any cleaning solution containing ammonia is a big no-no, as this is the chemical that gives cat urine its characteristic smell. So, your cat might mistake the smell of ammonia for their own urine and make the problem worse.
Bleach-based cleaners should also be avoided in this case, as they can be harmful to your pet.
Why does cat urine smell so much?
Cat pee contains high levels of ammonia, uric acid, and bacteria. In addition, you might find your cats’ age affects the smell – as their kidney function declines, the cat’s urine will typically start to smell worse. Males also have testosterone in their urine to warn other males to stay away from their patch!
Why do cats spray?
Cats pee like this to warn other cats, or even people, of many different things. For example, it could be to tell fellow cats that this is their territory or even to tell their owner that they feel threatened by something.
How do I stop my cat from going back to the same spot?
To stop your cat from thinking that the sofa is now her litter box, it’s a good idea to use an enzyme cleaner to remove pet odors and dried urine stains thoroughly.
You can also cover the area with a layer of aluminium foil as a temporary measure while cleaning the stain. Cats are known to hate the sound and feel of aluminium foil under the paws, so it can be a powerful yet harmless and straightforward deterrent.
Can I get dried in cat pee smell out?
Lingering odors can be notoriously tricky to get rid of, and for that reason, it’s best to clean up straight away if you notice any suspicious stains.
If the urine dries in before you clean it, it can be more challenging to know where you have to scrub. If the smell persists after washing, let the cleaning products sit overnight on the stained area. For more ideas, check out our section on cleaning.