How to Remove Cat Urine Odor from Wood Floorboards

A house cat laying out on a wood floor.
  • 2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50
What You'll Need
Dry cloths
Enzyme cleaner
Floor sander
Wood sealer

If you have both a cat and wood floors, you might eventually need to know how to remove cat urine odor from the floorboards. The floor may seem clean, but urine can seep between the boards or beneath cracks in the sealant if their are any. This will allow odors to reappear later due to moisture or other causes. Additionally, cats will often pee in the same spot repeatedly if their scent is still left behind, making the problem worse in the future. Fresh messes will be easier to clean up completely than set-in stains, and whether or not the urine has been able to seep in under the sealant will determine how hard the odors are to remove. However, the steps feature below will give you a general guide for solving this pungent problem.

Step 1 - Clean it Up

Wipe the area where the urine is puddled with a damp sponge until all traces of it are gone. This is the most important step when dealing with a fresh mess since the odor will be stronger and harder to remove the longer urine is left on the wood flooring. If you are dealing with a preexisting stain, skip this step and begin with step two.

Step 2 - Do a Vinegar Wash

Pour white vinegar over the area and allow it to sit for several minutes. Blot it up completely with a dry cloth. Then, apply more vinegar with a clean sponge and scrub it into the stain, allowing the liquid to seep into any openings in the wood.

Step 3 - Rinse

Rinse the area with warm water to remove the vinegar and any traces of urine that are left over. Dry the area with a clean, dry cloth until no more moisture is felt. This is best done by blotting with the cloth rather than wiping the floor, pressing the material into the wet wood and patting down on it to allow it to soak up the moisture. If the cloth becomes too damp, replace it with a new one and continue.

Step 4 - Use an Enzyme Cleaner

This time take an enzyme cleaner to the affected spot. While there are many such products on the market, you'll want to choose one that is specifically designed for pet urine stains. Test it cleaner on a small portion of the flooring that is not easily seen before using it normally to ensure that it will not stain or damage the wood. Then, following the cleaning directions for the particular brand you purchased, apply it to the area.

Step 5 - Sand the Sealer if the Odor Remains

If your methods thus far have not worked, you can be certain that urine has seeped into the wood itself. To remedy the problem, the floor need to be sanded deeply enough to completely remove the stained part to leave only clean wood exposed. Once the stain has been sanded away, re-clean the area with an enzyme cleaner and dry completely. Apply a new wood sealer on the entire floor afterward to ensure that this never becomes a problem again.