Cleaning cat urine from carpets:
If the urine is still wet, blot up as much as you can with paper towels. Stand on the paper towel to help absorb as much moisture as possible. There are many commercially available products on the market designed to remove and neutralise cat urine odour.
Some of these products come in powder form, so can be easily vacuumed off, others are liquid (often as a spray), so once you have applied it, it can be dried with the aid of a hairdryer.
Old cat urine is a bigger problem as it begins to break down, it is this process which results in the offensive odour. If the urine has dried and you are having problems locating the soiled area use a blacklight. Turn out your lights and move the black light around the floor, walls and furnishings to help identify soiled areas. Cat urine will glow green. You should be able to purchase a blacklight from your hardware store, or pet store.
You may also want to try some home remedies. Blot up as much urine as you can with paper towels. Apply baking soda to the wet urine stain. This will draw out the urine. When the baking soda turns yellow from the urine, remove and apply some more. Repeat until the baking soda stays white. If possible, leave on the carpet overnight. The following day, vacuum it off.
White vinegar is a time tried and proven ingredient that aids in removing both urine stains and the odour. Combine one part distilled white vinegar to two parts warm water to create a spray. Remove as much urine/spray as you can using paper towels. Mist vinegar spray over areas of cat urine and rub with a paper towel. An alternative method is to mix the solution in a bucket and dip a clean cloth into the liquid. Rub the stain with the vinegar solution. After the vinegar dries, wipe away both solution and stain with warm water.
Another simple to make spray uses 15 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, two tablespoons of baking soda, and two squirts of liquid hand soap. Mix in a plastic container with a plastic spoon. Discard after use. Apply this solution to cat urine stains or odour areas, and then rinse away with warm water.
Common mistakes made by pet owners:
- Failing to clean the litter tray often enough.
- Punishing the cat. Smacking or yelling at the cat will only serve to make him more fearful of you and this, in turn, can, in turn, make the problem worse.
- Failing to seek veterinary advice. If your cat is urinating in inappropriate areas it is always advisable to have him checked over by the veterinarian to rule out a medical cause.
- Not having enough litter trays.
- Having the litter tray in the wrong location.
- Please bear in mind that as the cat ages the frequency of inappropriate urination may increase. Conditions such as arthritis may make it painful to enter and exit the litter tray, especially if it has high sides. Poor eyesight, dementia and incontinence may also be contributing factors. Again, if it is always best to seek advice from your veterinarian on these matters as he/she will be able to best advise you on how to help your cat in old age.
Causes of inappropriate urination in cats:
Inappropriate urination is a fairly common problem but has many causes. There are generally two reasons why a cat will urinate (or defecate for that matter) on your bed. Behavioural or medical. With this in mind, it is always important to take your cat for a physical check up at the veterinarian if it starts urinating outside the litter tray as there could be a medical reason for this. If your cat gets the all clear, then you will have to try and figure out why it has stopped using the litter tray. Some possible causes include:
- Litter tray is too dirty
- Placement of the litter tray is also important. Just as humans like privacy, so do cats. Placing the litter tray in a busy area may result in your cat's refusal to use the litter tray. Also, some cats will enjoy the privacy of a fully covered litter tray, while this may be too confining for other cats. Generally, I prefer to have a combination of both trays to suit my cat's different preferences.
- Another thing to remember is that cats do not like to go to the toilet near where they eat. So make sure the litter box is placed far from your cat’s food and water.
- Doesn't like the brand/type of litter in the tray
- Stress is a major cause of inappropriate urination in cats. Factors causing stress in cats can be moving house, the introduction of a new family member (pet or human), a neighbours cat roaming your garden etc. Helping your cat overcome these stresses may well result in the inappropriate urination stopping, however, this isn't always the case. Sometimes the behaviour can become so ingrained in the cat that even once the stress has been removed, the behaviour continues. If this is the case it is a good idea to seek advice from your veterinarian as to how to re-train your cat. Some cat owners have had great success using Rescue Remedy on their cats, although this isn't advisable until you have spoken to your vet.
- Declawing sometimes leads to a refusal to use a litter box. Often the cat's paws are tender and scratching around in cat litter can lead to pain and discomfort. In this case, it is advisable to find a softer litter which is less harsh on your cat's feet.