Thoughts On Stain & Odor Control
Inappropriate elimination is a common problem cat parents experience. Answering these questions and following these steps will help prevent further soiling!
When was the last time your cat had an exam and a urinalysis? These steps are very important in ruling out many potential causes of inappropriate soling behaviors. Like our very own Dr. Lora Schuldt says, “Cats don’t speak English, they speak urine.” Once a medical condition is ruled out as the possible cause for inappropriate elimination, let’s look at potential environmental reasons why your cat might be choosing to not use the litter box:
Has your box changed locations? If so, try putting it back in the old spot, or adding another box in another location.
Has your litter changed? If so, your cat simply may not like the feel or smell of the new litter.
Has anything in your household changed (renovations, people moving in/out, guests, parties, etc)? Stressors such as these can sometimes cause inappropriate elimination.
Have you added a new addition to the family (dog, another cat, baby)? Changes such as these can sometimes cause territorial behavior or urine marking.
Is your litter box kept clean and inviting? Here's some tips:
- Scoop the box regularly and avoid scented litter products.
- In addition to using Feliway (a calming pheromone product), make sure your litter boxes are always clean (fresh litter as well as natural odor-killing products like DooKashi) and are in low-traffic areas of your home. If you have a multi-cat household, try removing any covers your boxes may have to avoid “litter box aggression”.
- Additionally, sometimes a product such as Cat Attract can help to, well, “attract” your cat back to her litter box.
- Also, making sure any soiled spots are cleaned up appropriately is a major factor in deterring inappropriate soiling behavior. Never use products with detergents in them (commonly known brands found at grocery stores) as detergents merely mask the smell for humans but leave behind stains and smells that your cat can still detect. When you find a urine spot, blot up excess liquid then douse the area in an enzymatic cleaner (Anti Icky Poo, Urine Off and Nature’s Miracle, etc. are all great brands that we carry.) Cover the area with plastic sheeting or garbage bags and weigh the corners down with books or bricks – this will increase the heat in the area and therefore will increase the cleaning activity of the enzymes. Remove the cover after 12 hours and let the area air dry. Once dry, vacuum the spot. And that’s it! If a quality product is used correctly, this will often solve the problem in one try. If not, try again, making sure enough cleaner is being used to saturate the area.
- In the case where detergents have been used, do not reach for an enzymatic cleaner – the detergent residue in the area will kill any live enzymes they come in contact with. Instead, reach for a totally different product called Urine Away – detergent residue will not affect this product. Use it in the same way as an enzymatic cleaner, with the covering step being less important. This product is also ideal for use in washing machines if laundry or bedding has been soiled. Simply use it instead of detergent.
- Please don't hesitate to call us with questions! We are happy to help!
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