Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cleaning Up After Urine Accidents

So, while this isn't really about HCM, it does involve our HCM patient, Myrna Loy, as well as her brother Jimmy Stewart who is on Prozac for urine issues.
We've found that there was a great amount of urine in the laundry room on two walls which both surround the washer/dryer/counter/sink area of the room.  Apparently, some one's been spraying the top of the dryer and nearby wall and the opposite wall. This has prompted someone else to spray the opposite wall and the floor below.  And that has prompted someone-namely Jimmy-to use the sink from time to time.

Jimmy is easily confused by urine that is found where it doesn't belong and that entices him to go out of the box in that inappropriate area.  It further encourages the cat who is the culprit to continue. It may also prompt others to add their personal touch to those areas.

The solution?  We pulled the dryer out from the wall, washed the walls, floor, and washer/dryer completely, not ignoring all crevices, angles, screws, tubes, air vents and hoses, etc. Then we scrubbed the sink with Bon Ami. Then completely cleaned the opposite wall, corner of wall/floor, and the cabinet underneath, the inside and outside of all doors, hardware, screws, crevices, etc. as well as the floor under the kick of the front of the cabinet, and let cleanser run underneath the cabinet in hopes it will kill any urine that is under the cabinet (where the cabinet rests on the floor water/urine/liquid can still get underneath if even only a minuscule amount.)

To clean we used plain soap and water-Dr. Bronner's Pure Castille Soap Unscented. When the soap/water dried and all traces of urine seemed gone (and we cleaned twice), then I used Method's Grapefruit scented spray cleanser.  Depending on the surface, if the smell doesn't go away, we will use Nature's Miracle.  But this time, the soap and water worked fine. 

However, as an added precaution, we put a bed liner pad (30x36 inch bed pad) taped to the wall along the dryer area to prevent urine from being able to go down the walls again. 

In addition, I will continue to use treats in those areas to train the cats not to urinate in places where they could potentially eat. Yes, that means every inch of the house I place a treat and have them run and find it.  It works when they get it. But as soon as someone begins marking again, then we are back to square one-cleaning thoroughly, followed by treat training.

I hope that I can break Myrna's habit without putting her on Prozac.  It could be that she does have stomach/colon issues.  After a very bad BM Sunday, she seems to not be spraying the last couple of days-or so we think.  I keep checking her favorite spots. In a large house like ours, there are many possible places to sniff.

If your HCM cat is spraying or not using the box, still refer to the vet to make sure it is not an UTI or constipation/colon/upset stomach issue. Then if all else proves well, thoroughly clean the spot to get rid of all smells; try putting catnip in that spot to make it a pleasant place to be; have the cat run after treats you will toss in those areas; feed the cat in that spot to train them not to go there.  Then check the spot twice a day and clean again if you still smell urine-whether the smell is old or new. Urine can be difficult to get rid of at times.  This habit can be hard to break.

Good luck!

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