If your cat has occasional accidents on your bedding, you already know that the smell of cat pee is extremely hard to get out, particularly once it’s dry. If you have tried and failed to get cat pee out of your comforter, we’re here to help! You can remove cat urine odor from virtually any washable fabric. While we’ll show you how to get it out, it’s also important to deal with any health or behavioral issues that are causing your cat to pee on your bed in the first place.
If you have cat urine on your comforter, don’t throw it straight in the washing machine. Urine has a way of spreading odors. If you add the comforter to your laundry, you’re likely to find that the cat pee smell has now penetrated the rest of the load. When you do put your comforter in the washing machine, put it in by itself. But it’s best to pre-treat the stain (and smell) for the best results.
Note: You can choose to use a commercial urine odor removal product during the pre-treatment stage. Make sure any product that you use is safe for fabric, as some are designed for floors only.
Two-Stage Washing Process
For the best results at removing cat pee odor, use a two-stage cleaning process to remove it. The first stage of this process is the vinegar wash.
- Mix white vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio. Coat the urine stain thoroughly with the mixture, and allow it to sit for a few minutes.
- Sprinkle the area with baking soda. While this step is optional, the baking soda aids the vinegar in absorbing odors.
- Wash the comforter in your washing machine with cold water. Do not use hot or warm water, as this can set both the stain and the smell. Do not use any laundry detergent for this step.
- Air-dry the comforter. If you have to dry it indoors, this can take 24 hours. If you have the ability to do so and the weather is conducive, drying your comforter outdoors will be faster and make it easier to remove the smell. Do not use a clothes dryer, as the heat will set in any remaining smell.
The second stage of the washing process should be completed after your comforter is completely dry from the vinegar wash. This step is a more traditional washing process, as the majority of the cat pee smell should already be removed.
- Wash your comforter in cool water, using an enzyme-based detergent for removing organic stains. Unlike traditional laundry detergent, enzyme detergent contains enzymes that essentially “eat” the bacteria causing odors. Many cold-water detergents contain enzymes but read the label to be sure.
- Air-dry your comforter again. The reason for this is that you are going to “sniff-test” your comforter once it’s dry. If there is any remaining cat pee odor, you will restart the pre-treat and wash process. You can do it as many times as needed to get the smell out, but only if you do not put it in the clothes dryer. Once you’ve used heat to dry your comforter, getting the smell out is much more difficult.
If cat urine was fully dried on your comforter, it’s possible that you will have to repeat the process two to three times to fully remove the smell.
Are you still smelling cat pee?
If your comforter has come out smelling fresh, but you can still detect the smell of cat pee in the room, it’s time to do a bit of detective work. It’s quite possible that if your cat marked your comforter, they also marked other areas on the floor, furniture, or even walls.
Arming yourself with a blacklight is the simplest way to hunt down urine stains. They will glow under the blacklight. Then, you can use chalk or a sticky note to mark the problem areas. Once these are identified, use a urine odor-removal product to thoroughly clean the area so you can once more enjoy a fresh-smelling home.
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Give your cat a health check
To avoid more accidents in the future, it’s important to address the problem. Health and behavioral issues can cause your cat to pee outside the litter box.
Address any possible health issues first by taking your cat to the vet. Once you’ve ruled out a physical cause of your cat’s litter box avoidance, you can address behavioral issues. Separation anxiety in cats is a common reason for marking outside the litter box. Cats with this condition will often mark bedding or personal items to relieve their anxiety. There are many things you can do to fix the problem and avoid more accidents.
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