We hear this complaint quite a lot. Allow us to explain why a cat who goes outside, even for short periods can spray inside the house:
When cats go outside they often detect the urine smells of other cats, and other animals. Therefore, to retaliate and claim the yard or garden as theirs they are likely to spray bushes, trees . . .etc. in an attempt to cover up other cat’s urine smells with their own. Once they do that the potential for this to happen inside the house goes way up. Cats do not make a distinction between in a tree or a Chippendale, it’s all the same to them. It’s all about their territory which from the cat’s viewpoint needs defending (and spraying or peeing on!)
You may never see other cats in your garden. The feral cats and some neighbor’s cats come around at nighttime when we are asleep. One telltale sign is if Kitty sprays at night. Bingo! You’ve definitely got outside cats coming at night and they are probably spraying on or around your front door or other doors, even under the windows as well as everything in the garden.
The fix for this problem:
Anti Icky Poo is going to remove the urine from your walls, as well as the doors outside (check for smells and water marks at cat-butt-height)
Here’s an email from a customer whose cat is urinating by the door. And our response that tells how to use Cat Faeries products and other techniques to deal with it.
Dear Cat Faeries,
We have male & female cats. The male is 3 years old and neutered. He is accustomed to going out doors to urinate, however the weather is preventing him from doing that. He is urinating by the door. We have sprayed with a deterrent and he now moved to another area on the rug.
Thank you for your order and your note to us in the Comments area of the order form. We thought we’d answer you in our newsletter as we suspect that you are not the only one this winter having this problem.
Use Anti Icky Poo to remove the deterrent and urine off the walls and floors near that door. Then place a litter box there for his use until he can resume going outside. Anti Icky Poo literally eats the urine proteins and gases!
Put a few drops of the flower essence formula in the communal water bowl each time you change it, or once or twice a day.
The deterrent you bought is doing its job – it has deterred your cat from peeing by that door and as you’ve learned the hard way your cat will find other places!
Deterrents are never a good idea and they could contain toxic ingredients. Feliway though is safe and when you follow the instructions that we’ll give you with your order you’ll learn how to use it so the cats don’t pick new naughty locations.
Now this is very important: normally we are very against putting boxes on top of or near all of the places where the cat is peeing. It’s best to create one roomy Kitty Latrine Area where there are a few hoodless litter boxes pushed together to create a large “sand box” with a bag of litter, a scooper, a trash can and a broom handy for your use. A latrine area concentrates the scent of feline urine/feces to one place which is which the cats seek out. If you put litter boxes in other rooms you are telling the cat that it’s ok to pee in all sorts of rooms! And your problem will get worse.
But K.P.’s situation is seasonal. So for the duration of this winter keep a box by the door. When things warm up and he can go outside it’s your choice to keep it there or remove it.
Some of you might take this cold winter as a chance to break your cat’s desire for and habit of going outside. After a few months of being inside cats often forget about going outside. We really feel that cats are healthiest staying indoors.
In 1997 when we shifted our focus to Feliway and helping cats get back to the litter box we quickly realized that one of the key triggers that caused stress for many indoor cats which can lead to litter box avoidance was the pesky presence of those cute bushy tailed rodents: squirrels. Squirrels running around outside have sent many a cat over the emotional edge.
Most cats find them to be cheap entertainment. But many cats find squirrels to be very annoying or threats to territory and this can lead to retaliation: peeing outside of the litter box, often right under a window. Even if a sensitive cat never sets foot outside (which is good, keep em indoors!) squirrels run along window sills, up and down trees, they get into bird feeders, and other antics all under the watchful eyes of our indoor cats.
We have long suspected that the quick ways squirrels zip around can really annoy and taunt cats. The defiant flicks of squirrel tails agitates many cats. And then there is that chittering sound they make. Traits that might seem cute to us often really irk and threaten even the most mellow feline.
A very easy solution to help steady your cats’ nerves is the feed squirrels (and birds) out of view from windows and at the farthest place on your property.
When using Anti Icky Poo urine cleaner, a black light is handy for finding places your cat has sprayed with urine or peed on. They are also helpful if you are considering buying a new home to find out if there are any urine stains.
But they are not fail safe – they are not accurate on all surfaces. They are most accurate on smooth surfaces like a painted wall or very low pile carpet. They don’t reveal urine in kitty litter or on carpets with a deep pile.
And you must use them in total darkness.
Recently we got this email from a customer:
Dear Cat Faeries
After treatment with Anti-Icky-Poo will spots still fluoresce under UV / Blacklight? I understand this is not as important as removal of the smell / pheromones is the most important, but still I’m just wondering, especially in terms of being able to identify a ‘new’ spot vs on previously treated other than intensity of the fluorescing.
Great question. The spots could still how under your black light. Here is why you may still see discoloration after using a round of Anti Icky Poo:
Staining or spots could remain if they have been there a very long time
The urine could have stripped the dyes from the carpet
The naturally occurring dyes in urine could still be in the fibers
Believe it or not, sometimes the dye you see is from the cat’s food!
Once you are confident that Anti Icky Poo completely got rid of the urine smells and gases, you might consider having a professional carpet cleaning service come in will help to remove the traces of urine dye
This week we also heard from another person who wondered if Anti Icky Poo is safe to use after her cat urinated in a house plant. It is totally safe – it won’t hurt the plant or taint the soil!
As you said and it’s also on our website, smell is the way to know that the urine proteins and gases are gone. Further evidence is observing your cats – do they hover around those spots you treated? If not, then Anti Icky Poo was completely successful!
As for knowing if those are old spots or new ones: You might keep a sheet a paper and list the locations and size of the stains you treated. If you use a black light every month or so this will help you know if the spots are old ones or new ones.
It’s best to store them in a cabinet, but if that’s not practical then find a darkish corner in your kitchen. Ours tend to end up in a kitchen corner so we see them every morning when we change the cat’s water bowl.
If you broke your dropper – ask us for a new one when you place your next order. We’ll send one free.
Don’t let the dropper touch your fingers, or fall to the floor or countertop. If that happens, don’t panic, rinse it under filtered water and place it back in the bottle. Dirt and oils from fingers can contaminate the waters.
NEVER put the glass dropper in the cat’s mouth! That’s why our handout is full of great ways to administer flower essences: food, water, anoint.
Cat Beds – we’ve had some of ours since the 1990’s!
Always wash them in COLD water with mild soap
Always air dry, never machine dry
So that your bed dries fast, grasp the outer velveteen, and the inner fleece and pull them apart to form a <> shape. This allows air to flow and speed up drying time.
Bart’s inappropriate elimination ramped up. He is now 16 and hasn’t used a litter box for the past month. I don’t want to put him down for this! He is such a lover boy!
Diane in Minnesota
Sometimes when a cat gets to be Bart’s age the kidneys are starting to shrink and not function as they once had. Shrinking kidneys lead to various stages of renal failure, and it’s time to begin diet changes, and often sub-cutaneous fluids. But what we often aren’t told is that it can lead to behavior changes including avoiding the litter box. So have your vet examine Bart and run some blood work.
A few other medical conditions come into play as well. Arthritis is another big one for many cats as their back legs and lower backs become stiff and sore so that getting in and out of a little box can be painful – when that happens your cat might pee next to the box or on a surface like a bathmat. Or they can enter the box but they don’t squat – the urine flies out their back end and hits the wall or spills over the sides of the box.
The solution for this is easy pie: a box that’s shallower for easy in/out access. Or even better, get a large storage container and cut out an opening that’s low enough for easy entry. The high sides are tall enough to contain urine that might be sprayed out. See below – that’s some of our washable waterproof pads in front of the box opening. This box is from Rubbermaid. Another option is a semi-transparent box such as those from Sterilite – some cats may feel less closed in that way.
(click image to see it larger)
Another factor in renal failure is that cats often lose some or all of their hearing. This can lead to loud caterwauling both in the middle of the night and during the day. When a cat goes deaf their world can shatter and this can affect their behavior and out of panic or not understanding what’s going on with their body the cat could stop using the litter box. But the cat’s sense of smell is still very much intact, one of the many reasons we love Comfort Zone with Feliway so much. It works with your cat’s sense of smell. If your cat is feeling rotten from malfunctioning kidneys (it will feel like a hangover to your cat) or scared from not hearing well, Feliway will be soothing and comforting and allows that the negative behaviors can be corrected. You and your cat will be much happier with the smell of the Feliway pheromone wafting through the house. But don’t be concerned about the smell, only your cat can detect it.