How To Clean And Deodorize Cat Urine?

Do you have questions about how to remove stains and odours caused by dog or cat pee from carpets, draperies, upholstery, clothes, pavement, yards, mattresses, and many other types of surfaces? Perhaps you are also interested in odour control in the regions surrounding your garbage cans, pet kennels, as well as the surfaces of your garage and basement.

Throughout the course of human history, odour management has typically been accomplished by applying perfumes or other compounds designed to disguise odours. These treatments do not get rid of odours, but rather make them stronger by covering them up with another scent that is less offensive. In order to dampen the body’s reaction to odours, it’s possible to utilise chemicals that mess with the olfactory receptors. In either scenario, the odour molecules and any potentially harmful consequences they may have are not removed from the environment.

However, the best way to remove cat urine odor is to go to the source of pet odor and eliminates it. Not a cover-up.

What are the different ways to remove and clean cat urine?

  • Powder type cleaners 

Powdered cleaners merely absorb some of the ammonia gases produced by the decomposing urine. For example, when a pet urinates on a carpet, the urine is absorbed into the carpet, padding, and wood flooring. The powder does not penetrate down into the padding or the wood floor. The powder only penetrates within the carpet fabric.

The padding, a sponge-like material, absorbs most of the urine, with some urine penetrating into the wood flooring.  After a time, the water in the urine evaporates, leaving dried, urine crystals embedded within the carpet, padding, and wood flooring.

Assuming the powder removes the pet urine in the carpet fibers, what still remains is the bulk of the urine that was absorbed into the padding and wood floor.

  • Disinfectants

Disinfectants and germicides are poisons that destroy microorganisms. Disinfectants do not remove or eliminate urine; they temporarily kill the bacteria that are digesting the urine.

Urine is not a microorganism. Urine is 95% water, which is dissolved in urea, uric acid, creatinine, and other waste products. Disinfectants do not decompose or eliminate urine.  

The chemical composition of the urine has not changed; the urine is still entrenched within the material.

  • Enzymes

Enzymes are nature’s catalysts, as they are compounds that enhance the rate (speed) of biochemical reactions, i.e. decomposing dead plants, animal waste, cat urine, etc.

Waste products produced by all living things, plants and animals, are eventually broken down into simpler compounds and are recycled thanks to bacterial enzymes. 

For example; to keep a home septic system from clogging with excess waste build-up, products containing bacterial enzymes are added to keep the septic system free-flowing. There are no disinfectants or germicides products used to clean home septic systems. Actually, if a large quantity of disinfectant were added to a septic system, it would kill off the helpful bacteria, possibly resulting in a malfunctioning septic system.

Enzymes actually break down urine into simpler compounds; eliminating both the urine and its odor.


  • Powder-type cleaners and disinfectants do not “clean, remove, or eliminate,” pet urine. The urine is still present in its original state.
  • Bacterial enzymes biologically eliminate urine by breaking it down into simpler compounds such as carbon dioxide and water.
  • If the urine is never actually removed, the odors are sure to return over time.
  • Enzymes are the clear choice for “cleaning, removing, eliminating,” pet urine odor from surfaces like carpets, upholstery and clothes.

How do I find where the cat urine odors are coming from? 

Easy. You can get a fluorescent black light (ultraviolet light) at Wal-Mart or a novelty store for about $20, this will help you locate all the urine stains.  The black light, when used in the dark, will illuminate all the urine-stained areas – the stains will show up as a bright yellowish hue. You’ll be amazed at what you may find!  An incandescent (light bulb) black light does not work! Note:  After the odors are eliminated using enzymes, the yellowish hue will still be visible under a black light. 

How can I keep my cat from urinating on the carpet?

Cats tend to urinate wherever there are “cat” urine odors present.  By removing the urine odors from the carpet and providing a clean litter box, you can change your cats’ behavioral habits.  Also, if you have more than one cat, some cats prefer to have their own litter box.

​How to stop my cat from urinating in different areas of my home?

This does happen with cats fairly often. If you have a new spouse being introduced to the family this is a big problem when a cat thinks they rule the home. If your cat is urinating in different areas of your home then my advice is to find out what has changed in your home.

Is there a new spouse, child, or pet in the home? Have you had lots of visitors or moved into a new home? All these things can stress a cat out and cause them to let you know they are not happy with you or this new situation. Cats do not like change and when that happens they are not happy.

Spend extra time with your cat especially if there is a new person in the home. Allow this new person to spend time with the cat, so they can see the new person is not a threat. good luck!

What can a microbial enzyme urine removal product do?

Microbial enzymes are living microorganisms that produce specific enzymes that break down waste compounds. Enzymes are not living reproducing organisms, but are produced by living bacteria. Specialized bacteria secrete specific enzymes to break down urine and fecal matter and will then digest the remaining residual waste products.

The resulting products from this bacterial digestion are carbon dioxide and water. During the digestion process odors such as hydrogen sulfide, ammonia and other offensive odors are eliminated. These microorganisms are also known as bioaugmentation products; they add to the natural biological process which already occurs in nature.

The naturally occurring or existing bacteria are often destroyed by household cleaners, bleaches and disinfectants. Chemical odor controllers are designed to kill bacteria and use a strong fragrance to mask any odors.

When using this type of odor control you will kill not only the odor-causing bacteria but the beneficial bacteria as well. With additional bacteria the process is replenished again and again. The added strains will multiply in the right conditions, providing plenty of “beneficial” bacteria to decompose all the odor causing compounds.

What do experts say about cleaning and removing cat urine?

  • “Four tablespoons of baking powder + Two cups of hot water + 2 cups of white vinegar, Mix these ingredients together and put them in a siphon. Apply the mixture to the desired area and soak with a cloth or paper towel. This mixture neutralizes odors and removes stains such as urine and dirt.”
  • “When urine hits the padding in the carpet it spreads. What looks like a small stain on the surface is twice that large on the padding. Always treat an area two to three times.” “Enzyme products “eat” away at the urine residue eliminating the bacteria that cause stains and odors.”
  • “Pet stores carry enzyme pet stain removers but they are usually expensive and will not have the strength of a commercial product.”  “Soak the stain with an enzyme solution, which will work on breaking down the organic components of the stain.”  –
  • “Regular spray cleaners, detergents, or other scented cleaners will not remove the source of the problem. At best they will only temporarily mask the smell”  “clean by using helpful bacteria and/or enzymes to naturally speed the decomposition of a pet stain.”  –
  • “Apply a bacteria/enzyme digester according to directions — it’s the only way you can deal effectively not only with the stain but also the odor. Bacteria/enzyme digesters work well but they work slowly, so be sure to leave the solution on as long as it says. Urine has probably penetrated down into the carpet and pad, so use enough solution to reach as far down as the stain did.”  –
  • “You should avoid using steam cleaners to clean urine odors from carpet or upholstery. The heat will permanently set the odor and the stain by bonding the protein into any man-made fibers. You should also avoid using cleaning chemicals, especially those with strong odors, such as ammonia or vinegar.”  –
  • “The best products contain enzymes and they will neutralize the smell.”  “A good tip is NOT to use ammonia or ammonia-based products to clean up cat urine since ammonia smells similar to cat urine, so you will be defeating the purpose.” –
  • “Be sure to use enough bacteria/enzyme digester to penetrate the carpet and pad.”  –
  • “In order to remove the odor, you must organically decompose it. The least harmful to any surface and easiest remedy to resolve your problem is a non-toxic, non-staining bacterial/enzyme digester.”  –
  • “The urine is also in the padding and possibly in the subfloor underneath the carpet. Steam cleaning will not help at this point.  In most cases, all padding is just a dense sponge. This urine is trapped in this sponge and is difficult to extract.”  –
  • “Use nontoxic products that are specifically made for pet messes and pet odors. They are typically more effective since they organically break down waste while neutralizing odors, and they are safe”  –
  • “If the stain remains, you may have to resort to an enzyme digester.”  –
  • “Apply a pet bacteria/enzyme digester according to the directions.”  –
  • “Have an accident-patrol kit readily accessible. This might include an odor-eater that is also a bacteria-enzyme digester.”  –
  • “The most effective products available are enzyme-based products… the enzymes chemically break down the urine rather than temporarily masking the smell.“ – University of Minnesota
  • “A commercial enzyme product is the best type of cleaner to remove urine stain and odor“ – NC State University Cooperative Extension

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