If you have cats, you know they can be finicky about lots of things, including where they relieve themselves. If your cat has used the bathroom outside of it's litter box, you probably have a very specific scent in your home that has been difficult to remove. Keep reading for tips on how to remove stubborn kitty odors.
1. For carpet, thoroughly clean the area as soon as possible. The longer the urine lingers, the worse the smell will get. Use cold water and paper towels to clean up the mess. For best results, follow up with an enzymatic cleaner. You may also use a wet vac with cool water, but don't use a steam cleaner. Finish by sprinkling a liberal amount of baking soda on the area, leaving it for an hour, and then vacuuming.
2. For wood floors, it depends whether the wood is sealed or not. On sealed floors, mop up the urine with paper towels and follow up with a pet cleaner made for wood floors. If your wood floors aren't sealed, after mopping up the urine, pour white vinegar on the area and leave it for several minutes. Soak up the vinegar with paper towels or a dry cloth, then add vinegar again, this time, gently scrubbing it into the stain. Rinse with water, then soak up as much of the moisture as possible. You may also use an enzymatic cleaner to finish, but first, test it on a small less visible area of the floor. If this process doesn't work, you will have to sand the stain out of your floor, but sealing them will prevent this issue from happening again!
3. If your cat has found a pile of clothing or laundry to use for a litter box substitute, don't throw the clothes straight into the wash. Rinse the area with water without scrubbing. Then, soak the rinsed items in oxygen bleach (not chlorine bleach) for 2-3 hours. Then, move the clothes to soak in a solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water. You can also place baking soda on the stain for 10 to 15 minutes. After this, you can put the clothes in the washer with cold water and no detergent. Hang dry the items to make sure the stains came out, as putting them in the dryer will set the stain and the smell.
4. If the above strategies don't work, or if you can't find the source of the smell, it might be time to call a professional company like Bio-One. A professional remediation company can find, treat, and disinfect any amount of odors from cats, other pets, or even wild animals that may have gotten in to your property.
While it is important for your health and your comfort to find and treat any lingering cat urine odors, it is even more important to figure out why your cat isn't using its litter box. The PC term for a cat using the bathroom outside of it's box is "inappropriate elimination". Be sure that you are cleaning the box regularly, and that you have enough boxes if you have multiple cats. Your cat could also change its bathroom habits because of other changes like a new person in the home, a new type of litter, or the box being moved. If you can rule out these possibilities and your cat is still not using its box, take it to the vet for a thorough checkup, as the root of the issue could be more serious. A vet will have dealt with this issue often and be able to advise further.
Good luck removing cat urine odor from your home. Give us a call if you need help eliminating any kind of odors from your home or business!