As a cat owner, I know firsthand how much joy these furry creatures can bring to our lives. They are easy to take care of and are always there for us when we need them. However, even the most well-behaved cats can have accidents. And if your cat has urinated on your shoes, you may be wondering how to get cat pee out of them!
Cats are known for doing what they want when they want, and sometimes that means using our belongings as a makeshift litter box.
Whether it’s a younger or less well-behaved cat or for any other reason, finding cat urine on your shoes can be frustrating. But don’t worry; I’ve got you covered with some great cleaning solutions that will help you get that unpleasant odor and stain out of your favorite pair of shoes.
So if you’re dealing with a pee situation and want to know how to get cat pee out of shoes, keep reading. I’m here to provide you with some effective cleaning tips that will have your shoes smell fresh and clean again.
- How to Identify Cat Urine Stains on Shoes
- Understanding Why Your Cat is Peeing on Your Shoes
- The Dangers of Leaving Cat Urine in Your Shoes
- How to Get Cat Pee Out of Shoes
- Long-term Solutions for Stopping Your Cat from Peeing on Shoes
- Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Cat Urine Stains and Smells from Shoes
- What Not to Do When Cleaning Cat Urine Stains and Smells from Shoes
- The Importance of Proper Cleaning Methods to Remove Cat Urine Stains and Smells
- Final Thought
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to Identify Cat Urine Stains on Shoes
As a fellow cat owner, I understand how frustrating it can be when your beloved feline friend accidentally urinates on your shoes. Not only can it cause health risks and damage to the material of your shoes, but it may also cause some awkward smelly situations, especially if you accidentally wear your pee-stained shoes outside.
And sometimes, it can also be difficult to identify pet stains. But don’t worry, I’ve got some tips to help you identify cat urine stains on shoes!
1. Look for Yellowish Stains
First, look for discoloration. Cat urine can cause dark or yellowish stains on the material of your shoes, especially near the toe area or the insoles. If you notice any areas that appear darker than the surrounding material, it’s likely a urine stain.
2. Rely on Your Sense of Smell
Second, smell for the odor. Cat urine has a strong and distinct smell that is hard to miss. If you notice a foul odor coming from your shoes, especially near the toe area or the insoles, it could be a sign of cat urine.
3. Check for Stickiness and Dampness
Third, feel for dampness. Cat urine can make your shoes feel damp or sticky. If you notice any wet or sticky areas on your shoes, it’s likely a urine stain. Regular water, on the other hand, will not feel sticky at all. Cat pee contains various chemicals and salt that leave a sticky residue, especially on the fabric of your shoes.
If you’re still having trouble identifying the urine stains on your shoes, there are a few things you can do.
First, I recommend using a black light. Cat urine will glow under ultraviolet light, making it easier to spot. Another option is to compare the stain to other stains on your shoes. Urine stains typically have a darker color and a stronger odor than other stains, such as dirt or food stains.
Understanding Why Your Cat is Peeing on Your Shoes
It may be a complete mystery why, of all places, your cat decided to use your shoes as its personal restroom. After all, your cat is potty trained and usually goes in the litter box, so what’s the deal?
It’s essential to address this concern because there may be something deeper going on here. Rather than jumping to the conclusion that your cat hates you and wants to act out, you may want to consider that there could be something going on to cause this outburst.
1. Health Issues
Specific health problems can cause your cat to pee outside of his litter box. If you have found that your cat has been peeing in several places around your home, such as on the floor, on furniture, and in various other areas, he could have a urinary tract infection.
Other health issues that can cause your cat to lose control of its bladder include kidney disease and diabetes. All of these issues can be serious and require medical attention. So, before you scold your kitty, make an appointment with your vet to see if something else is going on.
Other health factors can play a role in your cat, not wanting or not being able to use his litter box. Older cats commonly develop arthritis, so while he knows he’s supposed to do his business in the litter box, he may not physically be able to step over the edge to get in.
At this point, your cat is going to go wherever he can get to. To solve this issue, you can try to find a little box with a shorter edge or a ramp. This will make it easier for your cat to get into the litter box and do his thing.
Other health issues can sometimes make your cat feel “off.” Unlike people, cats can’t just walk up to us and tell us what’s wrong. So, they tend to act out when there’s something not quite right with them. The best thing you can do when you see an issue with the litter box or urination habits is to schedule a visit to the vet.
Your cat may also be avoiding the litter box because of its state of cleanliness. As human beings, we all know that there are very few things as unpleasant as using a dirty restroom.
Cats are at a disadvantage here because they can’t control the state of their “restroom” – only you can do that. It would be asking a lot if we expected our cats to continue to use a litter box that was smelly and full of yesterday’s disposals.
It’s very likely that if their litter box smells terrible and hasn’t been kept clean, your cat will find somewhere else to go to the bathroom. Many people think that if they use scented kitty litter, they can go longer without cleaning out the box.
This is completely untrue.
The fact of the matter remains that there are feces and urine in that box daily, so it should be cleaned as such. Imagine using the toilet in your house but only flushing it once or twice a week. No bathroom spray and scent in the world’s going to cover up that mess.
You should scoop the litter box every day. Some experts even recommend scooping multiple times a day if you have more than one cat sharing a box. Cats have a stronger sense of smell than humans do, so when they share a litter box, they have to take in the scent of their own products along with their housemates.
Do the right thing and make sure your cat’s litter box is consistently cleaned on a daily basis. Otherwise, be prepared to find dropping elsewhere in your home.
Another reason your cat might be peeing outside of his litter box is that he is stressed out. Again, animals have no way of verbally telling us what’s wrong with them, so they have to show us in different, sometimes unconventional ways.
If your cat is stressed out or anxious, it could be due to a medical reason or their environment. Peeing in other locations not only alerts you to the problem but helps relieve anxiety. The smell of your cat’s urine actually calms the cat because it’s familiar to them.
When stressed, your cat might actually be spraying or marking his territory as well. Spraying is a special kind of urine, and cats tend to do this more when they are stressed out.
Do your best to eliminate anything that is causing your cat stress. Perhaps someone in the house isn’t treating your cat kindly, or your cat gets stressed around other animals. If you can find the reason, do your best to mitigate it and stop peeing.
4. Type of Kitty Litter
Every cat is different and has different preferences. Just like you often have to toy around with different foods to suit their digestion and habits, you may have to do the same with the litter in their litter box.
Individual kitty litter can actually feel uncomfortable on a cat’s foot, and we all know that cats love their comfort. If you have found that your cat has started peeing outside of the litter box and there is nothing medically wrong with him, try changing out the litter.
Avoid cat litters that use clay, corncobs, or recycled newspaper, as these are all ingredients that can cause discomfort to your cat’s feet.
Kittens also tend to pick up their likes, dislikes, and habits from their mothers. If you have access to your cat’s mom or her owners, try to find out what kind of cat litter they use. Switching to the same litter as your cat’s mother may solve your problem.
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The Dangers of Leaving Cat Urine in Your Shoes
As a cat owner, I know how easy it can be to overlook a urine stain on your shoes. But leaving cat urine in your shoes can have some serious consequences. Here are some of the dangers to be aware of leaving cat urine in your shoes:
- Health risks: Cat urine can contain harmful bacteria and toxins that can cause a range of health problems, including respiratory issues, skin irritation, and gastrointestinal problems.
- Unpleasant odors: Cat urine has a strong and unpleasant odor that can be difficult to remove. The longer it sits in your shoes, the more difficult it will be to eliminate the smell.
- Damage to shoes: Cat urine can also damage the material of your shoes, particularly if they are made of leather or suede. The urine can cause discoloration, staining, and deterioration of the material.
- Attracting pests: Cat urine can also attract pests like rodents and insects, which are attracted to the scent and may cause further damage to your shoes.
- Cat behavioral issues: If your cat is urinating in your shoes, it could be a sign of anxiety or a medical condition.
- Social embarrassment: If you wear shoes that have cat urine in them, you may be embarrassed in social situations due to the strong and unpleasant odor.
- Increased cleaning time: Removing cat urine from shoes can be a time-consuming and difficult process, requiring special cleaning solutions and techniques.
- Costly shoe replacement: If your shoes are severely damaged by cat urine, you may need to replace them, which can be costly depending on the brand and material.
Diseases Transmitted by Cat Excrements
Now since cat urine and excrement are organic by nature, they may transmit some serious diseases. So, you really need to take cat pee on your shoes more seriously, especially if a wild cat that did it.
- Toxoplasmosis. This is a parasitic infection that can be transmitted to humans through contact with cat feces or urine. Symptoms may include flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, and eye infections.
- Salmonella. Cat excrement can contain the Salmonella bacteria, which can cause gastrointestinal illness in humans. Symptoms may include diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
- Campylobacteriosis. This is a bacterial infection that can be contracted by humans through contact with cat urine or feces. Symptoms may include fever, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
- Leptospirosis. This is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted to humans through contact with cat urine or contaminated water. Symptoms may include fever, headache, and muscle pain.
- Respiratory problems. Prolonged exposure to cat urine can cause respiratory problems, especially for people with asthma or other respiratory conditions.
- Skin irritation. Cat urine can cause skin irritation, including rashes and hives, in people who are sensitive to the toxins in the urine.
Of course, if your cat is well-groomed, it’s unlikely that it can transmit the diseases above. But still, it’s better to be safe than sorry: always clean your cat-pee-stained shoes immediately!
How to Get Cat Pee Out of Shoes
There are many household products and home remedies that you can use to clean cat pee off and out of your shoes. Cat urine has a strong odor, so it’s crucial that you not only clean it out but eliminate the smell. Take a look at these cleaning solutions.
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda is known for its ability to eliminate shoe odors. People use baking soda in their sock drawers, in laundry rooms, in the refrigerator, and in shoes to soak up odors and remove foul smells.
It works just as well in a kitty pee situation.
A simple solution to getting rid of that smell left behind by cat pee in your shoes is simply to pour some baking soda directly inside of it. Let it sit there for a few hours and allow it to soak up the smell. After some time has passed, shake the baking soda out of your shoes.
It’s important to note that using baking soda will not clean your shoe, so you should still scrub out the stain before your attack the smell.
Vinegar is a super standard household product that has been used for both cleaning and disinfecting for years. It’s also the perfect solution for buffing out cat urine stains from shoes.
To address cat pee in your shoes using vinegar, mix even parts of water and vinegar in a container or your kitchen sink. Use a sponge, a rag, or a scrubbing brush, dip them in the solution, and use it to wash the liquid from your shoe.
As a bonus, you can mix an essential oil or a scented dish soap to help with the odor. Add a few drops to your vinegar and water solution to leave behind a fresh scent like lavender or pine.
Once you have cleaned the affected area, let your shoes sit out to dry. If your shoes still smell foul after they have dried, you can attack the odor with the baking soda method up above.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide
Another common household product, hydrogen peroxide, is a great way to clean your shoes when your cat has made a mess in them.
Take the hydrogen peroxide and pour a small amount directly on the affected area of your shoe. Let your shoe sit and dry for a few hours. Once you feel that the spot is dry, take a clean cloth or rag and soak it in warm water.
Scrub the affected area with the warm, damp rag, removing both the cat stain and the hydrogen peroxide. Dab the area with a dry cloth to remove excess moisture, and let your shoe air dry the rest of the way.
Be careful when using hydrogen peroxide, as it may stain certain fabrics or colors.
4. Sprays and Deodorizers
The number of products that pet companies make is pervasive, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they would create cleaning products that address stains and smells. If you’re not interested in DIY methods, try visiting your local pet store or supermarket and browse their pet cleaning section. There are tons of fabric sprays and cleaning products made precisely for situations like this.
In addition, there are also plenty of shoe deodorizer products that make it super easy to remove foul smells and odors from shoes simply by placing the product in your shoe overnight.
Read Also: How to Recycle Shoes
5. Washing Machine
While some shoe companies and experts will tell you not to put your shoes in the washing machine, many do-it-yourselfers have tried with great success to wash their shoes this way. This is an excellent option for getting cat pee out of your shoes. It’s practical, efficient, and in the long run, you end up with all-around cleaner shoes.
First things first: you need to check two things. The first is to check the material of your shoes. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if your shoes are made from any animal-based fabric (leather, suede, etc.), you should not throw them in the washer as it will likely ruin them.
You also shouldn’t wash shoes in a washer if they have delicate materials such as satin or silk. These materials often require special care, and you will severely damage them in the washing machine.
The second thing you should do is check the tag or label on the inside of your shoes. Some shoes will have cleaning and care instructions on this label, while others might explicitly state that you should not wash them in the washer.
If you can check one or both of these items, try to avoid using the washing machine as a quick cleaning trick. If not, then let’s move on to the next steps.
How to Get Cat Pee Out of Your Shoes Using a Washing Machine
Step 1: Remove laces
The best way to wash your shoes in the washing machine is to start by removing the laces if present. Even if the cat pee is on the laces as well, you should take them off of your shoes. Leave them to soak in a solution of warm water and dish soap while your shoes wash.
Step 2: Toss in the shoes
Once you’ve taken off the laces, go ahead and toss those shoes in the washing machine. Because shoes are more substantial than regular clothing, it’s a good idea to prevent them from banging around as much as possible.
You can accomplish this by using a simple laundry bag. You can put your shoes in a mesh laundry bag to keep them together and prevent them from catching on the inside of the drum. If you don’t have a mesh laundry bag, you can get the same results by putting your shoes in an old empty pillowcase.
Even with these items in place, your shoes can cause quite a loud ruckus in your machine. Rather than putting up with that noise for the better part of an hour, try throwing some towels in with the shoes. The extra cushion of the towels help prevents your shoes from banging around freely, acting as a buffer.
Step 3: Set it to a cooler temperature
Set your washing machine to a cooler temperature. If you can set the exact temperature, opt for one 30 degrees or colder. If your machine has more basic settings, just set your dial to cold water. Setting your machine at a lower temperature will help keep the integrity of your shoe intact without damaging the fabric or running the colors.
Step 4: Use special detergent
Speaking of colors, try to use a detergent that’s color friendly. There are tons of color laundry detergents. Choose any brand that you’re comfortable with and use it to protect the color of your shoes. If you’re washing white shoes, then you can also grab a whites-only detergent that has additional bleach to help whiten the color.
Step 5: Drying
After you have washed your shoes in the washing machine, take them out and skip the dryer step. Unlike your clothes, your shoes should not go in the dryer. The high heat used in most dryers can damage fabrics and melt any glues that were used in your shoe’s construction.
If you can set your dryer to a low or no-heat option and a gentle cycle, you may be able to wash your shoes in the dryer. However, we do not recommend it and can’t make any promises about the results you might get.
Instead, choose to leave your shoes out to air dry. Put them in a room-temperature area that has good airflow and ventilation. Avoid leaving them in direct sunlight, as the sunlight may cause colors to fade.
As an additional tip, you may want to try stuffing your shoes with newspaper to help absorb extra moisture and ensure your shoe keeps its original shape. Leave them out for at least 24 hours before putting them away in your closet.
Long-term Solutions for Stopping Your Cat from Peeing on Shoes
- Provide multiple litter boxes. Some cats are particular about their litter box and may avoid using it if it’s not clean or in a location they prefer. Providing multiple litter boxes in different locations can help ensure your cat has a clean and accessible place to go.
- Keep the litter boxes clean. Scoop the litter boxes daily and thoroughly clean them at least once a week.
- Use the right type of litter. Some cats may prefer a certain type of litter, such as unscented or a certain texture. Experiment with different types of litter to find what your cat prefers. As I’ve said above, kitties can be choosy with their litter.
- Address any medical issues. If your cat is repeatedly peeing outside of the litter box, it may be a sign of a medical issue, such as a urinary tract infection. Take your cat to the veterinarian for a checkup to rule out any underlying medical issues.
- Provide enough playtime and mental stimulation. Boredom and anxiety can cause cats to act out, including peeing outside of the litter box. Provide plenty of playtimes and mental stimulation for your cat to help alleviate boredom and anxiety.
- Use pheromone products. Pheromone products, such as sprays or diffusers, can help calm anxious cats and reduce the likelihood of peeing outside of the litter box.
- Consider crate training: If your cat is repeatedly peeing on shoes or other items, consider crate training to limit its access to these items.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Cat Urine Stains and Smells from Shoes
When cleaning cat urine stains and smells from shoes, there are some common mistakes I have made in the past that can actually make the situation worse.
Here are some mistakes I have learned to avoid when I need to get cat pee, stains and smells out of my shoes:
1. Using harsh cleaning products
I used to reach for harsh cleaning products like bleach or ammonia, but they can actually damage my shoes and create toxic fumes. Instead, I now use a pet-safe enzyme cleaner specifically designed for removing urine stains and smells.
It’s worth investing in such specialized cleaners if you are a shoe collector like me. Otherwise, soap and mild detergent will do too.
2. Not soaking up the urine first
One mistake I used to make was not soaking up as much of the urine as possible before applying any cleaning products. Now, I use paper towels or a clean cloth to blot the area, but I avoid rubbing the stain as this can spread the urine and make it more difficult to remove.
3. Not testing the cleaning product first
Another mistake I have made in the past is not testing the cleaning product on a small, inconspicuous area first to make sure it won’t damage the material. There was that one time I tried using baking soda and vinegar, which are abrasive and ended up scratching up my shoes! Be sure that the cleaning solution is compatible with the shoe material.
4. Not allowing enough time for the cleaner to work
I have learned that enzyme cleaners require time to break down the urine and eliminate the odor. I now follow the instructions on the cleaner carefully and allow enough time for it to work before rinsing it off. It’s all about being patient!
5. Not rinsing the shoes thoroughly
After using a cleaning product, it’s important to rinse my shoes thoroughly with water to remove any residue. If any cleaner is left on the shoes, it can attract dirt and bacteria and may cause irritation to my feet.
6. Not addressing the underlying issue
Finally, I have learned that if my cat continues to urinate on my shoes, it’s important to address the underlying issue. I make sure my cat’s litter box is clean and easily accessible and consider providing multiple litter boxes, especially if you have more than one cat.
If the problem persists, I recommend consulting with a veterinarian or a cat behaviorist for additional recommendations.
What Not to Do When Cleaning Cat Urine Stains and Smells from Shoes
|Using ammonia-based products||These products can worsen the smell and damage shoe material. Use pet-safe enzymatic cleaners instead.|
|Scrubbing the stain vigorously||Vigorous scrubbing can push urine deeper into the material. Blot with a paper towel or cloth instead.|
|Using a heat source to dry shoes||Heat sources can set the urine stain and smell permanent. Air dry shoes naturally, preferably in direct sunlight.|
|Neglecting to clean shoes thoroughly||Residue attracts cats to urinate in the same spot. Use enough cleaning solution and rinse thoroughly with water.|
|Using too much cleaning solution||Using too much cleaner can damage the material and make it harder to remove. Follow the instructions carefully.|
|Not testing the cleaning product first||Test the cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it won’t damage the material.|
|Rushing the cleaning process||Enzyme cleaners require time to break down the urine and eliminate the odor. Follow the instructions carefully and allow enough time for it to work.|
|Ignoring the underlying issue||Address why the cat is urinating on the shoes by ensuring a clean and accessible litter box.|
The Importance of Proper Cleaning Methods to Remove Cat Urine Stains and Smells
As a fellow cat owner, you have to understand the importance of using proper cleaning methods to remove cat urine stains and smells. When my cat accidentally urinates outside of her litter box, odor removal can be super tricky.
1. High Concentration of Uric Acid
One of the reasons why proper cleaning methods are crucial is that cat urine contains a high concentration of uric acid, which is difficult to remove with traditional cleaning methods like soap and water. If not properly cleaned, the odor can linger, and my cat may continue to urinate in the same spot, causing more damage to my carpets, furniture, and floors.
2. Eliminate Health Hazard
In addition to preventing damage, proper cleaning methods also eliminate health hazards by removing harmful bacteria and germs that may be present in the urine.
As I’ve explained earlier, cat urine can contain harmful bacteria and germs that can pose a health hazard to me and my family. So it is crucial to use effective cleaning methods to ensure that all bacteria and germs are removed.
3. Proper Cleaning Method
Furthermore, using proper cleaning methods like enzymatic cleaners and specialized cat urine removers can break down the uric acid crystals and eliminate the odor. This not only prevents the odor from lingering but also discourages my cat from urinating in the same spot again.
I cannot stress enough the importance of using proper cleaning methods to remove cat urine stains and smells. It not only eliminates the odor but also prevents health hazards, damage, and repeat offenses.
As much as we love them, pets have a tendency to ruin or damage things in our homes. It comes with the territory, but we love them just the same. Cats are no different. Accidents happen, and there may even be a logical reason behind why your cat peed in or on your shoes.
Do your best to take preventative measures or corrective actions in this situation. Follow up with your vet to make sure there are no serious problems going on and tackle the issue from there, making the necessary changes.
In addition to changing things in your pet’s life, take steps such as putting shoes away regularly and keeping them in closets with closed doors. And most important of all, continue to love and support your feline friend – even through the smelliest of situations.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How do I remove cat urine smells and stains from different types of shoe materials?
To get cat pee out of your shoes that feature specific materials, you can follow this guideline!
- Leather. Wipe away any excess urine with a cloth and then use a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar to clean the affected area gently. Dry the shoes completely and condition the leather to restore its natural oils.
- Suede. Use a suede brush to remove any dried urine gently, then mix equal parts water and white vinegar and apply the solution. Allow the shoes to air dry, and then brush the suede with a suede brush to restore the texture.
- Canvas. Soak the affected area in a mixture of warm water and laundry detergent for 30 minutes before rinsing with clean water. Then, mix equal parts water and white vinegar and apply the solution to the affected area. Allow the shoes to air dry.
- Mesh. Blot any excess urine with a cloth. Then, use a mixture of warm water and laundry detergent to clean the affected area before rinsing with clean water. Allow the shoes to air dry, and then sprinkle baking soda inside to absorb the odors.
How often should you clean your shoes to remove cat urine stains and smells?
It is important to clean your shoes as soon as possible after they have been soiled with cat urine to prevent the odor and stains from setting in. However, if the odor or stain persists after the initial cleaning, it may be necessary to clean your shoes again.
How do I prevent cat urine smells and stains on shoes?
You can follow the tips that I’ve highlighted in this article. Prevention is an important part of the steps. You should train your cat to pee and poop in the designated area. Of course, if your cat already makes a mess, you can follow my handy tips on how to get the pee stain out of your shoes.