Cats are adorable pets, but they can be a nightmare when they start urinating inappropriately. Inappropriate urination is annoying, especially when they pee on your mattress, your final comfort zone, after a long day at work.
Urine can seep deep into the mattress, leaving a strong smell and a stubborn stain. Worse still, urine can damage the mattress cover and foam, lead to mold growth, and occasion respiratory difficulties and other health hazards.
But worry not! This guide will show you how to clean cat pee from mattresses using simple yet effective methods. The cleaning methods will help you remove the urine odor permanently and stop the reoccurrence of such episodes.
The Dangers Of Urine In A Mattress
Due to its intensely pungent smell, ammonia from cat urine can irritate your nose, eyes, and throat, causing coughing, whizzing, running nose, or red eyes.
When inhaled, ammonia can adversely affect people with respiratory issues such as bronchitis, asthma, or sinus problems.
Sleeping on cat urine exposes you to harmful bacteria that cause different medical conditions, including urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, and skin rashes and infections.
It is vital to clean the fresh urine stain as soon as possible to inhibit further bacterial activity and the subsequent release of ammonia. More importantly, choosing cleaning agents that break down the proteins and other organic compounds responsible for the odor would be best.
How To Get Cat Pee Out Of Mattress: Preparation
Before you start cleaning cat pee from your mattress, you need the following materials:
Once you have the materials, follow these pre-treatment steps:
- Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands from urine and cleaning solutions.
- If the stain is dry, use a black light to find its perimeter and ensure you remove the entire stain.
- Remove the bedding and other items on the mattress, such as removable mattress covers, sheets, mattress pads, pillowcases, or soiled blankets. You must pre-treat and wash these items separately from the rest of the load and use a pet-friendly laundry detergent.
- Blot up as much urine as possible with paper towels or old, clean rags. Do not rub or scrub the stain, as this will spread the urine or push it deeper, making it harder to remove. Repeat until the paper towels are dry. Alternatively, use a wet vac.
Pro Tip: Avoid toxic or harsh chemical products – Remember, you will sleep several hours on the mattress. Stay safe from toxic cleaning chemicals to keep yourself from inhaling dangerous gases. Ensure you carefully read the label on the cleaning product before you buy.
How To Clean Cat Pee Out Of A Mattress: Natural Methods
After the preparation, you can now remove cat pee from your mattress using the following methods:
How To Remove Cat Urine From Mattress Using Vinegar
The acetic acid in the vinegar will break down the odor-causing proteins in cat urine and make it easy to remove from your mattress.
Step #1: Create a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water in a bowl; apply a liberal amount of the cleaning agent to saturate the soiled area. You can use a sponge or soft cloth to apply the vinegar solution to your mattress.
Step #2: Allow the white vinegar solution to sit for at least 10 minutes to break down the urine stain and loosen it.
Step #3: Let the solution sit on the stain for 10–15 minutes. You can use a soft brush or sponge to rub off the stain. To do this, make circular motions while moving inward to prevent the spreading of the stain.
Step #4: Rinse the spot with some water and blot the stain with a dry cloth or paper towel to remove the vinegar solution and wetness. Then, blot until the paper towels come off dry.
Step #5: Let the mattress air dry in a well-ventilated room or under a fan. If you must use a hairdryer or heater, ensure it is on a low heat setting to avoid damaging the foam and causing the odor to set.
You can take the mattress outside and leave it to air-dry in the sun. The sun’s UV rays will kill germs and prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
Step #6: Consider repeating these steps to attain the best results.
How To Get Cat Pee Out Of Mattress Without Vinegar: The Baking Soda Method
While diluted vinegar is effective in breaking down cat urine, it may leave a strong after-smell that might be unbearable, much like cat urine.
If you dislike the vinegar odor or do not want to overly soak your mattress with fluids, there are plenty of natural alternatives you can fall back on, including baking soda.
As a mildly alkaline substance with a pH of 9, baking soda is an excellent natural deodorizer and stain remover. It can neutralize the smell of cat urine, absorb wetness, and lift the stain from the mattress. Here’s how to use it:
Step #1: Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the urine stain, covering the entire perimeter of the soiled area.
Step #2: Gently rub the baking soda into the stain with a soft-bristled brush or your fingers. This will help the baking soda absorb the urine and loosen the stain.
Step #3: Let the baking soda sit on the stain for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Keep the pets away from the room during this time. During this time, you can add a fresh layer of baking soda to the stain to replenish it and boost its efficiency.
Step #4: Once the baking soda is dry, vacuum up the baking soda using the upholstery attachment of your vacuum cleaner.
Remove all the baking soda, as the leftover powder can attract dirt and moisture and cause further damage to the mattress.
Step #5: When dealing with deep-seated stains, you may need to reapply the baking soda more than once to remove the entire smell.
Hydrogen Peroxide Method
Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful disinfectant and bleaching agent that can remove cat urine stains from your mattress. It can also bleach the mattress cover and foam, so dilute it and rinse it off your mattress properly. Here’s how to use it:
Step #1: Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and dish soap in a bowl. Do not dilute the hydrogen peroxide with water, which can weaken its cleaning power. Hydrogen peroxide produces more foam and is more potent when mixed with soap.
Step #2: Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the hydrogen peroxide solution and dab it on the urine stain. Do not rub the stain, which can spread the urine and damage the mattress cover and foam.
Step #3: Let the cleaning solution sit on the stain for 5-10 minutes.
Step #4: Rinse the cloth or sponge with water and blot the stain to remove the solution.
Step #5: Blot up the excess water with a dry cloth or paper towel.
Step #6: Let the mattress air dry in a well-ventilated room or under a fan. If you must use a hairdryer or heater, ensure it is on a low heat setting to avoid damaging the foam and causing the odor to set.
You can take the mattress outside and leave it to air-dry in the sun. The sun’s UV rays will kill germs and prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
Step #7: Consider repeating these steps to attain the best results.
Note: While hydrogen peroxide is a bleach, not all bleaches are safe for this work. Specifically, avoid using chlorine-based bleaches to clean cat urine stains, as the ammonia in the cat urine combines with chlorine to give off toxic gases.
Baking Soda And Hydrogen Peroxide Method
If you don’t have an enzyme-based cleaner or prefer a natural cleaning method, use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to clean cat pee from a mattress. Baking soda is a natural odor absorber, while hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidizer with powerful stain-removing properties.
Here’s how to use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to clean cat pee from a mattress:
Step #1: Blot the excess cat urine with a clean cloth or paper towel until dry. Alternavily, use a wet vac to suck up as much urine moisture as possible.
Step #2: Mix 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide with three tablespoons of baking soda and a drop of dish soap in a spray bottle.
Step #3: Shake the bottle well and spray the solution onto the affected area.
Step #4: Let the solution sit for 10–15 minutes.
Step #5: Use a wet vac or blot the area with a clean, damp cloth or sponge to remove any remaining solution and cat urine.
Step #6: Sprinkle baking soda over the affected area and let it sit for several hours or overnight. Allow it to air-dry fully. It is likely to change color as it absorbs the wetness of your mattress; replenish it as this time elapses.
You should also cover the area with aluminum foil, an inverted laundry basket, or a plastic sheet to keep the cat away from the spot.
Step #7: Remove the baking soda from the mattress by vacuuming it. A vacuum is better than a bloom, as it is less likely to spread the baking soda around. The baking soda should be dry to avoid damaging the vacuum cleaner.
Although this method is effective for removing cat pee odor and stains, it’s important to note that hydrogen peroxide can discolor some fabrics, so test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area first.
How To Get Rid Of Cat Pee Smell On Mattress Using Commercial Cleaners
Enzyme-based Cleaner Method
Another effective method to get rid of cat pee from a mattress is to use an enzyme-based cleaner. Enzymatic cleaners contain biological catalysts that speed up the breakdown of the proteins and ammonia in cat urine, eliminating odor and stains.
You can find enzyme-based cleaners that are non-toxic and safe for your cat at your local pet store or online. Make sure to read and follow the instructions on the product label carefully to avoid cleaners that can be harmful to you.
Here’s how to use an enzyme-based cleaner to clean cat pee from a mattress. However, the instructions on the product’s label will influence how you use it.
Step #1: Blot the excess cat urine with a clean cloth or paper towel.
Step #2: Apply the enzyme-based cleaner to the affected area and let it sit for 15–20 minutes. Douse the soiled area by gently pouring the enzymatic cleaner liberally on the stain, as simply spraying the cleaner on the mattress may not penetrate the mattress deep enough.
You may also use a sponge or soft-bristled brush to work the enzymatic cleaner into the mattress and scrub off the stain. Start from the stain from the outside to the inside to prevent the stain from spreading.
Step #3: Blot the area with a clean, damp cloth or sponge to remove any remaining cleaner and urine. Depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, you may need to rinse the cleaner off the mattress.
Step #4: Allow the mattress to air dry completely.
When using an enzyme cleaner, you may still require multiple applications depending on how strong the cat pee odor and stain are.
It’s also important to note that you must pre-clean the soiled area before applying enzyme-based cleaners to ensure their efficiency on old and dried cat urine stains.
How To Clean Cat Pee Off Mattresses Made Of Various Types Of Mattresses: Special Considerations
The first thing to do is read the care tag on your memory foam mattress or the care booklet to determine if it has any special cleaning requirements. Here are some common considerations to remember if you are wondering how to get cat pee out of a memory foam mattress.
These tips are equally helpful when looking for solutions on how to get cat pee out of a spring mattress or how to get cat pee out of a hybrid spring mattress.
Tip #1: Memory foam mattresses may require more care when cleaning compared to spring or hybrid mattresses. Avoid steam cleaning your memory foam mattress, as the heat and moisture can ruin the mattress and weaken the memory foam layer. It is also likely to void your warranty.
Tip #2: Do not let the urine stain sit for long. Foam mattresses usually absorb moisture faster than most types of mattresses. Act quickly to soak up the urine before it seeps deeper.
Tip #3:Harsh commercial cleaning chemicals, including bleach, can damage your mattress. Use safe cleaning agents only. Harsh chemicals can damage the mattress’s foam.
Tip #4:When you have to rinse off the soiled part, avoid getting the mattress overly wet, as it can take a long time to dry completely. Instead, use a rag or sponge to apply your cleaning solution and rinse it out.
Tip #5: If it has a removable mattress cover, get it off and wash it separately to ensure you remove the entire cat urine odor.
Tip #6:When vacuuming, use a soft brush attachment, which is less likely to ruin the fabric cover.
Tip #7:Air-drying your mattress is the best way of removing the wetness and safeguarding against mold and mildew growth. If you must use a dryer, use it on a low setting, as high heat will damage your mattress foam.
Tip #8: For spring or hybrid mattresses that have a core made of innersprings or pocket springs, you ought to ensure no moisture is left in the mattresses. The springs are typically made of steel, which is susceptible to corrosion when exposed to moisture in the form of urine or cleaning liquids.
How To Remove Urine Stains And Smells
Spray an enzyme-based cleaner or white vinegar on the urine stain. Enzyme-based cleaners are specially designed to break down the proteins in cat urine, while white vinegar has a natural deodorizing effect.
Let the cleaner or vinegar soak for at least 15 minutes to penetrate the stain and neutralize the odor.
The ideal cleaner should be:
- Specially made for pet stains
- Easy to use and rinse (leaves no residue)
Here are some of the enzymatic cleaners specially designed for pet stains that you can use to remove urine stains and smells from your mattress:
#1. Natures Miracle
Tips For Preventing Cat Pee On A Mattress
Avoid Accidents By Using A Mattress Protector
The mattress protector safeguards your mattress from cat urine, potential liquid spills, normal wear and tear, dander, hair, oil, and dust. Look for one with a removable and machine-washable cover to make maintenance easy. Also, consider buying a pair; that way, you can use one when the other is drying after washing.
Keep The Cat Away From Your Bedroom
Although not a long-term measure, try keeping your cat out of the bedroom or off your bed when you are away. However, the underlying issue of inappropriate urination must be addressed, or else the cat will start marking a new spot with urine.
Avoid Accidents With Safe Pet Repellents
Most cats may return to soil the mattress again even after you have cleaned it thoroughly. Although you may not be able to detect the odor, a cat, thanks to its superior sense of smell, can smell even small traces.
Consider using pet-friendly repellents to keep the cat away from your mattress to avoid future accidents. For example, provided they are applied topically and not ingested by your cat, essential oil solutions are effective cat repellents.
Rule Out Medical Illness
Medical issues like bladder infections, kidney stones, diabetes, urinary tract infections, and hyperthyroidism can lead your cat to pee on your mattress. If you notice signs of ill health like loss of appetite, frequent urination, excessive drinking of water, and vocalization during urination, it may be time to consult the vet.
Consider Neutering Or Spaying Your Cat
Studies show that unneutered males or unspayed females are likely to spray urine on your mattress when attracting a potential mate.
Major changes in the cat’s living environment can be stressful and lead to inappropriate urination. For example, moving furniture around the house, bringing a new pet home, or the birth of a new baby.
Radical changes in the cat’s routine or diet can lead to inappropriate urination. Stress management through interactive play with your cat can help to stop this problem.
Improve Litter Box Conditions
Your cat can urinate inappropriately when the litter box is placed in a safe and low-privacy area. In addition, the litter box must be clean, easy to enter, and inviting to the cat to encourage it to use it often. Cats are hygienic creatures and will avoid a dirty litter box. Try scooping more often and deep-cleaning the litter box regularly, at least once every two weeks. Buying a robotic cat litter box will help you stay on top of your daily cleaning activities.
Ensure you provide adequate litter boxes in a home with multiple cats. Cats can be territorial and will not want to share the litter box.
Usually, experts recommend that you provide each cat with its own litter box, plus an extra box above the number of cats in your household. If you have three cats, providing four litter boxes is best.
Conclusion: How To Clean Cat Pee From Mattress
Cleaning cat pee from a mattress can be daunting, but it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent further damage and health hazards. Several methods exist to clean cat pee from a mattress, from using a homemade cleaning solution to enzyme-based cleaners.
Avoid harsh chemicals, such as bleach and ammonia, as they can damage the mattress and cause health hazards. Always blot the excess urine first, and then proceed with the cleaning method of your choice.
Finally, if the cat continues to pee on the mattress, it’s important to address the underlying issue, which may require a visit to the vet or a behaviorist. Following these tips, you can successfully clean cat pee from a mattress and ensure a fresh and clean sleeping surface.
Q. How can I tell if my cat has peed on the mattress?
A. You may notice a strong ammonia-like smell or see wet spots on the mattress. If you’re not sure, you can use a blacklight to check for urine stains.
Q. Can I use bleach to clean cat pee from a mattress?
A. No, bleach is not recommended for cleaning cat urine as it can actually make the odor worse. It can also damage the fabric of the mattress.
Q. How long does it take to remove the smell of cat urine from a mattress?
A. It depends on how severe the odor is and how thoroughly you clean the mattress. It can take anywhere from a few hours to several days for the smell to completely dissipate.
Q. Will cleaning the mattress remove all traces of cat urine?
A. Not necessarily. If the urine has soaked deep into the mattress, it may be difficult to completely remove the odor. In some cases, you may need to replace the mattress.
Q. Can I use a steam cleaner to clean cat urine from a mattress? A. Yes, a steam cleaner can be an effective way to clean cat urine from a mattress. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the appropriate attachments for cleaning upholstery.