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Cleaning up Cat Pee
The problem in cleaning up cat pee generally lies in finding it first. You can smell it…is that it in the corner of the room on the throw rug? Or did Bathsheba baptize behind the couch when you weren’t looking? In order to find cat pee and deal with removing the stains, you need several tools in your arsenal:
Blacklight- Blacklights are a cat’s owner best friend in the quest for cat pee. Shone in pitch blackness, the blacklight illuminates cat pee making it glow fluorescent green, or yellow (depending on how old it is). (You need to be sure that the blacklight is designed for the purpose of finding pet stains. www.blacklight.com has a good selection of blacklights to choose from. The blacklight flashlight is handy because sometimes you have to travel outside to locate tomcat spray on your exterior walls.
Under a blacklight, sprayed cat pee shows as an arc going either horizontal or vertical. You should also look on your ceiling. Sprayed cat pee needs its own passport because it can really travel! The glowing comes from salt contained in cat urine. If while you are on this pee-quest, you are finding round pools of urine on the floor in various sizes, your cat is not a sprayer.
Masking Tape- Essential for marking off all the spots of cat pee. You can try and remember where you saw the glowing spots and trails when the lights are off, but turn those lights back on, and you will be really be tested to find those spots again. Tape off each spot for easy clean-up. Think of yourself as a temporary surveyor of cat pee.
Rags, diapers or soft toweling (white) - Keep a stack of these rags on hand. If you are lucky enough to catch your cat peeing in the act or spray painting your walls, use the rags to blot up the excess urine.
Sponges - Sponges work also to soak up fresh cat pee. Place the sponge on the area and step down on it gently. Repeat stepping or pressing gently until all of the fresh pee is caught in the sponge. Then rinse the sponge out well and drop it in a mixture of bleach and warm water.
Rubber Gloves - To protect your hands as cat pee is caustic. You can always step on a rag that covers a fresh puddle of pee, be sure to have shoes on when you do.
Enzyme Cleaners- Odor Neutralizers - Don’t fall for some of the “home remedies” suggested on the Internet. Soda water, lemon juice, vinegar even Sprite has been offered to be effective in removing cat pee. To our noses, this may be true, but to a cat’s acute sense of smell, those types of cover-ups are a waste of time.
My personal favorite enzyme cleaners are; Zero-Odor, Urine-Off, Anti-Icky Poo, and Tuff Oxi for Pets. But always test for color- fastness no matter what you use. Cat pee will discolor your carpet, but so will some enzyme cleaners.
Neutralizers are important because if you don’t remove the odor along with the pee, your cat is going to be revisiting the area to refresh it. After all, to your cat the spot smells like a litter pan, so what is the harm? The harm is the foul air you will soon be forced to breathe, plus if you have more than one cat in the home, you just allowed a community dumping ground to exist in your home.
Feliway Spray - Once the cat pee is effectively removed- spray Feliway on the object that got baptized. This turns the area into a cat friendly territory and removes the desire of your cat(s) to re-baptize it at a later date. You can also sprinkle catnip down into the carpet where your cats were peeing.
Silica Gel Litter - a little bit of this litter sprinkled on the cat pee spot will help to further eliminate odors.
Why do cats pee on bathroom mats and certain cat beds? Blame that one on the rubber backing. Some chemical or chemical combination triggers the cat to eliminate on these objects. Buy cloth mats and steer clear of cat beds lined with rubber or plastic if you have a problem eliminator.
Before you call a commercial cleaning company, be advised that if your carpet or couch is already discolored from cat pee, they can't after cleaning, restore the color back. According to Paul Carsons, Customer Service Rep. for Stanley Steemer the company uses a professional strength deodorizing service at an additional charge. Natural bacterial enzymes are the active ingredients.If the stain hasn't traveled yet into the padding or into the floorboards, then the stain will be removed. If the damage is to far gone, then a new carpet and pad would be the answer. Stanley Steemer also make a pet odor remover available to the consumer for in-home use.
If your cat is squatting and peeing, or straining to go potty with no results, it is your first responsibility to call your vet! Rule out a health issue ALWAYS! UTI’s and FLUTD’s untreated can quickly sap your cat’s health or even take her life. Taking control of your home, making it livable again once it has been saturated with cat pee can be hard work. But done quickly and correctly, the end result is like a breath of fresh air!