Smell driving us bonkers

calico77November 17, 2011

We recently discovered that at least 2 of our 3 cats were peeing in our carpeted closet and it soaked through to floorboard. So I ripped everything out and used the BIN (Zissner) primer after cleaning, scrubbing, etc. I primed multiple times, then painted and we completely replaced the flooring, ripped out any potentially smelly drywall and I've replaced all of the base molding. So now, there is still a lingering odor in the water closet where one corner backs up to the initial peed in closet area. We completely renovated this bathroom in Jan-March of this year and so I'm stumped about the cat pee smell in there unless the BIN primer "pushed" the smell toward that corner which is inside the walls......used a black light with no luck.

Then, the cats then decided to find another place to has shifted to the carpeted bonus room upstairs.

So, after finding that, I've dumped a gallon of Nature's Miracle Urine Destroyer on it (2 days ago) to see if that will help or if we need to rip out and replace all the carpet up there too (luckily our home only has carpeting in the 2 kids rooms and upstairs in the bonus---hardwoods or tile everywhere else). Now, currently you can smell cat pee all over the stair area from the bonus b/c we have to leave the door open b/c the cats box/food/water is all up there and the Nature's Miracle re-wet all the smell again and is still saturated....says it could take up to 2 weeks to work!!!?!?!?!?

Before the Nature's Miracle incident, there has been a cat urine smell in the entrance hall area from the garage. In that area, there are hardwood floors and there is a laundry room and a powder room immediately off the area. Neither of those rooms have the urine smell in them. The garage does not smell either. It happens to be that the cat box "room" we have is pretty much right above this area. I went up there today with a flashlight and it smells better in that room than it does anywhere in the house right now. There is no staining or warping of any wooden material up there anywhere. The flooring in this "room" is vinyl stick on tile on the subfloor and the walls are sheets of cedar composite. I did not take the black light but I can.

The cat boxes are two large plastic tubs that are now cleaned 3 times a week from two. Our cats are 10, 11 and 11 and I know are probably getting more picky as they age. We do not use one type of litter, we alternate types depending on sales and coupons but always a non-store brand like Tidy Cats, Cat's pride, etc.

***To add some interesting information to this, back in August/September, we had our crawlspace sealed (unvented). We were having major moisture issues down there and had it treated for termites with Termidor (no termites were found but doing a preventative treatment), and then a 12 ml vapor barrier all over, up the walls/posts, vents sealed, etc. I am wondering if the sealing down there is not allowing these smells to dissipate. Our A/C system does have the intake/outtake (not sure if that is what they are called) but there is a fresh air supply to the outside. So, everything recirculates down is essentially "conditioned." Moisture levels have decreased which was the point. Hubby says no to my theory of smells not being able to "dissapate", but I'm thinking there has to be some credibility to my theory. :)

ANY suggestions will be considered, I am just so afraid I'm going to have to rip all the drywall out and start from scratch.

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In my experience, Nature's Miracle is pretty useless even when you know exactly where they peed. I prefer Anti Icky Poo for cat urine clean up.

Now, as far as the water closet next to the original pee area. Is it possible that the urine saturated the floor so completely that the subfloor wicked the urine into the other room?

As far as helping the cats use their litter boxes more appropriately. The standard rule of thumb is 1 more litter box than cats - so if you have 3 cats you should have 4 litter boxes. Additionally, there is cat litter called 'Cat Attract' which has something in it that makes cats want to use it.

Some other things to consider are location of the litter boxes - is the area too high traffic? Are they all in the same area etc. You should also consider taking them to the vet to check that there's no medical reason behind their inappropriate peeing. Finally, have there been any major (or minor) changes in the home? I know that when we were doing some remodeling on our home that our cats took up peeing on an old comforter. It was so bad we had to throw out the comforter.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 10:16AM
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I can't answser your questions about odor cleanup & what you may have to do with your house, but I will try to address the cat box issue. By "cleaning" three times per week, I assume you mean completely emptying and then literally washing and drying the boxes, and then adding fresh litter. However, if you mean that you scoop the boxes three times per week, then that is not nearly enough. With two boxes, you should be scooping daily, and preferably more than once daily. Actually, with three or four boxes, my answer is the same. (And I agree that you should have a minimum of 4 boxes.)

About every six months you should replace the litterboxes with new ones, since with time the plastic will absorb odors.

If the previous poster's suggestion of Cat Attract is Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract, I agree: that stuff is definitely worth a try.

Sometimes older cats have difficulty getting in and out of their boxes, and you may need to find ones designed for senior cats.

But above all, since it sounds as if their litterbox behavior is fairly new, I agree that you should take your cats to the vet. They are at the age at which problems may occur, including kidney troubles.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 6:03PM
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