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11 Tips to Get Cat Pee Smell Out of a Carpet

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When your cat uses your carpet as its litter box, you have a rather smelly problem on your hands.

Cat urine contains ammonia, which will seep into the fibers of a carpet, leaving you with a foul odor that is difficult to remove. 

Once you notice this odor in your home, it would be wise to locate and address it as quickly as possible. Doing so ensures your cat will not return to that spot and continue using your carpet as its litter box.

Thankfully, several products are available to help you remove that cat urine odor.  

In this article, we discuss 11 tips on how to get a cat pee smell out of a carpet.

11 Tips to Get Cat Pee Smell Out of a Carpet

Locate the Source of the Smell and Prepare It for Cleaning

The first step is to locate the root of the foul odor. Try to do it as soon after it happens as possible since carpets are highly absorbent. 

cute cat lying on carpet near her pee

Do not let the cat pee stay on the carpet for too long. If you do, the odor from the urine will get worse. And once that happens, it will encourage the cat to urinate in the same spot. 

Once you locate the area with the odor, blot it with paper towels or an old rag. As you blot the spot, try absorbing as much liquid as possible from the carpet.

Avoid scrubbing the carpet. Doing so will only make the urine seep further into the carpet. 

Ensure you avoid using a steam cleaner on the spot with the pee stain. The heat from the steam cleaner can set the odor, making it more difficult to remove.

However, if you own a wet vacuum, you can use it on a cold setting. 

Carpet Shampooer

A carpet shampooer is a device designed for cleaning carpets.

Unlike a steam cleaner that steams your carpet, a shampooer rubs the carpet clean with soap and cold water. Carpet shampooers are ideal for cleaning spots with cat urine stains and odors. 

Use an Enzyme-Based Cleaner 

environmentally friendly accessories for cleaning home lemon water cloth

One of the best ways to eliminate organic odors from carpets is to use an enzyme-based cleaner. This class of cleaning products contains enzymes that can break down the acid content of a cat’s urine and simultaneously removes any unpleasant odors. 

To use an enzyme-based cleaner, blot the stain using paper towels. Next, spray the enzyme-based cleaner on the stain, covering it generously. 

Let the cleaner sit on your carpet for 10-15 minutes, or you can also follow the instructions on the product label. 

Once the 15 minutes are up, blot the spot with a clean cloth until the area is dry. However, you may have to repeat this process if you still notice any odor from that spot when it dries. 

DIY Enzyme-Based Cleaner

Enzyme-based cleaners are usually available in spray bottles for easy application. However, if you prefer to use a non-commercial product, you can make your own using the following ingredients:

  • Peels from three oranges and three lemons 
  • 7/8 cup of brown sugar
  • 4 cups of water 

With these ingredients, you have an enzyme-based cleaner perfect for eliminating nasty pee odors. The only drawback to making this homemade cleaner is that the mixture has to ferment for three months.  

White Vinegar and Water

Crop photo of woman sitting on floor and cleaning carpet with vinegar spray and rag

White vinegar is another product you can use to remove the smell of cat pee from your carpet. Since vinegar contains an acid, it can neutralize the bacteria in dried urine stains producing foul odors. 

To use, prepare a solution of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle using a ratio of 1:1 and spray it on your carpet. Blot the solution with an old rag and let it dry. 

Once it dries, allow some fresh air into your home. That will ensure that the smell of vinegar dissipates along with the urine odor. 

Hydrogen Peroxide

cleaning bottles and hydrogen peroxide container

Hydrogen peroxide is an effective way to eliminate cat pee odors from your carpet. You can use it immediately after using a white vinegar and water solution. 

You can use hydrogen peroxide in different ways. You can mix it with dish soap or pour it directly over the area with the offensive odor.

However, when mixing hydrogen peroxide and dish soap, avoid using a dish soap that contains bleach. 

Once you apply the hydrogen peroxide to the area with the pee odor, let it sit on the carpet for at least 5 minutes. Then proceed to blot the spot repeatedly. 

Baking Soda

baking soda in a jar and spoon of baking soda

Baking soda is another effective way to eliminate the cat pee smell from your carpet. After tracking down the source of the foul odor and cleaning the urine, sprinkle some baking soda on the soiled area. 

Let the baking soda sit overnight to ensure it absorbs the cat pee smell. Vacuum the baking soda thoroughly the next day.

Since baking soda is an excellent odor absorber, it removes the smell.

Rubbing Alcohol

alchohol bottle spray spraying alcohol to tissue on blue background

Rubbing alcohol is a chemical with disinfectant properties that kills bacteria, fungi, and viruses. As a result, it effectively removes the ammonia responsible for the foul odor in cat pee.

Don’t mix rubbing alcohol with bleach. 

When you use rubbing alcohol, do not pour it directly on your carpet. Look for an old rag, soak it with rubbing alcohol, and then blot your carpet.

Use the cloth to apply the alcohol to the stain and ensure it seeps into the carpet. Once the carpet dries, the foul smell from the cat pee will disappear. 

Coffee Grounds

Ensure you use dry coffee grounds.

Sprinkle your dry coffee grounds over the area with the cat pee. Let the coffee grounds sit overnight before vacuuming them up the next day. 

Coffee Beans And Wooden Bowl Full Of Ground Coffee

Avoid Cleaning Products That Contain Ammonia

As you try different cleaning products to eliminate the cat pee smell from your carpet, avoid products that contain ammonia. Since cat urine contains ammonia, they will likely revisit areas with similar odors. 

In addition, cleaners that contain ammonia can also set the stain, making it worse than it already is. 

Scent Your Home

Aroma oil diffuser on chair against in the bedroom

After eliminating the cat pee odor from your carpet and cleaning up your mess, it is time to give your home a fresh scent.

However, you can only do this if you have thoroughly cleaned up. 

You can keep your home smelling fresh by using diffusers and fragrances around areas with the pee odor. Adding a fresh scent is a great way to finish the job.

Hire a Professional Cleaning Service

If you tried all the tips provided and the odor from the cat pee persists, you may need to hire a professional cleaning service.

Professional cleaning services have experience cleaning homes with pets. They can help you eliminate stubborn cat pee stains and odors from your carpets.