Accidents happen, even with a house-trained cat. Conditions like incontinence, extreme stress, or fear may cause your kitty to pee out of the litter box. Also, intact cats will spray intentionally on horizontal surfaces to mark their territory. These surfaces include walls and your prized couch. With its cushy build, it can be tricky to get the urine smell out of the furniture. But fret not, because in this post, I will share with you my tried and tested method on how to clean cat urine from couch using some household items.
Why do cats urinate on furniture?
The smell of cat pee can be so stubborn that removing it on plush surfaces is a big chore. The fluid will seep deeply, which is also the reason why it will continue to smell even after you cleaned the surface.
But the question is this: why do cats urinate on the couch? Well, there’s a myriad of possible reasons, but the following are the most common:
🐱Marking their territory
Cats mark their territory through scent, and nothing is more efficient than doing it through their urine. If you’ve owned a cat for a few years now, you’ll know how stinky cat pee can be.
Remember that most indoor cats don’t find the need to mark their territories unless a threat is present. It could be a new cat in the house or a friend’s cat s/he brought in.
Both male and female cats spray or mark their territories. They can also exhibit this behavior when changes occur in the household, which causes them stress.
Marking or spraying can happen not just on your couch but also on your bed and other parts of the house.
If you have re-trained your cat and it’s still having accidents on the couch, your pet may be suffering from a medical problem. Bladder stones, for one, will cause a cat to develop UTI, which can lead to frequent and sometimes unpredictable urination.
Also, conditions like kidney disease, liver disease, thyroid problems, and diabetes will make your cat urinate more frequently than normal. Worse, they may not make it to the litter box in time. If your cat loves lounging on the couch, the furniture might suffer from the uncontainable pee.
If you suspect that your kitty has medical problems, it’s best to bring it to the vet for proper diagnosis.
🐱Dirty litter box
When is the last time you scooped your cat’s litter box? Early this morning? Last week? Dirty litter boxes will drive a cat away, which may lead them to have accidents around the house, including your soft couch. Make it a habit to scoop used litter and to clean the litter box once a month to keep it fresh. It’s also important to replace the litter with a fresh batch.
In this video, Jackson Galaxy tells us more why kitties pee outside their litter box:
How to clean cat urine from couch
For the cleaning part, I offer three methods: the enzymatic cleaner, baking soda, and vinegar methods. I’ll discuss each one with the steps you need to take.
Method 1: Using enzymatic cleaners
When it comes to pet pee, nothing beats an enzymatic cleaner. This solution contains live enzymes that eat the protein found on cat urine. Such proteins are the reason why the smell lingers. Upon consumption of the protein, the enzymes die on its own and vanish without any smell.
This is also the most effective solution if your cat tends to eliminate on the same spot where it had the accident.
Here are some notes in using an enzymatic pet cleaner:
- First, try to dab the pee out of the couch using paper towels. If you have a fabric couch, you have a lot of work to do. If you have a leather couch, you still have to use an enzyme cleaner to prevent repeat accidents.
- After removing as much pee as you can, douse the affected spot with an enzymatic cleaner. Soak the pee stains until the solution reaches the layers of cushion below. If you’re looking for an enzymatic cleaner, I highly recommend the one from Rocco & Roxie.
- Let the soaked spot on the couch sit overnight. This will give the enzymes time to consume the urine proteins.
- The best part about enzymatic cleaners is you don’t need to rinse them. Just let it dry until the enzymes have done its job.
- If there’s still urine smell left, feel free to re-apply the cleaner until you’re satisfied.
Method 2: Using baking soda
If you don’t have an enzymatic cleaner handy, you can try the baking soda method. Baking soda is a mild alkali; that’s why it’s effective as a cleaning agent. It’s also very safe to use around pets and kids since baking soda is edible. The best part is that it has excellent deodorizing property.
- To use baking soda to remove urine on your couch, you should follow these steps:
- Just like what you did with the enzymatic cleaner application, you must dab as much urine as you can out of the couch.
- After that, cover the affected spot with baking soda. You can apply as liberally as you want, but I recommend keeping kids and pets away so they wouldn’t disturb the solution.
- Leave this overnight and then vacuum it in the morning.
- If there’s still smell and moisture left, re-apply the baking soda several times.
- However, if the urine left a stubborn stain, you can mix baking soda with hydrogen peroxide. Create a paste out of these two items and slather it on the affected spot in your couch.
- Leave it on overnight and vacuum it the next day.
Method 3: Using vinegar
Vinegar is dubbed as ‘liquid gold’ when it comes to cleaning and deodorizing homes. Although it smells sour, it surprisingly leaves a fresh scent over time. Vinegar is a champ in neutralizing malodors, including cat urine on your couch.
Here’s how you can use vinegar to remove urine smell on your couch:
- Mix one part white vinegar and three parts water.
- Pour this solution into the affected spot on the couch until it’s soaked enough to reach the deeper parts that absorbed the urine.
- Leave this solution for 10 minutes before dabbing the surface with paper towels to remove the moisture.
- You can also use a wet vacuum to suck out as much moisture as possible.
- You can also sprinkle baking soda on top to remove the excess moisture. Vinegar and baking soda are an excellent combo when it comes to cleaning and neutralizing bad odors.
- Feel free to repeat the process until the stain and odor are gone.
How to keep cats from peeing on your couch
Aside from knowing how to clean cat urine from couch, you should also teach your kitty not to pee on it again. There are a variety of deterrents you can use as well as other methods like the following:
✔️Make the litter box more appealing
Cats have a strong sense of smell, so if their litter box is dirty or reeks of strong cleaning chemicals, they will refuse to use it. If the litter box is old, it’s probably best to buy a new one. The rule of thumb is that you should replace the litter box once a year to keep it clean.
It’s also possible that your cat hates the litter you’re using. Try exploring different litter products until you find one that your pet finds appealing.
✔️Use a deterrent spray
Aside from making the litter box appealing, you should also add a guard on your couch. The Feliway spray is a good deterrent since it’s safe for cats and it doesn’t have any stinky smell. This product mimics the facial pheromone that the cats produce when marking their territories. With that, your cat will not find the need to spray on your couch.
✔️Keep the couch off limits
When it comes to house pets, you always need to set limits. You should train your cat not to hop on the couch unless instructed to do so. This way, your cat will respect your spot and the fact that they will not access the couch means there would be no peeing.
✔️Use a waterproof pet blanket
If you can’t stop your cat from climbing on the couch, you can use a waterproof pet blanket instead. You will use this as a protective layer so the pee will not get into your precious couch. This is very helpful if you have an old cat or a kitty suffering from medical problems that lead to accidents in the house.
The Pawsse Waterproof Pet Blanket is a good option for cats. It looks and feels like a comforter with a waterproof layer to repel fluids. It’s a comfy wrap that your cat will love.
✔️Get your pet checked
When it comes to old cats, you must bring it to the vet to get checked. Frequent peeing on the couch despite being house trained is a sign of a medical problem. Your old kitty might be suffering from incontinence, which is common among old felines.
By identifying the health problem of your cat, you can pinpoint possible solutions to prevent your couch from being soaked.
✔️Remove the stressors
If your cat is being spooked by something that causes the peeing, you must try to remove the stressor. Try to make household changes gradually so the kitty will adjust along the way. Also, if you expect that a friend will bring another cat or pet, prepare your couch by spraying it with Feliway and draping a pet cover.
If you really want to reduce your cat’s spraying, consider spaying or neutering it. It will reduce spraying dramatically.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why does my cat love peeing on my couch?
A: Does your pet tend to favor the couch as its bathroom? One reason is that when cats are stressed or suffering from separation anxiety, they will seek comfort to the things they are familiar with – this includes your smell. Since many of us spend long hours lounging on the couch, it makes sense why cats love peeing on it. They mingle their scent with ours for comfort.
Q: Does cat pee smell go away on its own?
A: If you think that cat urine smell will wash out on its own, think again. Cat urine contains uric acid, which can linger to plush surfaces like couches for years. Even if the smell seems light and unrecognizable, a humid day can reactivate the stinky smell from the urine. What you need to do is to deep-clean the affected areas to remove the source of malodors.
Q: Does Febreze remove cat pee smell on the couch?
A: Febreze can help mask the odor of your cat’s urine, but there’s no way it can remove the pee from the material. While Febreze remains useful, you also need to clean the couch to remove the urine out of it.
Q: Why is my cat peeing everywhere all of a sudden?
A: If your cat suddenly can’t contain its bladder, you must bring it to the vet for examinations. Your pet may be suffering from incontinence as a secondary condition to other health problems. Common problems like UTI can be treated, and your cat will stop peeing outside of the litter box.
Q: Do cats pee out of spite?
A: No, cat’s will not pee on your couch out of spite. If your kitty has accidents, the reason is either behavioral or medical. Still, it’s never about revenge or pissing you off. You either need to clean its litter box, or your feline needs medical attention.
Cat pee stinks, so knowing how to clean cat urine from couch is a must for every pet owner. There are simple methods that you can try using some household items. Paired with cat training, your couch will be safe from the wrath of your kitty’s pee.
Do you have another method to clean pet urine? Share it with us below!