How to Get Cat Urine Out of Hardwood Floor?

How to get cat urine out of hardwood floor

Cats are lovable and gentle animals and many of us love them as endearing pets and house companions. However, one major disadvantage is the strong smell of their urine which can be quite intolerable. Even worse if the cat pees on material such as carpet or on the floor that is made of hardwood because urine can seep through, resulting in a lingering smell.

All is not lost though, because there are effective ways to get cat urine smell out of hardwood floors.

Why does cat urine smell so bad?

Cat urine smells so bad because of the high concentration levels of their urine as cats drink a little and seldom urinate. It is also worth noting that cats are originally desert creatures and their kidneys are made to absorb large quantities of water for hydration allowing them to drink less water. Cat urine composition includes the following: urea, urobilin, sodium, uric acid, electrolytes, creatinine, pheromones, and 5 strains of bacteria.

Reasons why cats pee somewhere other than the litter box

Before we round up some helpful tips on how to remove cat urine smell from your wood floor, let’s consider the reasons why cats relieve themselves on the floor and elsewhere other than their litter box. Some of the most common reasons are:

  • Your cat has medical issues like diabetes or a urinary tract infection.
  • The type of litter used.
  • A dirty litter box.
  • Your cat is experiencing anxiety or stress.

How to get cat urine out of hardwood floor

While it is relatively easy to eliminate the smell on ceramic tiles it is not exactly the case with hardwood floors because the urine gets soaked into the wood and the smell will stay unless it is removed effectively. Here are some of the most effective ways to remove cat urine smell from your hardwood floor:

1. Removing cat urine using hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide is non-toxic and effectively cleans germs and bacteria as well as undesirable odor. It can be bought from many online stores including

Procedure: Mix at least 3% of hydrogen peroxide with water then moisten a rag or an absorbent cloth with the mixture and apply over the affected area of your wood floor. Allow the rag or cloth with the mixture to let sit on the area for at least a couple of hours for better absorption. Finally, wipe and dry the area with a clean rag or cloth.

2. Remove the cat’s urine smell by using baking soda.

Remove the cat's urine smell by using baking soda.
Image: / Nils ThamKC

Baking soda is an effective cleaning agent and a good deodorizer and a mild alkali. You can get it from

Procedure: First, wipe the affected wood floor area with a cloth or paper towel. Next, sprinkle the area with a generous amount of baking soda and let sit for a few minutes. Fine-grade steel wool may be used to scrape the affected area then wipe with a dry rag or cloth.

3. Vinegar is another effective home solution to remove the cat’s urine smell.

Vinegar, especially the white distilled variety, has long been known as a potent multi-purpose cleaner. It is convenient, eco-friendly, and non-toxic. It also neutralizes urine bacteria effectively.

Procedure: Dilute white vinegar by mixing ½ cup of it with 1 and ½ cup of warm water. Next, spray the solution to the affected area and let sit for at least 5 minutes.  Lastly, use a hand towel or cloth to dab and dry the area.

4. Use an enzymatic cleaner.

Enzymatic cleaners remove cat urine smell effectively by breaking down the acids and neutralizing bad bacteria. The commercially available enzymatic cleaners come in various brands, we recommend Live Odor Free which has been developed specifically for eliminating cat pee smell.

Procedure: Blot and remove as much of the urine then soak the affected area with the enzyme cleaner and let sit for about 15 minutes. Next, wipe and blot out the enzymatic cleaner and allow the area to dry.

5. Use a drum sander or disc sander for wood floors with gaps or seams to remove the cat urine smell.

Wood floors with gaps or seams enable liquids like cat urine to seep through it allowing the wood to get soaked and wet, thus, a sander should be used.

Procedure: Remove the quarter rounds and baseboards then run the sander on the flooring. A floor disc sander is recommended for minimum sanding while a drum sander is essential for deep sanding.  Once through, clean the floor with a broom and a damp mop. Finally, the floor is then coated with a water-based urethane finish. You may also opt to hire professionals to perform this task.

6. Use a stain and odor remover and cover with a plastic wrap.

Procedure:  Pour a liberal amount of stain and odor remover on the affected area and cover the spot with plastic wrap. Add more liquid after a few days and repeat the process over the following weeks. Finally, remove the plastic wrap after 4 to 6 months, and by this time the smell should be completely gone.

If all else fails

If all else fails you may have to replace your flooring and sub-flooring to permanently eliminate cat pee smell from your hardwood floor.