Cat urine detection goes way beyond following your nose and is now in the realm of CSI.
No matter how much you love Fluffy, it is still really hard to live in a home where you need to constantly spend time detecting cat urine. So, to facilitate the quiet enjoyment of your common abode, the following are some useful insights into how to remove cat urine and the lingering smell from carpet, leather, furniture, wooden floors and walls.
First you will need to find all the areas that have urine on / in / around them.
Detecting cat urine is a bit of an art – too much sniffing and your nose will shut down.
There are several types of black light cat urine equipment to help you spot the spots. They work on the principle that (most) feline urine glows under ultraviolet lights. By the way - so do scorpions apparently. In fact, even human urine glows once it is dried and has dehydrated into uric acid crystals!
You need, therefore, to do the search at night, or at least darken the room – you might even be mistaken for a CSI known as the cat urine finder!!! If you can see clearly enough, you can apply the products in the darkness, but you may find it easier to mark the areas with some masking tape or sticky tape – so you can find it again!
There are a few basic principles to guide your cleanup endeavours, and obviously all treatments should be applied to a small or discreet area of the fabric or surface being cleaned to make sure you are not making the problem worse!
Most of the cleaning tips for cat urine were developed for containing the odours from incontinent people in nursing homes, as well as for toddlers, and work just as well for them as for cat and dog urine.
The best cat urine cleaning products come with clear information on what they can and cannot achieve. The most useful product for old urine stains on concrete is not going to be the same as the one most effective on leather or carpet.
READ THE LABEL. DO NOT MIX PRODUCTS UNLESS YOU HAVE A CHEMISTRY DEGREE – some combinations explode (particularly bleach/ammonia or other combinations).
Different products are called different things in different countries. DO YOUR RESEARCH LOCALLY.
One useful tip is that, especially with carpet, the area affected underneath will be at least twice the area visible on the surface, and nothing works quickly – time is needed for the various ingredients and bacteria to seek and destroy the offending smelly molecules in the urine.
One small note – many of the products have their own ‘trade fragrance’ to speed up the apparent effect. The perfume dulls your nose until the active agent can destroy the urine odour. However, your nose may start to associate the perfume smell with the cat urine smell, and whenever you smell the perfume, you may think you are smelling cat urine.
My nose got tricked by a green apple fragrance and now a shopping trip to the green grocers is a bit unpleasant! It is just an association with the fragrance – you are not smelling cat pee everywhere you go!
One day we will be able to test cat urine and know whether the message is one of fear, anger or frustration, and then we will really be able to help our feline friends cope in this complex world of people, cats, more cats, other pets and the restrictions of city life!
The purrfect dose of information for owners and vet professionals, committed to the wellbeing and longevity of your cats!