Let’s face it – cat lover or not, there isn’t a more pungent, difficult to remove odor than that of cat urine. It tends to permeate everything, and that’s exactly what it’s meant to do. Cats (especially male cats) spray in order to get attention – another cat’s or yours – and with a smell that strong, it works!
Cat urine is heavily concentrated because their little bodies use water very efficiently, and there is not much waste. Not only is it concentrated, but it tends to stay put (which is very effective if a cat is trying to spray trees or other vertical surfaces to mark its territory). Helping with the marking process is felinine, an amino acid found only in cat urine that is a pheromone precursor. To make matters worse, as bacteria break down uric acid, ammonia is released, providing much of that terrible smell. The combination of the concentration, felinine, and ammonia make cat urine extremely difficult to remove, especially from porous surfaces!
How to Remove Cat Urine From Your Bed
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One of our readers finds herself in the difficult situation of dealing with cat urine on the most porous surface there is – her bed. She’s tried washing the pillows, blankets, and mattress, but the smell just won’t come out. What to do? Let’s start with the mattress.
- If the urine is still wet, blot as much as you can with paper towels. For our reader, this isn’t the case, but it may be for you! Get as much of the liquid out as possible before moving on.
- Mix a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 1 part warm water. Depending on the size of your mess, you will either want to do this in a jug or a spray bottle. Pour or spray the solution on the areas of urine. Let it soak for 10 minutes, then blot with paper towels (or old towels you don’t much care about – I prefer them to paper towels).
- Sprinkle baking soda over the stain. Use quite a bit – you will be surprised at how much urine the baking soda draws out!
- Mix a solution of a quarter cup hydrogen peroxide or OxiClean mixed with a small amount of warm water and a couple squirts of liquid dish detergent. Pour it over the baking soda and scrub it in with a scrub brush or old toothbrush (one of my favorite cleaning tools!). Let this sit for 30 minutes.
- Blot and clean off the solution. Brush off as much of the solution as you can, then blot out the rest with a damp cloth.
- Allow the mattress to dry thoroughly. It may take some time, but if you need to use the mattress before it’s dry, lay down a few towels between the mattress and the fitted sheet to absorb any remaining moisture.
Now for the bedding. Vinegar is again your best friend! Put your bedding through a cycle in your washing machine with 2 cups of distilled white vinegar (and hot water so long as the colors won’t bleed), then put them through another cycle with your normal laundry detergent. If you used OxiClean in step 4 for your mattress, throw in a scoop with the second run through the machine (with the normal laundry detergent) for good measure.
Voila! The cat urine odor is gone!