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It’s generally easy to train a cat to use a litter box, but if your new kitten isn’t quite there yet or your cat is having behavioral problems or health issues, accidents can happen. That’s why all cat owners will want to have a cat pee, odor, and stain removal product on hand.
Read on for our top picks to keep your home feeling clean and smelling fresh.
Best Overall: ANGRY ORANGE Pet Odor Eliminator Spray
Cat owners rave about Angry Orange, an enzyme-based cleaner, especially now that it’s available in a ready-to-use spray formula—previously you had to mix it from a concentrate, an option that’s still available and more cost effective. The enzymes help to lift the odors, not simply cover them up, while the main ingredient, orange oil, leaves behind a pleasant citrus scent. To treat a stain—fresh or dried—blot the area first, the spray liberally and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes before wiping up any excess liquid. The spray is safe to use on carpets, tiles, wood floors, litter boxes, garbage cans, pillows, mattress, car interiors, and more.
"As far as our naked eyes and nose could tell, the stains and scents on our carpets and car seats were gone when we checked back 15 minutes after cleaning the affected areas. Over the next few weeks, our pets peed again on our large 8-foot by 10-foot carpet, but they seemed to avoid the areas previously sprayed with the product."—Danielle Directo-Meston, Product Tester
Best Commercial-Grade: BUBBA'S ROWDY FRIENDS Super Strength Commercial Enzyme Cleaner - Pet Odor Eliminator
Bubba’s uses dormant enzymes, which according to the company’s website, are more powerful as they don’t start working until they come into contact with a stain—and keep on working from there to digest organic bacteria i.e. cat pee and feces, whereas an “active” enzyme doesn’t have the same staying power. The cleaner, made in Florida, is approved by the Carpet and Rug Institute and can also be used on hardwood floors and to pretreat laundry, if say, kitty had an accident on your bedsheets. It leaves behind a mint scent that reviewers say is refreshing without being overly pungent. The only complaint is that it’s not available in a spray bottle, so you’ll have to pour it into your own.
"I have a very sensitive nose, so the first thing I noticed was the product’s mouthwash-like minty scent. Unlike other cleaners that my husband and I tested, the fragrance wasn’t overpowering. Since it was understated, I wouldn’t mind using the spray on clothing and other stained textiles."—Danielle Directo-Meston, Product Tester
Best Natural: Sunny & Honey Pet Stain & Odor Miracle - Enzyme Cleaner
If protecting your pet and the earth is as important to you as your decor, this Leaping Bunny Certified bio-enzymatic formula is made for you. It’s biodegradable and non-toxic, and scented with essential oils and the company donates 10 percent of all its profits to rescue groups and no-kill animal shelters. It’s effective on all types of pet stains, even drool. It can be used on carpets, rugs, hardwood floors, laminate, tile, concrete, furniture, mattresses, leather, litter box, car upholstery, and even outdoors on your deck or patio. Reviewers report that it’s effective at eliminating stains and odors though some found it’s minty scent to be overpowering.
"The product is labeled as having a “spring mint scent,” which we found to be fairly strong but not bothersome. About 15 minutes after the cleaning process, we no longer smelled urine on the area of the rug we treated."—Danielle Directo-Meston, Product Tester
Best Spray: Rocco & Roxie Supply Co Professional Strength Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator
This spray uses a combination of enzymes and bacteria for an effective one-two punch that fully removes urine and its lingering scent. To make your bottle of Rocco & Roxie spray go further, the company recommends treating the area with water first to dilute the urine, then liberally applying the product. It’s approved for use on carpets and reviewers say they’ve had good results using it on wood, tile, upholstery, leather, and more. The product has a strong mint scent, which some find to be too strong. Rocco & Roxie is based in the United States and the company also makes treats and toys.
"If the light spot on the back of the rug was any indication, it deeply cleaned the stained area and left the carpet in even better condition than the surrounding area. After treatment, using a UV blacklight, there didn’t appear to be a stain spot on the backside of the carpet either."—Danielle Directo-Meston, Product Tester
Best Scent: The Spruce Stain and Odor Remover in Fresh
The best cat pee stain removers erase cat pee stains and odors and leave behind a pleasant scent, and this from The Spruce's Stain and Odor Remover delivers on both counts.
As for the first part, this spray uses a powerful plant-derived enzyme formula that’s free of chlorine and dyes; as for the scent, it’s a synthetic-free blend of neroli, apple, and orchid that’s described as crisp and bright. To use, shake first, then spray on the area, letting it soak in for up to 15 minutes before brushing to lift the odor, then wipe clean. This set comes with a 2-ounce spray bottle that’s perfect for traveling.
Best for Carpets: Nature's Miracle Deep Cleaning Pet Stain and Odor Carpet Shampoo
This deep cleaning carpet shampoo from well-known brand Nature’s Miracle can be safely used to spot treat stains or for all over cleaning with a machine. When using, it’s important to not only treat your rug, but also any rug pads and the floor underneath in case the pee soaked through. Some complain that this product has a chemical-like smell, the brand says that’s evidence that the product’s enzymes are at work breaking down the organic waste and that once that process is complete, the scent will fade. The shampoo also removes allergens and can safely be used to pre-treat laundry.
Best for Furniture: Arm & Hammer plus Oxi Clean Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator for Carpet
If your cat keeps peeing on your favorite chair, cleaning up the stain with this cleaner should do the trick of preventing them from returning to it again while removing any lingering odor. It uses Arm & Hammer baking soda to neutralize odors instantly and Oxi Clean enzymatic cleaner to remove any visible stains and odor left behind. It comes in an easy-to-use spray bottle and can be used on carpets or upholstery. It’s also one of the more affordable options available and in addition to pet stains, you can use it to treat grease, oil, and other common household stains.
Best Enzyme Cleaner: Simple Solution Extreme Pet Stain and Odor Remover
This enzymatic cleaner earns high marks for its formula and for its innovative 3-in-1 spray bottle. It can be set to foam, stream, or mist: foam is your go-to setting to break down stains, while stream gets into the crevices of your floor and mist provides the largest coverage area. The formula combines enzymes with good bacteria that break down and neutralize odors and removes stains. It also helps prevent repeat markings by your kitty. It has a light spring scent, but if you’re not a fan, try its unscented version instead. Simple Solution is made in the U.S. and is safe for pets and kids (when used as directed).
What to Look for in a Cat Pee, Odor, and Stain Removal Product
Look for a formula that's specifically targeted at the type of surfaces you need to treat, from carpeting and mattresses to hardwood floors and plastic. Many formulas are chlorine-free to prevent unwanted bleaching, but make sure to double-check this when selecting a product.
The active ingredients powering the stain and odor-fighting abilities of a specific formula may vary. While some rely upon relatively safe chemicals to accomplish the task, others are non-toxic and considered safe to use around children and pets. A few formulas are even considered to be all-organic. If you’re worried about re-marking, you may also want to look for a product with an ingredient to eradicate ammonia odors and also deter your pet from repeating the crime—citrus scents seem to work well.
Depending on the surface area you need to treat, you may choose from a number of different application methods. For quick and simple spot-cleaning, a ready-to-spray formula may be your best bet. On the other hand, if you’re tackling a larger area or multiple offenses, then you should probably look for a larger container of concentrated solution that you can mix up and use as needed for deep stain cleaning and odor-fighting.