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Cleaning Up Urine & Feces from Cats
Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.
Race Foster, DVM
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"Prevent 'scent posts' in your home by cleaning up accidents thoroughly."

Whenever cats urinate or defecate, specific scent chemicals are passed with the urine and feces. The smell of these substances triggers an elimination reflex in cats that is not unlike the territorial marking of their wild relatives. Cats naturally return to an area where these scent chemicals are present, thus creating 'scent posts,' places where cats consistently eliminate.

cat urinating outside of the litter boxThis instinctive behavior is an aid to litter training kittens, since they learn to associate their litter box scent post as the place to eliminate. Unfortunately, scent posts can also be an obstacle to litter training if your cat eliminates inappropriately in the house.

Cleaning up accidents thoroughly is critical to preventing the creation of scent posts in your home. With scent capacities estimated to be a hundred times greater than humans, cats can easily detect urine and fecal odors that have been cleaned with conventional household cleaners, carpet shampoos, and ammonia. The result can be a distressing pattern of repeated accidents in the same spot.

To prevent your cat from making scent posts in your home, first blot the area with a rag or towel to remove as much of the dampness as possible. Then treat the area with a chemical odor remover that uses natural anti-microbial enzymes to break down and neutralize the odor. These are the only products that attack the molecular structure of the odor-causing bacteria, as opposed to simply covering up the odor.

 
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