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How to Get Cat Urine Smell and Stains out of a Mattress: 3 Practical Options

grey cat peed in bed

Few things are more unpleasant than the awful scent of urine. As soon as the odor hits your nose, your gag reflexes instantly activate. Even worse than human urine is pet urine, particularly cat urine, as it tends to be more concentrated and contains different chemicals that evidently smell much worse. When unwanted cat urine ends up on your mattress, it is essential to remove it right away lest the odor and stain end up staying any longer than necessary.

Fortunately, removing your cat’s potty accident from your mattress is a rather simple process involving easy-to-get household supplies—some of which you may already have. Read on for three step-by-step breakdowns of how to clean cat urine and remove the ungodly stench and unsightly stains from your mattress ASAP.

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First Things First: Removing the Cat Urine

Obviously, to get rid of the smell and stains resulting from cat urine, you first need to get rid of the urine itself. The sooner you take care of this important first step, the better. Not that you would drag your feet with this step, as the pungent smell of cat pee is enough to send you tail spinning into an immediate cleaning frenzy.

It should be noted that cat urine is more concentrated than human urine and contains different chemical and elements—for example, ammonia. As such, while still simple and straightforward, the process of removing cat urine does require a few items specifically meant to counteract this stubborn component.

What You Will Need

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Enzyme cleaner
  • A vacuum
  • Essential oil (optional)

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How to Get Cat Urine Out of Your Mattress (5 Steps)

1. Apply baking soda directly to the urine stain.

Because baking soda absorbs moisture, applying some directly to the urine stain will soak up the urine from the mattress, darkening in color as it does.

woman hand pouring baking soda on long hair fur carpet for cleaning and stain removal
Image Credit: FotoHelin, Shutterstock

2. Vacuum the baking soda.

Once the baking soda has absorbed as much of the urine as possible, clean up the soiled baking soda with a vacuum. Repeat steps 1 and 2 as many times as needed until the freshly applied baking soda remains white, indicating that as much of the urine has been absorbed from the mattress.

3. Clean the mattress using a vinegar solution.

Make a vinegar solution consisting of two parts cold water, one part white vinegar, and a couple tablespoons of laundry detergent. Using a spray bottle, apply the solution to the soiled area of the mattress. Don’t be shy — spray liberally and really let the solution soak into the stain. Let the solution sit for at least 10-15 minutes. After that, blot (do not scrub) the area with a clean cloth to soak up the excess solution. Repeat as many times as you feel is necessary.

blotting mattress
Image Credit: mdbildes, Shutterstock

4. Clean the mattress again with enzyme cleaner.

As we mentioned earlier, cat urine is more concentrated than human urine and contains different elements like ammonia. Thus, the odor is much stronger and more stubborn to remove. That’s why we recommend repeating the cleaning process (step 3) on your mattress with an enzyme cleaner to help break down and remove the stubborn odor. Enzyme cleaners that are non-toxic and specifically made for removing pet stains are available at most pet stores and online.


Are you looking for an enzyme cleaner that can keep your house clean and your pet happy? We recommend the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray, which permanently gets rid of the most stubborn stains and smells. There’s even a 100% satisfaction guarantee so you can try this cleaner risk-free! Click here to order your first bottle.

At House Grail, we’ve admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding products of this cool cat company!

5. Use pet repellant to prevent repeat accidents.

Because cats sometimes tend to return to the scene of the accident to pee again where they’ve peed before, using a pet-friendly repellant to spray the area can help prevent future accidents. Luckily, all you need for an easy DIY pet repellant is 1.5 cups of cold water, 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, and 10-15 drops of any citrus-infused essential oil. Spray the solution liberally around the previously soiled area to deter your cat from ever soiling the same area again.

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Next: Removing the Smell of Cat Urine

Anybody who has ever had a potty-related accident in bed before — whether it was your own, your child’s, or your pet’s — knows how long after the accident that nasty urine odor can linger. Even when you act quickly to clean the mess, the smell of pee can long overstay its welcome. As such, it is important to not only clean the urine but to also neutralize the smell as soon and as effectively as possible.

What You Will Need

  • Baking soda
  • A vacuum

How to Get the Cat Urine Smell Out of Your Mattress (3 Steps)

person vacuuming mattress
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

1. Sprinkle the urine with baking soda.

Sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda across your mattress, concentrating more around the soiled area. Due to its basic pH, baking soda works wonders to neutralize the smell of urine rather than simply covering it up.

2. Let the baking soda sit.

To be fully effective, the baking soda will need to sit for 5-10 hours total. If necessary, leave the baking soda overnight and check on it the next morning.

3. Vacuum the mattress.

After waiting the 5–10-hour period, use a vacuum (preferably a hand-held one) to clean up all the baking soda from your mattress. Along with the baking soda will go the urine odor. If the odor still lingers, repeat steps 1-3 as many times as needed until you no longer smell the urine.

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Finally: Removing the Cat Urine Stains

After cleaning the urine and neutralizing the scent, there is often still an unsightly stain left on your mattress reminding you of the mishap. Fortunately, urine stains — both fresh stains as well as older dried-up stains — can be easily removed using common household products. With the following steps, and a little elbow grease, you can get your mattress looking close to its pre-potty accident appearance.

What You Will Need

  • White vinegar
  • Laundry detergent
  • Cold water
  • Plastic wrap
  • A clean dry towel

How to Get Cat Urine Stains Out of Your Mattress (5 Steps)

1. Soak the stain with vinegar solution.

Using the same vinegar solution as mentioned above (two parts cold water, one part vinegar, and a couple tablespoons of laundry detergent), soak the stained part of the mattress — making sure the mattress is soaked thoroughly enough to cover the entire depth of the stain.

vinegar and cleaning supplies on the table
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

2. Use plastic wrap to cover the soaked area as the solution sits.

Leaving the solution-soaked area alone to do its thing for 24-48 hours, cover the area completely with plastic wrap. Doing so prevents the solution from evaporating and makes sure it works most effectively on the stain.

3. Let the mattress air dry.

After letting the mattress soak with the vinegar solution for 24-48 hours, remove the plastic wrap and allow the mattress to fully air dry. Let it dry overnight to make sure it dries completely.

air drying mattress under the sun
Image Credit: Dhe Tong, Shutterstock

4. Repeat the process as necessary.

If you can still see the stain after the mattress has dried, repeat steps 1-3 of this process as many times as needed until the stain is no longer visible. Keep in mind — the deeper and older the stain, the more treatments it may require before disappearing completely.

5. Spot clean the mattress with water.

Once you can no longer see the stain, use cold water to spot clean the mattress and remove any dried residue of the vinegar solution. Use a clean dry towel to blot dry the mattress afterwards.

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Along with the joys of owning a cat sometimes comes the not-so-fun aspects as well. From potty-training kittens, to scooping smelly cat litter, to all your clothes being covered in fur, to the occasional accidents on your furniture — it all comes with the territory of being a cat mama/cat daddy.

While getting cat urine smell and stains out of your mattress is never enjoyable, the good news is it doesn’t have to be over-complicated, difficult, or expensive. With the right household items, time, and patience, following the above-outlined steps should get the job done every time.

At the end of the day, accidents happen. If you want to be extra safe against future incidents, a preventative measure like investing in a quality waterproof mattress protector is a smart choice. Otherwise, keep this article handy for whenever the next potty-related mishap occurs.

Featured Image Credit: Creative Cat Studio, Shutterstock


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