Cat urine accidents happen to the best of us. Whether you have a kitten just learning how to use the litter box, an older cat with incontinence problems, or just a cat having an off-day, it’s a part of pet ownership that happens sometimes. You just need to make sure that you take care of the issue quickly. Urine stains can be unsightly, not to mention smelly. If they aren’t addressed quickly and properly, they will become even more potent, causing your whole house to smell like the telltale ammonia scent of cat urine. Here’s how to stop that from happening and take care of the stain and the underlying problem:
The first thing you need to take care of is the actual stain. You don’t want to be left with a dark urine stain forever, so you need to treat this quickly before it sets in.
What to do:
- Act quickly. The longer you wait, the worse the stain will be.
- Remove as much urine as possible by placing paper towels over the area and removing and replacing them when they are soaked through.
- Blot at the stain with a wet, white rag.
- If the stain is dry, pour cold water on it and then blot it up.
What not to do:
- Rub the stain. This can just push the stain deeper into the carpet, instead of removing it.
- Use ammonia-based cleaners. Ammonia is found in cat urine, so the similar smell will just encourage the cat to use the same area again.
Once the stain has been removed, the smell might remain, especially if the spot was allowed to sit. If you find that the spot still smells, there might be deeper urine damage. Many times, the urine will soak through to the padding and the sub-floor, and remain untouched even when the surface is cleaned. Over the counter and DIY solutions will only temporarily mask any odors or stains. You will also want to avoid using a steam cleaning option because steam can actually lock in the smell. The best solution for persistent odors is to call a professional pet urine specialist to give your carpet a deeper cleaning. A professional cleaning can also remove bacteria and allergens, allowing you to avoid unfortunate health problems these can cause.
Cleaning the stain is only half of the equation. Now you have to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. Here are a few steps you can take to make a repeat accident less likely:
- Address problems quickly so that they don’t become “normal” behavior. If you catch a young kitten who doesn’t know better going outside of the litter box, quickly pick them up and move them into the litter box.
- If your cat is spraying, make it feel secure. Cats will spray to mark their territory when they feel insecure.
- Provide easy access to the litter box. If you have an elderly cat or a cat with joint issues, make sure the entrance of the litter box is low enough for them to enter easily.
- Clean the litter box often and consistently. Cats don’t like to use a dirty box. Empty the litter box daily, and dump all of the litter, rinse out the box, and fill it back every few weeks to keep it clean enough.
- Change the litter type. Some cats hate certain types of litter and refuse to use them. If you suspect this is the case, try switching the brand and type of litter to find something your cat likes.
How to Handle Repeat Behavior
If you have taken all of the preventative measures above but you cat still isn’t using the box, or if he is displaying other symptoms, the issue might be a medical one. This can only be solved by a medical professional. Take your cat to a vet to check for medical conditions, such as digestive disorders or muscle/joint pain. You must first figure out is causing the issue before you can expect the behavior to stop. Once you have fixed the issue and you cat uses its box again, call in a professional to remove all traces of previous accidents and enjoy your home and healthy kitty again!
Pet accidents happen. Now you are more prepared to tackle them when they do crop up! If you need more help, the pet urine experts at Short Stop Chem-Dry can help!