How to Remove Cat Urine With Vinegar

Updated November 21, 2016

The odour of cat urine has a well-deserved reputation as a formidable opponent. Cats tend to keep returning to the same locations, repeatedly anointing their favourite places on the rugs or furniture with their scent. Once the urine has soaked into carpeting or upholstery, the bacteria keeps growing, causing that pungent ammonia smell that lingers. While many commercial products remove cat urine odour, white vinegar costs less and can be more effective.

Use a black light to find all the spots where your cat has urinated. Most pet supply stores sell black lights.

Make a solution of 50 per cent water and 50 per cent white vinegar. The vinegar's acidity will neutralise the ammonia in the urine.

Use the solution to saturate all the areas where your cat urinated. Let them air dry.

When the areas are completely dry, cover them with a thick coating of baking soda.

Add a drop of dishwashing liquid to 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide will kill the bacteria that causes the ammonia smell.

Pour the peroxide solution on the baking soda, work it into a paste and let it air dry.

When the baking soda turns to powder, vacuum it up.

Spray the areas with Feliway (see Resources) or sprinkle catnip on them. Feliway discourages urine marking by mimicking the "friendly" pheromone in a cat's cheeks. Catnip is also a friendly scent.

Add 1/4 cup white vinegar to your washing machine with your laundry soap to remove cat urine from clothing, stuffed toys and bedding. Washing powder with a strong, lingering scent should discourage the cat from urinating on the toys or bedding again. Spraying beds with Feliway, or sprinkling catnip on them, will also discourage the cat from urinating on the beds.

To remove cat urine from sneakers, add 1 tbsp washing powder to one cup of white vinegar. Wash by machine in hot water. Put the wet sneakers in a sunny spot to dry.

Make a solution of one part water to one part white vinegar to remove cat urine from leather shoes. Dip a cloth into the solution and dab it on the shoes.

Wipe down the area with white vinegar.

Rinse with warm water.

Blot the area dry and apply an odour- and stain-removing enzyme cleaner.


If urinating outside the litter box is new behaviour for your cat, consult your veterinarian. A health problem could be causing the cat's litter box issues. Keep your cat's box clean and put it in a place that's easily accessible for the cat. Make sure you have enough boxes, too. You need one box per cat, plus one extra.

Things You'll Need

  • Black light
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Feliway or catnip
  • Washing powder
  • Odour- and stain-removing enzyme cleaner
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