OT: Cats, Flooring, and Thank yous!

CEFreemanSeptember 25, 2012


In one of many threads that deteriorated (right) into a cat discussion, I whined about my beloved fat girl just starting to poop where she stands. Usually right in front of one of her 3 litter boxes.

I confine her when I'm not home and at night, because when I am home I leave the front door open and 3 wander in and out to the front porch or their outside litter box I stupidly used to refer to as "The Garden".

Well, this beloved fatty has been RUINING my gorgeous hard wood floor in the office. I figured one day I'd just rip it out. It's beautiful dark, so-called "hand scraped" wide plank floor. The only thing in my home that's almost done.

Yesterday, based upon brilliant recommendations here I pulled up all the useless black plastic I'd taped down to the floor.

I sat down and by hand, in sections, sprayed and cleaned each and every board in the 14'x10' room. Couldn't just mop, because like everything else, STBX DH did a 1/2-assed job and the boards have enough space between them that every liquid goes right down between and under the flooring. And yes, that means pee, too.

Which leads me to the next step. I poured a gallon of Nature's Miracle into every (EVERY) joint and crack. I used a credit card to squeegee every drop into a crack. Not having baseboards, I also poured it around the perimeter of the room.

For the 1st time (ever) I can remember, this room smelt fresh. Even to me.

THEN! I took a piece of sheet vinyl and laid it on the floor, and up the walls about 12". Such a brilliant recommendation I am embarrassed I didn't think of it several years ago. Of course, I have an extra 6' I paid for, because I believed the guy that it was 12' wide when it's actually FOURTEEN FEET x 14'. But I have uses for the extra in front of the other litter boxes about the house.

Anyway, she's already peed and pooped on it and I don't even CARE.

So thank you so much for this brilliant idea. I'm going to figure out how to make her a sheet vinyl diaper and I'll post it here.

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I have no doubt that you are creative and 'mcgiver' enough to make that vinyl diaper but you get her to WEAR it and WOW - that would be quite something!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 12:52PM
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Just a thought ... Should you lock her out of the room and let all the cracks dry ? Will the vinyl on top prevent it from drying thoroughly ?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 12:56PM
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That's actually very nice. I'm so glad your fat girl approves of her vinyl. Our own sweet fat guy is nearing his end, and for some reason he'll never explain has chosen our water closet upstairs to rest away long hours. I lay down towels for him for comfort and because he isn't always able to get outside, but...sooo Nature's Miracle, huh?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 1:06PM
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Nature's Miracle is supposed to be the magic enzyme cat pee stench remover. Supposedly, once you clean a pee spot with it, they won't use it again. I'm waiting until she reads that part of the label, 'cause it doesn't matter. She just goes where she wants to.

I'm sorry your fella is getting older. They usually go to a place that makes them feel safe and sheltered. My 21 year old girl, Lucy, spent weeks in the bathtub before she passed. 1 week after her 21st birthday. I also put towels in there for her old bones.

Angela, I've lifted side by side while she isn't in there and am running a fan. I figure in a few days it'll be dry enough underneath just to lie it down and forget about it.

I just finished trimming it to fit, with 1' up the walls all the way around. I was pleased to find it cuts with scissors.

I have discovered how nice this stuff is to walk on. I can see why people use it for bathrooms (water and warmth) and kitchen floors! (water and everything else!) I wish there were prettier selections at the Big Boxes, but for a giant cat litter box, it'll do just fine.

(Notice the reference to kitchens....)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 1:28PM
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To the list below, we can add "The cat can *go* on my beautiful wood floors".

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 1:38PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Well natures' miracle will get the smell out, eventually, but it won't prevent them from using the spot over again....at least it didn't stop the Cas. I've used a whole lot of it on the dr rug, but Im afraid it has soaked down and into the plywood below the carpet. I've gotten it so it mostly smells ok, but on some days when the weather is right, the odor will return to some extent. I find using Arm and Hammer carpet fresh stuff on the rug does a good job of deodorizing the rug for several days, so it's liberally employed before I'm having company. I used it several times in the corner downstairs as he kept returning to the spot...now that we've blocked that off and he can't get to it, it is smelling fresh down there. Thank goodness, after blocking off the places he preferred, he's now focusing on the tiled bathrooms, so it's far easier to clean.

CEFreeman, just make sure the sheet vinyl is heavy enough...some of them can get slight tears just from walking on them...leak spots back to the floor. Also, we have used puppy pads, which make for a quick clean up.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 3:49PM
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oh, what we do for our furbabies! Bless their little hearts - and our big ones.

They do have nicer patterns (or non patterns) of sheet vinyl at those stores - just not in the precut area. Look thru their samples. They should be hanging around there somewhere.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 5:43PM
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Nature's Miracle discourages them using the same area as a "known" spot to relieve themselves in that if they don't smell the area as a "litter box", they don't believe that they are supposed to use it as a littler box. In your case, it's probably not going to make a difference - your cat is just missing the litter box, it's not so much that it has decided that a specific area is a littler box.

Also, while Nature's Miracle will significantly lessen the odor, it doesn't necessarily completely get rid of it. You'll find that some days are better than others. It seems as if higher humidity days are more likely to release residual odor.

It's not a cure-all, but it helps to make things more livable. I think that your vinyl solution is going to help a good bit in making it so that you don't have more issues. But, ultimately somewhere down the road, it's likely that you will want to replace the flooring even though you've used Nature's Miracle.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 9:54PM
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You're not talking to a cat pee/NM newbie here.
I should have bought stock in NM, to tell you the truth.
There is no answer other than replacing what's peed on. That includes fabrics, cat bed, carpet, my jeans on the floor, and laundry that evidently looks enticing.

As long as the humidity stays lower, it doesn't revitalize the stench. God bless air conditioning!

Thx for the warning on thin vinyl. I bought it of the roll rather than precut. It's thin, but seems durable. She was declawed before I met her, so scratching isn't an issue thank goodness.

I don't waste $$ with puppy pads when she'll go on paper towel. And as far as "missing" the box? Oh, come on! [LOL] How much more clear can I be? NO specific area? That would be anywhere she damn well pleases!

Step. Poop. Step. Poop Poop. box? What's a litter box. Oh! That's what I pee in front of. If I don't feel like that, I'll just pee on ... YOU! (Hold still. It won't hurt.)

Anyway, at least I NMed the floor and it has a chance to soak in, and hopefully up into the wood following the path the pee took. Something is better than nothing.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 10:31PM
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Nature's Miracle also makes another product called Urine Destroyer. I have used this on upholstery and carpets and it is amazing! Gets rid of any odor and never have had "that faint cat smell" come back. I bought it at PetSmart. We've used Nature's Miracle for years, but I think this product is superior.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 11:32PM
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CE, as one cat owner to another, have you taken your kitty to the vet for a checkup? Cats that "just" start to eliminate out of the box frequently have something medically wrong with them, a UTI a leading cause. Other reasons are that perhaps the litter brand has changed and they dislike it, or there could be other issues in the household causing them stress. Cats certainly don't do things to annoy humans, it's a symptom of an underlying problem.

While I have no brilliant ideas about your flooring, I'd suggest that you visit thecatsite.com to get some good ideas about how to deal with your cats problem too. The people there are really nice, well informed and helpful - very much like here. Litter box problems come up all the time there, it's one of the most popular questions, so I'm sure someone will be able to help you figure out why she's suddenly not using it.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 8:31AM
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As far as truly eliminating the smell that our animals can detect, I'm afraid that eventually, the flooring will need to be replaced. I like the vinyl idea a lot as it takes care of the current issue.

One of our puppies (we generally only have one dog and one cat at a time) once peed in a corner of the living room. We did all the usual many times over, but every animal that ever came in the house for the next 10 years gravitated over to that corner to check it out. A couple added to it. We even placed things in/over that corner, but it was clearly still sending out signals. During this year of renovation, we finally took the carpet out of the living room and replaced it with bamboo. Guess what? That corner is no longer interesting.

Libraleo - we are currently babysitting a cat (for a year and a half + now) who firmly believes that if he isn't fed at 5 a.m. the world will end. He is the kind of cat that you can't just shut the door and ignore him-you won't be able to sleep anyway. The obvious solution is to just leave food in his bowl, but he has weight issues. When he arrived, he weighed 19.5 pounds and now we've got him to 15.5 pounds. He feels so much better, but we don't just fill his bowl and go to bed. We put off giving him dinner until 7 p.m., but still, 5 a.m. winter and summer, his internal alarm clock goes off and that's that. What we do for the animals!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 9:05AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I have been using NM urine destroyer, but the smell does return on certain days. And in fact, the last time he peed on it, it was because it was already wet with NM and it smelled. I have been like a bassett hound on that rug, putting my nose down to every spot looking for the places that smell, and I have soaked it with NM urine destroyer, and I have used the extraction machine on it. I think it will be an issue until we replace it, but given how $$ it was, that's a long way off. We have since had to live with the ugly barrier that we use to block off the DR, just like we've had to block off the stairs...so much for open concept!!!

suzannesl you might want to check into an automatic feeder. We have one for the Cas which we use when we travel for an overnight, or for the pet sitter so she only has to come once a day and he can still get his meds on time. It is a large round dish that has sections in it and a cover that reveals only one section. It's on a timer and at the right time, the dish rotates, revealing the food in the next section. Cas knows, when he hears that noise, it's feeding time!

Here is a link that might be useful: Auto pet feeder

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 10:09AM
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Ugh. I've had too many cats that did that kind of thing. I've decided to enjoy other people's cats.

That zero odor stuff works amazingly well, too. Towards the end of her days, our old dog had a bad urine accident on carpet and I didn't find it for days (upstairs). The zero odor got it out and gone. Not a trace left.

Glad you were able to fix it. Blech.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 11:30AM
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Of course she's been to the vet. At the first sneeze, unusual "going" pattern, strange behavior (not meeting me at the door), in the car they go to the vet. I'm so paranoid about them being ill and not knowing. Cats hide things extremely well, until it's often too late.

Let me (someday) tell you about my Bentley's (get this) penis infection we caught simply because he wasn't meeting me at the door. Could have killed him.

Anyway. I like the idea of that food timer thing. Fat girl Kharma is on restricted food because she is eeeeeee mense. Sadly, it doesn't seem to be making a difference. That's a positive of confining her. I take up everyone's food when she's out.

Speaking of out. This morning I was greeted with 3 different poops and three, count 'em! three different pee spots. Thank goodness for the vinyl. I just cleaned it and put her paper towel down in those spots.

I had read about Urine Destroyer but hadn't picked up any. I figure it's worth a try the next time I take the vinyl up. It's not like that room is the only place she's peed, either, so I'll be treating other areas as I come to them. If someone stops dead and starts sniffing, I know someone else has been there at some point. Deedles, you talking about "Urine Destroyer" when you say "zero oder?" Or is this another product I should add to my collection?

Anyway, the vinyl is doing its job.
Now if I can figure out how to put it down successfully in the shower....
Grout is porous.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 11:57AM
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This has nothing to do with anything, but I had to share one of the Cat of the Day pictures. She's a hairless Sphinx named Gizmo. Talk about a weird, cutie!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 11:52AM
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