Cats are amongst the cleanest animals however the smell of their urine can literally make your eyes water. This is one of the hardest odours to remove from the home. Nevertheless, the internet is full of DIY recipes for homemade detergents that can magically cleanse every surface and fabric in your Oxford home. Actual cleaning companies, however, say differently. Most DIY projects include things like baking soda, rubbing alcohol or vinegar. Unfortunately using the wrong cleaning supplies may lead to the permanent “sealing” of the urine stain.
Why Is Cat Urine So Strong?
To understand how to clean something, you first need to familiarise yourself with the culprit. Cat urine consists of around 95% water, 2% urea and the last 3% are quite diverse. You can find traces of:
- Uric acid
- Around 5 types of different bacteria
That is quite a list. But we still haven’t answered why cat pee has such a strong smell and how to cleanse your Oxford house from it. To answer the first part we need to understand how the different proteins and bacteria interact with each other.
A Hypothetical Situation with Real Consequences
Let’s say you have a male cat and sometime during the spring it pees/marks your couch cushions. If you miss cleaning the spot here is what is going to happen:
- Attracted by the proteins in the urine, bacteria will gather up and start decomposing it.
- In the first part of this process, ammonia is being released. Often during this time, pet owners smell that something is not right.
- Part two starts with the release of mercaptans. If it sounds unfamiliar, this is the same ingredient that gives skunk spray its distinct sulfury stench.
- The worst comes when the pheromone felinine starts to break down. At first, it has no odour by after dissolving it turns into 3-mercapto-3-methylbutan-1-ol (MMB) – the main reason cat urine is so hard to get rid of.
- In the end, the urea and urochrome form uric acid crystals. They stick to the MMB and seal themselves on your cushions for literally years to come.
The situation gets even more terrible once you realise male cats produce urine three times stronger than the females. Since they use it to mark their territory, it is only natural to be able to sense the stench from the next door.
How to Clean Your Oxford Home
Here comes the hard part. Due to the specific nature of cat urine now you know why we said at the beginning DIY recipes are useless in the most part. Two things can successfully remove the dreaded stench from your house:
- Professional cleaning services – this is your best chance. In some cases, it may seem pricy but to be fair, you deserve your home back.
- Enzyme cleaning products – this is the only solvent that can actually destroy the uric acid crystals, break the bond with the MMB and purify your house. However, you need to be very careful when picking and using these products.
In order to help you, our Oxford cleaning experts have composed a short guide on how to properly use enzyme cleaners:
- Try to remove as much of the fresh urine as you can. Use kitchen paper to do so.
- Avoid using enzyme cleaners that are in a spray bottle. You need to pour the liquid onto the stain and cover it completely.
- Leave the enzymes to do their magic for about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Clean the spot with cold water and a sponge/towel as much as you can.
- Pour the enzymes for the second time and leave them to dry off. During this process cover the stain with a lid or a box. This will prevent your cat from peeing on the same spot while you are trying to clean it.
- For older stains, you need to repeat the procedure a couple of times. You also may have to change a couple of brands until you find the right product for your needs.