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Super Contributor
Posts: 314
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

I just moved into a rental apartment & one or more of my cats have used the wall to wall carpeting as the litter box. I had this problem on & off at my house & have spent hundreds of dollars on products that guarantee to remove the urine & deter the cat/s from going back. They are all outside/inside cats, use the litter boxes, but this problem shows up, goes away, & comes back. No medical issues. All are fixed. 3 females, 2 are aged 12 & 11. 1 female going on 5, & I male, her litter mate also going on 5. I just purchased a brand new product, 5 star rating on Amazon, talked to a rep from the company, & this product is useless as water. Enzyme based & the only product used. A lot of these products don't mention upfront that they won't work if you have previously used something else. Gets them out of their money back guarantee.

Any advice, suggestions [& I know, get rid of the cats is an option]. I would just like to find something that actually works, not makes it worse, covers it up, or does not work at all. I have spent hours on the internet researching this #1 reason why cats are given up to shelters & there is a lot of conflicting advice. Do this, no don't do that.

Thank you for reading this long post. Thank you for all advice you can give me.

Path

Honored Contributor
Posts: 20,143
Registered: ‎04-18-2012

Re: HELP!!! Cat urine problem

Are they marking or peeing? How many litter boxes do you have? You should have 1 litter box per cat + 1 more. So you should have 4 boxes for 3 cats. Some cats prefer to poop in one box and pee ( I can't believe I'm forbidden to use the correct terms on this forum) in another and some cats won't use a box that's already been used. In which case you need to be vigilant on the scooping and provide even more boxes to prevent them going elsewhere when you aren't home to scoop. Have you tried changing the cat litter to a different kind? Have you tried using cat attract?

Cats will often mark in a new residence that had pets before as a way of claiming it as theirs. They also will do it if there are issues with the cats getting along with each other. Or due to the stress of moving or spending less time with their caregiver than usual.

Are any of these cats declawed? Declawed cats are more likely to go outside the box.

Have you been able to identify which cat or cats is doing it? Have they all been checked for UTI.

Another possibility is that since you're in a new apartment with them that they are spraying ( if it's spraying) to defend their territory from other cats outside. Are they free roaming indoor outdoor with a cat door or do they have scheduled outdoor time? IME cats with a cat door will almost always prefer to go outside for their business unless they are scared to or are older. So if that's the case, I'd suspect marking over peeing.

As you can see there are a lot of reasons cats do this, so you have to figure out the common denominators.

So I'd start thinking about patterns. Are they going mostly near the doors or windows? Are they going next to the box? Are they spraying the walls? Do all the cats get along? Is it happening near your clothes, favorite hang out spots? Do they do it at a specific time of day? Are they doing it where other animals have clearly gone?

Don't Change Your Authenticity for Approval
Super Contributor
Posts: 314
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: HELP!!! Cat urine problem

Hi jaxs mom: Thanks for replying. Lot of questions lol. I've asked myself the same. Feel like Sherlock Holmes, just not as successful.

No UTI's. The older cats have been together for over 11 years. The oldest doesn't like any of the cats, never has. She just hisses at them. The youngest ones joined the "family" almost 5 years ago. They all have their own places to hang out. Yes, it's a new place so there is an adjustment, for all of us. No pattern I can ascertain. Just there after the fact. I only knew when I smelled the urine & by then it was old & dried. At the house, I didn't know anything was wrong until the strong smell of urine started. Then it never ended & I tore up the carpeting & they just found a new spot.

It's not marking. Marking smells different than urine. It's musky & strong. I caught my little female numerous times marking outside at our house. Bushes, cars, neighbors' trash barrels & canoe. I just hosed off her marking & then used vinegar/water.

This was a specific spot away from the wall in the upstairs bedroom a couple of feet away from a litter box. My husband was unpacking a box in the area at night & in the morning he saw the wet spot. This morning it was on an area rug right near the litter box in the bathroom [also upstairs] & the cat pulled the rug up onto the litter box. My husband found it & of course didn't check it, just put it back on the floor. Now, I heard a lot of scratching, so if I had gotten up to see who it was, I would know what cat did it. Lesson learned. There are litter boxes upstairs & downstairs.

No declawing, NEVER. Only my male cat has wanted to go out [took him over a week] & then he just stays in the backyard & comes in when I open the door. Even though they are outside cats, they will come in & immediately use a litter box. My friend's cat does the same thing, as does my daughter's cats. My oldest female went out this morning [almost 2 weeks] & came in without me seeing her while I was talking to a neighbor. She's a shadow that one. Same litter I've always used. Also bought an attractant, but no difference in litter box use. Brand new carpeting put in, but there were 2 dogs here, so if anything went into the sub-floor the cats will smell it. No, I don't know what sets them off or if there is any pattern.

All I would like is a product that works to remove the urine smell & deter them. Anything that's washable can be treated. It's the wall to wall carpeting that is the problem. This is tightly napped carpeting, not like the shag rug that was being used at my old home. Thought maybe the shag rug felt like grass.

I have wracked my brain & tried so many products. Don't remember when it started & there is also a long period of time when nothing happens. Just frustrating.

Thanks for your help jaxs mom. I could be a billionaire if I invented a product that worked lol.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 54,410
Registered: ‎03-29-2012

Re: HELP!!! Cat urine problem

What kind of litter do you use and how many boxes do you have?

Super Contributor
Posts: 266
Registered: ‎01-05-2012

Re: HELP!!! Cat urine problem

Could be the carpet padding and sub-floor are the culprits. A big problem, especially if the sub-floor is unsealed wood or plywood.

Cats are averse to the smell of orange oil. There are orange cleaners used in kennels, vets' offices, etc.

I like Don Aslett's X-O for odor removal. If the urine is in the padding and sub-floor, you'll still get a whiff on damp/humid days.

Don't count on the return of a security deposit.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 20,143
Registered: ‎04-18-2012

Re: HELP!!! Cat urine problem

Yes, how many boxes in total do you have set up? If you don't have at least 4 for your three cats, I'd start with adding more boxes.

Since they are going in the same room where the box is that's a significant clue. Most likely scenario is, not enough boxes. Either it was occupied or dirty and so the cat went nearby instead of in the box. Or, litter box aversion, which can be caused by a health issue. Such as old age making it painful to climb into the box, not enough room in the box to maneuver or not liking the type of litter being used. Even being bothered by another cat while using the box can cause aversion. They also may not like the exact location of the box. Have you tried moving the box to the spot they are using?

I wonder if they put new padding down with the carpet? If they didn't then the cats could smell any residue in the padding from other animals going.

If it was me, I'd set up 3 areas with litter boxes. For example, I have 5 cats and 7 boxes. I have 4 boxes in the enclosed patio, 1 each in two bathrooms and 1 more in my daughters room because at least one cat sleeps in her room and the door is closed every night. If I didn't have dogs I'd have my boxes in 4 areas but my cats don't like the dogs bugging them when they are in the boxes and this is the best I can do to give them privacy.

You might also consider trying different litter in one box at a time and see if that changes anything.

Don't Change Your Authenticity for Approval
Super Contributor
Posts: 314
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: HELP!!! Cat urine problem

I have a litter box for each cat & 1 extra. I just got off Amazon.com & 1 poster who had urine issues says she went to 1 box for her cats. Her reasoning was, more boxes, more places to go outside of them & the cats are training you. I have written to her, just waiting for a reply. My sister only uses 2 boxes & she has 4 cats. She thinks it's totally ridiculous to have litter boxes all around her home. My cats do use the boxes, go outside, it's just that one or more also goes outside of the boxes. I have seen all the cats use the litter boxes, just haven't caught the one/s that don't. Same litter I've always used & trained them with. I could have unlimited litter boxes & I would probably still have the same problem.

I just moved into this apartment, so the urine spot was new & I treated it [with a brand new 5 star recommended product ] & extracter as soon as my husband saw it. I have spent the last couple of hours answering e-mails from people having the same issues & a representative from a company that specializes in the removal of animal urine. Very helpful information. I would love to know what was used before we saw our house because there was never the odor of animal urine until after we moved in[ nothing from my 2 cats] This was old urine. Something worked temporarily for the seller.

This is a very small apartment so space is an issue. There are litter boxes on each floor. Cats have been put into each one. They are cleaned before I leave for work, when I come home, & before I go to bed. I have had many cats over the years & have closely watched their behavior. For the most part, they don't do anything the "experts" say. Quite the contrary. As for putting the box where they go, did that in my house & they just went some place else. Didn't work at all.

I'm looking for suggestions on products people have used to remove cat urine.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,544
Registered: ‎03-05-2014

Re: HELP!!! Cat urine problem

I think the possibilities have been pretty well-covered. One that I'll repeat is you might have one cat who prefers a really clean box and will go outside the box if he feels its not clean enough. Another reason might be if they recently had a UTI or bladder issue & now associate the box with pain. I have a cat who has that issue. Solved it by using pee pads for humans (they are bigger than puppy pads and pretty well-priced at Sam's Club) next to her box. Another problem could be that one of your cats is being bullied by another cat or cats and the best place for one cat to catch another is in the litter box so now that cat avoids the box. I use Natures Miracle Cat Urine formula but it is one that is more effective if nothing was used before it. With an apartment other cats could have peed before and other cleaners used. Cats are also attracted to kitchen and bathroom rugs with rubber backing because of the ammonia smell they give off. A poster named JEREMIAH2911 (hope that's right) has written some long posts 're cats peeing inappropriately so you might look up his history. Good luck!!
Contributor
Posts: 69
Registered: ‎05-21-2010

Re: HELP!!! Cat urine problem

I have had some success with the X-O odor neutralizer, I do not dilute it.

You may want to put a litter box outside. Your cats seem to not want to use the dirt, but may use the litter box outside.

I had a cat that no matter what I did, would prefer to go on a soft surface. I bought several old hand towels at Goodwill, put down a plastic tray you can buy at Petsmart in front of the litter box, and kept changing these. I would, of course, bleach and wash, and reuse. It saved my carpet. I wanted to change the cat's habits, but realized that was futile, so instead, I changed my methods. It did work. Not my preference, but it worked.

Good luck!

Super Contributor
Posts: 314
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: HELP!!! Cat urine problem

mewsmomtoo: Thank you for your reply. I did use Nature's Miracle Cat Urine remover a long time ago, but since I've done a lot more research there is a catch to using urine remover products. The initial description of most products don't say anything about the effectiveness of their product if other methods have been used. This you find on the back of the bottle after you've purchased it. Enzyme products are ineffective if bleach, detergents, cleaning products have been used. The enzyme needs to be the first product used. A company rep gave me the name of a product that breaks down other cleansers so their enzyme product will work. I will definitely look up JEREMIAH2911's posts.

I'm amazed at the hundreds of people who deal with this issue & the various methods used which frankly don't work. Cat urine is very powerful.

Ivenjay: Thank you for your reply. I was hoping their were some reviews on the X-O odor neutralizer concerning cat urine. There are products that just temporarily mask the odor, to us anyhow, not the cats. But I have a very strong sense of smell, so I know that if I smell it, the cats do. Interesting solution to your problem & I like that you thought outside the box, lol. Cats are going to do what they want & trying to change their basic instincts & behaviors can be futile.

I'm going back to Amazon & talk to more people & contact professional cleaners & animal associations. There has GOT to be a product out there.