Cat urine is a remarkable substance. Its odor can linger, seemingly for years, after an “accident” has occurred. All too often, owners fail to clean up cat pee correctly, which can lead to stubborn odors that are difficult to eliminate.
The first step in the process is to physically remove as much of the urine as possible. Use paper towels or old cloths that you don’t mind washing or tossing to blot up all that you can. When urine has soaked wall to wall carpeting and the pad underneath, place a thick absorbent layer over the area and then place something heavy or stand over top. Replace the paper towels or cloths and repeat the process until they come away almost dry.
Next, thoroughly saturate the area with a product designed to eliminate pet urine odors. DO NOT use a general household cleaner first as the residue that is left behind will often reduce the odor eliminator’s effectiveness. Start by pouring or spraying in a circular pattern around the urine and then fill in the middle. This helps to prevent the liquid from pushing urine out further into the rug or floor.
Always follow the directions on the odor eliminator’s label; different products are used in different ways. Some can take several weeks to be fully effective, which can be frustrating if you don’t know what to expect. After the odor eliminator has done its job, put anything (e.g., area rugs, slipcovers, comforters, etc.) that can withstand the process through the washing machine.
Finding the source of cat pee odor is not always easy. If the smell remains after you’ve cleaned up all the spots that you are aware of, a black light can help you find any that might have been missed.
The last step in dealing with cat urine odors is preventing future accidents. Always have at least one more litter box than the number of cats in the household and keep them impeccably clean. Many cats prefer large, uncovered boxes in comparison to covered, cramped ones. Litter boxes should be placed in easily accessible locations that still provide peace and quiet. No one type of litter is best, but some cats develop a preference for a particular formulation, so stick with what works in your house rather than what is on sale.