The Ultimate Guide on How to Get Cat Pee Smell Out of Couch

Posted by Nicholas Crusie on

We sure do love our feline friends, and we’re about 90% sure they love us too, although we admit they’re sometimes pretty aloof. Cats are some of the most popular pets. In fact, six out of ten Americans own a pet, and of those pet owners, 49% own cats

Cats are popular as pets because, unlike other pets, they’re extremely self-reliant. 

  • Cats don’t have to be let outdoors to use the bathroom. They’ll go in a litter box. If you don’t want to spend time cleaning the litter box, you can even get a self-cleaning model.
  • Cats are also self-grooming, so you won’t have to take them for a nail trim or to be bathed. 
  • Aside from a few yearly trips to the vet to keep up with their shots and checkups, you won’t have to do much to provide for a cat aside from feeding her, loving her, and providing her a safe place to live. 

Because we love our cats so much, it can be extremely frustrating to find them practicing bad behavior. Unlike a dog, you are seldom able to train a cat to sit and do tricks, much less break them of bad behaviors like marking territory. Even a cat that knows to use a litter box can sometimes practice territory marking. When she does that in your home, the results can be somewhat devastating to furniture, carpets, and anything else she’s chosen to mark as hers. 

If you’ve got a cat who’s urinating where she shouldn’t, you should explore possible reasons why it’s happening. 

Why Is My Cat Peeing Where She Shouldn’t?

Cats use three methods of marking territory:

  1. Rubbing. A cat will rub against a surface to activate scent glands in their cheeks and sides to release their personal scent on an object, which lets other animals know it’s theirs.

  2. Scratching. Cats also have glands in their paw pads, so when they scratch an object, their scent is released onto it.

  3. Spraying/urinating. Cats release urine by either peeing directly onto an object, or spraying urine onto a vertical surface (like the edge of your couch).

Cats pee in places other than their litter box to mark territory for several reasons. If you’ve recently introduced another pet into your home, your cat may simply be making sure the new pet knows this is her territory. A cat that has not been spayed or neutered may mark territory to attract a mate. 

The least common (but possible) reason your cat may be urinating and spraying in places other than her litter box is due to a medical issue. If you see your cat spending excessive time grooming their genitals or whining when they urinate, it’s definitely time to see her veterinary professional. 

Regardless of the reason, your cat is going where she shouldn’t, and the effects on your furniture can seem impossible to remove.

Why Does Cat Pee Smell So Bad?

Among foul odors that people tend to agree are impossible to remove, cat urine is in the top three. Cat urine, however, is really no different than any other animal’s urine, which you may find surprising. The problem is usually that cat urine goes undetected until it becomes a problem. 

Whereas a dog that urinates on the floor creates a large, noticeable puddle that is cleaned almost immediately, cats spray urine on a surface in a fine mist that can go virtually undetected until the urine begins to decompose. It’s the decomposition of the urine that causes the putrid smell that attaches to fibers and can be impossible to remove. 

If you’ve got an ammonia scented odor emitting from fibers in your couch, your cat may be the cute little culprit. However, all hope is not lost. You can get the odor out, so don’t go sending Fluffy to a kennel prison just yet. 

Steps To Remove Cat Pee Smell Out of A Couch

If you’re dealing with a piece of furniture that does not have a removable cover that can go in the machine washer and dryer, there are steps you can take to get the smell out of the fibers. However, if you have a removable cover, you can toss it in the washer to eliminate the smell. That said, the process of removing the foam can get quite messy, and if you dump the foam, you may need to purchase booster packs of foam to supplement it when you’re putting it back in. 

Another option is to purchase one of CordaRoy’s “bed only” liners that are filled with foam and simply replace the one that has been peed on. This option may be easier and more cost effective. 

First and foremost, do not steam clean your couch. Steam cleaning your couch can actually lock in the smell, which can make it nearly impossible to remove. Steam cleaning should be the last step in your couch-cleaning process.

Here’s how to get rid of cat pee smell from your couch without locking it in, spending a fortune, and losing your sanity. 

  1. Find the location. As previously mentioned, cat urine can go virtually undetected for days before you actually notice the smell. You’ll have to do some exploring to find the exact location where your cat sprayed on your couch. 

  2. Try an enzyme-based cleaner. The ingredient in cat urine that makes it smell potent is urea. This is a waste product in urine that begins to decompose over time. Using an enzyme-based cleanser creates a chemical reaction that uses a special protein to break down the urea in the cat urine. This chemical reaction breaks down urea into carbon dioxide and ammonia, which both evaporate quickly, leaving your couch scent-free.

  3. If the enzyme-based cleaner doesn’t work, you may be dealing with cat urine that is particularly stale. In this case, or if you’d just prefer to use an at-home remedy instead, you can do that too. 

    To make an at-home cleaning solution to treat your fabric, follow these easy steps.

Making A DIY Cat Pee Remover Solvent

If you’ve tried an enzyme-based cleanser and it just didn’t get the job done, or if you’d like to save money and use an at-home remedy instead, you can remove cat urine smell by making a vinegar and baking soda formula to help loosen the urea from the fabric. 

If you’re concerned the vinegar will smell bad, rest assured the baking soda should neutralize both the cat urine and vinegar smell, leaving your couch fabric smelling fresh. 

To make a vinegar and baking soda cleanser:

  • Mix equal parts white vinegar with water in a spray bottle and saturate the affected area. 
  • Allow the vinegar and water mixture to sit on the fabric for ten minutes.
  • Blot up the excess moisture with a paper towel, pressing against the fabric. Don’t rub the fabric as this can harm some fabrics and cause the urea to penetrate more deeply. 
  • Next, mix a little water with baking soda until it forms a paste. Apply the baking soda paste to the affected area and let it sit for about five hours. The baking soda will absorb any remaining odor on the fabric. 
  • Vacuum the baking soda off, and your fabric should smell fresh. If not, you can repeat this entire process again.

If you’re frustrated by cat urine penetrating the foam in your coach, that’s an issue that will be very hard to resolve. While you can try to steam clean your couch, this doesn’t penetrate the foam, and manufacturers have different methods of care specific to the foam included in their furniture. As such, you’ll want to check with your manufacturer to be sure of the proper foam care.

If you own a CordaRoy bean bag, removing cat pee smell from your furniture is easier. You can remove the outer shell of your bean bag chair, and place it in the washer and dryer. If the inner foam has been compromised, you can remove the pieces that have been soiled and grab a replacement booster pack of foam pieces to refill. However, as we said before this can be a bit of a process. You may prefer to get a new liner filled with foam entirely for more ease. 

It’s also a great idea to get a waterproof liner to cover your inner bag so that there’s zero chance of the foam being harmed. While our chair covers are extremely durable, those alone won’t protect the furniture from cat pee. By purchasing a waterproof protector for your CordaRoy’s chair, you’ll make sure that you’re keeping it safe. And the best part? Both the chair cover and the waterproof protector can be washed. 

Final Thoughts

Cats are great pets, with a nasty little habit of marking territory with urine. That doesn’t have to be a major issue if you own furniture that is easy to clean. You can get easy to clean furniture that is also incredibly stylish, functional, and comfortable by owning a CordaRoy’s. Our bean bag couches are some of the most comfortable and aesthetically appealing additions to any room. Don’t be confined to regular couches when you consider your options for your living space.

The ease of care of our products is one of the most valued aspects of our furniture. Because our furniture is so comfortable, it sees a lot of use. Cleaning a CordaRoy’s is one of the easiest processes you’ll ever have. If you’ve got a cat who has perpetual accidents, furniture that is easily cleaned is a must. 


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