Cat Has an Accident in the HouseCats are generally easy to take care of, mess-wise, because they use a litter box. However, occasionally cats will have an accident outside of their litter box. When this happens on the tile, it’s not terribly hard to clean up. However, if your cat has an accident in the carpet, it can be a pain to try to remove the stain, let alone the smell. Here are the right steps to take to remove pet stains from your carpets.

Remove the Stain

Often cat urine stains will leave behind a dark stain in the cats. The stain will set in, so it’s important to act fast to treat the stain. First, blot at the urine with paper towels, replacing the towel when it’s soaked through so that you don’t spread urine further. Make sure that you don’t rub the mess, as that will push the urine deeper into the carpet. If the stain has already dried, pour some cold water on it and blot it. Whatever you do, don’t use a cleaner with ammonia in it. This is because cat urine contains ammonia, so your cat will smell it and keep using the same spot.

Handle the Odor

Once you’ve taken care of the visual stain, it’s time to move onto the smell. The longer it sits, the worse the odor becomes, so make sure to clean it quickly. Sprinkle the area with baking soda and let it sit. Then, vacuum the baking soda up. Avoid using products that just cover up the smell. Once they fade, the odor will be even worse because it will have had time to sit. Also avoid using a steam cleaner, because the steam will actually lock in the smell. If you do need professional help, turn to a cleaner with a cleaning formula specifically designed for pet urine removal, such as Old Dominion Chem-Dry.

If the smell won’t go away after cleaning, you probably have deeper damage. This happens when the urine crystals sink through the carpet and settle into the sub-floor and padding. A surface-level cleaning won’t be able to remove these, so you’ll need a deeper cleaning. An expert like those at Old Dominion Chem-Dry can examine the damage and determine the appropriate response.

Prevent It from Happening Again

It’s important to prevent repeat behavior. Once the stain in the carpet has been cleaned, how can you ensure that the same thing won’t happen again? There are a few steps you can take to make a repeat accident less likely. If you suspect that your cat is marking their territory, you need to make sure that your cat feels secure in its environment. If there has been a large change in your home, such as a new baby or a new pet, be sure to spend time with your cat to help them feel safe and comforted in a new situation. If there are new smells in your home, such as new furniture or carpet, your cat might be compelled to mark it their territory. Place an item that already smells like your cat, such as a blanket they lay on frequently, on the new furniture. 

Another reason that your cat might have an accident is something is wrong with the litter box. Make sure that you are cleaning the litter box regularly, preferably once a day, and changing the litter regularly as well. Make sure that the path to the litter box is always open. Never shut your cat in a room without a litter box or close the door between your cat and the litter box. Make sure to stress this to your children as well, as they might not think to check a room for the cat before closing a door.

Address Medical Conditions

If you have taken steps to prevent urinating outside of the box and it still keeps happening, there may be an underlying medical problem. If you suspect that this is the case, consult your veterinarian. The accidents may be the result of digestive disorders or joint issues that make it hard to climb in the litter box. Only your vet will be able to help diagnose these issues and fix the problem. 


It can be a pain to deal with cat urine accidents. However, if you act quickly you can remove the stain and odor and get back to enjoying your clean home!