Removing Cat Urine Odor from a Couch

Cat urine odor is strong and sometimes difficult to remove from upholstered furniture. This is a guide about removing cat urine odor from a couch.


August 5, 2010 Flag
1 found this helpful

I have a huge problem! I am staying with a friend for a couple weeks until my house is ready to move into. My oldest cat, only a year, peed on her sofa because she was scared to get down to use the litter box. My friend has 2 dogs.

I tried Febreze and it didn't work so I went to the store and bought special "cat odor and stain remover spray". I have scrubbed the couch twice with no success. She has a reclining sofa so I can't take the sofa apart to wash them. What should I do? I feel horrible because my cats never did that at my house!

By Kinder from San Diego, CA

Anonymous Flag
February 2, 20161 found this helpful

I have a reclining sofa whose cushions can not be removed :/ So I mixed liquid laundry detergent with water, about a cup full in about 6 cups of water. I slowly poured the mixture over the affected area, let it soak through all the way to the floor. Then took a big towel and stepped on the cushion pushing the water mixture through, while soaking up a bit too.

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Anonymous Flag
May 29, 20160 found this helpful

Use oxyclean powder that you get in the laundry isle!!!!!! I tried vinegar and dawn.Both did not work but the oxyclean did!!!

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October 6, 20160 found this helpful

I'd suggest trying a homemade solution as they have worked much better for me than store bought ones. And that's the case with most things. Homemade solution works best. But the best store bought one I can suggest is Fizzion pet stain and odour remover. It's recommend by Jackson Galaxy (THE Cat Daddy) himself so I tried it and it works wonders on everything but my couch. But MY couch has a very thick foam seating and so its impossible to soak up all of the pee by just spot cleaning. It must be washed. So I'm going to try that next and that will probably work best. But depending on how thick your friend's couch is Fizzion might work for you. But otherwise I would definitely try a homemade solution. I tride this solution -

- on my desk chair that has a fabric seat and it worked great! Can't smell any pee anymore! But if you can't use hydrogen peroxide on your friend's couch (it does discolour fabrics sometimes. I spot tested first and it was fine and same for the rest of the chair but it's quite a light colour already and you never know until you spot test of it will discolour your particular fabric) then there are lots of other homemade solutions you can Google. This is just what worked for me. Good luck with cleaning your friend's couch! I know how stressful that is. The couch I mentioned was mine is not actully mine - its my landlord's ...and I live with them. I board. And my kitty has peed on the same spot on the couch over and over because I can't get the smell out (cats go back to pee in places that smell of past urination) and I'm really stressed about them getting sick of it and kicking me out.

Lastay though before I go I just wanna make sure you're not mad at your cat. You mentioned that he'd never done it at home and that you were really stressed and embarrassed about it. If he was properly litter trained at home and never encountered any stresses or upheavals/big changes in his life large enough to cause him to stress pee then of course he never had an accident. But this IS a big upheaval/change. I mean biggest of all - your friend has TWO DOGS. If you kitty hasnt had much experience with dogs before or at least not any good experiences with dogs then of course he's going to be scared out of his wits! And don't be fooled if he doesn't act scared because cats are all different and some of them are masters of hiding their emotions behind a cool exterior facade. I have three cats and I thought I knew that one of them was a very anxious cat and that his sister was the compl'été opposite - a cool calm kitty. But about a year and a half ago I took her to the vet for something and the vet discovered during her check-up that she had very sparse hair on her back legs and tummy which indicates that she had been over-grooming. Cats only over-groom when they are stressed! I was blind-sided by this! Everyone always comments on how chill she she is! So that was a lesson I had to learn the hard way - cats (like people) don't always show obvious signs of being stressed. You have to be vigilant and know your cat very well and also do regular nose to tail checkups of their body to check for any irregularities.

So even though your cat may not seem stressed (I'm not saying this is the case, I'm just assuming an option based on your reaction) he most definitely is if he is peeing outside the litter box. There is only one reason why cats pee outside the litter box - stress. Actually there is one other and that is when the litter box is not being cleaned frequently enough but that could also maybe be categorized under stress of a dirty litter box. Finding out what is causing the stress though is usually a matter of engaging in some detective work but it sounds like in this case it's quite obviously territorial anxiety. Cats are VERY territorial and they HATE change. They pee to mark their scent when they are feeling territitorial anxiety so that their new and scary surroundings smell more familiar. To cats, smell is a huge. We use our sight the most. They use their sensemble of the smell the most. They communicate using smell and they learn things using smell. And they familiarize using smell. So when a place doesn't smell like home they will try and make it smell like home. I'd suggest since you are spending 2 weeks there that you spread your cat's belongings around the house as much as you can and put a blanet that he usually sleeps on on the couch (it will smell like him). And let your friend know why you need to do this as she/he may be put out by it or find it odd. If you can bring some more things over from home that's also great. Don't know why you are staying with your friend though and if you have access to your house at the moment so it's just a suggestion if that's possible.

So basically your cat is feeling super stressed right now because of the big change and he feels totally out of place in this new environment. So don't be mad at him or feel embarrassed - this is totally totally normal. I would be gobsmacked if a cat in this situation did NOT pee outside the litterbox. That is something I would totally expect because cats don't do well with a change of territory. You don't realize how much smell and scent is important in a cat's life. Cats spend a big portion of their day patrolling their territory and remarking spots where their scent is fading (either through pee or through scratching or cheek rubbing - a cat's paws, cheeks, head and chin all contain scent glands that they rub against things or people to leave their scent) and making sure that EVERY THING around them smells familiar and it's also to ward off unwanted guests as well and to leave messages for other cats to say that this is their territory. So you taking him out of his little kingdom that he has spent so long scent-marking to make himself feel secure is seriously a huge deal to him. So you need to work with him and help him familiarize this new place that he will be staying at for the next 2 weeks. Otherwise he WILL pee again.

I really hope this helps you understand what your cat is going through and helps you to help him and also helps you to be prepared if you ever have to do this again. But if you can avoid it - do. It's really not nice for your cat.

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October 6, 20160 found this helpful

June 26, 2013 Flag
5 found this helpful

I thought I had deodorized my microfiber sofa, but continued to smell cat urine, especially when on the floor playing with my toddler. I turned the couch over and behold! The carpet was covered with stains caused by urine seeping all the way through the sofa. I treated the carpet, and the smell went away.


By the way, I have noticed that my diva of a cat only urinates on the sofa when her litter box does not meet her demanding standards, so daily scooping and frequent changes have eliminated the sofa problem--or so I hope.

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September 23, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

My cat is peeing on my couch. I need a strong remedy to get the smell out. I have tried citrus pet cleaners, vinegar and baking soda, Nature's Miracle, etc. He doesn't seem to avoid the area. Please help.

By Kristen

June 29, 20160 found this helpful

I used a combination of fresh and clean animal oder w/oxiclean in it. Only thing I've used that really works. Spray it on and oder is really gone. In washables purex laundry detergent w. ./Zout. I had. An entire laundry basket with my good clothes left for a weekend and had a pet sitter and Diva my raised on a bottle cat soaked the entire basket. Used cold water that detergent and a cup of baking soda on them came out sparkling clean with no oder!!! Yay!!!

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July 9, 20160 found this helpful

A good idea is to by incontinence pads for people and wrap them around the cushions after cleaning them and machine washing the covers. Then , at least the next time it will not soak into the cushions. I actually replaced my cushions with some large floor cushions I found at Walmart. I still have areas that my male cat sprayed on the outside of the couch. I will never get a male again. I used a black light on my walls and found places I never knew he connected with. It was so bad that when I had new flooring put in one store refused to come in to remove my carpet.

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August 14, 20160 found this helpful

Female cats can be just as bad.

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September 25, 20160 found this helpful

August 3, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

My cat has peed on my sofa once again! The smell is so awful that I can't enjoy sitting in my living room anymore. I need a home remedy that is going to work. Please help.

By Tammy from Chicago, IL

August 11, 20100 found this helpful

I have the same problem. Got a nice couch given to me by a friend but their cat must have peed on it at some point. The problem is that this couch is of a leather type material and the cushions aren't removable. I tried the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish soap trick and it didn't seem to work between the cushions. It's starting to stink up my little apartment. Am I going to have to just toss the couch?

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November 9, 20130 found this helpful

I got cat urine out of my leather chair with white distilled vinegar. I think I just used straight vinegar. The cat then sprayed my micro fiber sofa. I pulled the covers of the cushions and washed them with vinegar and borox in the washing machine and I don't smell anything on them. I sprayed the foam of the cushions with 50/50 mix vinegar and water covered with plastic and keeping my fingers crossed. So far the vingar has worked beautifully for me. Also once it dries the oder goes away (well in this case both odors). Good Luck.

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Anonymous Flag
May 29, 20160 found this helpful

Oxyclean powder in the laundry aisle!!!

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August 17, 20160 found this helpful

August 30, 2013 Flag
0 found this helpful

My boyfriend and I were cat-sitting for his mom for a couple of weeks, and during that time, one of the cats decided to use our fairly new couch (less than a year old) as his litterbox. The cats are gone, but the couch still reeks of cat urine. We have an enzyme cleaner and I've sprayed it about 5 times over the cushion where the damage was done (took the cushion out of the cover and sprayed them separately), but I can still smell it. I'm to the point where I just want to pour the bottle onto the cushion and get it soaking wet, but I don't know if that's how it should be used. I just want my apartment to stop smelling like cat pee. Is there a better way to get the entire cushion and cover clean?

By Andrea B

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September 1, 20130 found this helpful

Try spraying it with a solution of half white vinegar and half water. Sponge it off and let it dry thoroughly - outdoors if possible. If this doesn't work, I would suggest calling a professional furniture cleaner. Good Luck!

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September 4, 20130 found this helpful

Try Totally Pet from Walmart. It works wonders. Also if the area is only on a cushion and it's removeable I would take it to an professional upholsterer and have it replaced if the odor persists. You should have a zipper to remove the cushion, then wash the cushion and use fabric softener and fabreeze on it. Good luck.

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December 5, 2009 Flag
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How do I clean cat urine from a microfiber sofa?

By Diane from Litchfield Park, AZ

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December 6, 20090 found this helpful

Try vinegar water. It kills bacteria naturally and gets rid of smell. It might take a couple of times but it should work.

Hope this helps.

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December 8, 20090 found this helpful

I'd try vinegar and blotting.

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Anonymous Flag
November 16, 20150 found this helpful

Vinegar is the only thing that helped me. I spent tons of $$$ On the advertised stuff.

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September 2, 20160 found this helpful

November 9, 2013 Flag
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I just bought couches from a lady, without realizing how bad the smell really was. I feel like the cat urine has sat on the couch for a very long time and I am having trouble cleaning it. So far I have steam cleaned the couches with cleaner and water, then I sprayed Nature's Miracle on them the next day and I still smell it! Do I need to soak the couches in order for it to work?
Please help! I need a better solution for this nasty problem!


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November 18, 20130 found this helpful

Nature's Miricle works by letting the bacterial spores turn into the bacteria that eat the urine. You need to allow time for the bacteria to replicate. They will keep on replicating as long as they have a food supply, ie, the urine. They turn the urine into carbon dioxide and water.

This completely removes the urine and the odor. You also need to soak the couch parts enough to keep them wet enough for the bacteria to travel and to stay alive. I completely cleaned a mattress of cat urine by soaking the top of the mattress, applying the bacterial product, and then covering it with plastic bags for at least three days.

Ridex, the liquid or powder, is a less expensive product to use. It contains the same bacterial spores. They eat organic matter whether it is in a septic system or on a couch.

You can use a black light to see which parts of the couch have urine. You need to use it in the dark. The urine spots will look white.

Best wishes. Don't give up. I know this method works. Jean

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May 21, 2013 Flag
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I can not sit on this couch without smelling the horrible stench of cat urine. I don't think anyone has ever tried to clean it before. It is leather or faux leather, and brand new. And anything that touches it ends up smelling bad too. It is so disgusting. Please tell me we didn't waste $1200 on furniture.

By Madeline

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June 19, 20130 found this helpful

I use a cleaning product called Unique Natural Products Pet Odor and Stain Eliminator. It's a bacterial cleaner that breaks down the urine. You need to soak everything that smells bad in the stuff, and let it sit overnight, at least. Then you can use a hand held carpet cleaner or shop vac to suck up some of the moisture. Putting the couch/cushions outside in bright sunlight at this point would help too.

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