How to Get Rid of Cat Urine in Carpet?

How to Get Cat Urine Smell Out of Carpet

There are many reasons why cats urinate outside the litter box including stress and health issues. Some cats simply like to mark their surroundings and that leaves our homes with that distinct, undeniable pungent scent. Even more so if they decide to urinate on our carpets, couch cushions, hardwood floors, or other porous material around the house.

As you are aware cat urine smells really bad and it is best to find and get rid of the source as quickly as possible.

You can get cat urine out of a carpet by first blotting out the fresh urine and then using soap, enzymatic cleaners, or vinegar to get the urine out of the carpet. After that, you may want to use an odor remover to get rid of the remaining smell.

Here is how to remove cat urine smell from carpet:

1. Blot out the fresh urine 

If you find the urine before it dries out, get a clean paper towel if you prefer a disposable one. You can also use throwaway or reusable cloths (if you don’t mind washing them) made with absorbent material such as cotton, and firmly press it directly on the spot. Keep repeating this process until most of the urine is absorbed, and the carpet is left just a little damp, if not dry.

Alternative: Use a wet/dry vacuum if you have one. Using the wet option on the vacuum, you can easily get rid of cat urine on the carpet. It will probably save you a lot of time, not to mention save your back from stooping and blotting out the urine.

2. Clean the carpet by using plain old soap and water

This method is probably the most straightforward way to get cat urine out of the carpet. Just wet the area with water and pour as much or as little as you think you need of the soap of your choice. A preferable choice to get cat urine smell out of the carpet is dish soap. A lot of people swear by its effectiveness in getting rid of that offensive odor.

3. Clean the carpet by using an enzymatic cleaner

You can buy and use some enzymatic cleaners, which can break down the proteins, significantly reducing, if not eliminating the cat pee smell. Keep in mind that enzymatic cleaners can’t be used after you have used other chemicals.

4. Clean the carpet by using vinegar

Clean the carpet by using vinegar
Image: / Helin Loik-Tomson

With this method, you need to mix vinegar and water with a one-to-one ratio or equal amounts in a mixture. This means that if you will use a cup of vinegar, mix it with a cup of water. After mixing, you can put it in a spray bottle and spritz it on the spot you want to clean. Let it seep through for a minute, then use paper towels to blot it off the carpet. Continue blotting until the spot is dry. Repeat spraying the vinegar solution and then blotting until you got the cat urine smell out of the carpet.

You can use the vinegar mixture after you have used enzymatic cleaners if the cleaner did not completely eliminate the offensive odor.

Warning: You should be careful when using vinegar because it can ruin a carpet, depending on the material. It is best to test a hidden spot first and see if the vinegar would not damage your carpet.

5. Get rid of the smell by using an odor remover

After blotting out wet cat urine, the next, and particularly important step is to get the cat urine smell out of the carpet. There are many options for this, and there are a lot of commercial products out there that can effectively remove cat urine smell from a carpet.

6. Get rid of the smell by using baking soda

Baking soda is also an effective odor remover. This method is used only when the spot is absolutely dry. Sprinkle baking soda directly on the spot you want to clean and let it sit for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, use a vacuum to remove the excess from the carpet or surface.

7. Get rid of the smell by using hydrogen peroxide

This method could be used in combination with using baking soda, as mentioned above, except that you do not need to vacuum the excess. Hydrogen peroxide has many uses, including disinfecting and deodorizing. To use this method, mix about a half cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with about a teaspoon of liquid dish detergent. Pour the hydrogen peroxide and liquid dish detergent mixture over the baking soda. Use a brush to scrub the area. Blot out the excess foam and allow it to dry. Once dry, vacuum out the excess and residue.

Warning: Do a spot test in a hidden area before using hydrogen peroxide on your carpet to make sure that this method would not cause issues.

How to find the location of the source of the smell?

How to find the location of the source of the smell
Image: / krblokhin

Sometimes we can clearly see (or feel) where our little kitties left some mark. However, there are times when we find out too late, and only know for sure that there is urine somewhere because we cannot ignore the smell. A typical location is somewhere near the litter box, so check there first. So how can you tell where the odor is coming from?

Sharpen your senses

Yes, use your senses—sight, smell, and touch. You can start by sniffing around so you can tell the general area of the source of the odor. Use your eyes to see any discoloration on the carpet or surface, and use your touch to feel around if there are surfaces that do not feel right. Just make sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterward.


If the first method is a little too much for you, you can always get a blacklight. Use a handheld blacklight and turn the lights off. The cat urine will glow under the blacklight. This way, you will know for sure where on the carpet is the cat urine and target that area for cleaning and deodorizing.