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Question DetailsAsked on 6/6/2011

How do we neutralize cat urine in carpeting and get rid of the odor?

We have two full-grown female cats, one about 2 years old, the other about 1 year old. One or both cats are urinating on the dining room and living room carpeting. Both cats are strictly indoor cats, they are both spayed, and both have been checked for urinary tract problems. The smell is awful and using a black light shows lots and lots of small pee spots in both rooms. We have no trouble with them peeing in other parts of the house, just the living room and dining room. We are getting ready to remove and replace our living room and dining room carpeting and padding because of this problem. We need solid advice from people who have been through this problem and solved it so that the new carpeting isn't ruined, too. We don't know if this is a solvable problem or if our only real solution is to get rid of our beloved pets. There is a clean litter box on both floors of our house and in the basement. We have tried using plastic runners but they will just find a spot without plastic runners. We have shampooed the carpets several times with Pet Miracle which supposedly neutralizes cat urine and removes odor (didn't work...still smells awful and black light shows pee everywhere). Have tried Urine Gone (black light showed it had zero effect). Have used Cat Repellent along the walls where they seem to prefer urinating. Any products out on the market that really work? Anything we can mix up on our own here at home? How do we get them to stop peeing outside of their litter boxes? After we pull up the carpeting and padding, is there anything we should do to the hardwood floor underneath such as using a vinegar solution or some other solution to make sure that all cat urine smell and traces are completely 100% gone? Should we reseal the hardwood floor after cleaning it and before recarpeting? Is getting rid of my beloved cats the only real solution? We are at our wits end

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16 Answers



We had this issue with our cat as well. We no longer have the cat as we were able to find another home for him that did not stress him out. As of yet we have not replaced our carpets as it is our understanding that it will take 5 years for the urine to degrade enough that another animal will not be able to detect it. We are planning on waiting the 5 years and then tearing up the carpets and sub-flooring to replace. This way if we move/sell the house there should be no traces of the urine for a future owner.

In the meantime we have used a product called ODO-BAN that we purchased at SAMS CLUB. It does cover up the urine smell, but replaces it with its scent which is eucalyptus. Since our cat urinated on our heating vents, we revisit the smell in the winter time and I now cannot stand the eucalyptus smell.

Good luck.

Answered 9 years ago by danpat


We have multiple cats and it has been a problem for us as well. It is a want to save as many as you can, but there are many problems the more cats you introduce. Sorry you have had to go through this as well.

After getting ours checked out, we decided that we are just going to wait it out and completely regut and remodel when they are gone. It will be at least 5 to 7 years yet, and in the meantime, we will just keep cleaning it up as we go along. We have tried Feliway spray, Feliway room diffusers, Valium, Wellbutrin (both making the aggressors woozy), Nature's Miracle, baking name it, we've tried it. Our hardwood floors are ruined in spots, but it will all work for the good as the biggest problem area is in the kitchen and we were planning to put in all new flooring/subflooring anyway.

What you can't do is punish the cat in the act of urinating. That will really mess with their minds, as this is a normal bodily function...and they can't distinguish from being punished BECAUSE they are urinating as opposed to WHERE they are urinating.

Try different kinds of litter as well and keep the boxes as clean as you possibly can. Rule I've read for litter boxes is one for every cat plus an extra box, so you would need 3. They also might smell another cat outside, as this is the case in our neighborhood. Ours never go out but lay in windowsills and look out the screen doors, so they get plenty of scent exposure. This can set off spraying behavior as well.

It is a sad problem--just know you are not alone, and we are not BAD people.

Answered 9 years ago by lavidaloca


We have one female cat (total of 3 cats) who's about 4 years old. She urinates on anything plastic or vinyl left laying around. Backpacks, plastic grocery bag and sofa pillows unless they're arranged so they're standing up! One thing I've discovered is that if her anal glands are "full" this is a bigger problem so whenever I see her scooting her rear end along the floor I take her to the vet to have those glands emptied - it's well worth the $20.

Answered 9 years ago by Chloe


We have two adult cats with the same problem. Our cats are indoor only, however there are neighborhood cats that come around our house. We used to think it was cute and say" Oh look we have a visitor." when they were nose to nose through the glass. I began to smell cat urine on my front and back porch. Outdoor cats marking their territory. Now we believe that our cats are marking their territory by peeing in the house. I now shoo outdoor cats away and they are beginning to know they are not welcome here. My neighbor did not take it well when he saw me chasing his cat accross my lawn, so I calmly explained to him that he could replace all the carpet in my house and pay my cleaner's bill due to his cat's urination on my porch. People just don't get what a severe pain it is to deal with this. We also went with the "one cat box for every cat plus one" theory. We keep our cat boxes well cleaned.

Once a cat pees in the house, it can smell urine in that area, indicating that area as a spot to urinate. We have ripped all the carpet out of our downstairs and are going with tile or hardwood. We also painted the subfloor in the problem areas with oil based Killz primer and sealer. This really seemed to work well sealing the odor in. I have spoken with our vet on several occasions and she agrees with my outdoor cat theory and my urine smell theory.

Small spots of urine would certainly tell me its more marking than needing a place to pee. Also, I have another theory about unhappy cats. I believe that when our cats do not get enough attention (one in particular) they become unhappy and start to pee. This usually happens when my wife and I are gone for vacation or working long hours. I try to spend some quality time with both of them as much as possible. It seems like the more we're home the less of a problem we have.

We have tried ALL of the urine cleaners we could find and vinegar to no avail. We keep clothes off the floor( and fuzzy slippers). We used to have a shag rug in one our bathrooms, we got rid of that. We keep the doors shut to the extra rooms(one less place to pee) I don't know what else to do.

Answered 9 years ago by Gavin


Several folks have given suggestions and the one I see missing is using an animal behaviorist specifically for cats. Depending on the area you live in there may be some good consultants that take a thorough history, drawings of layout of home, where litter boxes located, where other pets or outside animals live/visit, pet diet, habits, etc. If you happen to have a College of Veterinary Medicine nearby you might want to check with them. Sometimes this is a human issue as the cats response to stress of the owner and working together is helpful.

There is a product used by professional carpet and upholstry cleaners that is amazing made by Bridgepoint Systems out of Salt Lake City; ussually found at cleaning suppliers or direct. I've used their products for years and will tell you that they are the only produts that have cleaned dog and cat issues as well as fire damage odor. This reasonably new product is Hydrocide and it absorbs all bacteria and odor absolutely and leaves no after odor, residue or damage.

Hoepfully, your quest will find a solution other than giving up your furry family members as we all have stress at some point and remember that we humans have chosen to domesticate any of these lovely creatures of Mother nature. Good luck!

Answered 9 years ago by Hari


I have a female cat that has been spade and she is about 7 years old. I like you took her to the vet thinking that there was something wrong with her. She checked out fine. What I came to realize was that there were new cats in the neighborhood that were coming up on on our patio and this was stressing her out. Since we moved from an apartment and bought a house, she is not at all stressed and has stopped going in the floor, except in the bathroom when my daughter leaves her dirty clothes on the floor. She has always done this and the vet told me it is because the bathroom is where her box is and that is her territory and by my daughter leaving her dirty clothes their it is violating her territory.

I found that the Woolite canned pet order foam carpet cleaner will take out the smell and it is also good for cleaning up after a hairball incident. You can buy it at the Dollar General Store for $3 a can.

Hope this helps.

Answered 9 years ago by jbell


Hi. We had tried all of the things you tried, to no avail. Here is what we found that worked as far as getting the smell out, without question.

Mix a solution of OxyClean with water. I think I put one or two scoops per a two cup measuring cup.

Pour the mixture directly on the stained area.

Let it sit for about 20 or 30 minutes, then take those hand towels you can get from Costco and sop up the excess water. It will still be damp, but you can lay some extra towels over the area and they will soak up the remaining moisture.

You really need to try this. I had tried *everything*. Every product on the market, nothing worked. You absolutely must try this. Certainly it's not a bad idea to replace the pad, but when you do, clean the underneath of the carpet as well before you re-lay it.

No, getting rid of your cat is not the solution. I'm telling you, Oxyclean works. (No, I don't own stock in the company, either.) I just understand the problem.

I hope this helps.


Answered 9 years ago by bigcaat


This is an old post but I'll try anyway. I have 5 kitties with one being 18 years old and not able to make it to the litter box most of the time. I can tell you that there is nothing that really gets the smell out. I tried everything including bleach. Have you considered a different flooring instead of carpet? I can tell you that what I do is use the pee pee pads available generally to housebreak dogs. Cats do like to go on a defined area. I hope that might work for you.

Answered 9 years ago by mylo


I recently tried a terrific product that works better than the enzyme-based stuff I've used before (like Out! and Nature's Miracle). It is called Cat Odor-Off. It is made by Thornell Corporation It comes in a Soaker bottle and a Concentrate. I use the Concentrate (diluted per label instructions) to refill the Soaker bottle, so it's best to buy one of each. Label says it is not enzyme and it is safe for rugs, walls, floors, and may even be applied directly to an animal. Label says it is a proprietary essential oil blend with water and preservatives.


Answered 7 years ago by spaceflightmarie


Use white distilled vineger on it.

Answered 7 years ago by Guest_97384621


I used UrineLock - Bio Enzyme Odor Encapsulation. It is purchased at a janitor supply store. I follow the directions and it works like a charm to remove cat urine odor.

Answered 7 years ago by penidana


Really - "We have no trouble with them peeing in other parts of the house" - than what are you complaining about? Take one room - make it a cat room - don't allow them the run of the house.

Answered 6 years ago by Guest_9982082


Urine from any source in carpet will saturate the padding underneath. Urine has salt in it. The salt carries the bacteria that causes the odor. Getting it wet with various chemicals will only reactivate the bacteria. Bacteria like mold loves moisture. While wet the smell will seem to go away with all the "deoderants" store bought chemicals use. What needs to be done is hire a professional carpet cleaning company that can get these out for you. It can be done. Black lights will always show protiens in your carpet. the brighter the light the newer it is. Also the dimmer the light shows that it has been cleaned or has been there for quite some time.

Source: KDB Enterprises

Answered 6 years ago by Guest_9295598


Try using 91% alcohol purchased at Wal Mart. Spray on, then use the side of a spoon scraping back and forth to get down in there, set a cloth on top of it with some weight, eg. piece of wood or heavy plastic something, pick up in a few hours. This also worrks for stains and mold too. Also the company that sells Fly preditors has an oder be gone that I used in my horse stalls for extreme urin smells in winter, google horse oders or fly preditors..there really are lots of products out there.

Answered 6 years ago by Guest_9644524


I have four cats and a husband who is incontinent from time to time. I use Nature's Miracle Just For Cats Advanced formula. I buy it at Pet Smart. It is absolutely true to advertising. I have sprayed it on fresh problem areas, old problem areas and on the bed when my husband had an accident. Some jobs require more of the solution than others and I apply in layers on difficult areas. Layering means I spray the area, let it dry and spray again. I have never had this product fail. I suppose the enzymes in the formula break down the odor but I have also found my cats do not return to that area to urinate again. There was cat urine on a leather pocketbook of mine which took quite some time for me to remove the odor but persistence and regular applications of this product finally won the day. I don't love cat urine of course but I don't freak out anymore because I know this product does remove the odor and has not yet discolored any fabrics.

Answered 4 years ago by anncgrl


Why carpet over [otherwise] beautiful hardwood floors?

People pay thousands to install hardwood. Why pay thousands to cover them up?

Pet stains leave sometimes dark areas in hardwood. They can be hard to remove.

If floors are shellac [the old varnish] they can be Johnson waxed.

If they are polyeurethene ...don't use wax.

Cover hardwood with easy installed area rugs.

Answered 4 years ago by tfcrew

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