Another issue of The Kitty Times newsletter.
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This month we will cover an important topic that I get a lot of questions about (cat urine),
and the question of the month (what to do about a crazy cat).
First item on this month's agenda is about getting rid of the smell of cat urine. A big
problem people have is cats not using the litter box. The issues may be a new cat or
other pet in the home, a new family member, or a health problem. Cats may miss the
box due to medical problems, age, or may rebel against the box if they are no longer
the only cat, for example. The result is a smelly spot. Removing the stain on the carpet
may not be as big a deal as the odor left behind. There is hardly anything more potent
than the smell of cat urine, so any solutions to this one are very welcome. Send in your ideas!
Here are some ideas to try if stains and odors happen at your house:
1. Fill a nylon stocking with coffee grounds (not yet brewed) and leave on the area
for a few days. Coffee is good for absorbing a terrible odor and leaves behind a
pleasant odor in its place.
A reader offered this extra comment: "I know that coffee can kill skunk scent.
A friend's lab was sprayed by a skunk and the vet recommended a 'coffee bath.' It
2. Paint the area with Kilz - if this is a hardwood floor. Don't try it on carpet! Duh.
3. Buy some charcoal used in fish tanks and sprinkle on the area. If on
hardwood flooring, try scrubbing it in. Leave for a week or so.
4. Try a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, either on carpet or
hardwood flooring. Be sure to test a corner of the carpet to be sure the color
isn't affected by this mixture.
5. Clorox. Another reader suggested this: "If they are going to recarpet,
paint it with Kilz. If they are not going to recarpet (or otherwise cover the floor)
they could try a real soaking with Clorox. They'll have to leave the house
because of the fumes, however!"
6. Try soaking the spot or area with natural vanilla.
Let me know how these remedies work for any of you if you need to try them.
I have experimented with various commercial products, such as Odo Ban Stain
Remover (available only at Sam's club), Odor Eater's Stain and Odor Remover,
and Folex Spot and Stain Remover. All work fairly well, actually.
And here is this month's Question of the Month!
Please help. I have a three year old house cat that is misbehaving. He
runs through the house at night knocking over everything that is on a
shelf or counter top and tears up flowers and plants whenever available. I
have tried spraying him with water which doesn't work because he enjoys
being in the shower with people. He also knocks the garbage over but he
always has a full dish of food so he can't be looking for something to
eat. Most of the time he does this when no one is watching and I don't
feel he will understand if I yell at him for something he did hours ago.
Is this just his personality? I had him neutered in hopes that would
calm him down but he is a complete maniac. Is there anything that can be
done to stop this acting out?
First, your cat doesn't see this as misbehaving. He's just having a ball!
And cats are nocturnal animals by nature. He may need more stimulating
things to do during the day to tire him out. Do you have time to play hard
with him for at least 15 minutes every afternoon? Later in the day is best,
so he might get a good workout and be tired at night. I run my cats every
afternoon for about 10 minutes by having them chase a string with a crochet
ball at the end. The string is on a longish stick, so it looks a lot like a
fishing pole. This lets me stay in the center of the room and have them run
all around the perimeter of the room, up over the couch and chairs, and so
forth. I've learned the hard way not to have anything breakable in the
living room, too. Lost a really nice blue pottery vase last fall that was
given to me. It got knocked off the fireplace mantle, and I had no idea they
were even going up there. Anyway, this workout might tire him out and allow
him to settle down at night.
In the evening, after the hard workout, after supper maybe, spend some
"quality time" with him, encouraging him to lie calmly on your lap or by
your side. Don't rough him up, as that stimulates a cat to be a maniac. If
you are petting him and he attacks your hand, for example, just freeze,
don't move, don't pull away if you can manage that, and just say sternly,
"NO!" Then remove your hand and ignore him. If he settles down, then reward
him by calmly petting his head, not his body, and talk soothingly. Never pet
his belly, as that causes a big reaction and will make him either fight or
get nutsy again.
There is another option. If you have a large pet taxi or crate, or even a cage,
you may need to confine your maniac for the night. It needs to be large enough
to hold a small litter pan and perhaps a water dish. Since it's only overnight, don't
worry about putting food in there.
If your kitty is not used to being "incarcerated" or confined, he will yowl
till he gets used to it. Just stick to your guns and your routine. Cats
thrive on routine, actually, and if he knows bed time is at the same time
every night and he gets OUT of the cage every morning at the same time, he
will learn to accept it.
I know some people have suggested that cats like that need a play companion.
That may be true, and might help, except for one thing. It could be worse if they
would happen to just egg each other on.
Then, there is the knowledge that he won't always be young. As he ages, he
will slow down. But you will need some sleep for the next 10 or so years
until that happens!
One last thought: If this behavior just started, my biggest suspicion is
that he's trying to get your attention. He wants you to play with him! And
he's desperately trying to ratchet you up a notch to do so. If that's the
case, a companion cat may actually help.
See you next month! And don't forget, if you have any questions or comments, feel
free to write to me!