How to Clean Dried Cat Urine from Your Carpet: In this article, we discuss natural and store-bought solutions for removing dried cat urine from the carpet.
Cats can be a joy to have in our homes, but there are times that they will do things that we just cannot understand – like urinating on our carpets despite being otherwise well-behaved and well-trained. And anyone who has ever owned a cat knows that cat urine can be particularly pungent and that that odor can be particularly difficult to remove.
Why is Your Cat Eliminating Inappropriately?
Despite the fact that you have a designated place (the litterbox) where your cat can pee, there are times that it ends up peeing in other places, such as your furniture, bed, and carpets.
So, why does your darling kitty do such a thing? There are usually only two reasons why your cat would pee outside its litterbox – a health problem or a behavioral issue.
If your cat has started peeing in the wrong places in your home, then the first thing you should do is take it to the vet so that you can rule out health problems. Common urinary health problems include bladder stones, idiopathic cystitis (inflammation of the bladder, cause unknown), metabolic disease (kidney disease), and urinary tract infection. Other injuries or health problems could also cause your beloved, usually-well-behaved cat to display such aberrant behavior.
Behavioral issues can also lead to your cat peeing in the wrong place. The reason could be as simple as a dirty litterbox. Cats are very particular about their toilet, so if you don’t clean their litterbox to their satisfaction, then they will find somewhere else to pee – like your carpet.
Stress can also cause your cat to pee in the wrong place, and if this is the case, then it would be best to identify the source of your fur baby’s discomfort. It could also be a case of your cat marking its territory or, in case of females, to let tom cats know that she is ready to mate.
It is best to nip the problem in bud, be it a health issue or a behavioral one. And it is also a good idea to get rid of the dried urine from your carpet as soon as possible. Remember, a cat will frequently go back to urinate in the place it has before – especially if the smell of urine remains.
Why Does Cat Urine Smell So Bad?
Despite the fact that cat urine is not much different in composition from any other animal’s urine, it smells really bad. This distinctive odor is because of the high levels of uric acid and proteins in your cat’s urine. Since cats don’t really drink much water, their urine is more concentrated than other animals’, leading to a much more pungent smell.
Your cat’s urine is very acidic and as it dries, the uric acid forms crystals or salts and turns, and that is what makes it so smelly. The longer the urine remains uncleaned, the worse the smell gets. This is because in the second stage of its decomposition, cat urine emits mercaptans, which are the very same chemicals that give skunk sprays their bad smell.
The older your cat, the smellier its urine will be. And if you have an unneutered male cat at home, then expect the urine to be particularly odorous. This is because of all that testosterone that is passed out in its urine.
Clean Up Cat Urine As Soon As Possible
A common mistake that many cat owners make is not cleaning up their cat’s urine as soon as they find it. You see, if you let it dry out, not only will the stench of the cat pee get worse, but the pee stain will disappear, making it very difficult to figure where on your carpet did your little fur baby pee.
Finding the Cat Urine on Your Carpet
If you have caught your kitty right when it has peed, then you can clean your carpet immediately. However, if the urine has already dried up, then you will first need to find where your cat has peed.
The easiest way to find the offending stain is by using a black light whose ultraviolet rays are at the same wavelength as biological waste (read: urine!). You can buy a Morpilot black light on Amazon in case you don’t have one. Then, all you need to do is turn out the lights and shine the black light across your carpet. The urine stains will glow. Use something to mark the soiled area.
The bad news is that black lights don’t work 100% of the time, so you may actually have to get down on your hands and knees and sniff out the smell – the old-fashioned way.
Cleaning Your Carpet
If the urine is still fresh and the stain still wet, then you can use some old towels to absorb as much of the urine as possible. You can also use a wet vacuum cleaner to suck out as much of the urine as possible.
You can then use homemade or store-bought cleaners to take care of the urine stain now. These cleaners can also be used for old cat pee stains on your carpet.
Natural /Homemade Cleaning Solutions
Here are some homemade or natural cleaning solutions to get rid of that cat pee and smell.
- Vinegar and Water: You simply use white vinegar diluted with an equal part of water. Saturate the soiled portion of your carpet with this mixture. Let it stand for about 30 minutes; there’ll be a strong vinegar smell, but don’t worry, it will dissipate once the carpet dries.
A single application of the water and vinegar solution will not erase the smell of the urine. You will need to soak that area of your carpet several times before the cat’s urine and its smell are completely gone.
- Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
You first sprinkle baking soda over the soiled area. Make sure to work rub it well into the fibers of your carpet. Then, take a ¼ cup of peroxide and mix it with a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent. Do not use more than 3% hydrogen peroxide. Apply this peroxide/detergent mixture on top of the baking soda and use a toothbrush to really rub it into your carpet. Let it stand until this mixture dries and then simply vacuum the residue away.
This mixture can be used together with the vinegar-water solution, or on its own.
- Club Soda
Simply pour the club soda onto the stain and then blot it out with an old towel.
This remedy works best on fresh pee stains and not those that have dried out for some time.
Here are some of the commercial products you can use to get rid of that cat urine stain from your carpet:
- Enzyme Treatments
Enzyme cleaners are the most popular and effective option in the market today. The products contain enzymes that can break down the acid in the cat urine, and this help with getting rid of the urine odor as well. Nature’s Miracle is a popular option available on Amazon.
You will need to use this treatment multiple times to really get rid of the car urine smell, especially if the stain is an old one.
- Oxygen Cleaners
OxiClean and other such oxygen cleaners are another option that you can use, but they are most effective if the pee stains are fresh.
- Combination Cleaners
Another favorite with many cat owners is the combination cleaner. Products such as Mister Max Anti Icky Poo use a combination of enzymes and genetically modified bacteria to break down biological waste (urine, feces, etc.).
These products can be quite strong, so it is best to test them on an inconspicuous area of your carpet first.
And finally, if you haven’t been able to find the exact location of where your cat may have urinated, then it is best to clean your entire carpet. Remember, if there is even a trace of cat urine left on your carpet, your little fur baby may decide to pee on your carpet again.