So before I tell you an absolute cats-pajamas way of ridding your carpet of those annoying feline odours (you know, the ones that happen when your dear sweet kitties decide that the litterbox is not going to be the toilet du jour, but instead settle upon an area of carpet to be the chosen spot to empty their bladders), it’s first time to…
Meet the Moggies!
First, I introduce to you King Bart:
He is the Lord and Master of All Things (and doesn’t he just look the part).
Next there is Cefer, aka Monsieur Le “C”, we’ve decided that he is French at heart.
Can’t you just imagine him with a beret on his head?
And then of course, the little lady of the house, Spooky, aka Princess:
(Okay, so she doesn’t exactly look like a princess in that photo.)
And now on to removing those wretched cat odours.
I’ve tried both homemade and commercial remedies over the years, but the home remedy I found at care2.com is the best of the lot. Better yet, it’s very cheap to make!
I’m reproducing it here because I didn’t do it exactly as written, and also I have a few observations which may be useful.
Home remedy cat urine removal
Important: You should first test if your carpet is colourfast by dabbing a bit of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution in an inconspicuous spot and waiting 24 hours to see if there’s any change in colour. I didn’t do this, because I’ve got a fairly light-coloured carpet that’s pretty old anyway, but consider yourself warned.
The recipe calls for 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Here in the UK, hydrogen peroxide comes in 6% and 9% solutions (you can find it in chemists). To dilute to 3% solution:
If you’re starting with 6% solution, use one part hydrogen peroxide to one part water to obtain a 3% solution.
If you’re starting with 9% solution, use one part hydrogen peroxide to two parts water to obtain a 3% solution.
(At least, I think that’s right.)
- Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- White vinegar
- Washing up liquid (dishwashing detergent)
- 3% hydrogen peroxide
1. If the cat has recently urinated on the carpet, first absorb as much of the cat urine as possible using paper towels, as many times as necessary until you’ve soaked up all the pee you can. If the cat urine has dried and you’re not sure where it is, a black light will highlight where the soiled bits are. (I didn’t do this, as black lights are very hard to find and very expensive here. I knew more or less where the offending spots were, and treated all around that area.)
2. Next, wet the area with a solution of 50% white vinegar and 50% water. Use enough of the solution to penetrate the carpet fibres deep down. At this point, it will smell really, really bad. Cat pee and vinegar is not a pleasant odour combination! The original directions say to let the vinegar dry, but in our house, that would take days. So instead I wet the carpet with the vinegar/water solution, let it sit for an hour or two, then slop some more water on the area and suck it up with our wet/dry vacuum. Don’t try this with a regular vacuum cleaner as you will probably wreck it. If you don’t have a wet/dry vac, then follow the original directions, which are to assist drying by blotting with paper towels or with a fan.
3. Next apply a liberal amount of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) over the affected area. The cheapest place I’ve found to buy bicarb is Costco, where it’s about 1/3 the cost of those little tubs from the supermarket (it comes in a big bag, and is useful for lots of other things as well). After you’ve sprinkled it on, you’ll notice the odour is not nearly so strong.
4. Now mix 60ml (1/4 cup, or 4 tablespoons) of 3% hydrogen peroxide with one teaspoon of washing-up liquid (dishwashing detergent). I was treating quite a large area, so I used twice this amount. (Don’t forget to dilute the hydrogen peroxide solution if you’re using a 6% or 9% solution.) I found the easiest way to get this solution evenly onto the carpet was to use an empty spray bottle.
5. After you’ve sprayed the area with the hydrogen peroxide/detergent solution, work it into the carpet either with a brush or with your fingers (but use a rubber glove if doing the latter!) You’ll find the odour has pretty much disappeared at this point (YAY!).
6. Let the area dry, then vacuum.
Your cats may well try to pee on or near the area when it’s being treated, so keep them away as best you can (I use strategically-placed boxes).
You may have to repeat this procedure if you don’t get rid of all the odour the first time, but it really does work. An area I treated about six months ago has stayed completely odour-free.