Every cat pees, and there is nothing wrong with that. The problem occurs when your cat starts peeing outside the place it’s supposed to, the litter box.
Every cat owner has, at least once, dealt with the problem of removing cat urine.
Eventually, the problem is quickly solved because the cat just had one little ”accident”, or it hasn’t learned how to use the litter box yet.
But, what to do if it’s not just a passing phase?
Your cat urinating all over the house can be a big problem.
Not only does it leave stains on the carpet, floor, and furniture, but it also smells terrible. And, avoiding guests coming over to your house because of the smell won’t solve the problem.
The scent won’t go away on its own.
Just wiping the cat urine with a towel may remove stains, but the scent won’t go away that easily. If you can’t locate where the smell is coming from, this makes things even worse.
The longer the cat urine stays untouched, the worse it will get.
There are particular techniques and cleaning products that can help you remove the urine stains, as well as the unpleasant smell that goes with it.
If you want to know how to remove cat urine, you’re in the right place.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about why cats pee outside the litter box and how to remove the urine.
Why do cats pee outside the litter box?
There can be various reasons why your cat is peeing outside the litter box. So, before we get to how to remove the urine, it’s essential to determine why your cat is refusing to use the litter box.
Here are 3 most likely reasons why your cat is turning your whole house into her personal toilet.
Reason 1: The Litter Box
Yes, you read it right. The litter box itself can be the problem.
There are various models, shapes, and sizes for litter boxes. And that is a good thing.
The problem is that some litter boxes which seem like a fantastic idea to you, represent a nightmare for your cat.
Of course, there are reasons why such litter boxes seem to be the perfect solution for us.
Such litter boxes are those that are closed up and almost look like a cat carrier.
These litter boxes usually include a little drawer on the side, so you can just flip it around, and everything will end up in the drawer.
There is no need to take everything out by hand. It’s also closed up, so you don’t have to look at your cat’s dirty business.
It seems like the perfect litter box, right? But you couldn’t be more wrong.
Cats don’t like this type of litter boxes. Cats are very clean and neat animals, so a litter box that will be covered in pee and poo all the time is a big NO for your cat.
Imagine every time after you’re done in the toilet, someone comes and just turns the room around instead of just flushing the toilet. A really unpleasant thought.
Just imagine how your cat feels when using such a litter box.
We recommend avoiding closed-up litter boxes. If you have one in your house, and your cat doesn’t want to use it, it’s time for a new one.
A classic litter pan is the best choice. Maybe it won’t look great in your living room, but your cat will like it, and that’s what’s important.
Another reason why your cat may be peeing outside the litter box is that she’s not used to using it.
This can happen if you adopted a stray or feral cat, or moved from your house with a garden into a building.
Your cat may also not like the new litter you bought. So, try switching the litter you’re using.
You can even use earth instead of litter. That would be a great solution if your cat is used to going outside to do her job.
Reason 2: Marking the Territory
Cats mark their territory with scent, so the urine helps them to do that.
The smell isn’t meant for you, it’s intended for other cats. They mark the territory to say ”this is mine”. So, it’s more likely to have a problem with your cat urinating over the house if you have more cats.
This usually happens when you introduce a new cat to the household.
This is a clear sign that the cats are intimidated by each other.
Either the new cat will start, or your cat that used the litter box for years will suddenly begin to pee over the carpet.
Even your female cat can start ”spraying” the house with her scent! It’s not limited to male cats only.
But what to do about it?
Firstly, there should be more than one litter box in the house. One cat, one litter box. Two cats, three litter boxes. Note that the litter boxes shouldn’t be placed near one another.
By getting more litter boxes, all your cats can use them without feeling threatened or feeling the need to threaten the other cats. Make sure every cat has their own personal space.
That can be a cat bed or a scratching post. The cats will get much better along with each other if they have established ”safety zones”.
Also, don’t keep your cats in just one room. Even if you have only one cat, don’t do that. Let the cats use the whole house.
No one likes to be in their home 24/7, so your cat also doesn’t want to be locked up in one room for the rest of her life.
Reason 3: Your Cat May Be Ill
Accidental urination in cats can be linked to health conditions like kidney diseases, cat diabetes, hyperthyroidism, urinary tract infections, or lower urinary tract disease. Your cat may also have arthritis, so he can have a hard time getting into the litter box.
It’s essential to rule out any of these diseases before jumping to re-educating your cat on how to use the litter box.
Usually, cats that have any of these illnesses won’t ”spray” on furniture. They will just leak on anything they’re sitting on at the moment. That will usually be the carpet, floor, or bed.
So, if you notice such strange behavior, it’s time to visit the vet.
Tips and tricks: how to remove cat urine
Now that we have covered some of the reasons why your cat is peeing outside the litter box, it’s time to dive into the topic of how to remove the urine.
We have done some research and found the best ways to remove cat urine. In this article, we will cover the best products, cleaning methods, and even some tools that will help you locate the stink.
If you want to successfully remove all the urine stains and smell, follow these steps.
Step 1: Invest in a Blacklight
Blacklights are great for discovering hidden cat urine stains.
Did you know that even if you cleaned out the cat urine, some stains remain hidden?
Those hidden stains still spread unpleasant smells, even though they are not visible to the eye. This is why you still can smell some cat urine in your house when you have cleaned up everything.
You may constantly be looking for new urine stains because you can’t locate the smell.
The truth is that the smell usually comes from old stains that you think are cleaned up. The more time the urine remains unrevealed, the worse the smell will get.
This is where a blacklight will come in handy. You can’t remove something you can’t locate. A blacklight will allow you to discover all the remaining urine stains.
Once you buy a blacklight, you’ll be amazed, and maybe a bit disgusted with what you’ll find out. The urine will reveal itself in a yellowish or green color under the purple shine of the blacklight.
Don’t be surprised if you find stains on furniture, walls, bathtub, and even on your bed in the ”urine hunt”. That is totally normal, and almost every cat owner has them in their house.
It surely seems disgusting, but the good thing is that you can now clean it all up.
The blacklight will come in handy even if you can immediately locate the cat pee. After you wiped out all the ”fresh” urine, you can use the blacklight to see if the spot is actually urine-free.
You’ll quickly find out that the carpet deodorizers don’t do the job as efficiently as you expected. So, it’s time to get some new cleaning products intended to exclusively remove cat urine.
Step 2: Remove as Much Urine as Possible
No matter if you’re removing new urine stains or old stains you’ve discovered with the blacklight, it’s essential to first try to remove as much urine as possible.
When you notice your cat has peed outside the litter box, grab some paper towels. Wipe the puddle with the absorbent towels, and when you’re done, leave one towel on the wet spot so it can soak up some of the remaining pee.
Take note that if your cat peed on the carpet, the urine likely leaked through the carpet on the floor. So, make sure to clean the spot under the rug too.
Just the towels won’t remove all the urine, but they will remove a great portion of it. With old urine stains, it can be more complicated.
Once everything is soaked up, grab a wet towel, and start scrubbing the spot. This applies to both fresh and old urine. Remember not to use a wet hot towel. If you use a hot towel, the smell can get worse.
Hot water only makes the smell worse because it helps the scent spread further. So, avoid using hot water to wipe out the urine at all costs. Use cold water to wet the towel instead.
After everything is done, and you think the spot is clean and urine-free, use a blacklight. The blacklight will reveal if some of the urine still remains.
This method will work only on hard surfaces like floors and walls, so here is some advice if your cat has sprayed on fabric.
If your cat has peed on your clothes, bed, or other fabric, put it in cold water and leave it in for an hour. After that, you can wash the fabric in the washing machine or by hand.
Once cleaned, shine them over with the blacklight. If the urine is not removed, you’ll need special cleaning products to remove it.
Step 3: Buy Products for Removing Cat Urine
Even if you have cleaned up everything, it can happen that the nasty smell of cat urine still remains. You can buy special cleaning products that will help you remove the remaining urine stains and scent.
Although vinegar has a particular smell that many people don’t like, we can say that it smells much better than dried cat urine. Vinegar is an excellent method for removing the lasting odor of cat pee.
Because cat urine contains alkaline salts, the acid in the vinegar will neutralize them. By neutralizing these salts, the smell will fade.
Mix 1/2 cups of vinegar with around 5 cups of water. Apply the mixture on the spot where the cat urine is. You can use a towel to tap the mixture in the spot or pour it in on the stain. Leave it there for around 5 minutes.
We recommend trying this technique on a small spot if you never tried it before. Pouring vinegar on some surfaces of fabrics can result in color fading.
So, make sure you don’t do more harm than good for your furniture, floor, clothes.
You can rub the wet spot with a cloth or towel to soak the remaining vinegar. The smell of vinegar will fade away after a few days, as well as the cat urine scent.
We recommend using this technique on hard surfaces only. The only exception can be a rug.
Baking soda is also considered to be useful in the battle with urine smell. The ingredient sodium bicarbonate successfully neutralizes the scent of cat urine.
It would be best to use baking soda after you already used vinegar. Baking soda will remove the remaining smell if there is some left.
Use baking soda once the vinegar has completely dried out. Rub it in the spot where the urine was with a towel.
You can also just pour it on the spot. After you have done that, we recommend vacuum cleaning the spot the next day.
Carbon Dioxide Based Cleaners
If you ever watched the TV show ”My Cat From Hell” with Jackson Galaxy, you already know that he highly recommends using Carbon Dioxide Based Cleaners when dealing with cat urine.
And there’s a reason for that. The Cat Daddy knows what he’s talking about.
You can buy these cleaners in your local shop, order one on Amazon, and even some pet stores have these cleaners. These special cleaners do a fantastic job of removing cat urine stains and smells.
They’re easy to use and mostly safe to use on any surface.
You simply mix the pallet with water according to the directions advised on the package. Once you have created the mixture, spray it on the urine spot.
After around 15 minutes, you can wipe everything out with a cloth and let it dry naturally.
If you tried cleaning the cat pee with all possible cleaning products, and nothing has worked so far, we recommend trying enzyme cleaners.
The specific smell of cat urine is due to specific compounds in the urine, specifically urea and uric acid. Urea itself doesn’t have a color, nor smell, but it contributes to the foul smell of the urine.
It releases ammonia as a metabolic by-product, and that is where the specific odor comes from.
Uric acid is a crystal that is not visible to the naked eye. These crystals are not soluble in water, so just water won’t remove all the stains and smells from the spot where the urine was.
Regular soap and other house-cleaning products won’t remove this compound as well.
To eliminate the uric acid in cat pee, it’s best to use enzymes such as ureases. Ureases are specific enzymes that can break down uric acid into CO2 and ammonia.
Once the uric acid is broken down, the carbon dioxide and ammonia will quickly evaporate from any surface.
So, if nothing helped, enzyme cleaners will. Enzyme cleaners are not only for removing cat urine, so make sure you buy the right one. We recommend getting an enzyme cleaner in your local pet store or ordering one from Amazon.
Before buying, make sure you read some user reviews. Some enzyme cleaners are stupidly expensive without any reason. They’ll usually do the job as well as cleaners that are on a budget.
We recommend that you not use enzyme cleaners in combination with other cleaning products, because they may reduce the effectiveness of the enzymes.
Step 4: What to Avoid?
People usually use cleaning products that they already have in their house to remove cat urine. But, some of these products won’t remove the smell at all or will cause the odor to get worse.
If you have small kittens that have not yet learned how to use the litter box, occasional leaking will happen. The urine in kittens doesn’t have the stink like in adult cats. So, soap or detergents will do the job of removing the kitten’s urine just fine.
Take note that this applies only if the urine stains are fresh. If the urine remains hidden for too long, it will have a smell over time.
When it comes to adult cats, it’s a totally different story.
Avoid using ammonia at all costs. Ammonia is already in cat urine, so if you add some more, the smell will get worse.
The next thing you should avoid is steam cleaners. Hot water and air will help the urine to quicker and get into the fibers of your carpet or furniture easier. Use a standard vacuum cleaner instead.
If your cat peed on your clothes, sheets, or other fabric, don’t wash them in hot water. The best would be to leave the material in cold water for 1-2 hours and then wash them in the machine.
Avoid deodorizes. Deodorizers for clothes can cause the urine odor to get worse. So, avoid them at all costs.
Step 5: The Last Resort – Dry Cleaning
So, you have tried everything, and nothing seems to be working. The cat pee is still in the air, and you’re starting to feel frustration.
Don’t worry, there still is another solution! Dry cleaning!
The smell of cat urine is much easier to remove if it’s on hard surfaces. If your cat peed on your bag, you’ll have a hard time removing all of the stains and the nasty smell. The same goes for your clothes.
We are sure you don’t want to go out in clothes or a bag that emits the unpleasant smell of cat urine. Everyone will think you’re the crazy cat lady.
But don’t worry, you can still save your favorite bag!
Instead of throwing away all your belongings that your cat has peed on, take them to dry cleaning.
Dry cleaning will remove all of the cat’s urine. The scent of urine will disappear, and the bag or clothes will be as good as new.
If your cat peed on your mattress, it would be best to take it immediately to dry cleaning.
Mattresses are soft and will quickly soak up all the cat urine. Because the inside of the mattress is hard to clean, take it to dry cleaning. It will save you time, and you will avoid frustration.
Every cat owner has dealt with the problem of removing cat pee. So, if it happens to you, don’t worry.
You may think that cleaning the urine is the hard part, but avoiding further accidents is the real problem you should deal with.
Dry cleaning and cleaning products are the best way to remove cat urine, but they won’t stop your cat from peeing outside the litter box again.
We hope you found this article useful and if you did, you share it with your friends. We would also like to hear your experiences with removing cat pee in the comments below.
And, as always, we hope you learned something.