The combination of pet cats and carpets is quite common. And so is carpet soiling through cat poop. As such, it is essential for every cat parent to learn how to get rid of cat poop smell on carpets.
Unfortunately, cleaning up after your feline friend is not always easy, especially when getting rid of the cat poop smell on your carpet using ordinary cleaning products that only mask the odor instead of removing everything. Worse, you can get caught in a vicious circle unless you can get the entire poop odor out, which attracts your cat to poop on the spot again, thinking it is its bathroom.
Luckily, there are effective ways of neutralizing the odor fully and without damaging your carpet.
Herein, we show you how to remove large debris, wet poop, and smell, kill pathogens, and prevent future accidents from happening.
NOTE: Do not allow the poop to sit unnecessarily longer after you have uncovered it, as it will continue setting in the carpet fibers; wear your gloves and get to work.
A Few Precautions Before You Remove Cat Poop Smell From Carpet
- Check the care instructions on your type of carpet before you begin cleaning the stain.
- Ensure you follow the instructions for use for each commercial product you choose to use.
- Wear protective gloves. This is particularly vital for pregnant women keeping an outdoor cat.
- Test homemade solutions on an inconspicuous area to avoid staining your carpet.
Understanding The Science Behind The Smell
Cat feces has a strong and distinct smell because of volatile organic compounds called Skatole and Indole, produced from the microbial digestion of proteins and amino acids in the cat’s intestines.
These two organic compounds are insoluble in water and largely responsible for the bad smell of cat poop, although other compounds such as sulfur found in the poop, also play a role in its odor.
What Happens When Your Cat Poops On The Carpet
As cat poop dries and decomposes on your carpet, these volatile organic compounds are gradually released into the air. While solid cat poop can decompose within months, the poop smell, due to these organic compounds, can last for much longer, sometimes years.
Other compounds in cat poop that make its smell insufferable are sulfur compounds, ammonia, and mercaptans. For example, the Mercaptans smell like skunks or rotten eggs. These compounds can also be found in cat urine and are also responsible for its foul smell.
So why does cat poop smell so bad? The smell helps the cat to mark its territory or communicate with humans and other cats.
Other Factors That Influence The Smell Of Cat Poop
Your Cat’s Health
Dr. Mike Paul, a valued member of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team since 2013, reckons that bacteria such as Salmonella and E. Coli can cause inflammation of the digestive system and lead to foul-smelling diarrhea.
If your cat has had diarrhea, you can offer a high-fiber diet, like psyllium, which absorbs the excess liquid in your gut and can alleviate the condition. However, if the situation persists, seek the help of the vet.
Additionally, parasites such as giardia, coccidian, and trichomonas can lead to digestive disorders like mal-digestion and malabsorption of food and cause smelly cat poop. In case of symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, listlessness, or blood in the diarrhea (or stool), consult your vet for help.
You must also be concerned about inflammatory bowel disease, often resulting from food allergies. Inflammation in your cat’s guts can also cause foul-smelling poop.
Other illnesses that influence the smell of your cat’s poop are pancreatic disease, liver or gallbladder disease, and stress.
Your Cat’s Diet
Your cat’s diet will influence its odor. In the same light, a change in your cat’s diet can influence the smell of its poop.
Usually, cats have highly effective kidneys. This is because having evolved as desert creatures, their bodies are designed to squeeze out as much water from their food as possible as an adaptation mechanism to water scarcity.
With even lower amounts of water in their bodies, their stool, and urine can easily become more concentrated and smell more than usual.
Encourage your cat to take more fresh water to lessen the severity of the smell of their poop. You can consider investing in a suitable water fountain for your cat.
How To Clean Cat Poop From Your Carpet
Understanding the science behind the cat poop smell is crucial in choosing the proper method for how to get rid of cat poop smell in carpets.
The organic compounds in cat poop are insoluble in water; therefore, using water alone to clean the stain will not wash off the stain and the odor-causing volatile organic compounds.
After using ordinary methods, the smell disappears for some time, then, later, especially during hot days, the unpleasant whiff suddenly reappears and can linger on your carpet and around your home for a long.
Home-based cleaning solutions like white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or baking soda can help to neutralize the smell. However, it is best to escalate to more sophisticated cleaning methods when dealing with persistent stains and odors.
Often, you need cleaning products that can disintegrate the volatile organic compounds to remove them from your carpet. For example, enzyme-based cleaning products such as Nature’s Miracle.
Enzyme cleaners contain biological enzymes or bacteria that speed up the decomposition of the organic compounds in cat poop to produce harmless and odorless byproducts such as water and carbon dioxide.
Materials You’ll Need
Before cleaning the carpet, you need to gather a few safety and cleaning materials. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:
- Rubber gloves
- Plastic bags
- Paper towels or a clean cloth
- Enzyme cleaner
- Baking soda
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Vacuum cleaner
Step-by-Step Guide On How To Get Rid Cat Poop From Carpet
Here’s a step-by-step process on how to remove cat poop from your carpet:
Step #1: Mind Your Safety
Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from bacteria. Then pick up the solid bits of poop with your fingers, an old fork, a spatula, or any other suitable tool. If the stain has already dried on the carpet, try scrubbing it off gently with an old fork or disposable plastic fork, being careful not to damage the carpet. Safely throw the waste.
Step #2: Extract The Excess Cat Poop
If the stain is still moist/wet, use paper cloths or an old towel to blot as much wetness away – do not try rubbing the stain out to avoid pushing it deeper into the fibers.
The objective of the first two steps is to remove as much solid waste as possible and make it easy to apply your cleaning agent.
Step #3: Apply The Cleaning Solution
At this point, you can apply your preferred cleaning product on the stained area – you can start with a homemade solution or a store-bought product like an enzymatic cleaner and a carpet spot shampooer/cleaner like Bissell Pro Oxi. Read carefully instructions on the commercial product before use.
If you opt for homemade cleaning agents, here are some options and how to prepare them at home.
Rather than use store-bought cleaning solutions, you can use homemade solutions to remove cat poop from carpets to clean and deodorize your carpet. These products include:
Hydrogen Peroxide and Dish Soap
Mix five tablespoons of Hydrogen Peroxide and two tablespoons of mild dishwashing soap and apply the cleaning agent on the poop stain. Allow the cleaning agent to sit on the stain for 10 minutes, then use a paper cloth or old towel to blot the area.
Mix cold water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and shake the solution well. Apply it to the stain and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Mix the solution well with white vinegar, baking soda, and cold water in a spray bottle.
Step #4: Blot Excess Cleaning Agent
After 10 minutes, blot up the excess cleaning agent and washed-off poop stains with a clean cloth or paper towels.
Step #5: Rinse The Carpet
Rinse the area with cold water to remove the remaining cleaning product and any residue. Repeat until the stain is washed off.
Step #6: Vacuum The Carpet
Vacuum the carpet to restore its texture once the area is dry.
Step-By-Step Guide On How To Get Cat Diarrhea Out Of Carpet
Undeniably, cleaning wet poop is equally frustrating as cleaning dry poop, as much as the texture of the waste and techniques involved may differ slightly.
The main difference is that when cleaning diarrhea, it is best to start by blotting up the wetness with paper cloths without rubbing the stain, which will set it in the fibers. Here is how you do it:
Step #1: Mind Your Safety
With gloved hands, paper towels, or an old dry towel, blot as much wetness as possible. You have to be careful not to push the wet stain deeper. Repeat this step until you have removed as much wetness as possible to make the rest of the cleaning process more effective.
Step #2: Extract The Excess Poop
Pick any solid wastes with a poop scoop, spatula, or old spoon and dispose of them safely.
Given that you’re dealing diarrhea, you can apply baking soda and allow it to sit on the stain for a few hours, or overnight. The baking soda will not only allow the wet stool to clump up, but it will also help deodorize. After the wet stool clumps up, pick as much of it as possible.
Vacuum any excess baking soda.
Step #3: Apply The Cleaning Agent
Apply your preferred cleaning agent on the stain and allow it to sit for a few minutes.
As discussed in the previous section, you may use homemade solutions like baking soda and vinegar, water, mild dishwashing soap, or Hydrogen Peroxide and dish soap. If you choose an enzyme cleaner, ensure you follow the use instruction on the product.
Step #4: Rinse The Spot
Rinse the affected area with clean water to remove the cleaning solution and the washed-off stains.
Step #5: Vacuum
Vacuum the carpet to restore its texture once the area is dry.
Disinfect the Carpet to Avoid Further Accidents
While removing the cat poop smell on the carpet is paramount after your cat has had an accident, you still want to enjoy a fresh home. However, it would be best if you also sanitized the accident spot to get rid of bacteria that carts carry in their fecal matter, such as Toxoplasma gondii.
In addition, you must disinfect the carpet and remove all odors to prevent the cat from revisiting the area.
How To Get Rid Of Cat Poop Smell On Carpet
Cleaning up the poop is only half the battle. Neutralizing the smell is the other half. Below are some tips on how to neutralize the odor so your carpet smells fresh again.
How To Get Cat Poop Smell Out Of A Carpet Using Alternative DIY Methods
- Open the windows and let fresh air circulate in the room to help dissipate the smell.
- Mix equal water and vinegar and apply it to the affected area. Rinse the area with water and blot it dry. Once the area is dry, vacuum the carpet to restore its texture.
- Mix a 3% hydrogen peroxide and water solution and apply it to the affected area. Be careful not to use a stronger concentration, as it can bleach the carpet. Rinse the area with water and blot it dry. Once the area is dry, vacuum the carpet to restore its texture.
- Sprinkle baking soda on the affected area and let it sit for several hours or overnight before vacuuming.
- Place bowls of white vinegar around the room to absorb the smell.
Odor Neutralizing Products To Try
If the car poo smell still lingers, you can try the following products to counter the odor.
- Use a high-quality air purifier to remove any lingering odors from the air.
- Candles – look for candles specially made to block cat odors.
- Absorbing Gels help trap the odors in the air and keep the room fresh.
- Scent Diffusers and Dehumidifier – Dehumidifier helps to remove moisture and keep the carpet smelling fresh. You can also use a scent diffuser to fight off any remaining cat poop smell lurking in the air. You can invest in a Feliway diffuser to keep the cat calm.
Preventing Future Accidents
While learning how to get cat poop smell out of carpets is essential for cat parents, you’ll benefit a lot more by learning how to prevent future accidents. Here are a few tips on how to prevent future accidents:
Tip #1: Keep the litter box clean and in a location where your cat can easily access it. A clean litter box entices the cat to use the litter box more often and keeps poop smells at a minimum around your home.
In addition, consider scooping as often as possible, at least once per day. Also, it is best to clean and scrub the litter box comprehensively and regularly, at least twice a month.
Tip #2: If your cat is prone to accidents, consider investing in a waterproof mat to place under the litter box.
Tip #3: Make sure your cat has enough water to drink. Dehydration can cause constipation, which can lead to accidents.
Tip #4: If you have multiple cats, ensure each cat has its litter box to prevent territorial disputes. The number of litter boxes in your home should be more than the number of cats by one. For example, invest in at least four litter boxes if you have three cats at home.
Tip #5: Consider using a cat urine odor remover to clean the litter box regularly to prevent the buildup of odor-causing bacteria.
Tip #6: Consider the type of litter you are using. Your cat may hate using the litter and the litter box you provided. You may have to try out different litter selections to find the one your cat like. For example, does your cat prefer clumping or non-clumping, scented or non-scented litter?
How To Get Rid Of Cat Poop Smell On Carpet: Final Thoughts
Following these tips can prevent future accidents and keep your carpet smelling fresh and clean. However, accidents can happen, and when they do, be prepared to act fast to prevent the odor from setting in.
With the right cleaning products and techniques, you can remove the cat poop smell from your carpet and keep your home smelling fresh and clean. Remember to be patient and persistent, and don’t hesitate to call in a professional carpet cleaner if the smell persists.
Q. How do I get rid of the smell of cat poop on my carpet?
A. Use a mixture of white vinegar and water to blot the stain, followed by an enzymatic cleaner to break down the odor-causing bacteria. You can also try using baking soda to absorb the odor.
Q. Can I use bleach to clean up cat poop on my carpet?
A. No, bleach can actually make the odor worse and damage your carpet. Stick to using enzymatic cleaners and natural remedies.
Q. Why does my cat keep having accidents on the carpet?
A. There could be a variety of reasons, including health issues, territorial disputes with other pets, or anxiety. Consult with your vet to rule out any underlying health issues and consider making changes to your cat’s litter box setup.
Q. How often should I clean my cat’s litter box?
A. Ideally, you should scoop out solid waste at least once a day and completely replace the litter and clean the box every one to two weeks. However, you may need to clean it more often if you have multiple cats or a cat with health issues.
Q. Can I prevent cat poop odor on my carpet altogether?
A. While accidents may happen, there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of cat poop odor on your carpet, such as keeping your cat’s litter box clean, providing enough water for your cat, and investing in a waterproof mat under the litter box.