Cat urine: Replace subfloor or is Killz enough?

CathyChexJuly 23, 2014

Ripped up old cat urine carpet and I can see where some spots penetrated through the padding into the pressed floorboards. In a couple of spots, it's actually bubbled up the fibers. Will a couple of coats of Killz be enough or am I going to have to replace the subfloor?

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We replaced the sub floor because even when we replaced the flooring and scrubbed the sub floors the smell never left. Esp. in warm weather! SO glad we did replace the sub floor although I will never get another cat.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 4:45PM
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Is it a difficult job to replace sections of the subfloor? Something a somewhat handy diy'er could accomplish?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:52PM
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No! Its not difficult! If you can run a skill saw you can do it! You dont even have to be good with the saw although it helps :).

What kind of subfloor? Ply? Pine plank? Osb?

It will require some muscle and sweat to remove the old depending on the type and if its screwed or nailed and if theres glue.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 11:11PM
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Agree, easy.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 10:12PM
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Cathy...I've been through an entire house of cat pee. I feel like I'm an expert.

The worst case is to rip out the subfloor and replace. Before you do that, if you have a solid (non OSB) subfloor, you can try a less invasive method:

1. Buy Thornell Cat Odor Cleaner (you can find it on amazon)...they make Kennel cleaning products, and the cat is more concentrated than Kennel Odor Cleaner.
2. Dilute properly, then take a spray bottle and really soak the spot, subfloor, cracks between subfloor pieces and ideally, the underside of the subfloor (if you can get at it).
3. Let it dry and the smell disspate. Repeat several more times until the smell is 99% gone (and smell test on a super humid day, without AC as humidity activates the ammonia in the cat pee).
4. Seal the subfloor with 2 coats of polyurethane (you want something waterproof so the humidity can't get at the wood).
5. After the poly smells dissipate, smell test again on a super humid day (preferably, leave the house over a weekend, closed up, no AC when it's super humid out).
6. If you can't smell it, you win!
7. If you still can (or your floor is OSB), rip and replace.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 5:48PM
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ITA with navi_jen. My product of choice is Nature's Miracle Cat Urine Destroyer. Also Amazon, see link. You spray it on straight. Never had it fail me.

So sad when this has to be addressed. A clean litter box and a caring pet owner could have avoided this 95% of the time.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nature's Miracle

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 12:12PM
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Just finally getting a chance to get back to this thread. Thank you SO for your advice! We ended up replacing the boards and it turned out to be a pretty easy job. Well, very easy for me - I just watched hubs do it. ;)

Going to seal the other floorboards as a matter of precaution. We will always have cats and I want to make it as unattractive as possible to them. Because, you know -- I'm such an uncaring pet owner.

Off to clean the litter boxes. Boy, I sure wish I knew that you were supposed to clean out those things. So, THAT'S what the bag means when it says 'scoopable litter'. Who knew??

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 1:58PM
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Cathy - Am glad you have a sense of humor. Also, glad you found the floorboard replacement easy - and you will always have cats!

MizLizzie - cats often present with inappropriate urination as a sign of an underlying medical condition, including cystitis, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism. Unfortunately, all of these are VERY common in cats. If only we could teach our kitties to tell us when they are having dysuria or palpitations. Maybe, ''meow, meOW, MEOW.'' :-)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 2:12PM
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