The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates at least 10 percent of cats will eliminate outside of their litter box at some point in their life. If that's your cat, you probably have discovered that correcting his litter box behavior isn't your only problem. You also have to clean up the mess he's made in your home.
Cat urine continues to smell for quite some time after your cat has done the deed, especially if you haven't cleaned up the mess. The odor can even prompt your cat to continue returning to and urinating in unacceptable locations. Fortunately, there are a few ways to figure out where your cat has been eliminating.
Finding Urine Spots In Your Home
You can try several different methods for locating urine spots within your home.
- Look around your home for visible wet spots or stains. If your cat has been spraying, look at vertical surfaces as well as horizontal ones. Damp spots and puddles that smell like urine are a giveaway.
- Follow your nose. Cat urine is odiferous. If one corner of your home or piece of furniture smells like cat urine, there is a good reason why.
- Observe your cat. If you suspect your cat is using the bathroom somewhere other than the litter box, keep an eye on him. You may catch him in the act.
- Use a black light to locate the urine stains in your home. Black lights are sold at most pet stores and can be used to identify urine stains because the stains will glow under the black light when the regular lights are turned off.
If you are using a black light to find urine spots, make sure to mark the spots where you have located urine stains so you can identify them when you turn the lights on.
Cleaning Urine Spots
Urine spots should be blotted with a towel and rinsed thoroughly with clean water. Once the urine spot has been cleaned, apply an enzyme cleaner to the spot to eliminate the odor. This step may need to be repeated to remove the smell.
If your cat has recently started eliminating outside of the litter box with no explanation as to why, you may need to contact your veterinarian. Litter box problems can be a sign of underlying medical issues.