How To Remove Cat Urine From A Mattress

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  • Inappropriate urination in cats is one of the leading reasons why cats are surrendered to shelters. It is frustrating to pet owners, but there is always a reason why cats do this. Getting to the bottom of the cause will help you to find a workable solution that will ensure you and your cat remain happy.

    By nature, cats are clean creatures; they don’t urinate on your mattress out of spite. The two most common causes of a cat urinating on the bed are due to medical problems or issues with their litter tray. Below we go into further detail as to what can cause this behaviour and the best ways to remove cat urine from your mattress.



    Stress is a major cause of inappropriate urination in cats. Factors causing stress in cats can include:

    • Moving house
    • Introduction of a new family member (baby, pet, partner, flatmate)
    • A local cat roaming your garden etc.
    • Loss of a family member or pet
    • Change in household routine

    Helping your cat overcome these stresses may well result in inappropriate urination stopping; however, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes the behaviour can become so ingrained in the cat that even once the stress has been removed, the behaviour continues.

    Removing the cause of the stress is naturally something you will need to tackle. So have a good think about what may be causing the stress. Has the behaviour come on suddenly? If you can find a cause for the stress, you have a much better chance of taking steps to help your cat overcome this stress and hopefully stop the behaviour. Feliway is a synthetic facial pheromone, facial pheromones induce feelings of comfort and safety in cats and bring down stress levels. Therefore Feliway can be used to mimic this pheromone. If this is the case, it is a good idea to seek advice from your veterinarian as to how to re-train your cat.

    Some cat owners have had great success using Rescue Remedy on their cats, although this isn’t advisable until you have spoken to your vet.

    Litter trays:

    The rule of thumb is one litter tray per cat, plus one spare and if you live in a multi-level home, there should be a litter tray on every level. Cats are fastidiously clean animals and if there aren’t enough trays in the house or the trays aren’t cleaned often enough, they will find another spot to go to the toilet.

    Scoop out solids from litter trays twice a day and completely replace the cat litter once a week.

    Keep trays in proximity to food and water bowls, but not next to them, cats don’t like to go to the toilet near where they eat, would you? Don’t stick the litter tray in the dark basement when your cat spends most of his time on upper levels. Cats by nature like privacy when they are going to the toilet, so high traffic areas should be avoided. They like to have an escape route, in case of ambush (from another pet or child).

    Size is another important factor. A fully-grown adult is going to need a larger litter tray than a 10-week old kitten. I like to start small for kittens, and once they’re around six months of age, introduce a full-sized litter tray. For some larger cats, you may opt for an extra-large plastic container instead. See here for more information on choosing a litter tray. An older, arthritic cat may struggle with a litter tray that has high sides.


    The first thing you should do is take your cat to the vet to rule out any medical reasons for this inappropriate urinating on your bed. Some causes of cats urinating outside of the litter tray include urinary tract infections, bladder stones, kidney stones, declawing pain and discomfort from arthritis. Your veterinarian may also recommend anti-anxiety medications in the case of stress-related toileting. There are several drugs available, and your veterinarian will be able to prescribe the best one for your cat.

    How to remove cat urine from a bed

    • If the urine has dried and you are having problems locating the soiled area use a blacklight. Cat urine will glow green, making it easy to find the problem area. You should be able to purchase a blacklight from your hardware store or eBay.
    • If the urine is still wet, blot up as much as you can with paper towels. There are many commercially available products on the market designed to remove and neutralise cat urine odour. Some of these products come in powder form, so can be easily vacuumed off, others are liquid (often as a spray), so once you have applied it, it can be dried with the aid of a hairdryer. The recipes below are very effective in neutralising and removing cat urine odour.

    Baking soda

    • Apply baking soda to the wet urine stain to draw out the urine. When the baking soda turns yellow from the urine, remove and apply some more. Repeat until the baking soda stays white. If possible, leave it on the mattress overnight. The following day, vacuum it off.

    White vinegar

    • Empty spray bottle.
    • 1 part white vinegar.
    • 2 parts warm water.
    • Add to bottle, shake well.


    • Mist the vinegar spray over areas of cat urine and rub with a paper towel. An alternative method is to mix the solution in a bucket and dip a clean cloth into the liquid. Rub the stain with the vinegar solution. After the vinegar dries, wipe away both solution and stain with warm water.
    • Use a hairdryer to remove any residual moisture.

    Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda

    • Empty spray bottle.
    • 2 tablespoons bi-carb soda (baking soda).
    • 15 oz hydrogen peroxide.
    • 2 squirts of hand soap.


    • Mix 15 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, two tablespoons of baking soda, and two squirts of liquid hand soap in a plastic container with a plastic spoon. Apply this solution to cat urine stains or odour areas, and then rinse away with warm water.
    • Use a hairdryer to remove any residual moisture.


    Naturally, you will have to wash your bedding. Washing detergents used for nappies are the best products to use in this case.

    Keeping your bedroom door closed is the obvious solution although many cat owners may be reluctant to shut their cat out of the bedroom.

    Plastic carpet runners turned upside down, or shower curtains will act as a deterrent; cats dislike the feel of these. Whenever the bed isn’t used, put these over and hopefully in time your cat’s habit will be broken.

    To protect your mattress use a mattress protector.


    • Julia Wilson, 'Cat World' Founder

      Julia Wilson is the founder of Cat-World, and has researched and written over 1,000 articles about cats. She is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. Full author bio