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How To Find Cat Pee? (With and Without a Blacklight!)

Posted in: Cat Care - Last Updated: August 22, 2022 - Author: Laraib Shah
Posted in Cat Care 
Last Updated: August 22, 2022  
Author:  Laraib Shah

Having a cat as your pet is a mix of joy, excitement and occasional moments of frustration.

No matter how much you cherish your cat wiggling around your legs as soon as you return home from a long day at work, having to bear the smell of pee around the house is going to take the shine off your happiness.

How to find cat pee

If your cat has developed the habit of peeing wherever it wants, you might have a huge and recurring problem. You may find yourself spending your whole day finding out the spots where you cat has peed and cleaning them up.

It can take a lot of effort and energy to find cat urine smell spots all around the house. This gets tougher because the smell lingers long after the patch of urine has dried and the obvious signs have disappeared - but not the smell.

So, what's the best way to find the source of cat urine odor? Is there a way you don't have to look for it everywhere in the house and save time? And actually be able to get rid of it?

Well, yes, there are a couple of ways and we're going to detail them below..

This article is a complete guide on how you can become a pet urine detector and what you can actually do about dealing with that uric acid smell.

How to Find Cat Pee - UV BlackLight

One thing that you need to understand is that if urine has dried, finding it is going to be one hell of a task.

You won't be able to spot it simply by looking for it. If a patch of pee has dried up, there's no outward sign to tell you where. Instead, you're going to have to go a step further to look for it. 

This is when a black UV light will be the answer to your troubles. 

When these flashlights are moved around your floor (or furniture), they illuminate the spot where any urine has dried.

Hence, the UV black light acts as a lifesaver, because once you know where the dried patch of pee actually is, you can remove the stain quite easily.

how to find cat pee on carpet

If you decide to use a UV blacklight to detetc cat urine, it's necessary to choose a device that offers a wavelength of around 395 nanometers (as per the device we use and recommend). 

Some UV lights with shorter wavelegths will struggle to properly detect dried cat urine, so make sure that the one you choose specifically sataes that it will detect cat urine - and do check reviews to see that people confirm it.

We've tested the Vansky UV light and can confirm that in our tests it detected patches of dry cat pee.

If you decide that it's not worth buying a UV light as you hope this problem of hidden cat pee is a one-off or don't want to spend on one, there is an alterntive approach you can take.

How to Find Cat Pee Without a Blacklight

There are other ways to find cat pee without a blacklight.

Let's see what's most effective. 

Favorite Kitty Playing Places

There' s a very good chance that your cat went to her favorite play spot and couldn't hold back the pee. 

While playing, it ended up peeing, and now your home is filled with the smell. 

This is why, as soon as you feel like your home has the odor of stale cat pee, simply go to your cat’s favorite spots and let your nose lead your search.

Favorite Kitty Hiding Spaces

It's the same with hiding places. Every cat has safe spaces where they disappear to get some peace and quiet.

You will be well aware of your cat’s favorite place to hide. It could be under the bed, beneath a table, behind the curtains, or even in the kitchen (gross, yes, I know). 

how to find cat pee without a blacklight

Examine the hiding spaces thoroughly and follow the stink. Hopefully you'll be able to find the pee!

Causes Of Cat Pee Smell

One reason your house may be succumbing to the whiff of cats’ pee could be that your cat is peeing way too frequently.

This could be an abnormal behavior, and kitty may be having some health issues that are making peeing so frequent.

Of course, if there is an issue that means your cat is urinating more often there's a greater chance that she might not have time to pop oudoors or get to the litter tray.

Medical Condition

If you really want to eliminate the cause of the cat pee smell in this situation, you really need to sort out the problem of your cat peeing way too much!

If your cat pees more than four times a day, it is abnormal behavior, and you need to see a vet immediately to diagnose the cause and get treatment. Of course, it could be an underlying health problem rather than a solely urinary issue that will require more specific medical treatment.


Cats, just like humans, have to deal with stressful situations. Unfortunately, such a situation leads to anxiety, which can make your cat pee a lot.

If you think stress is the issue then to ensure your cat doesn't pee unnecessarily, you need to help it tackle the stress issue.

Cats are sensitive and can get stressed easily. 

They tend to take even a small change in the house quite seriously, and it starts affecting their health.

So if you've had another pet in the house or have made some changes in your cat’s living space, it might not have gone down well, so that there could be stress and lots of peeing!

You need to do everything you can think of to try and help eliminate the stress factor.

Dirty Litter

This is a very common cause of you noticing a cat pee smell around your house and a super simple one to fix.

It might just be coming from a well-used litter box.

So, clean the litter box! 

As bacteria break down cat pee, urea releases the chemical ammonia into the air. It’s why your cat litter box has such a sharp, burning ammonia smell if you don’t clean it well enough.

So you need to make sure you regularly change the litter and clean the box out with soap and detergent as a matter of habit.

It's also worth thinking about the possibility that your used cat litter might be causing a stink if you've removed it from the litter tray and bagged it. If that bag is still in your house (perhaps waiting at the back door to be taken to the trash) then that smell can still spread.

Used cat litter tied in a bag might seem like it's stopping any odors, but that's probably not the case.

Specifically to combat this issue, many people opt to use a pail for the used cat litter, such as a Litter Genie, that seals away used litter and prevents the smell from spreading. We highly recommend this approach, especially if you have multiple cats.

Peeing Over the Litter Box

If your cat is learning how to pee in the litter box, there's a good chance that it ends up doing its business outside of it

Some of the pee may tend to fall outside the box, leading to a nasty whiff around that area, even if you're emptying and cleaning the box. If you are still training your cat, you need to show some patience. 

Pretty much every cat will learn how to pee in the litter box properly, and this problem will be tend to be fixed over time.

Whilst this remains an issue for your cat as they develop the habit, simply clean the surroundings of the litter box as soon as the cat has ended peeing, and it should ensure your house doesn't smell bad.

how to find cat pee with black light

How To Eliminate The Smell of Cat Urine

Eliminating the pee smell is as challenging as finding it, which is why we have a full article on it here.

However, in short, some of the best ways to do so are as follows:

  1. 1
    Use a spray bottle, Use one part hydrogen peroxide and two parts water or vinegar.
  2. 2
    Blot it out and then clean the affected area with water. Use a specialized enzyme cleaner which not only blots and wipes the surface clean but also removes the smell associated with it.
  3. 3
    Sprinkle some baking soda on the surface where the cat has peed. Let it stay there for at least thirty minutes
  4. 4
    Use a dryer on the area.
  5. 5
    Repeat if needed.

How To Find Cat Pee: Summary

Cat’s pee can lead to the whole house stinking miserably. 

Living in such a situation can become frustrating and upsetting. This is why finding any cat pee and cleaning it up thoroughly can become an obsession - you want rid of it!

If you're dealing with this problem, it's high time you either invest in a UV black light or stuff your cabinets with pee cleaning enzymes and baking soda.

The first thing, however, is that you get your cat checked over by a veterinarian to see if there are any underlying medical issues. A medical cat pee problem can soon be dealt with by a course of medications, love, and care.

About the author

Laraib Shah is a freelance writer and a proud cat mom who shares her home with an exceptionally perfect cat named Simba. As an experienced cat mom, she is the trusted authority on cat care and cat breeds for the team. Apart from cats, Laraib loves cooking, travelling plus cookies, ice cream, and coffee!