Cat Pee on Carpet: How to Deal with It
This article is for all the cat lovers who have carpet. One of the most stubborn and challenging pet messes to get rid of is cat pee on your carpet. There's nothing worse than a cat who suddenly decides your carpet is their new litter box. No matter how many cleaning products you use, that sour ammonia smell may linger underneath, making you wrinkle your nose every time you catch the smell.
Fortunately, there are ways that may get rid of that sharp cat urine smell, and below we'll tell you exactly how to do it — step-by-step — with separate instructions for eliminating wet and dry cat urine on carpet.
Plus, we share some pro tips on how to keep your home free of odors. If you would prefer to have a professional come out and look at the problem, My Pro Cleaner is always here to help. We've helped Houston and Spring, Texas area households eliminate pet spots and odors since 2004.
Why Is It So Difficult to Get Rid of Cat Urine from Carpets?
The smell of cat pee on carpet is difficult to remove, because it soaks into the fibers, causing the smell to set. Plus, carpet has four layers: the sub-floor, the carpet pad, the carpet backing, and the surface.
When your cat pees on the carpet, the urine can permeate through all four layers, causing a deep-seated stench that's difficult to remove. But many people don't realize this, so they only clean the carpet's surface, which doesn't eliminate the source of the odor.
If you're going to use a store-bought pet cleaner in a spray bottle, take the top off and pour a small amount onto the carpet instead of spraying a fine mist. BUT please don't oversaturate the area, which can cause the stain to spread.
Important Note: Always test store-bought cleaners first on a small and inconspicuous area of your carpet to ensure they won't stain, bleach, or damage your carpeting or affect the carpet’s color. Avoid cleaners with a high pH, like oxygenated bleaches or ammonia.
How to Clean Wet Cat Urine from Your Carpet: Step-by-Step Instructions
First, we'll tell you how to remove fresh cat urine from your carpet. Remember, the faster you can clean it up, the easier it will be to get rid of the smell.
Here's what you'll need to clean a wet stain:
● Clean, plain white paper towels or cleaning rags
● Rubber gloves
● Wet/dry shop vac (optional, if you have one)
● Clear Liquid Dish Soap
● Empty Spray Bottle
● Enzyme cleaner for pet messes
After you have your cleaning products, follow these steps:
- First, put on your rubber gloves. Then, if you have a wet/dry shop vac, use that to extract as much urine as possible. If you don't have a shop vac, use paper towels or a cleaning rag, and blot up the liquid (never scrub carpet!).
Important: Do NOT scrub the stain; scrubbing may cause damage to the carpet fibers.
- Mix one cup of warm water with a quarter teaspoon of clear dish soap in a spray bottle.
- Spray the soap mixture generously onto the carpet, or pour a small amount onto a fresh cleaning rag and then blot it on the area.
- Wait about five to 10 minutes for the solution to soak.
Pro Tip: Avoid over-saturating the carpet with the soap mixture; it could spread the stain to unaffected areas.
- Next, blot (again, don't scrub!) the carpet with a clean paper towel or rag to remove the remaining soapy water, or use a shop vac to suck it up.
- Gently rinse the area with clean, warm water (no soap).
- Use your shop vac to remove the extra liquid or blot it gently with a clean white rag.
- Repeat these steps until you're satisfied the urine is gone.
- To finish, use a store-bought enzyme cleaner on the area for extra stain-removing power.
Pro Tip: Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda on the carpet after it dries to soak up any lingering odors.
You can also use white vinegar instead of dish soap:
- Follow the first two steps listed above.
- Next, mix equal parts warm water and white vinegar in a cup.
- Gently soak the stain with the vinegar solution and wait for 30 minutes.
Pro Tip: Place an upside-down laundry hamper over the wet spot while the treatment soaks to prevent people from walking on it.
- Next, blot the vinegar solution with a clean rag to remove it — or use a wet/dry shop vac.
- Repeat the previous steps until the stain and smell are gone.
Pro Tip: Don't use a steam cleaner to remove cat pee on carpet — it may have the opposite effect you want. The hot steam will bond the proteins in cat urine directly to your carpet fibers, causing the stench to permeate deeper and then set, making it nearly impossible to remove without professional assistance.
How to Clean Dry Cat Urine Stains Out of Your Carpet: Step-By-Step Instructions
Unfortunately, it's not always possible to clean up cat urine while it's still wet. Dried cat pee smells terrible, but don't worry — you can still do something about it. Here's what you'll need:
● A handheld blacklight
● Enzyme cleaner for pet messes
● Wet/dry shop vac or cleaning rags
● Fabric refresher spray (optional)
Next, follow these steps to remove dried cat urine from your carpet:
- Dried cat urine can be challenging to find. First, shut off the lights and get the room as dark as possible.
- Carefully shine the blacklight over the carpet. Any cat urine stains will actually glow in black light.
- Place an object over the spots you need to clean so you can see them without the blacklight.
- Grab your enzyme cleaner and follow the instructions. If you're having trouble saturating the affected spot, take the top off and pour out a small amount.
- Let the area soak for a few minutes, then use a shop vac to extract the liquid. If you don't have a vacuum, blot the spot using a plain white paper towel or cloth rag to remove the excess cleaning solution.
- Repeat steps three and four until the stain and odor are gone.
Pro Tip: Wait until the area dries completely, then use the blacklight to check for lingering spots.
- Finally, use a fabric refresher (not an air freshener, body spray, or perfume) and spray the area after it dries (optional).
Tips for Discouraging Your Cat from Peeing on the Carpet
Has your pet cat decided that your rug is better than their litter box? Keep these tips in mind to discourage your cat from peeing on the carpet:
● Cats need privacy and space for their litter box. Place it in a quiet, low-traffic area away from noisy appliances.
● Cats despise dirty litter boxes. If you're not cleaning their litter box enough, they're more likely to urinate and defecate elsewhere. Spot-clean with a litter scoop every day, and do a full clean (empty all the litter and wash the box with soap) once a week.
● Try using a larger litter box with a domed cover, and avoid overfilling it with litter.
● Consider spaying or neutering your cats, which will help prevent them from marking or spraying.
Call us for a Professional Carpet Cleaning
Cat urine in carpet really is a challenging problem. To remove the awful smell of cat pee on carpet may require professional techniques, tools, and expertise. My Pro Cleaner has been helping homeowners in the Northern Houston and Spring Texas areas for over 18 years. We keep up-to-date on the industry science and technology to best eliminate pet urine and odors from your carpet and furniture. Please feel free to give us a call. We'll be happy to give you a free estimate for our work.
We are a small, locally-owned carpet cleaning business providing superior quality work, competitive pricing, and extraordinary customer service.
Since 2004, My Pro Cleaner has been helping hundreds of homeowners in the Spring Texas area and Houston to keep their carpet and upholstery deeply cleaned and maintained — for its health, its beauty, and to keep it smelling fresh!