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How To Get Cat Pee Smell Out Of Your Carpet

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Struggling to get cat pee smell out of your carpets? When your cat makes a mess it can cause your whole home to stink. But there are easy ways to get rid of the urine odor so you can live happily with your kitty.

Cats make wonderful pets, don’t they?

We have always had cats in our home both because we love their company but also when you live in a rural area having the cat scent alone can help keep mice away.

But sometimes your beloved pet starts to make messes on your carpet and it can make the whole house stink.

How To Clean Cat Pee From Carpets text overlaid on a photo of a can laying upside down on a carpet.

While there may be many reasons your cat is making a mess from a dirty litter box, illness or the stress of a change in your home that needs to be dealt with you don’t have to suffer the stink in the meantime.

There are so many ways you can deal with the smell of cat pee some work quickly and others can take a few applications.

How Long Does Cat Urine Odor Last?

If you think you can just wipe up the mess on the rug and the smell will go away you’ll be surprised but not in a good way.

Cat pee can last in carpets and other surfaces for a very long time, even years. Their urine contains uric acid and it can be really hard to get rid of.

This is why enzyme cleaners work better than most homemade solutions. With a homemade cleaner, your carpet can smell good for a while but sometimes the smell will come back on a humid day if the uric acid recrystallizes.

Enzyme cleaners, on the other hand, break down the uric acid and evaporate it out of your carpet so the smell doesn’t come back.

How To Get Cat Pee Smell Out Of Your Carpet

Cleaning cat pee out of a carpet, drying up cat pee with a blue cloth and spraying with cleaner.

1. Remove As Much Urine As You Can

Before you start trying to get rid of the urine smell it’s really important to try to soak up as much of the cat urine from your carpet as possible.

The less urine that’s left in your carpet the easier it will be to get the smell out.

When you first notice that your cat has made a mess on your carpet use paper towels to soak up as much as possible. It won’t get it all out but it will help a lot.

Keep blotting the carpet until no more pee can be absorbed.

If you don’t have paper towels on hand you can also use newspapers or rags.

2. Rinse Well

After you have removed as much as possible from your carpet rinsing it with a wet/dry vacuum can help.

Don’t use a steam cleaner as the heat can make the smell worse and set in the stain.

Instead, rinse it with clean cold water and remove as much as possible with a wet/dry vacuum.

3. Use An Enzymatic Cleaner

Cats have a much stronger sense of smell then we do so it’s really important to get the odor of the pee out of your carpet. If you don’t the cat will continue to make a mess in the same area over and over again.

For the best results, you will want to use a cleaner with enzymes like this targeted to breaking down urine and work much better then normal cleaning solutions do for pet urine.

These cleaners contain live bacteria that produce enzymes when they come into contact with urine working to break it down and neutralize it.

Always follow the directions from the manufacturer of the cleaner you buy because they can work differently. But overall I’ve found that soaking the carpet well with the cleaner and letting it sit for 24 to 48 hours works the best.

How To Get Rid Of Dried Cat Pee On Carpets

It can be frustrating when you know your pet has made a mess somewhere on your carpet. You can smell it but you didn’t see it happen and it’s since dried.

How do you clean dried cat pee?

It’s not as hard as you think!

1. Find The Mess

Ok, I know you are thinking but how do I find where my cat messed?

Try using a UV flashlight like this one! The black light can help you see where your pet has peed on your carpet so that you know what area needs to be cleaned.

2. Rinse The Area Well

Using a wet/dry vacuum rinse the area well with cold water and suck up all the dirty water.

Remember not to use a steam cleaner, the heat can permanently set in the odor and stains. You really don’t want that!

3. Use A Good Pet Odor Neutralizer

Next use a good enzyme-based cleaner that will attack and remove urine odors from your carpet.

Homemade Ways Of Getting Rid Of Cat Urine Smells

I’ve had the best results when using cleaners made for pet odors but I understand they can be a little pricey sometimes.

If you need to treat your carpet quickly and don’t have a good cleaner on hand already there are some simple homemade methods you can try.


Vinegar is my go-to cleaner for almost everything, it always does a great job!

I’ve had good success treating carpets with urine odors by first soaking up as much as I could with paper towels and then soaking the area well with vinegar.

You want to make sure that it gets all the way down to the carpet pad that can also hold the scent.

Leave the carpet alone until it’s fully dried. After which you can shampoo it with your favorite rug cleaner and the smell and stain should be gone.

As an added benefit our cats really don’t like the smell of vinegar so it helps to keep the way from that area.

If you really can’t stand the smell of vinegar don’t give up, try adding a little vanilla or some essential oils to your homemade cleaner. It makes it smell great!

Baking Soda

Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate) is wonderful at absorbing odors.

After you have cleaned the area that your cat has made a mess on and the cleaner has fully dried try sprinkling the area well with baking soda.

You can use plain baking soda or one made to help get rid of pet smells.

Another option is to mix some of your favorite herbs like lavender into the baking soda and then sprinkle it on your carpet.

Let it sit for about 20 minutes and then vacuum it up.

Don’t Give Up

If your cat is going through a stressful time and is making messes, don’t give up on having a clean home. There are many things you can do to get cat urine smell out of carpets and the stains too.

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How To Get Cat Pee Smell Out Of Your Carpet

How To Get Rid Of Cat Pee Odor In Your Carpet

If your sweet kitten or older cat has started making messes don't worry there are really easy ways to get cat pee smell out of your carpet! These simple steps for cleaning fresh or old dried cat urine will help to keep your home from not smelling like a litter box.

Active Time 20 minutes
Drying Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 20 minutes
Difficulty Easy



How To Clean Fresh Cat Pee On Your Carpet

  1. Using paper towels soak up as much of the urine as you can from the carpet.
  2. Then rinse the area well with a wet/dry vacuum on the with cold water. Do not use a steam cleaner as it can make the odor worse.
  3. Apply a good enzymatic cleaner made to target cat urine and follow the directions on the package. Enzyme cleaners break down the bacteria that causes the nasty cat pee odor.

How To Clean Dry Cat Pee From Your Carpets

  1. First you'll have to find where your cat made a mess on your carpet. This isn't always easy after the pee has dried. Try using a UV light and shine it on your carpet in the dark. This makes it much easier to find the mess.
  2. Using a wet/dry vacuum rinse the area well using cold water and remove the dirty water.
  3. Finally follow up with an enzyme cleaner to break down the cat urine smell.

Cleaning Cat Urine With Vinegar

  1. Soak up as much urine as possible using paper towels or newspaper.
  2. Spray the area well with vinegar making sure to soak all the way to the carpet pad.
  3. Let the carpet fully dry, then use a wet/dry vacuum to clean the area well with your favorite cleaner.

Cleaning Cat Urine With Baking Soda

  1. Soak up as much urine as possible from the carpet.
  2. Clean with your favorite cleaner and cold water.
  3. Once dry sprinkle the area with baking soda and allow to sit for 20 minutes and then vacuum up.


Always remember to test any cleaning solution on a small out of sight area of your carpet to make sure it reacts the way you expect and doesn't stain.

In a pinch natural DIY solutions like vinegar and baking soda work well for cleaning cat urine stains. But I've found that using a good enzyme cleaner does a better job long term so the smell doesn't come back.

Did this help you?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Lynn V.

Friday 8th of April 2022

question.. will the urine area always show with the UV light even though you have cleaned it? Thanks!

Sara Ann

Friday 10th of July 2020

I have three kittens and they are always urinating on our carpets and wood floor. The urine smells and stains got so bad that I had to have a local carpet cleaner come and fix it. But, we just moved into a new place and the kittens have already made a mess again! I just purchased a UV light and some enzyme cleaner at the store to get rid of the new stains, and I can't wait to try it out. Thank you for your help!

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