How to Remove Old Cat Urine from Hardwood Floors?

Cats are adorable creatures that bring us joy, but they also give off a stinky odor. Sometimes it’s not just their natural scent that can fill up your house; sometimes, it’s an old urine smell. That unpleasant urinal aroma is hard to get rid of.

This is even more difficult when you have hardwood floors because the wood absorbs the liquid and makes it harder to remove from the floor.

There are some easy steps that you can do at home that will help with removing old cat urine from hardwood floors, so your house smells fresh again! 

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How to Remove Old Cat Urine from Hardwood Floors

What you will need:


  1. First and foremost, you need to find the source of the smell. To do this, turn on some lights and look for discoloration of the floor. The urine stains will undoubtedly be brown or yellow and possibly create a spot where your cat likes to go to the bathroom.
  2. If it’s in one area, then that is probably where you will find the smelly pee.
  3. The second thing you need to do is blot up as much of it as possible with some old towels or cloths. The cleaner the floor, the better chance you will have of removing all traces of urine. 
  4. After that, sprinkle some baking soda on top of the area and allow it to sit for about five minutes. This will help absorb the odor. After you let it sit, use your vacuum cleaner to suck up the baking soda. The longer you can leave it out, the better because it will soak up more of that pungent smell. 
  5. Repeat the process until the area is fresh again. You can also consider adding some hot water to the baking soda if you are concerned about your cat licking the floor. This way, you can minimize any risk of your pet ingesting chemicals or cleaners that are used to remove odors. 
  6.  The last step is optional, but it can help with removing old cat urine from hardwood floors. Since urine also contains ammonia, adding a little bit of lemon essential oil to the mixture will neutralize the smell. You don’t need much because it is highly concentrated and can be stored in its original bottle and reused the next time you need it. 
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Precaution: If you do this process too often, the wood will start to become damaged, and it will cause your floors to become weaker. However, for just one or two times, cleaning hardwood floors doesn’t affect the floor itself.

What are some good cat urine cleaners?

If you look around the internet, you will find many results for cleaners that are meant to remove pet stains and odors. There are many to choose from, but some are not as good as others.

Organic pet odor removal products tend to be superior because they are made with all-natural ingredients, so they are products that you can trust.

For more frequent cleanings, you can buy an enzymatic cleaner. They’re made to remove pet accidents and stains from carpets and hardwood floors, but always check the packaging first to ensure it’s safe on your flooring. These are some of the best products we found: 

  1. Rocco & Roxie Stain & Odor Eliminator
  2. ANGRY ORANGE Pet Odor Eliminator
  3. Simple Solution Cat Extreme Pet Stain and Odor Remover
  4. BUBBAS Super Strength Enzyme Cleaner
  5. Simple Solution Pet Stain and Odor Remover

How to avoid cat urine smelling in the future?

To prevent your cat from urinating on the floor again, try to find out why they feel the urge to do so.

If you notice that it is in the same area every time, then chances are there’s something there that they’re attracted to. For some cats, this could be a certain type of bristles on the broom.

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Filter vents are also a common reason why cats choose to relieve themselves on some floor regions.

It’s not uncommon for some cats to love using their litter box, so if your cat is doing this, you should increase the number of boxes you have.

On a similar note, if your cat is going outside their litter box, then something might be wrong with them. If you observe this behavior, it is best to take your cat to a veterinarian right away. Cats are susceptible animals, and if they’re acting out of the ordinary, then it is an indication that their health is deteriorating.

Also, be sure to keep their litter box clean. If you scoop it out daily and clean the pan weekly, then they will be less likely to go on your floor.

This is also a good time to start training your cat to use a litter box. Its odors are much easier to handle, and it’s also better for the environment! 


Q: How long does it take for cat urine to dry?

A: Most of the time, it will take a few hours for cat urine to dry. However, if the area is still wet after a certain number of days, then it could be that your cat urinated on top of an old spot they already chose.

This is why it is important to give the area some time to dry up before cleaning.

Q: How long does it take to clean cat urine?

A: It will vary depending on the padding, surface of the flooring, and type of cleaner you’re using. However, it shouldn’t take too long to clean the area. 

Q: Can I use vinegar to remove cat urine?

A: There are many things you can use with vinegar, and it is safe for most pet stains, but it isn’t the best choice when it comes to cat urine. White vinegar is acidic, so while it can remove some smell, it won’t be as effective as enzymatic cleaners.

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Q: Is hydrogen peroxide bad for carpets?

A: Hydrogen peroxide is very safe, but you should be careful when using it on carpets. Depending on how much you use, it can bleach the carpeting, so only apply the hydrogen peroxide to the part you want it to clean.

Q: How do I remove cat urine from clothing?

A: To remove cat urine from fabric, it is best to start with a pre-wash laundry stain remover. You can use it on clothes before putting them in the washer if you want to turn them inside out.

If that doesn’t work, then you can try using a laundry detergent with enzymes. These will work best in removing pet odors and stains from fabric, so they’re a good option if the pre-wash stain remover doesn’t work on your clothes.

Q: What does cat pee smell like?

A: Cat pee is one of the most pungent odors known to men and animals alike. It is a sour smell that usually comes from concentrated urine, so if you find yourself struggling to find cat’s urine, then it might be a good idea to try and find an area with highly concentrated pee. 

Q: Is this cleaning method applicable to dog urine as well?

A: Yes! The steps we discussed above can be used to clean up dog urine too. However, this is only if the pee didn’t penetrate the padding of your floor or rug.

Final Thought:

Cleaning old cat urine on hardwood floors is not that difficult once you know how to do it. All you need to do is follow the steps above, and you’ll be able to eliminate any urine odors that your cat may have left behind. With these tips, your house will always smell fresh, and your floors will be clean for many more years to come.