Asked on Jul 19, 2015

Cat urine vs dyed leather

Beth W
by Beth W
Male kitten/cat began "marking" in several places in my home. The worst was on my leather couch!! It is a lighter cordovan color and has now been christened more than once where the seat cushions meet so all three cushions are involved. It does not show any "stains" but wow does it reak if you happen to warm it by sitting on it. (Obviously, discovered this after the fact.) Can you advise how to remove the odor without destroying the couch? I don't want to have to replace the seat cushions or get rid of the couch if there is a good alternative. Thank you!!
  21 answers
  • Gail Gail on Jul 20, 2015
    Well if it's leather wash off with soap and water rinse with vinegar and water,(vinegar will cut the soap) dry then go get some car leather conditioner, I use Meguiar's Gold Class from Wal-Mart it moisturizes for like new leather and keeps it soft and helps protect the leather it's the best leather cleaner and conditioner I have found (I use the conditioner for both) and I have used it for years. If you have the leather that is porous like hair on hide type that would be different.
    • See 1 previous
    • Beth W Beth W on Jul 20, 2015
      Thanks, Gail. I have tried the vinegar and it helped some. I may have to repeat multiple times along with the soap. Thanks for the tip on the Meguiar's. My Dad was a distributer for that company in our area when it first came out. I forgot about just how good those products are... thanks for the reminder!
  • Stefania Ackerman Stefania Ackerman on Jul 20, 2015
    I seriously doubt the smell will EVER get out as is it in the leather AND in the padding underneath. I tried EVERYTHING to save a carpet and the smell was always there and worse every time I vacuumed. I now have wood floors in the office. So sorry for this bit of advice.
    • Beth W Beth W on Jul 20, 2015
      If possible, I want to save the couch. But if I can't get rid of the odor... I may try getting new cushions. B (
  • Gladys Lamontagne Gladys Lamontagne on Jul 20, 2015
    Is it possible to take cushions out of the leather? If you can I would spray the cushions, once out of the leather with a vinegar solution and also clean the inside of the leather with vinegar. Hope that makes sense to you.
    • Beth W Beth W on Jul 20, 2015
      Thank you. Yes, I can take the cushion out. I had not thought of cleaning the leather from the inside. Will give it a try.
  • Linda Linda on Jul 20, 2015
    I used Rocco & Roxie Supply Co.'s "Stain & Odor Eliminator" when our dog was a puppy. Worked great. It is made for "carpet and upholstery", not specifically mentioning leather. You can find them online.
  • Becki Becki on Jul 20, 2015
    If the sofa is ruined if you can't get odor out try the peroxide, baking soda and drop of detergent mixture. It does eliminate odor from carpet but peroxide may harm color of sofa. Nothing to lose if you are going to throw the sofa out.
    • See 2 previous
    • Beth W Beth W on Jul 29, 2015
      Thank you, Gail! This is a family member's rescue kitten... now full grown cat. There have been many, but this one chose to mark. As upsetting as this issue is, I can't just disappear him. The leather I would like to save. If I can remove ALL odors, it will be worth the effort. I can't financially afford to simply "toss & replace" my leather furniture... sooo
  • Rrj1480177 Rrj1480177 on Jul 20, 2015
    I would give the cat away.
    • Beth W Beth W on Jul 20, 2015
      Yes, I would would like to, but it's not mine to give away.
  • Russet Coviello Russet Coviello on Jul 20, 2015
    My male cat urinated all over my leather couch so many times I have to cover it with plastic every nite now. But to get out that smell is really hard. I have tried everything i could find on the internet and some work a little and others not. It can take days to get the smell out as it goes into the stuffing in the couch. I have been trying this formula which I got off the internet. 5 oz hydrogen peroxide, 1 tsp. vinegar, 1 tsp. baking soda and 3 drops of wild orange essential oil. Add this to a spray bottle and shake gently. Spray the affected area with this solution and allow to dry completely. It will become powder like once it dries. Then vacuum up. Repeat again. Or if need be, add 6 drops of lemon essential oil to a cup of baking soda and shake well. Sprinkle on the affected area and leave for several hours or overnight. Vacuum up. It takes time to get the smell out but it never totally goes away.
  • Libby Wick Libby Wick on Jul 20, 2015
    Urine is an organic material which bacteria loves. You need to eradicate the organic material to get rid of the bacteria which contributes to the awful smell. So as Gladys said, take the cushions out and thoroughly drench them in an enzyme based cleaner. Google and you'll find some. I know there is one in the UK called Valet Pro Enzyme Odour Eater. It is sold as a car upholstery cleaner and I'm thinking they may well do one for leather upholstery. You will definitely need to take the cushions out and treat them separately tho. I have a rescued Bengal cat. He sprayed so much and I couldn't get rid of the smell .... Until I found out about the enzyme cleaners. Carpet has to be saturated so the cleaner goes right through the underlay too. It's surprising how far into the underlay urine can travel ... much further than the wet patch on top of the carpet. If puss pees on the carpet lift it up and you'll be surprised! :/ Hope that helps. Oh, and after the thorough enzyme clean he stopped peeing on the carpet, bonus! :)
  • Lynne Boley Lynne Boley on Jul 20, 2015
    Will they spray of they are fixed?
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    • Beth W Beth W on Jul 20, 2015
      This gave me a chuckle... because its so true. The odor after is much less than the odor before neutering. I saw the humor in the 'fake out' spray. Thanks.
  • Maggie Bancroft Maggie Bancroft on Jul 20, 2015
    there is a product called Urine-Off that is designed for animal urine. Is your kitten fixed? If not,please do that. It makes for a healthier cat and should eliminate the spraying. Cats will return to the same spot because they can smell it better than we can. The Urine-Off is supposed to get rid of the smell completely.
  • Comet Comet on Jul 20, 2015
    Go to your local pet store OR AMAZON and get something called ODOR MUTE. We have used this for over 30 years to get out every form of organic odor including cat pee dog pee mold skunk and even the scent from our wild animal rehab patients. It is a "digester" type and comes as a powder you mix to the strength you think you need--I would use a HIGH proportion of powder to water in this case. The KEY thing here is it needs to DRY naturally as in--no extra heat. You CAN place a fan blowing on it. If you can get the cushion covers off that would be better but it should work if you can take the cushions OFF the couch and lay them out and get as much solution onto the cushions as you can and LET DRY. When you are drying try and get as much surface area exposed to the air as possible---prop them on something that will not absorb the cleaner. A screen or similar would be good. I have never had this dis-color anything but I would check a spot--of course it might be easier to get the odor out and not worry too much about the color--leather is going to show wear in any case! If something has been cleaned already it might need more treatments or the prior cleaner could have "set" the stain/odor. For leather you might need to saturate a cloth and then set that on top of the area to let the solution penetrate. We have used this on solid surfaces--wipe or spray on and then let dry; fabrics like clothing and even Oriental rugs; flooring; unfinished wood; and pet fur. Works great on all these things as long as you let it DRY. For some odors the scent will appear to actually increase for a while; this is really more the water dispersing the odor into the air than anything to do with the product. I have never tried the scented version. It stores well and we buy it by the pound on AZ since we can't always find it around here. For carpet---you want to get as MUCH as you can down into and under the carpet if you can't lift a section us; let sit for a while and then sop up as much as you can and then use a FAN on HIGH to dry it. You can also use it in your washer. I don't have any ties to this company--just a GREAT product we keep going back to after trying alllll the others. And not expensive--once you have tried it you will want to keep it on hand for these emergencies!
    • Beth W Beth W on Jul 20, 2015
      Wow! Comet, that is amazing testimony. I will try this! Thank you.
  • Liz Johnson Liz Johnson on Jul 20, 2015
    I read a long time ago to use vodka and it worked great!
    • See 1 previous
    • Liz Johnson Liz Johnson on Jul 20, 2015
      @Beth W I just bought a little bottle of the cheapest I could find!
  • Paul Paul on Jul 20, 2015
    Your cat should be neutered whether or not it urinates on furniture. Just because you have it "fixed" doesn't mean it will stop this practice. Male and female cats can spray and unfortunately once they start we have never found a method to make them stop. We have worked with our vet and he has never found an answer. You are now faced with your conscience of having the little guy put to sleep or deal with the problem the best you can. If you are in a location that is animal safe you might consider putting him outside more in the day time and bringing him into the garage at night and then keeping an eye on him during the time he is in the house.
    • See 3 previous
    • Kimberli Kimberli on Jul 20, 2015
      I raise and breed exotic cats. Euthanasia is not an option we do, either they are put out in the runs or the cat house. We have 25 that are both inside and outside. We only have1 male that is a stud that sprays. None of our others either males nor females spray. Yes, tv's and computers are subject to spraying if we don't tell that cat to go outside. He minds us. Carpets, I wouldn't ever have, we have hardwood floors. Carpet is just to nasty if you have ever pulled some up and see what filth lies beneath it, no matter how you clean it. Never have had a issue with any cat spraying light sockets, dvd's or anything else. I'm very much educated on numerous animals and all my buyers are educated as well. I would change vets if mine even suggested euthanasia because of spraying. I, also am realistic just don't use euthanasia unless we have a problem with illnesses and they can't be cured and we have had that happen with breeding exotics. A child's toy water pistol works wonders on some cats. Hope this helps.
  • Rossa D Rossa D on Jul 20, 2015
    Get the cat fixed and get rid of the sofa..guest may have an issue with sitting ....the odor will return I don't care what you use to rid the smell '
    • See 1 previous
    • Beth W Beth W on Jul 20, 2015
      It is currently in a room not used by guests.
  • Rossa D Rossa D on Jul 20, 2015
    Call in a company to sanitize it in the sun after wipping with vinegar and backing soda solution, however it may fade. Organic material is difficult to fumigate especially leather .also try calling someone who works in the leather industry ..good luck
  • Uceroy Uceroy on Jul 20, 2015
    There are some products specifically for removing urine-odors from pets. (I'm from Europe, so i'm not familiar with the American brands). We use UF2000 from the company Ecodor. Any 'washing agent'/detergent that is based on enzymes should be able to remove the worst of the smell. (Like Biotex, or some carpet cleaners) These products are usually a lot cheaper. Of course it's best to test on a small spot first, so see if there's no discoloration. Good luck! :)
    • Beth W Beth W on Jul 20, 2015
      Thank you. I am learning that the best products will be enzyme based.
  • Tikva Morrow Tikva Morrow on Jul 21, 2015
    Oh no! This Hometalk Blog post has some ideas for dealing with this situation: Good luck!
  • Susan Susan on Jul 21, 2015
    My go-to for nasty cat urine is Pine Sol - nails that odor. Use original pine scent (diluted). It is an oil based cleaner and should be ok on your leather, but spot test it first. Also good for getting it out of carpet and even in the washer with your regular detergent. Also kills mildew smell when you forget and leave clothes in your washer too long.
    • Beth W Beth W on Jul 21, 2015
      I sinuses don't do well with Pine Sol, but that may be a good option. Thanks.
  • Julie Julie on Jul 21, 2015
    My cat peed on my leather sofa too. Never peed on anything else, I think it's because it's leather? I gave my sofa away since I figured the cat would continue to do this. Good luck!
  • Beth W Beth W on Aug 19, 2015
    It appears that I will be disposing of my leather furniture after all ... thanks for all the suggestions on how to possibly 'save' it.
  • Mogie Mogie on Sep 05, 2023

    Vinegar helps to naturally neutralize the smell of urine. Test a little white vinegar or apple cider vinegar out – it's one of the gentlest cat odor eliminators out there. This tip is especially helpful for leather couches that are easily damaged by harsh cleaners and other substances.