While it is typical for cats to use their litter box when it is time to urinate, this is far from being an absolute constant occurrence. There are times in which cats urinate on the carpet, furniture, and more. Sometimes this inappropriate urination is due to excitement, and other times it is the result of a temper tantrum. Either way, in addition to the horrible smell it leaves behind, it can also stain the surface. If you are a cat owner, then you have experienced this frustration on more than one occasion. Fortunately, there are some ways that you can effectively clean the affected surfaces to avoid the smell and staining.
Following are several helpful tips to make sure you and your feline friend remain on good terms.
1. Press and Blot vs Scrubbing to Clean Urine
While it is a natural habit to scrub things that you want to clean, this is one of those times in which it is not a good idea. When you scrub a urine spot, you actually spread the stink over the urine. You are also rubbing the urine deeper into the carpet fibers, making it even more difficult to lift out. Get an absorbent cloth or strong paper towel (Bounty or shop-grade) and press down in order to lift any soaked-in urine. Once you have lifted the majority of the urine, leave some dry cloths on the spot to slowly lift as much of what is left as possible.
2. Keep an Enzymatic Cleaner On Hand
Uric acid is the chemical in cat urine that causes that horrible odor. The thing you should know about uric acid is that it is not water soluble — meaning that it does not respond to water-based cleaning products. Enzymatic cleaners have the capacity to effectively break down uric acid, simultaneously getting rid of the smell. You should make sure to soak the affected area with the cleaner. You want the cleaner to get as deep into the fibers as the urine did and allow it to sit for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
It is worth noting that enzymatic cleaners lighten the dye or stain leather furniture. You should conduct a spot test on leather and other heavily died surfaces before proceeding to clean the surface.
3. Cover the Area and Let it Dry
Once you have used the enzymatic cleaner to break down the uric acid, cover the affected area with a towel — something visible to allow people and pets to avoid the area. Depending how deep the urine and the cleaner infiltrated the affected spot, it could take up to several days for the spot to completely dry. You don’t want anyone walking or sitting on the spot until it is dry. If you are dealing with cushions, it is a good idea to leave them outside during the drying process — a step that will help to remove any lingering odors.
4. Vinegar and Baking Soda
Okay, it is time to get a little creative. In case you do not have an enzymatic cleaner available, you can use vinegar and baking soda to clean and deodorize the affected area. First, you will need to soak up as much of the urine as possible. Sprinkle the baking soda on the spot and be liberal with how much you use. Allow the baking soda to sit for at least 15 minutes. The primary purpose of the baking soda is to deodorize the spot. Mix equal parts distilled vinegar and water in a spray bottle and then spray it on the spot. Allow the mixture to sit for an additional 5 minutes and then blot out the area with a dry cloth.
5. Peroxide, Dish Detergent, and Baking Soda
As you have probably figured out by now, the baking soda functions as the deodorizing agent in the cleaning process. Peroxide has the ability to break down the chemicals in the urine through a process known as oxidation. Soak up as much of the urine as possible and they liberally pour baking soda of the area. Allow the baking soda to sit for 10 to 15 minutes and then pour the mixture of dish detergent and peroxide on to the baking soda. Allow the mixture to sit for five minutes and then clean the area with a dry cloth. If you use this procedure on leather, you will want to use a leather conditioner afterward.