Cat Pee Smell on a Couch

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

August 6, 20100 found this helpful

It sounds like you may have tried this already, but when my cat was a wee kitten, he had a little pee accident on the couch. I immediately soaked up what I could, soaked the area with an enzymatic cleaner, and tried to pull up as much moisture as I could with the carpet cleaner. I did this a couple times.

My cats seemed kind of interested while it was drying, so I sprayed the area with the enzymatic cleaner again after it dried. I haven't had any problems since then.

So, if you haven't tried it yet, pick up some enzymatic cleaner (I got mine at Petsmart, but I think I've heard that they have it at Wal-Mart and Target, too). Did you get to the accident while it was fresh? I really saturated the area, to get at all of the urine residue. It might take a few tries to get good results.

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August 10, 20100 found this helpful

Search on ThriftyFun for the "pee recipe". I published it. You are going to have to soak the couch cushion and wherever the pee went. Important, first check for colorfastness on a hidden area of the couch.

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October 6, 20160 found this helpful

I searched 'pee recipe' on thriftyfun and there are heaps of results. Can you post the link in your reply? Thanks

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August 10, 20100 found this helpful

Don't think it is going to work. Best plan on replacing her couch.

Cats have hormone sprays which they do in indication of what is going on. Fear, Dominance, Anger, etc all have different scents. Not meant to come off easily, if ever.

Not getting it clean means her house will stink, her dogs will continuously be upset by the cat smell as well. With a cat visiting someone's house over a length of time, at a person with dogs, the guest protocol would to leave your cat in the carry kennel (I am presuming you were a good guest and had one). The dominate animals in the host house are the dogs. It was not up to the host to hide or detain them from their normal living pattern.

Does not matter if you bring dog/cat/children into another's home as guests, it is your responsibility to maintain full control 100%, to pay for damages 100% without question. Your homeowners insurance should cover it, Not the hosts. It should replace the item destroyed by the cat pee.

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August 10, 20100 found this helpful

Using chemical after chemical on the main furniture piece of the house is not good or healthy for those living there.

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August 10, 20101 found this helpful

I actually don't have a suggestion, but there are MANY suggestions on this site in the archives. I am sure that something will work. I do not think that you will have to spend $1000 on a new couch over one cat accident. I refuse to believe that there is not something that will work. One thing that you might do is phone the SPCA or other animal shelter or a vet's office and ask them what they use to remove urine odor. I am assuming that the cat urine soaked into the foam, and you have to get you enzymatic cleaner down into that to do any good. Good luck!

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September 10, 20102 found this helpful

There is a product called Zero Odor (you can order it online) that works, really works! Check it out.

Our dog got skunked in the face, and you know how difficult it is to get that smell out, even after bathing him with "skunk formula" items. I rubbed a little bit of Zero Odor on my hands and rubbed it on his fur and I'm not kidding, the smell was completely gone. I've used it on really-really bad pet urine stains, instead of spraying it, I poured some into the stain directly from the bottle and let it sit awhile before blotting it up, and it worked better than anything else I've ever tried, including professional carpet cleaning products.

Try Zero Odor before you buy a new couch.

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November 28, 20102 found this helpful

There's a terrific product that only costs a dollar. You can buy it at Dollar Tree and at Family Dollar stores. It's called "LA's Totally Awesome." I've tried expensive stuff that doesn't work, and this cheap stuff actually does!

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December 10, 20100 found this helpful

Several posts talk about extracting the water used for the clean up, can anyone recommend a wet/dry vacuum for this problem?


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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, 20162 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, 20161 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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Anonymous Flag
October 27, 20160 found this helpful

One of my cats pissed on my feather pillows. Clean with what?

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August 5, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

Help! I've been given a beige velour sofa by my nephew and he has two cats at home. The sofa is lovely, if a bit dusty, but it stinks of cats! I can't take it outside because it's too heavy for me. It needs a good cleaning, but what do I clean it with so it's not niffy and spruced up a bit?

Cettina from Malta Europe


Cat Pee Smell on a Couch

In the US we have a product called Febreze. It works on most odors. If you can't get that vacuum the dust away and sprinkle baking soda under the cushions and allow to set for a few days. You might even want to put the soda on top of the cushions if you aren't going to be using it for a while. be sure to vac it off before you sit on it. (08/03/2007)

By MartyD

Cat Pee Smell on a Couch

Can you rent a carpet cleaning machine? It would help with the surface urine, but you would need to take the stuffing out of the cushions and wash them to get at the urine that went deeper. (08/03/2007)

By kimhis

Cat Pee Smell on a Couch

I have 7 cats, 2 dogs and work for a rescue group. We use XO which is available on This is the best odor remover we have ever used and there is nothing in it that can harm animals or humans. We use the combination odor remover cleaner, and at home I pour the dilution into my Floormate clean water tank, do my floors, spray it into my plastic litter boxes and removed a diarrhea accident from my light cream sofa with it. The odor is gone within a short time and doesn't return. (08/17/2007)

By Kathie Bass

Cat Pee Smell on a Couch

My cats are in heat and I think they both peed on my couch because it smells terrible. I got the smell out by taking the couch covers off and washing them. Also I got the armrests and headrest cleaned by spraying water, Shout, and this spectacular spray called Awesome (you can buy it at the dollar store), and I scrubbed it in with a sponge and left it on for about 30 minutes. Keep the windows open to let the couch air-out. It really works! (03/02/2008)

By Fifi

Cat Pee Smell on a Couch

Just went to war with a similar problem. After reading a number of suggestions, and after using Urine Off for quite awhile (very expensive option), I went a bought a Bissel Little Green Machine. I also bought the new Woolight Oxygen Pet Stain and Odor cleaner and a bottle of Bissel Pet cleaner. All in all, I think it has worked.

The Woolite product was terrific, but I won't know if it works alone for awhile because I cleaned the couch cushions after using it. I liked the machine because it also allowed me to suck up the excess after letting it sit for the prescribed time. The Woolite product also didn't leave any discernible smell. I also bought a huge bottle of Nature's Miracle to use in place of Urine Off at a substantially cheaper price.

After spending the weekend getting whiffs of cat pee, I can't smell anything, but a nice clean smell. I think after pussy footing around for too long, I have to advise all out war on the problem is the best approach. (03/16/2008)

By Owner of Sadie and Max

Cat Pee Smell on a Couch

OK. I may have just gone crazy. Our beloved cat did the unthinkable, peed on our sofa. Unfortunately this is not the first time. Several years ago he had a UTI and did it several times over the course of a week. I machine washed the cushion covers. I have done this may times after spills from kids and whatnot. However, the inside foam cushion stuff is always a problem. I have used numerous sprays and stuff and some do a decent job, except me, knowing what is there still always think I can still smell something. And I know a spray is not really getting out the soaked in pee.

This time I decided to wash the inside foam part in the bathtub with laundry detergent and bleach. Surprise of all surprises it did not ruin the cushions. They look and smell great! I just filled the tub with hot water, added the detergent and bleach and squished away for a good long time. The water afterwards looked disgusting.

I drained the water and squished as much from the cushion as I could. Took them out to the deck where I stepped on them over and over. Flipped and did it again. Then I put them one at a time in the dryer. My backup plan was to go to an upholstery shop and purchase new foam inserts. Turns out, I didn't have too! (04/28/2008)

By Susan

Cat Pee Smell on a Couch

I can't believe that I finally got a handle on the cat urine problem on my sofa. (Thank goodness that it's in a secondary room in my house!) Anyway, here's what worked just as I was ready to go furniture shopping.

I mixed baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and antibacterial Listerine (mint). Next, I used a bristled brush to really rub the mixture into the sofa. I let it dry overnight and vacuumed the next day. Granted, the sofa is off-white, so the paste did not stain. Finally, I sprayed Febreze on the area just for good measure. It passed my sensitive nose test. Good luck! It is not fun to deal with. (06/19/2008)

By Beccah

Cat Pee Smell on a Couch

I have a rec room, I needed a sofa for it so I was in thrift store and there was a decent enough looking sofa, $42. That's right. $42! I'll take it.

I get it home and guess what? sigh. I used Spot Shot stain and odor remover that seems to have helped the base. Not completely, but it is better. I stripped off the cushion covers and threw them in the washer (cotton denim fabric) with lots of detergent and Nature's Miracle and put them outside to dry, they seem OK.

But the foam cushion? I did what someone else here did, I stripped off the old batting, that's easy enough to replace and put the cushion in the bathtub with detergent and bleach. Squished it all around and have them standing up on end to drain the water out. Again it seems to have worked.

There may be hope for my $42 find after all. (01/14/2009)


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August 1, 2007 Flag
0 found this helpful

I just moved into a new apartment, and my new roommate unfortunately bought a new couch about 3 months before we moved in together. Her old roommate had a cat that pee'd on it a few times, she thought she cleaned it. However ,we all know that cat urine smells do not come out. Unfortunately, the smells are unbearable in our new home, it is so horrible we don't even want to have company over. We have tried deep cleaning them with a machine, spraying unknown amounts of Febreeze on them, nothing seems to work. A day later, the smell is back.

Can someone please give me some advice on how to get rid of this smell since throwing out the couches isn't exactly an option she is willing to make, as she is still paying for them. And she did purchase the 'Scotchguard' warranty, I don't suggest it to people who are looking for pet protection, as they only cover VISIBLE stains not odors. Thanking you in advance.

Rebecca from Connecticut


Cat Pee Smell on a Couch

Try Nature's Miracle pet spray that is available from pet stores or Petsmart. It contains enzymes that break the urine down and is used to get rid of pee spots so your animals don't pee on the same spot again. Safe for fabrics, carpets and floors. (06/03/2007)

By jazzbird719

Cat Pee Smell on a Couch

Yes, Natures Miracle is the thing. If it is really bad the Vet told me to soak the area with Natures Miracle and put a plastic bag or invert a pan or bowl over the spot to let it soak for overnight then next morning blot up with paper towels and let dry. If it is on the cushion just do this out doors putting the cushion in a plastic bag and remove bag in the AM and air dry. (06/04/2007)

By Rasta

Cat Pee Smell on a Couch

It happened to me, and ultimately I took the covers off the cushions, used scissors to cut the piddle out of the cushions and then used a piece of foam that I bought, tore it in 1" pieces, and refilled the hole, then put the covers back on. I had treated the covers with Natures' Miracle but scissors were needed for the contents inside the cushions. No more cats here! (06/04/2007)

By Kim Ch

Cat Pee Smell on a Couch

I heard the soaking/saturating it with straight vinegar will work, and the vinegar smell will go away over a few weeks. I don't know if it's true or not, but it would be cheap to try. (06/05/2007)

By susanmajp

Cat Pee Smell on a Couch

Have successfully used ODO_BAN full strength from Sams.

Vinegar and peroxide will work also, but do not use peroxide on wool or silk.

After treating, place 'sachets' of scrap cloth filled with baking soda or fresh coffee grounds (as before making coffee) between cushions to absorb any odors that may become evident after initial treatment. (06/05/2007)


Cat Pee Smell on a Couch

Pour straight white vinegar on the spots. let it soak in good to get down to where the old urine smells are. then suck it out with a steam cleaner or blot with towels. the vinegar neutralizes the urine. Let air dry. The smell of vinegar will go away. It's better than urine smell. (06/05/2007)

By Elaine

Cat Pee Smell on a Couch

You will likely have a problem with this.
I am in animal rescue and this is an age old problem.
What happens is the urine soaks into the padding or stuffing of a couch and most of the recommended odor removers are only a mask and does nothing to eliminate the odor source.
One thing that does work, is fairly new on the market called WOOLITE Pet Stain and Odor Remover. It is for carpets and upholstery cleaner. Spray it on ( reallly soak the area) let it sit for 2-3 minutes an soak up with paper towel if possible or just let it air dry.
If this doesn't work consider tossing the couch.
We buy several bottles at a time and use it whenever there is an accident or just a ticked off cat marking their territory.
Good luck and let us know if you have other questions.
We get it at Meijers for $3.59 a 22 Oz. spray bottle. (06/06/2007)

By Jimmy2N

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May 31, 2007 Flag
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Removing Cat Urine Odor from a Couch
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