Because cat urine has an unmistakable odor, you would think that it would be easy to clean up, but if your cat has found some discreet locations to eliminate then you may not be aware of the problem until he has gone back to that spot repeatedly to urinate. By that time, the urine will have soaked through carpeting and gone down to the carpet pad and even beyond. So it’s very important to first locate all the soiled areas so you can do a thorough clean-up. Locate All Soiled Areas The easiest way to do this is with a black light. This is a special light that will cause most urine stains to fluoresce (think of those old disco days when the disco had black lights and it would cause white clothing to almost look electric). Black lights are available at your local pet product store as well as online. They’re inexpensive and an absolute must-have if your cat is eliminating outside of the litter box. Using the Black Light In order for the urine to fluoresce you’ll need to darken the room as much as possible. If it’s a very bright room during the day and there’s no way to darken it, wait until evening for best detection ability. Hold the light a few inches away from the area you’re checking. If you think your cat has been spraying, be sure to check vertical surfaces as well. Typically, urine spray will be in a thin stream and indiscriminate urination will be in a puddle. Keep in mind that the black light will cause other stains to fluoresce as well, so not everything you see will necessarily be cat urine. It can fluoresce blood stains, vomit, diarrhea stains, etc. After using the black light for a while, you’ll get more familiar with the typical look of a urine stain. Mark the Spot Since the stain will not be visible once you turn the room lights back on, you’ll need to make sure you’ve outlined exactly where you’ll need to clean. I use painter’s tape (not masking tape) to outline the stain because it’s easy to peel off afterward. Don’t just put a piece of tape over the stain – outline it so you’ll be sure to clean the entire spot. If you don’t get up all of the urine then your cat will still be able to detect the odor and may return to that area again. Cleaning Urine If you’re dealing with a fresh urine stain, first soak up as much of the urine with paper towels. Use a blotting technique and don’t press so hard that you drive the urine deeper in the carpet or upholstery. The product to use for cleaning urine stains is one that states it not only removes the stain but neutralizes the urine odor. Ordinary household cleaners or rug cleaning products won’t do that. It has to be a product specifically made for pet urine. Additionally, don’t use any products containing ammonia because urine contains ammonia and the smell could just trigger a cat to return to that spot to urinate again. There are several pet stain removers available and the instructions for each one might vary a little so make sure you follow the directions regarding how long to keep the product on the carpet or upholstery and whether it needs to rinsed off. If using a product on upholstery, test it in an inconspicuous area first to make sure it’s safe for that particular fabric. Keep in mind that carpeted areas that have been repeatedly soiled may have urine that has reached the flooring underneath. The carpet may need to be replaced. Pet stain and odor removers can only do so much. Once you’ve applied the pet stain remover and left it on for the time specified by the manufacturer (and rinsed, if also indicated by manufacturer), place a towel over the area with something weighted on it to absorb as much of the moisture as possible. Keep replacing damp towels with dry ones until you’ve gotten up as much moisture as you can. If you’ve used a large amount of pet stain remover and it went down deeply into the carpet or upholstery, step up a small fan to help accelerate the drying process. Calling in a Professional Cleaning Service If you do this, make sure the company states that the product they use is specifically designed to remove pet stain and odor. Prevent Repeated Performances Getting rid of urine odor won’t correct the underlying problem as to why your cat has developed a litter box problem. In order to prevent the problem from continuing, it’s important to figure out why the cat is displaying the behavior of either spraying or indiscriminately urinating. The first step in this process is to take your cat to the veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical cause. Then, look at the litter box set-up itself to make sure there isn’t something that needs some tweaking. Additionally, look at any environmental factors that might be causing your cat to feel as if he is unable to eliminate in the litter box. Need More Information? If you’re dealing with a litter box problem and the veterinarian has ruled out underlying causes, you can find step-by-step information on behavior modification techniques in any of Pam’s books, including the latest release, CatWise.
How to Find That Cat Pee Smell Posted by Kit Arbuckle to Featured Articles Where is that cat pee smell coming from? Cats can pee in the most unlikely places. Locate the cat urine odor in your home with these top tips. No matter how much you love your feline friend, there is no denying that cleaning up after him isn’t the most pleasant job. Cats have a reputation for being fastidious, but they can cause some pretty funky odors, especially when they have accidents outside the litter box. Cat pee smell isn’t something you want lingering in your home, that’s for sure!According to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, there are varied reasons why your cat might be thinking outside the box. Sometimes cats (especially ones who aren’t spayed or neutered) will spray in the house, or have the occasional accident due to sickness, like a urinary tract infection. Your cat might have a problem sharing a litter box with other cats or not like the kind of litter you use. Or maybe — just because she is a cat, and cats do weird things — she prefers hanging out in the litter box to actually using it. Whatever the reason your cat has been going outside of the box, you’ll need to locate the places where she’s peeing to get rid of the cat urine odor.Sniff It OutIf you can still smell cat urine after cleaning the litter box, it’s likely your cat peed somewhere else. Sometimes finding where your cat peed is as easy — and gross — as sniffing it out. Try to identify the room the smell is coming from and check in the most likely places first. Planters are a favorite because of the soil in them. A cat might also urinate in corners, on carpets, on a sofa or on beds. It’s harder to find places where a cat sprays, however, since it can be a small amount and on vertical surfaces like walls and the backs of furniture. If you can pin the odor down to a rug or sofa cushion, that should be enough. You’ll probably want to clean the whole thing anyway, just to be safe.Look for StainsObviously, this will be more effective if your furniture and carpeting are made of lighter, more absorbent materials, but you should check for discoloration where it smells. Don’t forget to check behind and under furniture and on walls. Puddles are obvious signs a cat is peeing in a certain area, and there might be some older stains there, too.You can also use a pet urine detector, a special UV black light flashlight. Turn off the lights and make sure the room is fairly dark for best results. Walk around the room sweeping the light over all surfaces the cat can reach (and since we can never fully demystify our feline friends or the limits of their powers, check some places you assume they can’t). Go slowly and be thorough. If you see any glowing spots, it might be the source of the smell. The lights only work on dried pee, and other stains will show, too.If you suspect the glowing spots you see are the source of your odor problem, read How to Get Rid of Cat Pee Smell for cleaning tips.Kit Arbuckle works as a freelance writer covering parenting, education, health and pet care topics. Like Comment Share Topics: Cats When do you need care? Right Now Within a week In 1-2 months Just browsing