There are few things that pet owners dislike more than having a carpet that has been stained with cat urine.
These stains are unsightly, and the odor may linger for a while after the cat peed. Knowing how to combat the stains and odors helps.
How to clean dried cat urine from carpet?
You will need to use a cleaner that neutralizes the smell rather than simply masking it. There are commercial cleaners that include natural ones fitting this bill.
This video demonstrates how to make a deodorizer that can neutralize cat urine. Read on to learn more about the steps you need to take and how to keep cat urine from becoming a problem.
What is the Best Way to Get Cat Urine Out of a Carpet?
Carolyn Barton has pointed out how cat urine is still present in a room once the urine has dried.
An unwelcome side effect of cat urine is that its continued presence will encourage your cat to keep using that area. Anyone whose cat has used the carpeting as a pee spot knows how intolerable this can become. Removing the stain is necessary.
Invest in a black light that will make it easier to find urine not currently visible to you. Make sure all the lights are off and the room dark before you use the black light. You’ll see the urine stains light up as you pass over the carpet.
Next, mix equal parts of water and white vinegar. Apply this mixture to the stains until it is soaked in. Leave this mixture on the stains for half an hour, then blot with paper towels until you no longer see anything wet showing up.
The next thing you need to do is apply a thin layer of baking soda to the stains. Mix a teaspoon of liquid dish soap and 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide, then put on top of the baking soda on the stains. Work this mixture well into the rug with a brush.
Once everything has had a chance to dry after several hours, vacuum the carpeting. In most cases, everything should look clean and smell fresh. Feel free to repeat this process if you feel that it is necessary.
If the stained carpeting in question is a machine-washable rug, you can use a variation of this technique. Put a cup of white vinegar in the washing machine during the rinse cycle. For the best results, air-dry outdoors in sunlight.
What Makes Cat Pee Smell So Bad?
According to Katie Grzyb, DVM, cat urine contains a couple of different compounds that make it smell bad.
Under ideal circumstances, when a cat goes in the litter box, the worst of the smell is absorbed. Most members of a cat household won’t notice a noxious odor from cat urine until it has been around a while. This is also why cat pee on rugs tends to be bad.
Cat urine contains bacteria that decompose, which emits an ammonia-like smell. Later in the decomposition process, compounds called mercaptans are emitted. These compounds are similar to what skunk spray contains, making the odor particularly pungent.
There are also cases that cause some cats to have more foul-smelling urine than others. One of the most common causes is in the case of cats with kidney disease. When a kitty has kidney issues, its kidneys cannot filter out certain toxins, leading to odors.
Unneutered male cats also have stronger-smelling urine. Intact males emit more testosterone to signal their presence to females. Their urine also serves as a way of telling other males to stay out of their territory.
One thing worth noting is that many cases of cats peeing on carpets have less to do with urination and more to do with scent marking. Cats will often spray surfaces, much like male dogs lift their legs to pee on surfaces.
Although females who have never been spayed are also likely to spray, they do not usually do so as often as males.
Cats are more inclined to spray vertical surfaces, but they may also spray horizontal surfaces. Besides unaltered males, unspayed females are likely to spray while in heat.
Altered cats may also spray because of anxiety or stress. Disputes with other animals in the house are common culprits. A change in routine that cats find stressful can also lead to such behavior.
Cat urine can become more concentrated with time, making the smell worse. We need to remember that cats have a strong sense of smell and can still detect the odor if not cleaned up. As long as the odor persists, the cat will try to use the area to pee.
One thing that you need to be aware of is that cat urine can reach the subflooring. Oil-based primers designed to block stains will usually be your best defense in these circumstances. You will also want to consider replacing the padding in this area.
Are There Other Effective Ways to Get Cat Urine Out?
Gerrad Larriett highlights the value of natural products for removing cat urine over synthetic products. For one, you probably have natural products on hand.
Synthetic, chemical-based cleaners can often damage your carpet. Spot tests are necessary to make sure these products will not damage your carpet. Another thing that you need to think about is whether these products contain toxic ingredients.
Although not as well-known as solutions with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide, many cat owners find vodka helpful. Using vodka as a cleaner works best when mixed 50/50 with water. This mixture needs to sit on the stains for between 10 and 15 minutes.
Blotting the stain with paper towels is the next step to take. For greater absorbency, you may want to sprinkle baking soda onto the areas you are treating. Always vacuum the area after sprinkling the baking soda.
Use caution with wood floors when you try a vodka-based solution. Vodka can dissolve the finishes often used on wood flooring if used in a high amount. If possible, confine the use of these types of solutions to carpets with tile floors underneath.
Enzyme-based cleaners help break down material like urine with helpful bacteria like amylase, lipase, or protease. In addition to enzymes, many of these cleaners have essential oils. These oils have antibacterial properties, which help in cleaning.
When buying enzyme-based cleaners, make sure they are safe for cats. Citrus-based cleaners, for example, have compounds that are toxic to cats. Cedarwood and lemongrass are two essential oils that you can safely use around cats.
Regardless of which type of solution you use, never use hot water. Hot water can damage carpet padding, as well as the sub-floor. Your carpet will also be less likely to end up damaged.
What is the Best Way to Keep Cats from Peeing on the Rug?
Home Made Simple urges the importance of getting cat urine cleaned up quickly. Cats will gladly reuse a spot if not properly cleaned up.
Make sure the litter box is kept clean because dirty boxes often prompt cats to go outside the box. Try to scoop dirty litter out at least once a day. You will also want to completely change out the litter at least once a week.
Carefully considering making sudden changes to the litter you use is a good idea. Some cats are good about using any litter you provide without complaint. Others might have a negative response to a new type of litter.
If your cat has a clean litter box and no reasons to be under stress, the odds of it wetting the carpet are low. Although cats trained to use a litter box will occasionally have accidents, they are rare.
Are Steam Cleaners Effective for Cat Urine?
Many homeowners rent or own carpet cleaners to use in addition to vacuuming. When you use a carpet cleaner, you can clean your carpet to a greater depth. There are some messes that you can only remove effectively with a carpet cleaner.
Some pet owners may wonder whether a steam cleaner is an effective way to clean cat urine from a carpet. These cleaners provide a very thorough level of cleaning. Steam cleaning gets rid of strong odors, as well, but are they suitable for urine stains?
The Humane Society of the United States advises against using steam cleaners. There are reasons why steam cleaners are not suitable for cat urine stains.
Steam cleaners, unlike traditional carpet cleaners, operate at pretty high temperatures. The heat makes a difference in stains that have already been set by helping the proteins in the urine bond to the carpet fibers.
The end result is that the odors and stains will become permanently set. Even though steam cleaning is effective for many jobs, cleaning up urine messes from cats is not on that list. Natural cleaning methods will work the best.
Cleaning dried cat urine out of a carpet is not a difficult task. However, it would be best if you used the right solutions to ensure that everything gets properly cleaned.