The Best Cat Urine Removers : Top Enzyme Cleaners for Smell Elimination

It’s not an ordinary mess.

Cat urine contains a unique blend of bacteria, urea, and other substances that give it a strong and persistent odor. Removing it effectively demands high-quality cleaning solutions that attack and break down the odor-causing components. Because the lingering smell of the urine tends to draw cats back to the same area repeatedly, the first incidence of urinating outside of the litter box can easily become a cycle of inappropriate and detrimental behavior.

If you’re plagued by the smell of cat urine lingering in your carpet, upholstery, or other areas of the house, you know how important it is to find the right cat urine remover – one that will get rid of that smell for good.

In this article, we’re going to take a critical eye to what makes cat urine smell so persistent and how the best cleaners combat that odor, analyzing which formulations actually work. Once we’ve uncovered the secrets of effective cat urine removal, you’ll find a list of the top five best cat urine removers available.

Let’s find cat urine removers that really work.

An excellent product gets rid of the odor quickly, completely, and permanently. Depending on the severity of the urine stain, how long it’s been sitting out, and its location, you may need to apply one or more times. The best urine remover is the one that requires the least applications and breaks down every last trace of urine.

Cat urine demands a certain type of cleaner.

Cat urine is made from a combination of urea, urobilin, uric acid, sodium, creatinine, and other pheremones and electrolytes. It’s important to choose a urine remover that’s designed to neutralize and remove all of these components effectively.

Enzymatic Cleaners

Uric acid is not water-soluble and it bonds tightly to whatever it’s in contact with. It can’t be removed with soap, vinegar, baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide – all of which are commonly recommended for removing cat urine. While these solutions can temporarily remove the smell and even appear to be effective, they ultimately don’t break down the odor-releasing uric acid. As this uric acid lingers, it can continue to release the urine smell for years. This persistent odor, while not always detectable by the human olfactory sense, may cause your cat to return to the area repeatedly, perpetuating the issue

Enzymatic cleaners break down the uric acid into carbon dioxide and ammonia, which then quickly evaporates, finally putting an end to the cat urine smell.

Oxidizing Cleaners

Some cleaners use oxidation as the acting agent in the cleaning process. While oxidation is highly effective in removing stains and does an excellent job of cleaning up most of the substances in cat urine, it does little break down the uric acid that causes lingering odor. For that reason, it doesn’t work to get rid of that subtle smell in the long-term. Oxidizing cleaners can be effective if your cat doesn’t repeatedly return to the affected area, but to really get rid of that barely-noticeable long-lasting smell, enzymatic cleaners are preferred.

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Some cat urine removers aren’t appropriate for the soiled surface.

It’s important to choose a urine remover that’s suited to the urine-affected area. Whether that’s a couch cushion, your clothing, or a cement floor, look closely to make sure that the urine remover is appropriate for use on the intended surface. All of the products in the following list of the best urine removers are appropriate for use on most water-safe surfaces.

Top 5 Best Urine Removers

Remover Price Quality Rating
Anti Icky Poo Odor RemoverAnti Icky Poo Odor Remover
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$$ A+ 5 stars
Nature's Miracle Advanced Just For Cats Stain & Odor RemoverNature’s Miracle Advanced Just For Cats Stain & Odor Remover
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$$$ A+ 5 stars
Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor EliminatorRocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator
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$$ A 5 stars
Simple Solution Extreme Stain & Odor RemoverSimple Solution Extreme Stain & Odor Remover
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$ A- 4.5 stars
Emmy's Best Calming Lavender Scented Pet Odor & Stain EraserEmmy’s Best Calming Lavender Scented Pet Odor & Stain Eraser
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$$ A 5 stars

Anti Icky Poo Odor Remover Review

A classic product with an excellent reputation, Anti Icky Poo can be used on almost any surface from leather to steel

Anti Icky Poo Odor Remover

This product is known for effectively removing all odors to prevent recurrent unwanted urination. It was introduced back in 1989 and, according to the company, it’s “the USA’s most highly recommended product in its category by veterinarians and other animal care professionals”. It uses live bacteria to attack odor-causing substances in the urine and can be safely used on an impressive variety of surfaces, including tile, wood, drywall, fabric, plastic, and more. – Buy It


  • Uses enzymatic action to eliminate odors
  • A highly-recommended and well-loved product
  • Effective on a broad range of surfaces
  • Comes with a money-back guarantee


  • On the higher end of the price spectrum

Nature’s Miracle Advanced Just For Cats Stain & Odor Remover Review

The formula combines oxidation, enzymatic action, and a disinfectant to completely clean the area

The live bacteria in this enzymatic cleaner continue to consume the odor-causing substances until they’re gone, ensuring a complete urine odor removal. In so doing, this product helps to fight against repeated soiling of the area. It’s safe to use on hard floors, carpets, furniture, fabrics, and more. According to Nature’s Miracle, this cleaner leaves a “light fresh scent”, but some reviewers find the odor offensive. – Buy It


  • Safe for use on a variety of surfaces
  • Comes with a money-back guarantee
  • Produces enzymes to completely eliminate odor
  • Gets rid of odors and stains
  • Made in the USA


  • Has a strong flowery fragrance that some dislike

Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator Review

A natural, highly popular enzymatic cleaner with rave reviews

This safe, gentle enzymatic cleaner uses a concentrated formula with natural bacteria to effectively break down persistent odors. It’s appropriate for use on almost any surface and is approved by the Carpet and Rug Institute. This product is extremely popular with a solid record of success. It comes with a money-back guarantee. – Buy It


  • Uses enzymatic action to effectively destroy odors to prevent recurrent inappropriate urination
  • Safe for use on almost any surface and approved by the Carpet and Rug Institute
  • Made in the USA
  • Comes with a money-back guarantee


  • On the expensive end of the price spectrum

Simple Solution Extreme Stain & Odor Remover

This enzymatic formula uses bacteria to fully eliminate odors while removing stains

This professional-strength formula uses enzymatic processes to completely knock out odors and effectively eliminates stains. It is safe to use on all water-safe surfaces in the home. This strong urine remover formula is available at a lower price than many of the other products on this list, making it a good value. – Buy It

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  • Uses enzymatic action to consume odor-causing substances and eliminate odor permanently
  • Removes stains
  • Safe to use on almost all surfaces
  • Available at a lower price than many other high-strength urine removers
  • Comes with a money-back guarantee


  • Not the most concentrated formula, so it’s best for less serious stains

Emmy’s Best Calming Lavender Scented Pet Odor & Stain Eraser Review

This product uses a triple-action formula to get rid of pheromones, stains, and odors

Emmy’s Best Pet Odor & Stain Eraser uses enzymatic action to break down odor-causing substances while also eliminating pheromones and staining. The product lacks a chemical smell, instead leaving behind a lavender scent. It’s well-loved by customers and comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. This product is safe to use on almost any surface. – Buy It


  • Uses enzymatic action to completely eliminate long-lasting odors
  • Removes stains
  • Usable on almost any surface
  • Comes with a money-back guarantee


  • Some people don’t like the fragrance

How do you remove cat urine smell?

Check with the manufacturer’s instructions on your cat urine remover before getting started. Although techniques may vary between different products, the following instructions offer a general guide.

1. Identify the places where your cat has urinated.

Depending on how long ago it happened, finding the place where your cat urinated can be either obvious or something that demands a little bit more effort. Use your eyes and nose to track down more obvious urine stains. Using a blacklight can help you to identify normally invisible urine deposits – for serious issues with inappropriate urination, a blacklight is an invaluable tool.

2. If it’s still wet, blot up as much as you can.

Using a paper towel, remove as much urine from the surface as possible.

3. Soak the affected area.

Remember that cat urine stains are a bit like icebergs: you only see a small sample of what is there. While you might see a relatively small stain on the surface of the carpet, there is much more that’s already sunk deep into the pad. Even hard surfaces are porous enough for the urine to soak deep into. Truly cleaning a cat urine stain requires a generous application of the cleaning solution, so be sure to completely drench an area several inches larger than what’s visibly soiled. After you’ve completely saturated the area, cover the dampened surface. You can use anything to cover the surface – foil, a pan, a turned-over basket, or a box. The idea is to prevent your cat from urinating on the spot while the the cleaner is working, while also ensuring that no one steps or sits on the wet spot.

4. Let it sit.

Allow the cleaner to sink in and work for 10-15 minutes. When using an enzymatic cleaner, this is when the active substances start working to break down the odor-causing components of the cat urine.

After letting the cleaner do its job for the appropriate amount of time, blot up as much of the liquid as you can.

5. Air dry.

Go ahead and replace the cover, then allow the area to air dry. A high-quality enzymatic cleaner will continue to consume odor sources until they’ve been completely eliminated. If after the first application, the odor remains, reapply after the surface has dried.

Preventing Future Inappropriate Urination

Inappropriate urination is more than a nuisance. Besides in the case of cats who haven’t yet been litterbox trained, urinating outside of a designated area in the house usually signals that something is wrong. Cats don’t like to urinate in places where they can’t cover up their waste – so if your cat is doing this, they’re probably no happier about it than you are.

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Don’t punish your cat for inappropriate urination. Instead, attack the problem systematically by first eliminating any residual odors with a strong enzymatic cleaner. This will prevent your cat from continuing to urinate in the problem area. The next step is to find the origin of the behavior and solve the problem at the source.

Here are some of the most common reasons why your cat might be exhibiting this behavior.

1. Stress

Just like in the human world, so many unwanted feline behaviors can be explained by stress. Inappropriate urination is no exception. Cats commonly urinate outside the litter box because of unhappiness and anxiety over changes in the home environment, restriction of their natural behaviors, abuse, or unpleasant dynamics with other cats. If your cat recently started exhibiting this behavior after something in the home changed, it’s probably because of stress. Take a close look at your cat’s surroundings and determine what could be stressing them out, then neutralize those issues as best you can. Offering your cat a safe space to hide out or a tree from which they can overlook the home can help them to de-stress.

2. Illness

Various illnesses can be accompanied by inappropriate urination, so it’s important to closely monitor your cat when they exhibit any sudden change in behavior. Cats with urinary tract disease often associate the litter box with pain and start avoiding it. If your cat is also showing symptoms like blood in the urine, excessive licking of the genitals, crying in the litter box, or straining to urinate, they are likely suffering from a urinary tract disease and should be treated immediately.

3. Aging

Incontinence as part of aging is another obvious reason for your cat to urinate outside of the litter box. You can help to make this situation easier on your cat by adding more litter boxes around the home. You might also consider laying down disposable absorbent pads in the frequently – soiled areas.

4. Marking

A good sign that your cat is urinating as a marking mechanism is if they urinate on a vertical surface, like the wall. This is commonly called spraying. While any cat may do it, those who haven’t been spayed or neutered are more likely to urinate outside of the litter box as a marking behavior. You may consider getting your cat spayed or neutered to manage this urge. Additionally, take a look at why your cat might be concerned about marking their territory. Have stray or feral cats been hanging around recently? Is there a new feline addition to the home? Have there been other changes in the home environment?

Ways to offer your cat healthy outlets to this territorial instinct include providing scratchers for your cat to mark with their claws and giving them additional vertical territory in the form of a cat tree.

5. Litter Box Complaints

Finally, your cat might not be fond of their litter box situation. It could be because they don’t like the type of litter you’ve made available, because they don’t like the box style, or because the box isn’t clean enough. As always, examining when this behavior began and linking it to changes in your cat’s environment is an important part of stopping the behavior.

Sometimes, cats will develop a preference for the texture of carpet or other surfaces. Combined with the effect of lingering urine odor, this can lead to a bad habit. Redirect this unwanted behavior by making the affected area less appealing. Remove the odor completely by using a good cleaner and cover the surface with foil or another unappealing material, and make changes to your cat’s litter or litter box to attract them to the correct toilet.

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