Ideally, your cat would faithfully pee in the litterbox and there would be no issues whatsover. However, if your cat is stressed, ill or aging, it can occasionally mean that you have to deal with urine, feces or vomit, which can be remarkably difficult to clean up. If your furry friend has had a potty issue, don't despair! Here are Modern Cat's top tips for dealing with this stinky problem.
First, decide what you are dealing with. Is there just urine, or vomit and feces as well? Clean up any solids, and dispose of them safely. If you suspect that your cat needs to go to the veterinarian to determine the cause of the problem (a step we strongly recommend in the event of any inexplicable toileting trouble), check with your veterinarian that they won't need a sample for analysis (ew, we know).
Then, thoroughly blot the area with paper towels. Keep blotting until there is no more moisture being absorbed. Then spray the area with a solution of white vinegar and water (patch test any carpets or fabrics first). If it is a hard surface, you may prefer to use diluted bleach to kill off any bacteria (especially good if you've been dealing with diarrhea or vomiting). After application, blot up any excess moisture and spray again with plain water. Let dry.
If you've got dried-up or old stains, or your initial attempt with vinegar didn't rid the area of any tell-tale smells, it might be time to try a commercial enzymatic cleaner. You may already have a favourite, but we've had great results with the Shout Pets Line, especially their Enzymatic Stain and Odor Remover. Apply the product as directed.
If the fabric in question is able to go through a laundry machine, wash it with a cup of apple cider vinegar in the detergent or applied directly to the affected area. Try to avoid tumble-drying the garment if possible and let it air-dry.
Don't forget to consider why your cat might be having bathroom issues. Remember that cats respond extremely poorly to punishment, and their behaviour is not meant to be vengeful or troublemaking. Don't forget to consult your vet. Consider also household issues. Is there one litterbox per cat? Is your older cat able to get into the litterbox? If marking has become very common in a certain area, consider using Feliway or a similar product to discourage repeat attempts.
Have you got a great cleaning tip? Share it in the comments!