How to Clean Cat Poop From Carpet (Fresh and Dried Messes)

Cleaning fresh cat poop from the carpet might be gross, but it’s an easy task, and, in most cases, it won’t ruin your carpet. Dried cat poop is trickier to remove, but still possible.

Feces is a type of protein stain, so avoid using hot water. Heat can cook the proteins into the carpet, making them more difficult to remove.

How to Clean Cat Poop From Carpet

How to Clean Fresh Cat Poop from Carpet

Put on rubber gloves and follow these steps to remove fresh cat poop from your rug or carpet. 

1. Scrape Cat Poop from Carpet with a Wet Paper Towel

Pick up any large chunks of cat poop and flush them down your toilet. If the feces is soft or liquid, use a wet paper towel to scrape it out of carpet fibers. Be as thorough as possible, using multiple wet paper towels if needed.

2. Treat the Stain

Prevent stains by treating the area with a pet stain remover. Follow the instructions on the bottle.

If you don’t have a pet stain remover, make your own by combining one part vinegar with two parts water. (For example, if you use one cup of white distilled vinegar, use two cups of water.) Put the mixture in a spray bottle, spray the carpet, and dab with a white cloth or paper towel. Repeat until the color no longer transfers to the white cloth.

3. Eliminate Cat Poop Smell from the Carpet

Cats have a strong sense of smell. If they smell cat urine or feces, they will continue using the bathroom in the same spot – this is great for litter box training but horrible for your carpet and furniture.

To permanently eliminate the pet odor, use an enzymatic cleaner. These cleaners feast on organic matter, getting rid of the source of the smell rather than masking it. Two of our favorite carpet-safe enzymatic cleaners include Rocco and Roxie Stain & Odor Eliminator and Simple Solution Extreme. Both remove stains and odors, eliminating the need for a separate stain-removing product.

If you don’t have an enzymatic cleaner but need to remove the cat poop smell from your carpet, sprinkle baking soda over the area and allow it to sit overnight. Vacuum the following day. Then, order an enzymatic cleaner so you have it ready for any future issues.

You can also spritz the area with white distilled vinegar, a scent most cats hate.

How to Clean Old, Dried Cat Poop from Carpet

Put on your rubber gloves and a mask, then follow these steps to dislodge dried-on cat poop.

1. Lift Dried Cat Poop from Carpet Fibers

Pick up as many pieces of dried cat poop as possible and flush them down the toilet. Next, use a butter knife to scrape the remaining bits off the fibers. If the cat poop comes up in small pieces, vacuum as you go. Alternate between a butter knife and a wet paper towel, wiggling and scraping with gentle force.

2. Wet, Agitate, and Treat the Stain

For white or light-colored carpets, treat the area with hydrogen peroxide. Peroxide is one of the best removers for protein-based stains like blood and feces. 

  • Dampen the carpet using a sudsy rag with dish soap and water
  • Use a soft-bristled brush or old toothbrush to agitate the area, loosening some of the stains 
  • Pour 3% hydrogen peroxide on a white rag (make sure it’s white, or color my transfer to your carpet)
  • Dab the stain until removed
  • Rinse with a rag soaked in fresh water and allow the spot to air dry

For colored carpets, use a pet stain remover, or make your own by combining 1 part white distilled vinegar and two parts water in a spray bottle. 

  • Dampen the carpet using a sudsy rag with dish soap and water
  • Use a soft-bristled brush or old toothbrush to agitate the area, helping to loosen some of the feces from the fibers
  • Spritz the vinegar solution on the stain and blot with a white rag
  • Spray and blot until the stain is no longer visible, and then rinse with water

3. Remove the Cat Poop Odors

Removing cat poop odor is the same for dried or fresh feces, with enzymatic cleaners working best. If you don’t have an enzymatic cleaner, sprinkle baking soda over the area, allow it to sit for several hours, and then vacuum.