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How to Get Cat Pee Smell Out of a Mattress (Quick & Easy)

Cats are renowned for their good litter box habits. However, sick or senior cats can have the occasional accident. Cat urine has an extremely potent odor that can be difficult to eliminate. And you must deal with this problem immediately to prevent the cat from peeing on that spot again. This is because if the cat can still smell the scent of its urine on the mattress, they will deduce that peeing on that spot is alright with you.

If you have tried numerous solutions to no avail, consider using the tips offered in this article.


Before You Start

If the cat just wet the bed and the mattress is still wet, use paper towels to blot the urine. Try to blot as much urine as you can. Next, rinse the spot with plain water before using one of the cleaning products below.

pee in bed
Image Credit: cunaplus, Shutterstock

If the urine has already dried up, you will still have to rinse the spot with water before applying the cleaning product.

Our research revealed that the following household products are the most effective at eliminating cat pee smell. However, they vary in effectiveness and safety. These include:

  • Baking Soda
  • Enzyme-based detergents
  • Vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Borax

Start with baking soda since it is the least hazardous, and work your way up depending on whether the product works or not. For example, if the baking soda works, you will not have to use the enzyme-based detergent.

1. Using Baking Soda

baking soda in a glass bowl
Image Credit: NatureFriend, Pixabay

While baking soda might not be as powerful or effective as borax, we recommend using it first since it is non-toxic, in addition to being the most cost-effective option on this list. Additionally, baking soda is renowned for its odor-eating properties, which is why it is commonly used to remove smells from closets and refrigerators. Implement these steps:

  • Make a baking soda paste
  • Dampen the smelly spot with water
  • Use a cloth or brush to rub baking soda paste all over the spot
  • Allow the spot to air dry

Once the spot is completely dry, use a brush or vacuum to remove the baking soda residue. Hopefully, it should have worked. If not, proceed to step two.

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2. An Enzyme-Based Detergent

dry cleaning of an old white mattress
Image Credit: Olga Aniven, Shutterstock

Enzyme-based detergents are exceptional at odor removal, thanks to their enzymes, which “eat” organic material such as cat urine. Proceed as follows:

Once the mattress has dried completely, smell the area carefully for lingering odors. If there is still some smell, repeat the process. If the odor still lingers after a second enzyme-based detergent treatment, proceed to the next step.

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3. Using Vinegar

Image Credit: NatureFriend, Pixabay

While vinegar is neither toxic nor dangerous, some people do not like its smell. If you can tolerate it, consider using it for your problem, as it is remarkably effective at eliminating odors. The good news is that vinegar’s scent dissipates over time. Follow these steps:

  • Pour undiluted white vinegar into a spray bottle
  • Spray a healthy amount on the stained area
  • Allow it to air dry

There is a good chance that this will work. If not, move on to step four.

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4. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide
Image Credit: Matt Crowley, Flickr

Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent cleaner and deodorizer. However, it is also toxic and dangerous. Therefore, you have to take precautionary measures when using this substance. For starters, you should have a mask and gloves on. This is because hydrogen peroxide’s fumes are also toxic.

You can use it either in pure form or in diluted form. Pour whichever form you choose on the stained area, and then allow the mattress to air dry.

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5. Using Borax

borax and washing soda
Image Credit: Pixabay

Borax is a powerful chemical that is a staple ingredient in cleaning products and pesticides, thanks to its antibacterial properties. However, it is also incredibly toxic, regardless of whether it is ingested or inhaled. We suggest only using borax as a last resort due to how dangerous this chemical is. Again, remember to wear a mask and gloves.

To remove urine smell, do the following:
  • Dampen the trouble spot with water
  • Sprinkle some borax over the spot
  • Use a cloth or brush to rub in the borax until it forms a thin paste
  • Allow the mattress to air dry

Once the mattress is fully dry, brush off the powder residue.

cat paw divider


There is a good chance that baking soda will work. If it does not, experiment with the other solutions until you find one that works for you. You will also need to address your cat’s urinating issue. Start with taking the cat to the vet for a thorough evaluation to rule out potential health issues. Additionally, make sure that their litter box is always clean, as cats do not use dirty or smelly litter boxes.

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Featured Image Credit: cunaplus, Shutterstock