We all love our cats and most of us welcome them into our homes. We love their energy, the soothing purrs they create on our laps…we just DON’T love the odors they can create! In a sense, there’s an unwelcome “guest” that greets our noses each time we enter the room; it even welcomes your guests. You know what we’re talking about: the nasty ammonia scent of cat urine. You aren’t stuck with it though. There are a number of ways to kick it to the curb!
Remove as much urine as possible.
The less urine there is, the less you’ll have to deep clean. So if your kitty has pottied somewhere other than her litter box, clean up as much as you can as soon as you can. If the puddle was on the carpet or furniture, the Humane Societies recommend blotting things up with a paper towel – it doesn’t get it all, but it will leave less behind for you to have to treat later. If she has urinated on drapes, linens or clothing, wash or dry clean them ASAP. The longer the urine is in contact with the fabric, the more stubborn the odor becomes. Detergents with baking soda or enzymatic additive are best for cleaning items that have urine odor. If the urine is on a wall or other hard surface, wipe it down with a wet rag.
Break down the stain and smell with an enzymatic cleaner.
The website ApartmentTherapy.com says that “Enzymatic cleaners release cultures that literally eat the urine, leaving things sanitary and smell free once dry.” Many non-protein-based carpet and fabric deodorizers alone won’t be able to handle the strong, pervasive odor.
It’s important to get a handle on this because cats have a stronger sense of smell than humans. If they can still smell the urine after cleaning, there’s a good chance they will re-soil the area. Find a spray made with enzymes that target pet urine as well, you can find them at pet stores and home improvement stores. Just be sure to use as directed.
Clean the area with an extracting wet vac but avoid
steam cleaners. You need an extracting carpet cleaner for this job. The rinsing of the area, especially for carpets will remove the dirty water and odor. Intense heat can actually cause odors to set into the fibers of carpet and upholstery more stubbornly, so use cool, clean water in the wet vac.
Follow-up with a baking soda based air freshener
Sodium bicarbonate, is great for absorbing odors. One way to use for urine odor is to sprinkle it on the carpet or furniture after you’ve thoroughly cleaned the area and it’s completely dry. After sprinkling, let it sit for an hour or more and vacuum it up. You can also try this carpet-fresher recipe by HowStuffWorks.com:
- 1 cup crushed, dried aromatic herbs (rosemary, lavender, etc.)
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
Sprinkle the mix on your carpet; let it sit for 10-20 minutes, then vacuum. You can store leftovers in an airtight container.