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Cat Pee On Your Fabric Couch? (What Now?)

If you have noticed cat pee on your fabric couch, chances are, you are unhappy with this and looking for reasons why and what you can do about it…

Why did my cat pee on the fabric couch?

There are several reasons why your cat might pee on your fabric couch. The most common reason is the smell. I don’t mean ‘now’, but the brand-new smell when you brought it home.

While this is a nice scent to you, for your cat the living room suddenly has a new smell to it and it’s not their own! By spraying the couch, your cat is transferring their scent to it, and this makes them more comfortable.

Aside from territorial marking behaviors, your cat might also do this if the litter box is untidy and it can also be a sign of stress or even an underlying health issue. If the couch isn’t new and this behavior from your cat IS, then bring them in for a veterinary checkup to rule out any health problems first.

How can I clean the cat pee off the fabric couch?

Yellow couch backed against a white textured wall.

A yellow couch backed against a white textured wall.

If your cat pees on the couch, the first step is to blot the area to soak up as much of the urine as you can, and after that, if the foam inside the pillows is accessible with a zipper, then you should take the foam out before beginning cleaning.

Next, you will want to invest in some enzymatic cleaner, which is available at most stores and very inexpensive. Use the cleaner as per the instructions, allowing for air-dry time in-between cleanings, and while it may take a while, the scent will eventually come out.

The problem is the uric acid component of the urine, which is resistant to normal cleaners and detergents, but the enzymatic cleaner can break it down over time. Just be patient with the process – it will take some elbow grease, but you can get it cleaned!

How can I prevent my cat from peeing on the couch?

One of the best methods for keeping your cat from peeing on the couch is a scent deterrent, with orange citrus oil being one of the best options that you can use.

While it smells to us like a basket of oranges, kitties don’t seem to like it at all – and spraying it on and around the couch can keep them away.

Alternatively, since your cat is probably spraying it to mark it with their scent, you can spend some time with them on the couch and their scent will transfer in a less ‘stinky’ way.

Your cat has scent glands on its face, paws, and many other spots on their bodies, so a little quality time on the couch can transfer its scent quite effectively so that the ‘new couch’ smell doesn’t disturb them enough to mark it with its urine.

Why does cat pee have such a strong smell?

Cat urine has a strong scent to it and the reasons are pretty much twofold. First off, it’s designed to pass your cat’s scent onto something else, and nature has ensured that it works quite efficiently for this. It also is very pungent because bacteria in the urine are decomposing and producing mercaptans – the same compounds found in skunk spray!

Will the smell of cat pee ever go away?

If you don’t clean it, the cat pee smell can last for years and years – it’s practically immortal. Thankfully, with good scrubbing and some enzymatic cleaner, the urine can be broken down into its basic components and more efficiently cleaned.

Just don’t expect it to be done in one cleaning – multiple cleanings and a good amount of patience will be required, but you will be rewarded for your efforts if you stick with it!

How can I identify all the pee stains?

You should be able to see most of the spots – and you can smell them! If you are worried, when you are cleaning the stains with an enzymatic cleaner, you can lightly clean the rest of the area as well to ‘hedge your bets’ that you have found and cleaned all of the pee stains.

What cleaning products should I avoid on a fabric couch?

Cleaning supplies.

Cleaning supplies.

There are a few products that you don’t want to use on your fabric coach. Bleach, even the color-safe variety, has a strong scent to it and while it might cover the urine smell briefly, the scent will come back.

With standard bleach, the fumes are also toxic to you and your kitty and will likely discolor the couch. This brings us to the next no-no for your fabric couch – ammonia. Ammonia can be made from urine, and if your cat gets a whiff of an ammonia cleaner then they are very likely to spray the area again.

Detergent won’t harm your cat or the couch, but it won’t clean it either – go with an enzymatic cleaner, and 2 to 3 cleanings will typically do the trick for getting out the cat’s urine stains and smells.

Why is it a bad idea to scrub or rub a cat pee stain?

You always want to blot up as much of the urine as you can before cleaning and when you get to the actual scrubbing portion, a light touch is best – you don’t want to push the urine more profoundly into the couch and the cushion beneath.

Once you’ve blotted up the worst of it, you can saturate a cloth with enzymatic cleaner and blot the area again to wet it thoroughly, and then allow the couch cover or the entire cushion (if it doesn’t have a zipper to open) to air dry.

A fan can help to speed up the process and then you can sniff-check it when it dries.

What can I use to cover the cat pee stain after I have cleaned it?

An old, but the clean towel is a good choice if people are around and you want to keep them and your kitty away from the area. When no one is around, however, you should uncover it and put a fan nearby to help hasten the drying process.

Do extracting vacuums clean up cat pee?

Also known as ‘wet vacs’, extracting vacuums work by allowing you to drench the area with hot water and cleaner and then vacuum it up, and this can work quite well with cat urine if your kitty has made a big mess.

Just don’t use a steam cleaner, as these can make the problem worse, diluting the urine but spreading its range and making it much harder to remove later!

Lindsey Browlingdon