Cleaning Cat Urine


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Our question this week was:

Can I use plain alcohol to clean up where my cat has peed in the hall on the carpet?

Trina Arpasi


Hi – thanks for your email. Your question is can you use plain alcohol to clean up a cat urine accident. Well...the short answer is yes you can but it probably won't be the most effective product that you can use. Actually, I wouldn't expect alcohol to do much to help the urine odor at all.

I have some great suggestions for cleaning up urine odor:

Figure out where your cat is "going". Is it one spot or multiple spots? If the area is wet – sop up as much of the liquid as possible with plain paper towels. Once it is as "dry" as it can get, use a proprietary product that enzymatically breaks down the urine odor molecule. Use a good quality product and DON'T SKIMP. Use as directed. The products often recommend saturating the area in a way that may seem "extreme". Do it. The cat urine will often go down to the pad or baseboard in carpets and you need for the product being used to remove cat urine odor to do the same. Remember, this is not a time to skimp. Use the products as directed. Some of my favorite products include: Urine-off, Nature's Miracle, SeaYu Petrotech Odor Eliminator, Anti Icky Poo (AIP), Odorban, Odornil, and Nilodor..

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.