We all love our cats, but no matter how sweet our feline friends can be, they aren’t always little angels. Even the best-behaved cats sometimes urinate outside of the litter box when they’re feeling sick, stressed, or threatened. Most of us cat owners know the smell of cat urine all too well, and we also know how difficult it can be to remove from our homes.
The uric acid crystals in cat urine give it its distinctive ammonia smell, but the chemical breakdown of urine is what makes odors last. As bacteria metabolize urea, they release thiols that create lasting smells. For reference, thiols are the compounds that give skunk spray and rotten eggs their distinctive odors.
If you don’t clean up properly, the smell of cat pee can linger for years. What’s more, your cats are more likely to come back and continue to mark their newfound territory, making it nearly impossible to eliminate unpleasant smells in the long run. Clothing and linens can easily be dry cleaned, but what about carpeting and furniture?
You can protect your home from taking on pet odors by investing in a professional urine remover. Enzyme-based cleaners are more effective at removing odors than any household remedy, and they can end up saving you a fortune in carpeting and furniture replacements.
In This Article...
- What is the Best Cat Urine Remover?
- All About Urine Removers
- Reviewed: The Best Cat Urine Removers
What is the Best Cat Urine Remover?
All About Urine Removers
If home remedies just aren’t doing the trick, it might be time to put away the baking soda and bring out the big guns. Though often underrated, a quality urine remover is an essential part of any pet owner’s cleaning kit.
What They Do
Enzyme cleaners do what traditional household remedies and standard carpet cleaners cannot. Namely, they break down the lasting components of pet urine to help you eliminate the smell. While enzyme cleaners may not be able to remove stains from lighter surfaces, they can deodorize surfaces and prevent your pet from peeing in the same spot twice.
How They Work
When most people need to clean up after their pet, they reach for the vinegar and baking soda. While this home remedy can help to remove stains, it will only eliminate odors temporarily. The same goes for treatments involving dish soap, detergent, hydrogen peroxide, and even most carpet cleaners.
When you clean up using a homemade concoction, you aren’t addressing the heart of the issue. Cat urine leaves behind uric acid salts, which are not water soluble. They also tend to bind tightly to surfaces such as carpeting or fabric, which can ruin clothing, carpets, and furniture. This can make smells last for years, particularly in hot or humid environments.
Dedicated urine removers are the only thing that you can use to break down uric acid to remove smells permanently. They typically use enzymes to break down crystals into carbon dioxide and ammonia, which both evaporate without leaving behind a lasting odor.
How to Clean Cat Urine
Even the best cleaners won’t eliminate smells entirely if they aren’t used properly. If you notice that your cat has urinated on carpeting, couch cushions, or anything else, there are certain steps you need to take to clean the area completely:
- Blot up the urine with a paper towel and allow the spot to dry.
- Soak the area with enzyme cleaner. If the cleaner comes in a spray bottle, it may be easier to unscrew the cap and pour.
- Allow the cleaner to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. This gives enzymes the chance to break down uric acid salts.
- Blot the enzyme cleaner and allow any excess to air dry.
It’s best to use enzyme cleaners as soon as you notice an issue in order to eliminate unwanted odors and prevent repeat offenses, but most products will work on old smells as well. You may have to go through two or three applications to remove older odors.
What to Look for
With so many quality enzyme cleaners available on the market, it can be tough to choose the right one for you. Here are some features to consider when deciding which urine remover will work best for your home.
Fragrance may seem like a desirable quality in an odor remover, but it can make it difficult to judge if you’ve cleaned a stain properly. Scents are often added to cleaners to help mask urine smells, but they only last for a few hours at best. Some artificial fragrances may also cause a reaction in you or your cat.
Some cleaners are artificially colored, and while most of these are designed not to leave any residue, people with light carpets or furniture run the risk of winding up with a bigger stain than when they started. If you have white, beige, or otherwise light-colored decor in your home, you should opt for a clear cleaner without any natural or artificial dyes. You should also make sure to blot and dry affected areas using white cloths and sponges.
Since you’re using enzyme cleaners in the home, you want to make sure that any product you buy is safe to breathe. You should look exclusively for nontoxic or all-natural cleaners with ingredients that are safe for both humans and pet. That being said, you should still make sure to ventilate your home well anytime you’re using enzyme cleaners.
While you don’t want to spend too much on cleaning supplies, it’s best not to go for the cheapest enzyme cleaner on the shelf. Low-quality products are often weaker than their pricier counterparts and require repeated treatments for complete odor removal, which means you may actually end up spending more. Stick to quality brands and keep an eye out for deals, promotions, and free bonuses.
Most professional urine removers have a long shelf life, which makes it a good idea to opt for a larger size whenever possible. Not only will it last longer, but buying in bulk often saves money. Products that come in large jugs as opposed to spray bottles are easiest to store.
Reviewed: The Best Cat Urine Removers
Now that you know what to look for in a urine remover, you can work on rounding out your cleaning kit so that you’re prepared the next time your cat has an accident. Before you grab your shopping cart, take a few moments to look at our top recommendations of urine removers for cats and kittens.
Skout’s Honor Professional Strength Urine & Odor Destroyer
This high-strength, high-performance urine remover uses non-toxic, biodegradable, eco-friendly ingredients and is free of harsh chemicals that could harm children and pets. It uses patented BioKore technology to break down stains and destroy odor molecules found in urine. This cleaner also targets feline pheromones and helps to prevent territorial remarking.
Skout’s Honor comes in either a 35-oz or 1-gallon spray bottle, depending on you and your pet’s needs. The cleaner is resistant to heat and cold while in storage, and it never expires. You can safely use it to keep your home free of urine smells for years. You can also use Skout’s Honor to clean other pet odors, including vomit, hairballs, feces, and more.
For particularly bad messes, Skout’s Honor can safely be used alongside other household cleaners. It uses safe, natural ingredients that won’t combine with bleach or peroxide cleaners to create noxious fumes. You can use this urine remover on rugs, carpets, upholstery, clothing and other porous and water-safe surfaces.
Skout’s Honor is not only environmentally friendly and biodegradable, but you’ll also be giving back with each purchase that you make. Under the Skout’s Paw Pledge, every purchase made with the Skout’s company buys a homeless pet in need a day’s worth of food.
- Nontoxic, biodegradable, and eco-friendly
- Two size options
- Easy to store
- No expiration date
- A little expensive
Nature’s Miracle Cat Urine Destroyer
Unlike many other urine removers, Nature’s Miracle comes in an easy-to-pour container that allows you to soak affected areas without any fuss. You can use a convenient handle to pour straight from the bottle or use the cap to measure before you dispense. You can purchase a 32-oz or 1-gallon bottle, both at a reasonable price.
A unique bacteria-based formula targets cat urine at the source, breaking down and eliminating odors immediately. Not only that, but it also clears away the sticky residue that’s left behind when urine dries, making it an ideal choice to remove old stains. The enzymes work after just ten minutes, and only one application is required for most problem areas.
This urine remover gives off a light scent as it works to help keep your home smelling fresh. When used as directed, Nature’s Miracle is safe on just about any surface, including clothing, linens, carpeting, and furniture. It might cause damage to untreated hardwood, leather, suede, silk or wool specialty fabrics, however.
The ingredients used in this cleaner are generally safe and eco-friendly. Isopropyl alcohol and other components may cause skin and eye irritation in close quarters, however. It’s best to wear protective gear and keep your workspace well-ventilated when using this urine remover.
- Two sizes
- Reasonably priced
- Easy to measure and pour
- Cleans sticky residue
- Works in 10 minutes
- Gives off a fresh scent
- Not safe for untreated hardwood, leather, suede, silk or wool specialty fabrics
- May cause skin or eye irritation
Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator
This professional-strength cleaner is designed to tackle much more than just urine. Its bio-enzymatic formula works on contact to eliminate stains and odors from feces, vomit, and other accidents around the house. The cleaner penetrates deep into clothing, cushions, and carpet fibers to clean completely, which helps to prevent your cat from resoiling problem areas.
This cleaner is free of scents and colors, making it safe to use on floors, furniture, litter boxes, carpets, and much more. It’s even earned the Seal of Approval by the trusted Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) as being safe for all carpeting types.
This urine remover uses gentle ingredients that are safe to use around all members of your household, including pets and children. It doesn’t contain any bleach or chlorine, like many traditional carpet cleaners, and can be used with other products when necessary.
Rocco & Roxie are so confident in the quality of their product that they offer customers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. You can buy this product risk-free knowing that if it doesn’t work for you and your cat, you can get your money back.
- Long-lasting effects
- Safe ingredients
- Gentle on most surfaces
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Comes in a spray bottle
Bubba’s Super Strength Commercial Enzyme Cleaner
Instead of using active bacteria like most other cat urine removers, Bubba’s uses a dormant bacteria that doesn’t begin to work until there’s a food source present, such as uric acid. As soon as you add the cleaner to your carpet, clothing, or upholstery, it gets to work breaking down and destroying nasty odors. The formula is designed to penetrate deep to clean completely and is okay to use on rugs. It’s even been certified by the CRI as safe to use on carpeting.
While most other cleaners are tackle only organic messes, Bubba’s offers a wide range of uses. Not only can you clean both cat and dog odors, but you can also remove shoe odor, clean auto carpet stains, treat grass stains, and more. Even though this urine remover is strong, however, it’s still safe to use around the home. It doesn’t contain ingredients that are harmful to people, pets, or the environment.
This enzyme cleaner is slightly more expensive than other similar products, but with such versatility at your fingertips, you know that you’re really getting some bang for your buck. Bubba’s also offers a money back satisfaction guarantee in the event that their cleaner doesn’t work for you.
- Gentle formula
- Safe for use on most surfaces
- Uses dormant bacteria to break down smells and stains
- Satisfaction guarantee