If you're embarrassed by the odor in your home, it's probably because your kitty has been busy spraying his urine around it to mark his territory. To deal with this stinky situation, you need to clean away the urine so your kitty won't spray the areas again.
Cat urine-specific enzymatic cleaners remove any traces of your kitty's urine spray by breaking down its smelly components and eliminating them. These cleaners contain natural enzymes and helpful bacteria to get rid of the bad bacteria that are causing all those unpleasant odors in your home. You can find these types of cleaners in pet supply stores and use them on a wide variety of surfaces, from fabric to tile. After wiping or blotting away the urine spray, rinse the area with water and wipe it down again. Apply the enzymatic cleaner to the area of the urine stain and let it dry with no rinsing necessary. Really douse carpets or upholstery with the cleaner and allow it to dry on its own for several days. You may need to reapply the cleaner to the area and let it dry again for older or particularly odorous stains.
Vinegar is a natural and pet-safe cleaner that, while a bit smelly itself, can remove the lasting odor of sprayed cat urine. Mix a solution of one part water and one part vinegar to clean away your kitty's urine stains on both walls and floors. Pour the solution on fabrics or carpets to eliminate odors and stains from them too. The vinegar smell should subside after a few days, taking the urine smell with it. Vinegar is an acid that neutralizes the alkaline salts that form in dried old urine stains. These salts attract smelly bacteria; to eliminate the odor and stains, you need to neutralize the salts. For fresh stains, though, the urine is very acidic, so avoid using vinegar on areas your kitty has recently targeted, opting for another type of cleaner instead.
Use oxygen bleach to remove stains and odors caused by your kitty's urine spraying. Unlike chlorine bleach, oxygen bleach won't lighten fabrics and it is safe to use around your furry friend. These bleaches usually come in a powder form that you mix with water, according to the manufacturer's directions, to make a solution safe to use on carpets and fabrics. Use this solution in a carpet cleaning machine when removing urine sprayed on carpets or upholstery. Add a few spoonfuls to your laundry detergent and use it to remove urine spray from washable items. Mix it with just a bit of water to make a paste and use it to scrub away dried urine from walls and floors. Wipe any powder residue away with a damp sponge.
For the best results, get to any urine stains made by your kitty as soon as possible. Douse them with water to get the urine and the smelly chemicals it contains away before treating it with any type of cleaner. Use a black light in a darkened room to find any stains you can smell but not see. The light illuminates the urine spots so you can clean them -- and their odor -- away. Have your spraying kitty checked out by your vet to see if a medical or behavioral issue could be to blame. Have him neutered to reduce the chances that he will continue the behavior once he has a clean bill of health. If this doesn't help, ask your vet if a behavior modification medication could stop your kitty's spraying.
- Cat Behavior Associates: How to Clean Cat Urine Stains and Odors
- Petfinder: Spraying
- Association of Animal Behavior Professionals: Spray Wars
- Green Lodging News: A New Tool in Your Hotel's Green Cleaning Arsenal -- Bio-cleaners
- Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: Feline Behavior Problems: House Soiling
- VetInfo: How to Clean Cat Urine
- Planet Cat: A Cat-Alog; Sandra Choron, et al.
- The Humane Society of the United States Complete Guide to Cat Care; Wendy Christensen and the Staff of the Humane Society of America
- Outwitting Cats: Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Persuading the Felines in Your Life That What You Want is also What They Want; Wendy Christensen
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.