Cats are wonderful household companions, and are second only to dogs in terms of their numbers worldwide. They are a great family pet, and are not quite as high maintenance as most dogs, but are equally rewarding to share your home with. Keeping cats indoors is becoming increasingly popular as we better understand the risks to native wildlife by letting these tiny apex predators roam freely.
Furthermore, as we better understand cat behaviour and care requirements, we know that cats don’t suffer by living their lives indoors - rather they live longer, happier lives away from the usual risks posed by busy roads, other humans, and other cats. Keeping cats indoors has even led to the rise in popularity of products such as catios and harness and leash sets designed for cats. They need to be provided with litter trays to go to the bathroom comfortably and hygienically.
Cats that are allowed to roam outdoors are free to go to the toilet wherever they feel like it. This might annoy your neighbours, especially if your cat chooses their favourite flower bed as their loo, but it doesn mean you are less likely to be confronted by the odours of cat pee and poo in your home.
Whether your cat is a housecat or loves to roam outdoors, the chances are that they will have a little accident at some point or other. This can happen at various times in their life such as following a surgery, when they have been blocked from accessing their tray or the neighbours’ flower beds, as they age, and even when they are undergoing some kind of emotional stress.
Should this happen to you and your kitty, the most important thing to remember is that your cat does not understand punishment. So, if you try to ‘rub their nose in it’ then you will both be in for a bad time. Plus, it’s quite mean! Remember that your cat would also have preferred not to have had an accident, and that the faster you act to clean it up then the less it will absorb into your carpets or spread around your hard floors.
The right way to clean up cat pee
The very first thing you need to do is get all your necessary equipment together. You’ll want some rubber gloves, paper towels or some old cloths or rags, an
, or some white vinegar and water to soak the area. Once you’ve done this, use the paper towels or cloth to blot the area firmly to remove the excess liquid. Avoid scrubbing because this can spread the wee and ingrain it more deeply into your carpet fibres.
Once the area is fully blotted, you can wet it again with some cold water and blot again, or you can skip ahead and use your enzymatic cleaner or vinegar mixture. If you do want to wet and blot the area again, please make sure you use cold water because warm water can ‘bake on’ the smell, making it much more stubborn and difficult to remove. Be careful not to use so much water that the urine is diluted and allowed to spread.
If using an enzymatic cleaner, you need to read the instructions carefully so you know how much to use and whether it’s safe for your carpets and surfaces. Once you’re ready, apply it according to the instructions and let it soak for five to ten minutes, or according to the instructions.
If you are using the white vinegar and water method, you need to make sure the vinegar is properly diluted and mixed with water before you apply it to the carpet. You will need to use equal parts vinegar and water for this to work properly. This solution needs to be allowed to soak for at least 30 minutes to get the best results.
Once the correct amount of time has passed for the cleaning product you are using to work properly, you will need to blot the area again with more clean paper towels or an old but clean cloth. Allow the area to dry thoroughly before testing it for unwanted odours. If any remain then repeat the process until the odours are gone.