Having cats is adorable and cat parents love spoiling their fur babies with toys and treats. However, it can be annoying if your home starts to stink of cat pee. When it is wet, it is easy to detect, but once it has dried, finding it could become an endless guessing game.
How to find hidden cat pee?
Sniff it out.
You can find hidden cat pee by simply sniffing it out. Identify the area where the smell is emanating from and check the most obvious spots first. Check the pots and planters, as cats are most likely to pee there because of the soil.
Cats may also urinate in not-so-obvious areas such as on the back of furniture and walls. They also like corners, beds, sofas and carpets. These should be easy to identify just by sniffing them, unless you are suffering from a cold or a stuffy nose.
Check for stains.
This is easy to do if your furniture and carpets are made of light materials. A smelly discoloration in these materials can easily reveal hidden cat pee. Also, check for dried cat pee stains under furniture or on walls. Puddles are obvious signs of cat pee, and there may also be older stains in those areas.
Wash the linen and bedding.
Cats often pee in the areas where they are most comfortable. Your cat may be experiencing behavioral or medical issues resulting in improper elimination or the avoidance of their litter box. Some cats prefer your bed, blankets, pillows and clothes as pee targets, because of their familiar scent.
Wash all your bedding, dirty clothes, rugs, and even your cat’s bed. You may also have to include your shoes if your cat likes to hang out on them.
Check underneath appliances, furniture and other objects.
If you can still detect the smell of cat pee, you may have missed something. You will have to get down on your knees and check underneath the washer, refrigerator and even your baseboard heaters. Cat pee could trickle into crevices on your floor. Also, check inside bags, beneath piles of clothes, and in your cat’s favorite hiding spots.
Use a blacklight.
As a last resort, you may have to use a blacklight to find that hidden cat pee. A compound in dried cat pee emits a greenish color when placed under a blacklight. This UVA light emits long-wave ultraviolet light and a tiny portion of visible light.
Ideally, you should use a blacklight with nine to 12 bulbs, rated around 365 to 385 nanometers. This rating is strong enough to detect cat urine. You have to wait for night time when rooms are dark and draw all the curtains in the room to achieve total darkness. If it is not dark enough, you may not detect the glowing urine easily.
Search all the probable areas where your cat may pee and shine the blacklight or UV light on those areas. Look for a glowing yellow or neon green spot which may look like a splatter, spot or drip. Male cats that are marking their territory may leave stains that look like splatter and a few drips on the wall. A roundish spot on the floor means that your cat has peed on the floor.
Do not get confused if the whole room lights up, since household and cleaning materials including body fluids and tonic water may glow under a blacklight. Analyze the location, shape, size and smell of the areas to pinpoint whether it is cat urine. Mark the edges of the stains using chalk or tape to make it easier to find them when the lights are back on.
Once you have identified the dried pee stains, you can easily clean the areas. Saturate the stains with soapy water and blot them with a damp cloth. Finally, spray the area with an enzyme cleaner and let it sit for at least a few minutes.
Searching for hidden cat pee can be tricky especially if it is hidden in floor crevices and on walls. You need a keen nose to sniff out the stinky smell, and you may need to go down on your hands and knees to check underneath home appliances and furniture. Check for stains on your linens and carpets and, if all else fails, use a blacklight to identify the areas with pee stains.
Image: istockphoto.com / AaronAmat