A cat on the carpet.

When your cat pees outside the litter box, there’s no hiding from the problem. Cat urine can leave a stain, but even worse, the smell becomes more challenging to remove the longer it sits. Kitty pee contains uric acid, which can remain in carpet, clothing, or furniture fabric for years. Using the right type of cleaner is key. Once the immediate problem is cleaned up, it’s also important to determine the cause of this behavior, which could be a sign of a health issue or stress.

Soak Up As Much Cat Urine as Possible

When you find some cat urine around the house, clean the spot as quickly as possible. Use a paper towel or old rag to blot and lightly press to soak up as much urine as possible. Avoid scrubbing, which spreads the odor and pushes it deeper into the fabric.

Clean The Spot

DIY cleaners, like a white vinegar and water solution, can be helpful to remove the stain and may temporarily mask the odor left behind after a kitty accident. Unfortunately, homemade cleaners aren’t a long-term fix because they don’t treat uric acid. Even if you can’t smell leftover urine, your cat might, and could continue marking territory. Neutralizing the odor is a critical step so your house smells fresh and also so cats don’t return to a spot where they have previously urinated. 

To address both the stain and the odor, the most effective approach is using an enzymatic cleaner. On the upside, the enzymes break down the uric acid into gases, which then evaporate. On the downside, some enzymes can lighten fabric or leather, so take care when using it for the first time. After soaking the area, let it dry for several hours.

Prevent Future Problems

In order to prevent cat urine accidents, you must find the reason they’re happening.

The first step is to take your kitty to the vet to be checked out for medical issues. Your veterinarian will want to rule out conditions that can cause bladder problems, like diabetes, kidney disease, or urinary tract infection. Your cat will also be evaluated for other concerns like arthritis and anxiety.

Cats might also pee in the house because of stressful litter box experiences, and the best solution is retraining. To coax your cat back into using the litter box:

  • Move it to a quiet spot away from food and water bowls
  • Scoop it more often, once or twice a day
  • Change and clean the whole box every few days
  • Try a new type of cat litter, changing over gradually
  • Put a box on each level of the house
  • Add extra litter boxes especially if there is more than one cat

If your cat is having accidents around your house, call us at 301-249-2005 for an appointment. Our staff at Highway Vet Hospital is here to get both your cat and your home in the best conditions possible.