One of the most formidable smells is that of cat urine. Cat urine contains five different strains of bacteria; two are associated with the cat’s specific marking scent, with the rest being in the cat spray, urine, and uric acid. The uric acid is the strain that continues to be seen and smelled long after the cat has urinated.
Removing the stain with household cleaning products is ineffective. The uric acid contains crystals and salts, which are reactivated by moisture every time you clean them or if the air is humid. Ammonia based products are the worst of household cleaners to use, since there is ammonia in the urine itself. They will keep the cat coming back to the spot instead of deterring him.
Enzyme cleaners are the only known way to effectively treat urine stains and odors. These types of cleaners eliminate the stain and odor by eating away at the crystals and bacteria.
The damage that cat urine can do will depend on the color of the urine. Feline age, dietary habits, and sex will determine the staining power of his urine.
The first step in tackling a urine stain is to clean up as much of the fresh puddle as possible. Use a paper towel or other white rag to absorb as much excess liquid as possible. Do not rub the towel, but rather press down firmly on the spot for thirty seconds. Repeat this until the area is dry. Then you will want to rinse the area with water that is room temperature or a bit cooler. Follow this step with your choice of cleaning methods. These techniques can include:
- Baking Soda. Try sprinkling this common household product over the affected area. Rub the baking soda in to the dampened area and then allow to dry. Vaccuum excess powder once dry. This method works well on surface odors but does not deeply penetrate.
- White Vinegar. Mix ½ cup white vinegar with 1 quart of warm water. Sprinkle this mixture over the stain. Cover the area with towels and place something heavy over it to apply pressure. Remove towels after a few hours and run over with a stiff brush to raise the nap of the carpet.
- Hydrogen Peroxide. Spray a product containing 3% hydrogen peroxide on the area. The blot the area with a clean, white cloth. Blot until the spot is dry. A pet odor neutralizer may need to be used to finish removing the stain.
While it would be nice to know exactly where your cat will try to ruin your flooring, that is not always the case. Cats have been known to urinate on hardwood floors and upholstery.
- Hardwood Flooring. Remove the puddle with paper towels and then wash the area repeatedly with white vinegar. Blot dry and then apply a commercial pet odor neutralizer.
- Upholstery. Blot stain with clean, white towel. Apply solvent in a circular motion. Dry with a cool hairdryer.
Commercial pet odor and stain removers are effective products if used properly and they contain the ability to break down enzymes. Consult your local veterinarian or pet supply store for recommendations on useful products.