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How to Get Cat Poop Stains & Smells Out of a Carpet: 3 Easy Steps

Chelsie Fraser

By Chelsie Fraser

cat looking at mess on carpet while owner is spraying on the floor

The only thing worse than your cat pooping on the carpet is realizing that your carpet is now plagued with stains and smells. While we’d all prefer that our cats never pooped on the carpet in the first place, sometimes accidents happen. Whether it’s a new kitten who’s just learning, a senior cat with health issues, or your cat throwing a tantrum over a dirty litter box, most cat owners will have to deal with this at one point or another.

So, what’s the best way to get that poop stain out for good? Let’s explore a few tips and tricks to help clean the mess.

hepper cat paw divider

The 3 Steps on How to Get Cat Poop Stains & Smells Out of a Carpet

1. Safety and Hygiene First: Arm Yourself with the Proper Equipment.

Before you start cleaning, there are a few pieces of equipment that you should gather:

  • Rubber gloves: Pet feces can cause harm to your health, especially if your cat is harboring parasites or bacterial infections. To avoid becoming sick yourself, avoid any direct contact between cat feces and your skin.
  • Old clothing: It’s possible to spill detergent or cleaning products on yourself while you’re busy scrubbing, so make sure to wear something that won’t get ruined.
  • A roll of paper towel: It’s best to use something disposable to clean up cat poop stains.
Rubber gloves
Image Credit: pagefact, Pixabay

2. Remove the Bulk of the Mess

As soon as you notice a soiled area on your carpet, begin removing it. There are a few steps to the process:

  • Get rid of the solid waste.
  • Use paper towels or an old cloth.
  • Pick the poop out of the carpet with gloved hands.
  • Dispose of the mess in a safe, hygienic manner.

3. Test-Clean the Soiled Area of the Carpet

Before you use any cleaner on your carpet, it’s best to spot-test. Find a small corner of your carpet that is hidden from view, and apply your cleaner of choice to see if any discoloration occurs.

There are two options for a carpet cleaner, each of which comes with a different method of cleaning:

DIY carpet cleaning solution: You can use common household ingredients to make an excellent carpet cleaner. Here’s a simple recipe:

    • 2 cups white vinegar
    • 2 cups lukewarm water
    • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
    • Commercial carpet cleaning solution
Spraying carpet cleaner on the carpet
Image Credit: Syda-Productions, Shutterstock

hepper cat paw divider

How to Clean Your Carpet with a DIY Carpet Cleaner

  • Your ultimate goal is to absorb as much moisture as possible from the stain.
  • Grab your rags or paper towels and fold them in half.
  • Dab the stain until your paper towel is dry.
  • Avoid scrubbing! This can push stains farther down into your carpet fibers, making them harder to remove.
  • Heap the area with baking soda.
  • Spread the baking soda portion of your cleaner over the stain, and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  • Mix vinegar and water in a bucket.
  • Pour the liquid mixture onto the baking soda. You will notice a chemical reaction between the baking soda and the vinegar. This is normal. The bubbling process loosens the stain off your carpet fibers. Give the reaction a few minutes to work.
  • Dab the stain gently with your paper towel.

If the stain is still visible, repeat the process. It can take a few times to fully remove the stain.

cleaning carpet with sponge
Image Credit: Stephen VanHorn, Shutterstock

How to Get Rid of Lingering Smell

The faster that you get rid of the poop smell on your carpet, the better. Cats have an excellent sense of smell, so if a certain spot smells like poo, they’ll return to that spot repeatedly. Hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of dish soap should be sufficient to get rid of the smell.

  • Stir 5 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide and 2 tablespoons of dish soap together in a small bowl.
  • Gently rub the mixture into the soiled area.
  • Blot the stain quickly to avoid the peroxide discoloring the carpet.
  • Use white cloths or paper towels to avoid color from your cloth transferring to your carpet.

How to Clean Your Carpet with a Commercial Carpet Cleaner

If you’d prefer to use a commercially prepared carpet-cleaning solution, there are plenty of products available. We particularly recommend using an enzymatic cleaner because these products are specifically designed to quickly remove pet stains and smells. Here are a couple of things to look for when buying stain remover for cat poop:

  • Make sure the cleaner doesn’t contain ammonia. Cat urine smells like ammonia, so your cleaner will lead your cat to believe that the cleaned spot is their new litter box.
  • Make sure it’s non-toxic for your pet. There are plenty of chlorine-free, all-natural carpet cleaning solutions available.

Our top pick for cleaning up pet messes is the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray.

Yes, it’s our product, but we love it so much, we have to share! Not only does it permanently remove the very worst smells and stains (yes, everything you can imagine!), but we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee! 

Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray
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Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray
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Follow the same steps for cleaning your carpet as you would using a DIY cleaner.

  • Soak the soiled area with a cleaning solution.
  • Use enough product to fully penetrate the affected area.
  • Most commercial products take a certain amount of time to work.
  • Use a white paper towel to wick out any moisture in the carpet.
person cleaning the carpet
Image By: VGstockstudio, Shutterstock

If you are trying to clean an older poop stain, you may need to repeat the process several times.

Disinfect the Carpet to Avoid Further Accidents

Once you have cleaned the cat poop out of your carpet, there’s one more step to add to your cleaning list. Using an enzymatic cleaner once the stain is removed will ensure that your cat doesn’t see your carpet as their bathroom. Neutralizers, like this one from Nature’s Miracle, are easy to find at most pet stores and will help ensure that your carpet stays stain and smell-free.

hepper cat paw divider


Following the steps in this article will help you remove cat poop stains and smells from your carpet. Your next step is to prevent future accidents from occurring. Cleaning the litter box regularly can help ensure that your cat goes in the right place. If you think that your cat’s accident was due to a health reason, make sure to consult your veterinarian.

Featured Image Credit: Kristi Blokhin

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