How to Get Cat Urine Out of Wood Subfloor

Have you decided to take your carpets up and replace your flooring? This is enough of a challenge, without the added problem of pets in the home. Over time, your cats may have urinated or sprayed on the carpets. And the obvious solution to damaged carpets is to remove and replace them. 

But some of this may have soaked through to the base flooring underneath, too. You have to address this issue before laying down new carpets or any other flooring. This is even more of an issue when the subfloor is made of wood.  However, there is hope to eradicate the smelly problem. 

Read our guide to learn how to get cat urine out of the wood subfloor, quickly and safely.

What this article covers:

How To Get Cat Pee Out Of A Subfloor

how to get urine smell out of subfloor

If you have pets and children in the home, you’ll want to get rid of hardwood floor smells without noxious fumes or toxic substances. And the good news is, you don’t need to subject yourself to harmful chemicals to get pet urine out of the subfloor. 

An enzymatic cleaner is usually the top choice for removing pet stains and odors. But if you don’t have such a product to hand, don’t worry. You can use things you already have in the home.

First, open the windows for ventilation. This will allow some of the smell to dissipate, and it will also allow your subfloor to dry naturally after cleaning. 

Follow these instructions to remove cat pee from a wood floor or even get dog urine out of plywood after lifting your carpets.

You will need the following:

  • Half a cup of baking soda
  • Half a cup of white vinegar
  • Half a cup of mild dish soap
  • 2 cups warm water
  • A bucket
  • A cleaning rag or spray bottle (optional)
  • A mop like our Flat Mop for easy clean 

how to get cat pee out of subfloor

Step 1: Make Up A Cleaning Solution

Mix the ingredients in a bucket, and either use the rag to distribute it to the floor, or decant into a spray bottle and apply it to a smelly area. 

Use the mop to distribute it over the affected area and agitate the solution. If you need a better grip, our EZEE Grip Pole with handle will allow you to work without gloves, blister-free. 

how to get dog pee out of subfloor

This will get the smell of cat urine out of wood floors and furniture, too. (In which case, use a spray bottle and wipe with a microfiber cloth.)  

Step 2: Wipe And Rinse

You may notice some bubbling due to the baking soda. This is perfectly normal. Continue wiping the area for a few minutes. Then rinse your cloth and mop, and rinse the area with clean water. Don’t saturate the area though, as wood is highly prone to water damage.

Step 3: Dry Naturally & Thoroughly

Allow the area to air dry. Be sure that the floor has thoroughly dried before attempting to lay down any new flooring. You may use a floor fan or a low-standing fan to speed up the process. 

how to get cat urine out of subfloor

Step 4: If there’s Still A Faint Smell

If a faint odor persists, sprinkle some more baking soda over the affected area and leave overnight. This will not harm your floor at all. It will merely absorb the odor. You can also use this to remove pet odor from wood furniture, or even upholstery. Simply sweep or vacuum up the baking soda afterward.

Why Is Cat Pee Such A Problem?

Removing cat pee smells can be much more challenging than getting rid of dog pee smell on hardwood floors. Cat urine contains a higher concentration of ammonia, and this makes it much more potent than other urine.

The molecules that release that bad odor can take years to break down. So if you’ve had several cat urine stains over the years, the bad smell will be deeply ingrained. The other problem is how acidic cat urine is. This can damage your floor, even eroding the finish on a hardwood floor.

This is why it’s essential to clean cat urine from wood furniture and floors as soon as possible, to prevent damage and lingering odors. It’s important to act promptly when you clean cat poop off your wood floor too. But the ammonia in the urine will be far more damaging. 

The Best Solution 

how to get cat pee smell out of subfloor

The best solution to keeping both your carpets (and subfloors)  and your wood floors clean is with a floor machine built for the task. This will always do a more efficient job than cleaning by hand and in half the time.

And best of all, you don’t need several different machines to tackle all your floor types. There’s one that will do the job, no matter the surface. The Orbot floor machine is ideal for residential and commercial use. 

how to get dog pee out of plywood

It makes light work of carpet cleaning, as well as chemical-free wood and stone floor cleaning. It even cleans linoleum, tile, and grout.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Do you want to prevent this issue from happening in the future? When you lay your new carpets, be sure to treat them with Rob’s Solvent Sealer. It impregnates all surfaces, creating a slayer of protection without affecting the texture of your carpeting. 

how to get cat pee smell out of plywood subfloor

This product will also protect your upholstered and leather couches from everyday spills and stains. Use as directed on the pack for best results. And as with all products, do a test patch first in an inconspicuous area of the carpet or couch.


Cat urine stains on your floor are an unfortunate side effect of having your beloved pet in the home. That’s why it’s best to avoid long-lasting damage to your carpets and subfloor by cleaning them up quickly with good-quality carpet detergents. 

We stock a wide range of carpet and floor care chemicals for every type of pet stain and a host of other floor issues. With our specialized floor care products, your home will always be fresh and clean

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