Periuria! It’s a little hard to say it but if you’ve lived with a cat, then you’ve likely encountered it. “Peri-” means “around” and “-uria” means “urination.” Periuria refers to urination on your couch and other places instead of the cat box or outside. To answer your main query on “how to get cat pee out of the couch,” we’re going to give you some practical ACTION steps to take immediately.
We are here to provide you with real solutions. What’s more, we’ll cover the answer to the cause of the problem in the first place of why cats are not peeing in their litter box.
What Does Cat Pee Smell Like?
Bet you didn’t know that experienced wine tasters refer to the scent of feline urine as a desirable characteristic of some white wines like Sauvignon Blanc. In fact, a tasting panel of New Zealand winemakers described the cat pee character as “a pungently ‘perfumed’ mix of herbs, asparagus, green bean and bell pepper.” However, many cat lovers choose words such as “reek,” “stench,” and “permeating funk” when the fumes waft up from their couch!
No wonder you want to know how to get cat pee out of the couch. Amazingly, cat pee is about 95% water. The remaining 5% contains ammonia, urea, uric acid, creatinine, and other compounds filtered out of the blood to be excreted. Cat urine also contains felinine, a sulfurous amino acid that only domestic-type felines and smaller wild cat species have.
The urine of unfixed males has the highest concentration of felinine along with potent hormones and pheromones. The substances in urine are unstable, meaning that they break down quickly and are readily metabolized by environmental bacteria. In other words, the scent of cat pee changes over time. And it doesn’t improve.
Cat Urine Remover: Natural & Pet-Safe Methods
Don’t despair. If you need to know how to get cat pee out of the couch, save money, and help the environment at the same time, we’ve got you covered. The first thing to remember is to act fast in order to neutralize rather than deodorize! Are you unsure of the exact location of the invisible puddle? Use a pet pee detector black light because pee will glow when illuminated by strong ultraviolet light. Then gather these supplies:
TIP: You want to NEUTRALIZE rather than deodorize
- Lots–lots!–of clean white rags and/or paper towels; dyes in colored fabric might transfer to the carpet
- Black Light Pee Detector
- A large bucket
- Natural Plant-Based Pet Enzyme Cleaner or your natural pet-safe cleaner of choice
- Baking soda (not baking powder)
- Disposable gloves
- Spray bottle if desire
Steps: Part 1 ~ NEUTRALIZE
- BLOT LIQUID PEE or if pee is already dried add a little water to spots then continue with step 2
- POUR BAKING SODA ON THE SPOT
- AIR DRY or for quick drying use FAN
- REPEAT IF NECESSARY
- Now you’ve NEUTRALIZED which should help with the odor
- See Part 2 to clean the spot now that it is neutralized
Steps: Part 2 Clean
- Spray Natural Plant-Based Pet Enzyme Cleaner or your natural pet-safe cleaner of choice on the spot
- Blot and gently rub/clean area over spot
- With a dry towel absorb remaining moisture
More Home Remedy METHODS
- Mix five parts hydrogen peroxide with two parts dish soap;
- use a mild, nontoxic soap without additives such as disinfectants, fragrances, insecticides, or dyes; acceptable soaps include baby shampoo, castile soap, and dish soaps recommended by animal rescuers because they’re known to be gentle on young and medically challenged critters.
- Liberally sprinkle dry baking soda onto the carpet and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes; then pour a mixture of two cups lukewarm water with two cups distilled white vinegar onto the baking soda and let it finish fizzing; then blot, blot, blot, blot until it appears to be gone; sprinkle on more baking soda and allow the spot to dry for a few hours; vacuum; repeat as needed, especially if the stain is old.
- Mix two cups of lukewarm water with two cups of distilled white vinegar in the bucket, then slowly add 4-5 heaping tablespoons of baking soda; pour the fizzing mixture onto the stained area and let it continue to bubble for a few minutes; blot, blot, blot, blot until it appears to be gone; sprinkle on more baking soda and allow the spot to dry for a few hours; vacuum; repeat as needed, especially if the stain is old.
- Enzyme cleaners are made of natural, biodegradable proteins; in the body, they act by attaching to toxins and other molecules and speeding the breakdown process; they’re safe for pets and effective for old stains as well as new puddles.
Why It’s Important NOT to Use Chemicals around Your Pets
Although you can find effective cleaning products on the market, there’s a catch: many of them are dangerously toxic. They’re bad for the environment because they seep into the soil where they remain for years affecting plants and wildlife. They also remain in your home as surface films, microscopic particles, droplets, and gases where they remain.
As if that weren’t bad enough, ammonia is actually a lure for cats seeking places to repeatedly mark with their own scent. And did you know that chlorine bleach, either mixed with ammonia to create a cleaning solution or when used alone to clean up urine, undergoes a chemical reaction that produces chlorine gas? Chlorine gas was used extensively in World War I as a deadly chemical warfare agent–in 1997 an international agreement banned its production and stockpiling as a weapon.
The good news is that there are safe substitutes for almost everything that’s poisonous.
First How to Get Cat PEE out of the Couch & Then How to Get the Urine SMELL out of the Couch
As it dries, the uric acid in pee bonds to surfaces more and more strongly with the passage of time. The uric acid crystals are activated when hydrated by humidity or any other kind of moisture, and the stench is released all over again. Your job is to continue using one of the methods outlined above, whether the stain is recent or not. The techniques for neutralizing pee and neutralizing odor are the same.
How to Get Cat Pee Smell out of Carpet
How to get urine smell out of carpet is similar to how to get cat pee out of the couch or your mattress. First test a small patch of the fabric in a spot hidden away from public view to see if your chosen cleaning product damages the dyes or the fibers.
Depending on the size of the stain, the type of fabric, the weave of the carpet, and the age of the urine, you may need to repeat the process. Keep a close eye on your kitty to observe whether the spot is still arousing interest–you may not smell anything but you can be sure that your feline pal can. ACTION: SEE THE EXACT STEPS ABOVE
Will Vinegar Get Cat Pee Out of Carpet?
Vinegar–white vinegar–is part of your toolbox when you’re wondering how to get the cat urine smell out of carpets as well as walls, certain types of flooring, and other materials. Acetic acid is the antiseptic in vinegar that kills bacteria, dissolves limescale (calcium carbonate deposits), and breaks down grease. Before using it, verify the composition of your carpet. Natural fibers such as wool and silk are too delicate to tolerate much exposure to vinegar.
Marble and other kinds of stone can be etched by acetic acid. The pH of cat urine ranges from acidic to alkaline, but vinegar is especially helpful in eliminating odors from alkaline pee residue. As the vinegar evaporates after a few days, it takes the urine smell with it. Use one part vinegar diluted with one part water.
Why Do Cats Pee on Things?
Think about what your couch means to a cat. Don’t sniff it if you don’t want to, but be aware that couches and beds are bouquets rich with a variety of enticing scents for cats and their incredibly acute sense of smell. “How to get cat pee out of the couch,” indeed! To understand why cats spray urine, check out some of the reasons:
- Marking: Cats smell each other’s chin rubbings, paw trails, and urine sprays in the same way humans might follow Facebook and YouTube.
- Genetic predisposition: Some cats inherit a strong urge to spray from one or both of their parents.
- Excitement and/or stress: We have a whole paragraph on cat stressors later in this post.
- Hormonal urges: The search for love is never-ending, especially for males who haven’t been neutered.
- Cat conflicts: Cats make strong olfactory statements to express aggression, territorial claims, or announcements such as “I’m the new Top Dog around here!”
- Changes in the home: Any kind of change such as a new pet, new scent markings, new objects, or the rearrangement of familiar objects will stimulate the need to reassert ownership.
In fact, take a look at our Happy Tails article on cats peeing outside the litter box for more useful information about kitty litter and cats’ bathroom habits.
How to Stop My Cat from Peeing Everywhere
You need to be a detective and collect evidence, focusing on why the cat isn’t peeing in the litterbox. The first priority is cleaning up urine immediately so it won’t “set.” The older it is, the harder it is to neutralize. The second priority is objectively observing your cat in his or her environment.
What’s changed? Is your cat showing signs of ill health? Are you consistent in maintaining a clean litter box in a suitable location? Once you’ve assessed all the facts, they’ll point the way to a solution. Let’s start with the litter box.
Litter Box Principles
In case you hadn’t noticed, cats have strong individual preferences! Each cat will prefer certain features of his or her cat box: a particular type of litter, a particular depth of litter, a particular granule size, a particular location, uncovered or covered, with or without box liners, and so on. Here are some more guidelines on creating the perfect litter box:
- Cleanliness: All cats prefer clean litter. Scoop twice daily and replace litter weekly after scrubbing the box with unscented soap and warm water.
- One box per cat: Although cats will share if they have to, they naturally prefer to have their own litter pan.
- A good location: Just as you prefer privacy during your toileting moments, so do cats. They need to feel sheltered and safe in a low-traffic area away from loud noises, interruptions, and bright light.
- Natural litter: For their health and that of the environment, find a dust-free, tracking-free, chemical-free, perfume-free litter made of recyclable sustainable materials.
- Large box size: Consider your cat’s point of view. Would you rather have airy, commodious, uncluttered facilities or a tiny, cramped cubbyhole? Cats love having a spacious box with ample room to sniff, turn, scratch, and indulge in all those other normal feline rituals.
Understanding these principles will help deter your cat from peeing on your couch. Preventing it is easier than figuring out how to get cat pee out of the couch once it’s there.
What Does Normal Cat Pee Look Like?
Do you look at your own leavings in the toilet? You’re not weird–you’re smart! Checking waste material is like checking vital signs to evaluate health. Examine your cat’s pee when they go on the floor, in the bathtub, or in the sink. The urine of healthy cats appears clear yellow to amber.
Look for tiny crystals resembling sand, mucus strands, or blood. Assess the scent as well because illness changes the chemistry of urine. If you discover abnormalities, continue to monitor it closely, observe for behavioral changes, and contact your holistic vet if you have questions.
Just as every human needs to have a reliable, progressive healthcare provider, so does every pet. You can save a lot of money and prevent a lot of tragedy by establishing a relationship with a veterinarian you trust. To find a directory of holistic vets who practice integrative medicine — integrating modern western medical practices along with holistic and alternative methods according to the needs of the pet — check out this list from the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association.
Maintaining your feline friend’s urinary health involves encouraging fluid intake with easily accessible containers of fresh, chemical-free water, offering a variety of natural, unprocessed wet foods instead of restricting the diet to dry kibble, correcting obesity, and providing opportunities to exercise. Last but absolutely not least is keeping each cat’s litter box clean and inviting.
Speaking of behaviors, our pets try to tell us when something’s wrong. A change in behavior indicates a change in conditions. Cat communication includes body language, vocalizations, and scent marking. Aware when something is wrong, a sick cat might deliberately eliminate anywhere but in the litter box to divert potential predators away from its usual home turf.
Researchers have yet to decode all of the messages in feline chemical signaling. Knowing that humans don’t respond to scent language, cats are generally much more vocal with people than with each other. When you notice a new onset of “pestiness” in your furbaby, it likely indicates that he or she is trying to tell you something. Try to catch the problem early so you won’t be left wondering how to get cat pee out of the couch.
Requiring professional diagnosis and treatment, these are a few of the conditions that often drive your cat to pee outside the box:
- Age-related conditions such as arthritis, cognitive impairment/senility, general weakness, and sensory changes including worsening vision and ability to smell
- Bladder conditions such as FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease) and kidney conditions such as stones and urethral plugs
- Hormone imbalances
- Liver problems
Stress in the Home
Stress and anxiety can definitely cause cats to urinate outside the litter box. Causes of stress for cats are similar to things that cause you stress: lack of privacy, overcrowding, loud noise, human conflict, changes in the environment or routine, and fear of danger from aggressive animals in the area.
Another kind of stress known to affect dogs but not always recognized in cats is separation anxiety. Your kitty loves you and misses you when you leave, especially when there are no other companions living there. One theory contends that the scent of their own urine helps them feel safer and less alone because they’ve declared ownership of their territory.
The Tempting Scent from Previous Pee Spots
Most all vertebrates mark their turf, often with scent. Think how reassuring it is for you to see a place card with your name on it at a big table–that spot is officially yours. Your feline friend feels the same way after officially labeling areas throughout your home.
We don’t recommend that you pee over your cat’s previous pee spots, though! We’ve given you better suggestions on how to get cat pee out of the couch, carpet, bed, and other surfaces.
David DeNotaris, an inspirational speaker blinded by an incurable eye disease, said that “Whatever the problem we have in our life, someone has faced it and overcome it.” That’s why connecting with other people is important to share knowledge with each other. That’s why connecting with Happy Tails is important because we seek out the best actionable answers and solutions for you that we can find!
You love cats because each one is a unique, intelligent, playful, affectionate individual. Cats are good for people’s mental health. To make living with them easier, you just need to know a bit of cat psychology plus a bit of chemistry. Hopefully, school systems in the future will help teach people how to apply science in their everyday lives. For example, how to get cat pee out of the couch! You deserve to be able to bond with your cat in the peaceful, fragrant home you share together.
Recap + LINKS:
Arm & HammerBaking Soda
Distilled White Vinegar
Pet Pee Detector Black Light
Natural Plant-Based Pet Enzyme Cleaner
Spacious LITTER Box With Ample Room
Chemical-free, perfume-free Litter made of Recyclable Sustainable Materials
American HOLISTIC Veterinary Association
To Learn More
How To Use A Black Light To Find Urine