Just wanted to thank the pet sitting company Creature Comforts in Montgomery, Alabama for being the best pet sitter I’ve ever, ever used. Barbara first started handling our dogs when we went on vacation or even left town for a day or two. But, we thought the cats, especially Bella, would be a little to much of a handful. But, after several successful “sits” with Atticus and Piper, Barbara started taking care of everyone! It’s so amazing to be able to leave town and have a pet sitter that you can trust to care and love on your pets while your gone. For my Alabama readers, you should seriously consider Creature Comforts if you need a pet sitter.
If you’re like most cat owners, chances are your feline friend has at some point had a little “accident” in some part of your house. One of the most irritating places this can happen is on your hardwood floors or any piece of wooden furniture. So, in this post we’re going look at how to remove cat urine from wood, including wood floors and wooden furniture. (If you cat pee problem includes furniture, read the steps for removing cat pee from furniture.)
I know that my own cats have done a great job in marking not only my hardwood floors but also dining room chairs, bookshelves, and a dining room table. Not only does it smell like ammonia and cat pee. When cats pee on wood, stains tend to linger after the urine has soaked. You’re left with an ugly blot of discolored wood if you didn’t catch the puddle quickly enough. But don’t worry. There are still ways to salvage what has been tainted by your precious pet.
Cats are often content creatures that want nothing more than to curl up in the warm sun and happily snooze the day away. But what many pet owners don’t realize is that, like humans, cats can suffer from anxiety problems. The most common cause of cat anxiety is a change in the cat’s environment. These changes can be very subtle; so subtle in fact, pet owners don’t even notice them. The same can be the behavior of the cat in question, but there are several signs of apprehension and stress your feline friend can show.
The story goes that when humans first transitioned from hunting and gathering to growing crops and tending livestock, local wildcats were attracted to the growing concentrations of rodents in fields and storage bins. Over time, some of the cats began a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship with humans. And thus, the domesticated cat was “born”.
The first hard evidence of domesticated cats is from roughly 9,500 years ago, when a cat was buried with his (or her) beloved owner. But, scientists believe cats and humans were closely interacting thousands of years before.
In a now famous study, Monika Lipinski of Bergine University and Carlos Driscoll found that cats, like other animals, spread very quickly to Western Europe, Asia, and Africa soon after they were domesticated. Considered to be useful for natural “varmint eradication” and easily transportable, cats were traded, like other things of value, across continents and seas.
Inappropriate elimination (referred to by veterinarians as perichezia or periuria) is the technical way of describing a cat that pees anywhere but inside his or her litter box. This behavior results in rooms or entire homes to become filled with malodorous feline pee. When trying to determine why a cat isn’t using its litter box, several factors must be evaluated. Among these is the type of litter box used in a household.
Until recently, there was a fierce debate about whether a cat is more likely to use covered litter boxes or uncovered litter trays. (Cat behaviorists usually argued that cats with inappropriate urination problems were more likely to use a litter tray without a covering.) Thankfully, a recent academic study by the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine puts the “covered versus uncovered” debate to rest.
Pet urine (whether it be from cats or dogs) can ruin any leather items, it is anticipated that it will leave a terrifying stain as well as unpleasant odor that later on will cause wrinkle and permanent damage to the leather.
Pet urine (whether it be from cats or dogs) can ruin leather. In fact, leather is probably the surface and material most susceptible to being permanently damage by cat urine. The good news is that if you take the right steps to properly clean leather after being peed on, you have a good chance at restoring the original smell and texture to your leather possessions.
The cat urine removal and cleaning steps below have successfully been applied to leather:
The most important thing to remember when removing pet urine from leather is “the sooner the better”. As soon as you realize a cat or dog has urinated on something leather, follow these steps immediately and don’t procrastinate. If the area is still wet, you have a really good shot at completely eliminating the smell. If it’s dry, you definitely still have a chance but it will be more difficult and might require multiple attempts. Basically, the sooner you attack this stinky problem, the higher the likelihood the condition, odor, and texture of the leather won’t be permanently damaged.
Items You’ll Need to Eliminate the Smell
- Enzyme Odor Removal Solution Specifically Engineered for Pet Odors
- 2 Kitchen Towels
- Tupperware Box w/ Lid
- Gallon Sized Ziplock Back (Or Trash Bag for Larger Items)
- 2-3 Pieces of Activated Charcoal
- Saddle Soap
- Tea Tree Oil
9 Easy Steps for Removing Cat Urine Smells from Leather
- Moisten a kitchen towel with enzyme odor remove and absorb as much of the cat pee as possible. This eradicates the microbes that causing unpleasant smell.
- Saturate the affected area with the enzyme cleanser. If you’re using a spray bottle, you might want to take the top off and pour it directly onto the place of the pet’s accident.
- Saturate another towel with more of your favorite cat urine odor removal product. Place the towel on top of the area and let it sit for 3 hours. If you’re able, place another towel (or wrap part of the other towel) underneath the leather so your getting both sides of the leather.
- Find a large Tupperware box that’s large enough to place the item in. Pour borax into the box until the borax is 1 inch deep. Place the smelly item into the box and pour additional borax on it so that it’s completely covered. If your try to remove feline or dog urine from a large a couch, car interior, or something else that’s very large, just pour the borax directly on area where the pet peed.
- Fill one cup of activated charcoal and place it inside a plastic bag (ideally a Ziploc or other airtight bag). After it has soaked in the borax box for 24 hours, place the soiled leather item into the Ziploc along with the charcoal.
- Now you’ll place the plastic bag back into the box with borax. (So, you’ve got the soiled item inside the plastic bag, and the plastic bag inside the box.) Seal the box with as close to an airtight lid as possible. Let the item sit in the sealed box for 3-5 days. (Allow for a longer time if the urine was initially untreated for longer than a 24 hours.)
- When you remove the leather item (purse, cushion, jacket, etc.), the cat urine smell should be completely removed. Let the leather naturally air dry to prevent damage or water stains.
- After it’s dry, use clean the leather with a very generous amount of saddle soap. This will ensure you retain the natural condition of the leather and give the leather a natural scent too. If the leather seems to be dry, you can also try gently massaging a soft cloth that has a few drops tea tree oil on it.
- The pungent urine aroma is still there, repeat steps 1-8. Only do this two more times to prevent damaging the leather.
Pointers and Warnings
- Always test a small amount of cleaning products on a small, hidden piece of leather to make sure it doesn’t harm the texture, condition, or color of the leather.
- To maintain and restore the softness of the leather, try applying very light, unscented baby oil.
- Do not use ammonia or alcohol-based solutions. Ammonia will only make the smell worse. Alcohol will dry out the leather. (Be careful. Nature’s Miracle Pet Odor Remover contains alcohol.)
- Avoid cleaning the leather frequently. It can cause the material to crack. Clean it only when its stained or develops strong smell of pet urine.
- Cat urine is much more concentrated than dog urine. Try to clean cat accidents as soon as possible.
- If your pet urinated on a leather couch, be sure to check the carpet next to or below it. Getting rid of pet urine odors from a carpet requires different steps.
By following the steps outlined above, you should be able to treat, clean, and eliminate pet urine that’s come in contact with most leather items.
Have you ever wanted make your (other other people’s) pets talk? Well, now you can…kind of. After a lot of hard work, we’re releasing a feature of our website on Sunday, Febuary 24th, that will allow pet owners to create memes (like the one’s below), with their own pet pictures. It’s completely free and any PetLuvR can do it.
People have been using baking soda for decades to remove unwanted odors. While it works great for some undesirable smells, baking soda is simply not effective for the removal of cat pee odors. The active ingredient in baking soda is called sodium bicarbonate. When placed in a confined area, the molecular properties of baking soda allow it to literally absorb some smells. (This is why most of us place a box of baking soda in the fridge.) Unfortunately, the odor caused by cat urine is not one of the smells it effectively at removes.
Why Baking Soda Won’t Work for Urine Odors
Reason #1: Cats and Dogs Rarely Wee in Contained Areas
When closed, refrigerators have an airtight seal. This is exactly what allows the baking soda to neutralize the odor. When removing cat pee from concrete, a carpet, or other surfaces, the area is usually far from airtight. In fact, it’s the completely opposite. Unless your cat urinated in the fridge, baking soda isn’t a good option for eliminating the odor.
Reason #2: Masking a Smell Doesn’t = Eliminating It
In it’s real world applications, baking soda basically acts as a masking agent. In other words, it doesn’t solve your stinking problem. (No pun intended!) The chalky, white powder does nothing to kill the odor-causing bacteria.
To be fair to the folks at Arm & Hammer, scientifically speaking baking soda isn’t a masking agent. Sodium bicarbonate does absorb and neutralize malodorous molecules. But, in real world applications, it acts like a masking agent. Why? As soon as the baking soda is removed or has reached it’s maximum absorption threshold, it stops working. The latter is why folks have to switch out the box of baking soda in their fridge.
Reason #3: Science Proves Baking Soda Isn’t Strong Enough
Finally, baking soda just isn’t strong enough to remove cat urine odors. We’re going to revisit 8th grade chemistry to prove this point. One way to look at odor removal, from a scientific standpoint, is the PH scale. For an acidic smell to go away, it needs to be countered by a substance of equal alkaline strength. (Think of the middle of the graph, at 7, as odorless.)
The nasty scent caused by cat pee is strongly acidic. (This is why people often associate the smell with ammonia.) But as you can see, baking soda is a very weak alkaline. Vinegar is a little stronger than baking soda, but vinegar also doesn’t remove cat urine odors. Neither are strong enough. They would need to be at the point marked “Required Level” to effectively remove your tomcat’s spray or feline’s marking scent.
The good thing about using baking soda to get rid of cat urine smells is that it won’t hurt anything (unlike vinegar . You’ll probably wind up with a mess and it almost certainly won’t work. It’s readily available as a household remedy, so a lot of people will try it. My advice, however, is to save yourself some time and use one of the more effective ways to remove the odor outlined on this site.
Getting the cats you own to stop urinating in the house is difficult. Trying to prevent stray or neighborhood cats from peeing outside of your home, on the porch and patio, or even in your plants or garden sounds impossible. But, it’s not. By taking the proactive and holistic approach outlined below, you’ll prevent cats from peeing on your property and win the “best neighbor of the month” award. Before you get too excited, it’s important that you understand this might not be the easiest solution. But, it’s by far the most effective and humane.
Trap, Neuter, and Release (abbreviated as TNR) is the strategy used by “no kill” shelters to curb pet overpopulation. The premise is simple. Dogs, and especially cats, create offspring at very fast rate. By ensuring that animals in your neighborhood (referred to by TNR experts as a “colony”) are spayed and neutered, you stop pet overpopulation at its source; the breeding of feral or stray cats. (To learn more about TNR, visit the Feral Cat Coalition’s website.)