How to Remove Cat Pee From a Mattress

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A behavorial or health problem may cause a cat to pee on bedding
A behavorial or health problem may cause a cat to pee on bedding (Image: FedericaTana/iStock/Getty Images)

After a long day, the last thing you want to do is lie down on a mattress that smells of cat urine. Composed of chemicals such as urea, creatinine, pheromones and sodium, cat pee smells heavily of ammonia and is hard to eliminate from fabric. This combination makes feline urine more pungent than other types of pee. You may be able to remove the odor from either an innerspring or a foam mattress using household products, but if the smell lingers, try an enzymatic cleaner, which breaks down the proteins in uric acid.

Things You'll Need

  • Absorbent towels
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Bucket
  • Spray bottle (for foam mattresses)
  • Wet/dry vacuum (optional)
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Mild dish-washing soap
  • Small brush (optional)
  • Enzymatic cleaner

Thoroughly soak up all of the cat urine from the mattress as soon as you discover it. Place an absorbent towel on the stain and firmly press down to blot up all of the liquid. Repeat the process using as many clean towels as you need until the last one remains dry when you press it down on the mattress.

Mix a solution of half distilled white vinegar and half warm water in a bucket. Pour a small amount of the mixture directly onto the urine stain on an innerspring mattress. Put the mixture into a spray bottle and spray it on the stain on a foam mattress -- using a spray bottle will allow you to control the amount of liquid you use. A solid foam, or laminated foam mattress has a much thicker amount of material to absorb liquid than does an innerspring mattress which typically has 1 to 3 inches of foam over the spring. Blot up the liquid in the same way as you did the urine, using absorbent towels until the last one is dry. Using a wet/dry vacuum to thoroughly remove the liquid is highly recommended.

Sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda over the dry stain. Combine a 1/4-cup of hydrogen peroxide with a few drops of a mild dish-washing soap and then spread it over the baking soda with a finger or small brush to create a paste. Allow the paste to rest for 15 minutes or longer, depending on how large the stain is, and blot it up with a towel to remove excess moisture. Allow the area to air-dry and then vacuum up the baking soda with a vacuum.

Clean the urine stain with an enzymatic cleaner if the odor lingers. Pour the cleaner directly onto and around the stain on an innerspring mattress slowly, so that it has time to thoroughly sink into the mattress. Use the spray bottle to apply the cleaner to a foam mattress. Allow the cleaner to rest for 15 minutes as it penetrates the material, and then blot it up with absorbent towels. Place clean towels over the mattress, changing them daily, as the enzymatic cleaner slowly air dries on its own.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have pets, protecting your mattress with a bug and leak-resistant cover will extend the life of your bed, keep pet-borne pests out of the fabric and foam covering your mattress and will make cleanup easier should a mess occur.

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