For many people, cats make the ideal household pets. They are great for smaller spaces and they are filled to the brim with character. Many people also like the fact that cats have a longer life expectancy than dogs and often exhibit more independence. There are however drawbacks to having a cat – especially when it is an ‘indoor’ cat and uses a litter box. Even the best of litterboxes disposal system can still allow the odor of cat urine to permeate a living space. If your cat is prone to urinating in places other than the litter box then the problem can be compounded. This is in part due to the fact that the urine often goes unnoticed – leading to a distinct smell of ammonia and later the release of ‘mercaptans’ which give skunk spray its well-founded reputation.
It is also important to respond quickly to instances where the cat is urinating outside of the best cat litter box. If the homeowner does not take immediate remedial action to remove the odor there is every chance that the cat will become habituated to the behavior.
However, the odor of cat urine can be tremendously challenging to remove – here are some hints and tips on how to get the job done with a minimum of fuss and bother.
The first step in the process is to clean as much of the urine as possible before attempting to use any cleaning products. Once that is done apply the cleaning product of your choice. For many cat owners, the correct choice is one of the many ‘enzyme’ based cleaners on the market. These contain enzymes that actually consume the urine – eliminating any smells. Simply deodorizing the area will not work. Even if it provides temporary relief the odor will return and the cat will still be able to smell it. If it does so it will almost inevitably return to the same spot to repeat the behavior.
The exception to the rule of not using air fresheners is using one which is based on the proven ability of bicarbonate of soda to absorb odors. Plain bicarbonate of soda sprinkled on the area can also work wonders. Once it has been allowed to sit for about an hour simply vacuum it up. However, this should not be employed as a first step. First, employ the cleaner.
For those who want a natural approach to the problem that does not rely on man-made products vinegar should be top of the list for dealing with the initial problem. A solution of one part vinegar to one part water can be used to wipe down walls and furnishings, floors and carpets. Make sure that vinegar will not affect the color of the furnishings. Use a small amount on an unobtrusive part of the fabric to test. Although the smell of vinegar will be pervasive, it tends to disappear after a few days – and the cat urine smell will be gone far from the cat box as well.
The key to dealing with the smell of cat urine is to act quickly. This will eliminate the odor – and prevent further incidents. Make sure you have the tools at hand to deal with the problem.