August 16, 2013
At Aaron’s Quality Cleaners we are definitely in the business of cleaning carpets. What you may not have known is that we are also in the business of removing odors. After seven years of service, believe me, we’ve seen … and smelled … it all. And what is the worst of the the worst when it comes to odors in carpets? Cat urine! Although we have had great success removing it, cat urine odors are the one thing we never guarantee we can completely eliminate. That being said, a post on how to keep your cat from urinating on your carpets to begin with seemed apropos.
The first thing to determine is whether your cat is urinating or spraying. Although they have the same result, these are two completely different behaviors and therefore need to be handled in two completely different ways. Urinating is done on an horizontal surface. Examples would be peeing on the carpet, the top of the bedspread, or maybe on an article of clothing. Spraying is done on a vertical surface such as a wall, sofa back, or scratching post. If your cat is spraying, then I recommend a visit to this very informative article:
It contains all sorts of great information on the nuances of cats, their marking habits, and how to help them break free from the habit.
If your cat is indeed urinating where he shouldn’t, then please continue on.
There are three main reasons why a cat may urinate outside the litter box.
1. Health Reasons
A common malady that affects a cat’s ability to control his urinating habits is called Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease. It occurs in 1% of the cat population, and, unfortunately, urinary infections can recur in cats that are susceptible to them. A visit to your vet can determine if this is the cause of your cat’s bad bathroom habits. There is hope for these cats and solutions listed here on Wikipedia
I never knew cats were such high stress creatures. They always seem so relaxed and self assured. Any type of change to your cat’s surroundings can be considered a stress. Redecorating, house guests, a new pet, or even just a new appliance. Basically, any change to your home can cause stress to your furry feline.
Cats can be rather finicky about what is happening around them while they “take care of business” as well. Another animal that is too close during this time or if there are loud noises (like a washing machine or dish washer) near the litter box can cause a cat to go elsewhere.
3. Litter Box Reasons
The general rule seems to be one litter box per household cat, plus one more. So if you have 3 cats, then you may need 4 litter boxes. Some cats do not like to share with others and some cats prefer doing each type of ,,, uh … toiletry, in two separate places. Then there are some kinds of litter that are preferable over others for cats. On top of all that, cats like clean litter boxes and can even be sensitive to the size of the litter box. It seems very high maintenance, but I guess once you get your particular cat figured out, then you’re good from there.
So, now that you know why, let’s figure out what to do about it.
Take your cat back to basics. Or start here if you have a new cat in the house. Set up one room as the cat’s training area. Place the litter box as far away from the cat’s food and bedding as possible. Keep your cat in this room until he has used the litter box appropriately several time. Don’t completely isolate him or he may feel he is being punished. Go in and play with him, etc.
Decide where you would like to keep your litter boxes permanently and then don’t move them around. Find a quiet, out of the way place and then keep them clean. Some cats will only use it if their mess is scooped out each time. Figure out which litter your cat likes best to help encourage him. If you have a kitten, or a cat that doesn’t quite make it into the box, then try using Kitten Attract, a special litter that draws your cats in. Also be aware that some cats care about the size of the box, whether it has a lid, and whether it has a door.
Clean up any accidents immediately.
Then make the problem area undesirable to your cat. This can be done with deterrents, such as Feliway. Although it’s not normally recommended to move the litter box, you can try placing it on top of the area where your cat likes to urinate and then very gradually moving it to a more preferred location.
On top of everything else, remember that your cat isn’t being naughty on purpose. The more patience you are able to exhibit during this process, the higher your chances of success. Take time to play with him and encourage him in the good things. Although this sounds like a lot of work, the end result may be well worth the trouble.
Accidents do happen, and if you find yourself overwhelmed with urine in your carpet or upholstery, then be sure to give Aaron’s Quality Cleaners a call. We are the best carpet cleaner in Fresno, and very successful at removing pesky cat odors!
Julie Rosenfeld serves as an Administrative Assistant for Aaron’s Quality Cleaners, a carpet-cleaning company that services the Fresno and Clovis (CA) areas. She is the author of “Julie’s Corner” and provides information and perspective on topics related to the carpet-cleaning industry.
Aaron’s Quality Cleaners performs carpet cleaning, tile cleaning, aggregate cleaning and upholstery cleaning in Fresno, Clovis, Madera and Sanger.