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Have you cleaned the entire house, but there’s still pee smell emanating from somewhere? Your cat probably urinated on a hidden spot, then the pee dried without being seen. Knowing how to find cat pee will save your nose from the stench of your cat’s piss. You can choose from different methods: manually sniffing it out, checking for stains, or ultraviolet light.
Detecting cat pee
No matter how you train your cat, it will still spray all over your house. This happens a lot on unfixed kitties since they try to mark territories and impose their dominance. Nevertheless, some neutered or spayed cats can still manifest this habit.
Cat pee can be all over your carpet, bed, floor, and furniture. And if you don’t check around for quite some time, this pee will dry. While the moisture has dissipated, the smell will linger.
To find the mysterious cat pee, you can do the following:
1. Use your nose
Is your cat thinking out of the box? Your most powerful tool in finding the smelly pee spots is your nose. Sniff around and see where the pee smells the strongest. This isn’t the most comfortable method, but your nose will never lie.
Some of the favorite spots of cats are planters, furniture feet, hidden carpet spots, beneath the bed, or right next to the litter box. From there, you can perform the next step.
2. Spot stains
Once you’ve identified the area where the pee smell comes from, the next thing you should do is look for stains. Any light spots on your carpet will indicate a pee stain. To be sure, check any discoloration for pee smell. Your nose will come in handy here.
You should also check under beds, chairs, and tables for pee puddles. A bright spot is usually moist and could be cat pee.
Go slow and be thorough with your inspection. Don’t just focus on the floor. You should also check the sides of furniture where cats typically spray to mark their territories.
3. Use an ultraviolet light
Have you scoured the entire house and can’t find stains? The best solution here is UV light. Imagine when detectives check the crime scene using a special light to spot bloodstains – that’s exactly what you’re going to do.
I’ve done this method with Watson’s pee, and it never disappoints me. I was actually surprised to see more cat pee stains than I thought there would be.
For the best results, use a UV light between 365 to 385 nanometers. This is strong enough to highlight cat urine. However, don’t go too high as very bright UV light will just appear like natural lighting.
I use a handheld UV light (I bought this one on Amazon) since it allows me to move around without any cable in tow. You can also use it to check for hidden and hard-to-reach areas.
To use a UV light, the room must be completely dark. Turn all the lights off and pull the curtains. While sniffing around, probe the surface with your UV light. If you spot any glowing neon green or yellow spot, sniff it a bit to confirm if it’s cat pee. Nevertheless, this glowing substance is organic matter and must be cleaned no matter what it is.
Once you find a cat pee stain, mark it by putting a strip of tape. After that, keep searching until you’ve found all the cat pee on your home.
How to clean cat pee
After finding all the cat pee stains, the next step is to clean it up.
The couch is a common casualty when it comes to spraying and accidents. The worst part is that fabric couches will absorb a lot of moisture. This makes it very challenging to clean. And even if you can press as much urine as you can, the smell will linger due to the deep-seated moisture underneath.
And for carpet-covered floors, it’s almost impossible to avoid cat pee on it. Even if your kitty is fully housetrained, it will spray on the carpet at least once. Depending on the pile of your carpet, the smell will linger for weeks and even months.
After years of owning a cat, I swear by the following steps in cleaning up deep-seated urine on any surface. Here’s how to do it:
For carpet and fabric upholstery:
- Blot the urine area with paper towels if it’s still damp or wet
- After that, sprinkle the area with baking soda and leave it for a few hours.
- Next, blot the baking soda and vacuum its remaining traces.
- Apply more baking soda if there’s still moisture left.
- The next day, apply an enzymatic cleaner (I finally found a good one on Amazon) on the affected carpet or upholstery. This will digest any remaining urine protein that causes the smell.
- Always keep pets away from the area you’re treating to prevent irritation.
For cement or hardwood floors:
- Blot, not wipe, as much liquid as you can.
- Since the hardwood floor and cement are solid, it doesn’t absorb moisture than fabrics.
- Use dish soap to remove the superficial smell.
- After that, apply an enzymatic cleaner to remove all the traces of the urine. This will prevent your cat from peeing on the same spot. You can also make a DIY enzyme cleaner at home.
For clothes and beddings:
- The good thing about cat pee on clothes and sheets is that you can always wash it away.
- Put all the affected clothes and bedding into the washing machine (as long as the fabric type allows).
- Next, use a pre-wash made of one cup of vinegar. Let this cycle.
- After the cycle finishes, you can now add detergent and wash your clothes as usual.
- If there are deep-seated stains, I suggest soaking the fabric in baking soda and water for a few hours. Still, you should factor in the colorfastness of the fabric.
My house smells like a cat but pee, but I don’t have a cat
One friend of mine called me, asking how come his house smells like cat pee even if he doesn’t have a cat at home. While this is surprising, there’s a scientific explanation to it.
The false cat pee smell usually occurs when it rains. However, it’s much worse than the actual cat urine. If your home smells like cat pee, even if you don’t have a pet, you should have it checked for molds. The smell of the dreaded black mold is similar to that of cat urine.
If a cat visited your home or if you previously had cats, there might be some remaining pee you have to clean. Once you clean all these, the smell should go away. Also, a stray cat might be spraying on your window, which causes the peel smell.
Lastly, here’s one hidden cause of cat urine smell: wet carpet and wet shaggy slippers. Cleaning and washing these items will help rid your house of the pesky cat pee odor.
If the cat pee odor doesn’t go away after doing this, I suggest hiring a cleaning service.
Knowing how to find cat pee will help prevent bad odors from forming inside your home. It will keep your house clean. You just need a few supplies and a keen sense of smell to become a pee detective. Aside from finding and cleaning the pee spots, you should brush up your kitty’s litter box training.