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The cat population in America is more than 75 millions, and anyone who owns a cat knows that stains and odors from cat urine can be a problem. Cat urine that seeps through carpet, into padding and down to the floor beneath can give your home an unpleasant aroma and bad look. In almost all cases, it is the worst perpetrator for pet stains and pet odors.
When cats urinate as a means of elimination, they normally do it on a horizontal or flat surface like the ground or in a litterbox. When cats spray in order to mark their territory, they turn their backsides to the object, twitch their tails and spray urine on the vertical surface. But in both cases, cat urine could come in contact with a carpet.
The cat’s urine is an amber-colored liquid waste fluid excreted by the kidneys and is composed of waste products of protein metabolism. The color of urine and its staining potential will often depend on dietary habits, age and sex of the cat, whether he is on medication, and the health of the cat. It can saturate absorbent materials such as padding, upholstery, and mattresses.
The older cats have diminished renal function, thus producing urine that contains more plasma proteins. Because less uric acephalia is secreted in this urine, it is less likely to stain a carpet, but it will produce an even stronger odor.
Typically, because cat diets are richer in protein than dog diets, their urine will produce harsher odors and are more likely to cause stains.
Urine can saturate absorbent materials such as carpet and padding, upholstery and mattresses well beyond the surface area that can effectively be cleaned. It is extremely difficult to remove all of the urine from inside of these materials. Even after a thorough cleaning, stains and odors often remain. So here are a few things you can do to eliminate the odor.
How to clean cat urine from carpet
Removing it from your carpet can be one of the most difficult cleaning tasks since it produces an especially persistent, unpleasant odor and amber-colored stains, so here are a few things you can do to eliminate them when the “accident” has happened.
First, blot up as much of the urine as possible with a soft, clean white cloth or absorbent paper towel. Press down firmly (do not rub) for 30 seconds. The more fresh urine you can remove before it dries, the simpler it will be to remove the odor. Remove the towel and repeat the process until the area is fully dried. Rinse the "accident zone" thoroughly with clean, cool water. After rinsing, remove as much of the water as possible by blotting it up. Next, you have some options:
1. One of the newest technologies for cleaning cat urine is to penetrate the soiled area and deactivate the odor with peroxide. Simply spray a product that consist a 3% hydrogen peroxide and wait about five minutes. After that use a clean white absorbent cloth, blot the area, pressing down firmly (do not rub) for 30 seconds. Repeat this blotting process until the area is dry. If the stain or odor persists, repeat the process.
Matt Humphries (science educator at a museum) who have read this article gave us some suggestions for removing cat urine based on science: "I read your suggestions and hydrogen peroxide should be number 1. One of my cats was born with almost no large intestine, so he goes to the bathroom anywhere. Hydrogen peroxide, H2O2, will damage proteins, lipids, etc. ( why it should NOT be used got first aid). Mixed with very little dish soap, it's the best around. Apply liberally. Soak the area and you can leave it. No more stain or smell. A 3% solution is available from the grocery store. Under a dollar/liter. Do not water it down. A 6%, you can buy at a beauty supply store and if you really want to save money, you may buy a 35% from an alternative health store. It is sold as food grade. BE CAREFUL, it is very dangerous. Research how to handle properly. Avoid contact and any open flame. Must water it down. Do not allow contact with anything, god forbid skin, eyes, mucus membranes, ingestion, etc. This goes for pets too. If you so much as touch it, your skin feels like it's burning.When it is used it breaks down into water and oxygen, which is why it's very volatile but useful. It's the cheapest and most efficient, effective way to remove stains and smells. The key is removal, not just covering up."
2. Baking soda works well to eliminate surface (but not deeply penetrated) odors. Dampen the area with clean water and then sprinkle baking soda over it. Rub the baking soda into the soiled area and let dry. Brush or vacuum to remove the dry material.
3. Another option is the white vinegar. Mix together 1 quart warm water and 1/2 cup white vinegar, and dribble the mixture onto the stain. Place dry towels over the stained area and put something heavy over the towels to increase the pressure. After some hours remove the towels and raise the nap of the carpet with a soft-bristled hairbrush. Note: Test the vinegar solution on a piece of fabric that is hidden from view - under the cushion or on the backside of the furniture.
4. To clean old or heavy stains in carpets, consider renting an extractor or wet-vac from a local hardware store. The extracting/wet-vac machines work like a vacuum cleaner and do the best job of forcing clean water through your carpet and then forcing the dirty water back out again. When you use these machines, you should follow the instructions carefully.
Note: Don’t use any chemicals with these machines – they work much more effectively with plain water.
5. Another way for cleaning the cat urine from carpets was submitted from one of our visitors - Elaine Byrnes. She says that if you add several drops of Listerine mouthwash to the water/perioxide mixture it helps a lot with the odor. In addition to a great cleaning solution, this is a safe pest spray for plants that are in and around children or pets.
Once the soiled area is really clean, you should use a high-quality pet odor neutralizer available at pet supply stores. Test the affected surface for staining first, and read and follow the instructions.
If the area still looks stained after it’s completely dry from extracting and neutralizing, apply a specialized stain and odor removing bacteria/enzyme cleaner, such as "Outright Pet Stain Eliminator," "Pet 'Oops' Remover," or "Stain Gobbler".
How to clean cat urine from your upholstery
When it is not possible to remove the cover of your couch or chair upholstery, observe the following cleaning procedures to get the cat urine out:
Dab stubborn stains with a soft, clean white cloth or absorbent paper towel. If solvents are required, avoid applying them directly onto the stain, and pour it onto a clean cloth. Clean the stain using a circular motion working from the outside inwards. After removing the stain, dry immediately with a hand held hairdryer using a cool setting. Take care to direct the air stream first towards the outside of the area working inwards. Always be careful to rub any stains gently and to use a brush with soft bristles.
How to clean cat urine from hardwood floors
Cat urine can harm your hardwood floor and can cause rotting. However, you might not be ready to replace your floor just yet, so here are a few things you can do to eliminate the odor. If you can catch the problem while it's still "fresh," you'll be better off.
Remove any excrement and blot the entire wet area immediately and firmly with paper towels. Wash affected area several times with white vinegar. Rinse stain thoroughly with warm water. Blot dry with paper towels. Apply a specialized stain and odor-removing bacteria or enzyme cleaner.
Tip: Read the instructions carefully before using these products and test them in an invisible area. If you can not remove some old stains, try sanding away the stain and resealing the wood.
You must be extra vigilant about cat odor and attack the problems as soon as it occurs. Also, you should remove all traces of the odor because if the scent remains, the cat will do it again in the same spot.