"My cat peed in my suitcase!" If you have a feline friend in your life you may have uttered that phrase, or something similar (like, "My cat peed on my freshly washed basket of clothes!") which is likely yelled the night before a big trip just as you're packing your belongings into your luggage. Cat urine is not exactly a pleasant smell, and isn't one that's easily removed from some fabrics. With a little time, care, and just a few ingredients, however, you can get cat pee out of your luggage in a few simple steps.
Why cats pee in luggage
Our pets seem to alway know when we're headed out of town, and oftentimes, the sight of a suitcase coming out of the closet is what tips them off. Sometimes, even the most potty-trained and accident-averse pets seemingly can't resist marking your territory with their scent, but why suitcases? According to Cat Behavior Solved, it is likely because your suitcase indicates a change in your cat's routine.
Creatures of habit, cats thrive on firm boundaries, like territories and regular routines such as feeding times or sleeping spots. When you head out of town, your cat most likely spends her days with another person or alone, causing a shift in the routine, and possibly, resulting in stress for your cat, says The Humane Society. For stressed cats, seeing a suitcase can be an indicator that the next few days will be a bit off, as it has been the last few times the suitcase came out, which may lead to irregular bathroom behaviors.
How to clean cat pee
Cat pee is most easily removed when you treat the stain immediately, so if you caught your cat in the act, or the pee spot is still wet, get to work as quickly as possible for the best results.
Step 1: Blot the stain
Use dry towels or paper towels to soak up as much of the wet mess as possible by blotting at the stain, Preventative Vet suggests. Then, wet a clean towel with warm water to gently wipe the surface of the stain.
Step 2: Find a cleanser
Apply an enzymatic cleaner to the surface of the spot, which will remove odor and should prevent a lasting stain from forming on the surface of your suitcase. Store-bought enzymatic cleaners designed for eliminating pet waste can be found at pet stores, hardware stores, and most grocery stores. You can also make your own DIY cleaner at home using white vinegar and water. To treat cat pee stains naturally, mix one part white vinegar with three parts warm water.
Step 3: Treat the area
Take your enzymatic cleaner of choice and thoroughly soak the stain with it. Generally, you should allow the cleaning solution to rest on the stain for about 10 minutes, which will allow the enzymes time to break down the odor. If you are using a store-bought cleaner, check the instructions before applying.
Step 4: Remove the cleanser
Use a clean, dry towel to soak up the cleanser once it has had time to set and soak through the stain. Use blotting motions to soak up the liquid with the towel, then allow your suitcase to air dry before using it or closing it up. If the cat pee odor persists, repeat the steps until the stain and smell have been removed.