Understanding Carpet Cleaning Services

How To Remove Cat Urine From Hardwood Flooring

An unfortunate reality of cat ownership is that that they occasionally miss the litter box, leaving you with puddles to clean up. Removing cat urine is a challenge on any surface, but with porous surfaces such as hardwood flooring, it presents additional challenges. Fortunately, there are ways to get cat urine out of a hardwood flooring without having to get rid of the cat.

Why Thoroughly Removing Cat Urine is Important

Frequently, cat owners will try and clean up cat urine with soap and water, or a basic detergent. If it smells clean and there's no residue, it's clean, right? Unfortunately, with cats this isn't the case. Cat urine contains enzymes that cats can smell, even when we can't, and this leads them to return to the same spot to urinate again.

Wipe up the Spot

The first thing you need to do is clean up the puddle. Take a clean, dry cloth and blot the urine, being careful not to spread it around.

White Vinegar

Thankfully, one of the best products for removing cat urine is probably something you already have on hand – white vinegar. After blotting the spot up, pour some white vinegar on the spot and let it sit for a few minutes. Dry the spot, and then pour some more vinegar on a sponge and scrub it clean.


For particularly stubborn spots, or ones that have been allowed to sit for a length of time, use one of the many urine removing cleaners on the market. After blotting the spot up, follow the instructions on the bottle. Always consult your owner's manual for your flooring first though, to ensure that you are not doing any damage to your hardwood flooring.

Sanding the floor

If the urine has been allowed to sit for a long time, or your hardwood flooring is unfinished, then it may have seeped into the wood itself. In this case, you will need to sand the floor to get to the stain, clean it, and then refinish the flooring. You can rent a sander, or you can hire a professional to sand and refinish your hardwood floors for you. Work with a company that specializes in cleaning and restoration for good, lasting results.

For a stain closer to the surface, you'll want to use a vibrating floor sander; deeper stains may require a drum sander. Sand the portion of the floor with the stain, then sweep the floor thoroughly and mop it. Afterwards, clean the floor using one of the options above, and then refinish it according to the instructions for your hardwood flooring. 

Once you've completed the above steps, your floor will be back to normal and you can continue to enjoy a pleasant, odor-free life with your cat.