There are very few things stinkier than cat pee, and very few odors that are as difficult to get rid of. It’s so bad that out-of-litter-box-peeing is among the top reasons why cats are given up at adoption centers.
But do not despair! Before it gets that bad, there are ways to effectively clean up the smell and prevent your cat from peeing outside its litterbox again.
Why Do Cats Pee Outside The Litterbox
Cats are generally clean creatures who take quite naturally to litter boxes. So you may be surprised when your cat suddenly forgets that she has a bathroom and does potty elsewhere. Understanding why is at the crux of preventing a repeat incident.
One possible reason is that your feline friend has a medical condition. Problems in movement, such as arthritis or muscle injuries, could be giving your cat trouble getting to its litter box. Urinary obstructions, kidney disease, and diabetes may cause difficulty in peeing that manifests as changed behavior and urine abnormalities. It is important to see your veterinarian to rule this out and get a treatment plan to prevent misplaced peeing in the future.
The problem could also be social in nature. This is common in homes with multiple cats. Timid cats may be barred from using the litter box by its more dominant housemates, so they have no choice but to pee on your carpet. Buy more litter boxes and place them in different rooms to give your timid cats a place to potty.
Urine is also a way to deposit pheromones. It could be your cat’s way of saying “This is my territory” or “I’m an available sexual partner” to other cats in your home. Spaying your queen (female cat) or neutering your tomcat (male cat) can solve this problem.
It could also be that your cat is telling you that something is wrong with its litter box. It could be a matter of location, so be sure to place it somewhere that your cat can easily reach. You may be using material that your feline buddy isn’t too crazy about peeing on, so you can try experimenting with different kinds of litter material to see which one she likes best. A dirty litterbox dissuades cats from using it, so make sure to regularly clean it out. Picking the right litter box can make a world of difference in preventing inappropriate voiding.
How Get Rid Of That Smell
If you think cleaning up cat pee is the same as cleaning up dog pee, you’d be wrong. The smell of cat pee is not only particularly foul, but it tends to stick. That’s a problem for two reasons: because it will stink up the room for months after and it will most likely trigger your cat to potty on the same spot again.
Thankfully, generations of cat owners have discovered ways to get rid of that smell.
Step 1: Blot The Urine
Get a clean paper towel or a cloth towel that you don’t plan to use anymore. Use that to blot out whatever urine is left until the area is dry.
Step 2: Douse Liberally With Enyzmatic Cleaner
Enzymatic cleaners are a pet owner’s best friend. These solutions don’t just cover up the smell of animal waste with something else. It contains enzymes that chemically break down substances to get rid of the smell completely.
We suggest picking a product that has multiple enzymes to target the many different compounds found in pee. In fact, you might want to pick up cleaners designed specifically for feline urine. Make sure to check the label to see what kind of surfaces it can be used on.
Note of caution: If you see “ammonia” on the label, leave it on the shelf. Ammonia is a compound that is found in urine, and using this type of cleaner will only make things worse.
Step 3: And Leave It There
Do not skip this step! Enzymatic cleaners need time to work their magic. The longer you wait, the better they work. Let it soak the spot for at least 15 minutes then blot. But if you can afford to leave it on until it dries off, all the better.
Step 4: Finish Off With Home Remedies
There are some cleaning superheroes in your cupboard. Take advantage of baking soda’s odor-absorbing powers, vinegar’s acidity, and hydrogen peroxide’s oxidizing powers to vanquish that smell.
If your cat peed on the floor or mattress, spray a 1:1 water-vinegar mix over the spot. Then add a layer of baking soda and let sit. Then add 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to a quarter cup hydrogen peroxide. Spray this over the baking soda. Once it is completely dry, you can vacuum it off.
If the accident happened on your clothes or something you can put in the laundry, use cool water and wash as usual with detergent but add a cup of baking soda. If this doesn’t work, you can add some clothing-friendly enzymatic cleaner into the mix. Let it air dry because heat will only seal in the smell.