Stress and Anxiety
Cats experience stress and anxiety, just like people do. Often, their way of dealing with stress is to urinate out of their litter box. One of the most effective ways that you can reduce anxiety – and thus inappropriate urination – for your cats is with a product like the Feliway Diffuser. The Feliway Diffuser plugs into a standard wall outlet and slowly releases a natural pheromone that resembles the pheromone your cat uses to mark her territory. This has a calming effect on your kitty, reducing her urge to urinate.
I will admit that I was really skeptical about this product when it was first recommended to me. After using it for over a year, I can say that it really does work. Since I’ve been using it, my cats have had very few urination accidents. I have three diffusers throughout my house – one in the bedroom, one in the living room, and one in the dining room – and this nicely covers the areas that the cats hang out. I suggest a similar approach of placing a diffuser in each major section of the house. I suggest the three-pack of diffusers for an average-sized home.
Existing Cat Urine Odor
Cats have a much better sense of smell than humans. They can tell where there have previously been cat odor smells, and will repeatedly urinate there. Often, this is because your cat has urinated in the same place over and over again without you cleaning it, but if you are not living in a brand new home, it can be because a previous owner had a cat that urinated in that spot.
Whatever the cause, addressing previous marking requires cleaning. There are several cleaning products out there that can help, depending on the situation:
- If the cat urine smell isn’t bad, you can use a product like Nature’s Miracle to clean it from the carpet. Nature’s Miracle is an enzyme-based cleaner that does a good job at removing light to moderate urine stains. Nature’s Miracle also sells an advanced formula which is helpful for older stains.
- For deeper soiling or bad cat urine odor, I suggest the “nuclear option”. There are two products I suggest: Urine Away and Urine Off. Both are more powerful cleaners that will break down the urine crystals in the carpet and pretty much totally remove the cat urine odor. I keep a gallon around the house for when I find new stains.
- For cat urine that has penetrated the carpet or pad, try a product such as Killz. You’ll need to pull up the carpet and pad (and possibly remove the pad if it’s badly soiled) and apply the Killz directly to the floor. If you aren’t replacing the carpet or pad, I suggest a heavy dose of Urine Away or Urine Off above the stained spot. A fair warning about Killz, however: the fumes are really bad during application, to ventilate the room well! This is heavy-handed option, but for repeated marking, this may be the best solution.
If your cat is persistently urinating out of the litter box, particularly if he is not urinating in the same place all the time, he may be suffering from a urinary tract infection. Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include a smaller amount of urine than normal, urinating in unusual places such as the bathtub or sink, blood in the urine, and yowling or obvious pain during urination. If you suspect your cat may have a urinary tract infection, seek veterinary care.
Litter Box Issues
Some cats are more finnicky about the litter box than others. If your cat isn’t comfortable with her litter box, she won’t be as compelled to use it.
The best litter box is the simplest litter box. Either use a basic litter pan or a litter box with a shield. Stay away from litter boxes with doors, or litter boxes that have an automatic scooping mechanism. Doors and scooping mechanisms can frighten cats and make them less likely to use the box.
Of course, you can always train your cat to use the toilet! If you try this and have success with it, please let me know!
Introducing Cat Urine Odor Help