When you own a cat, you pretty quickly get used to the idea of having that cat pee smell connected to almost everything you own. While your cat might not be incontinent, they’ll still enjoy marking their territory whenever possible. When they start to “mark” your rug, your first impulse might be to despair. However, owning a cat and having a long lasting carpet aren’t mutually exclusive, or at least, they don’t have to be. If you have a carpet cleaning in Castle Rock CO that you like to use, you’re probably already used to getting your rug professionally cleaned after your cat has an accident or simply decides to show you she’s upset with you. But short of taking your rug in for a professional cleaning, how can you actually make sure your rug stays well-maintained and free of that pesky cat urine smell? There are a few ways to make sure you blast the odor and bacteria out of your carpet for good. If you want your rug to stay smelling fresh, here’s what you need to do.

Spray Right

When cats “spray” carpet, it’s not always an accident. Cats like to spread their scent around to mark their territory. The problem is, as a cat owner, you’re left holding the bag. However, because cat urine is highly acidic, you can fight its effects using an enzymatic cleaner. Using ingredients like lemon and orange, these sprays harness the power of citrus and other natural acidic cleaning agents to break up urine stains and neutralize odor. This comes in handy if your cat is a fan of spraying everywhere. The key, as with all pet stains, is to catch the stain before it starts to set. While you won’t always be able to do this, it’s good to try and keep tabs on your cat’s movements to make sure he doesn’t have an opportunity to ruin a perfectly good chair or carpet. Spraying the affected area quickly will minimize odor and make for easy damage control.

Set and Blot

Contrary to popular belief, here’s a right way and a wrong way to spray. While it might seem normal to spray at will after your cat has an accident, you should always use even the greenest, most gentle cleaners with caution. Over-wetting your carpet can be just as problematic as leaving a stain to sit. You want to avoid bacteria and mold growth, which means you don’t want to just replace your cat’s urine with another wet ingredient. Instead, you want to spray cautiously, being sure to blot the stain and remove all the excess liquid from the area. If you don’t take pains to make your carpet as dry as possible, you would end up with a moldy carpet in no time. Don’t take chances: When treating a stain, make sure to use as little cleaner as possible and mop up the surrounding area with an absorbent cloth before and after spraying.

Use Natural Cleaners

Your first impulse, as someone who wants to keep a clean home, might be to spray any offending area within an inch of its life using a strong cleaner that will blast the smell and bacteria content out of it. But before you reach for the bleach, remember that using harsh chemicals might remove all signs of cat urine, but can also end up hurting your rug. Most natural fiber rugs are incredibly sensitive, and even if you have a synthetic fiber rug at home, using serious chemicals like bleach and ammonia will probably only make matters worse. Sure, you won’t have to deal with that cat pee smell, but you’ll have to deal with the noxious chemical odor of your spray of choice instead. Using these chemicals can lead to headaches, dizziness, and dehydration if you’re not careful. If you want to effectively get rid of pet odor, using enzymatic cleaners is a better long-term solution.

Keep Everything as Dry as Possible

Remember, when it comes to rugs, moisture is the enemy. If you don’t want to deal with that residual cat urine smell but you also don’t want to risk water-logging your rug, you should try to treat stains as quickly as possible using as little actual treatment as possible. If you’ve already sprayed the area, try using a dry ingredient like baking soda to soak up any excess cleaner. You’ll be able to blast bacteria without worrying about getting a moldy patch beneath the surface. If you still feel like your rug smells or that you’ve used too much water, don’t delay: Schedule an appointment with a professional carpet cleaner as soon as you can.