Removing Cat Urine Stains and Odor

cat-urineHaving a pet is one of life’s greatest joys, but your belongings can sustain damage from sharing your home with a cat. Many pet owners even become accustomed to the smell of their own home, and don’t notice the same scent that is offensive to their guests. If you’re a cat owner, it’s important to know how to get rid of urine stains and odors before they start to impact your personal life.

Before you can find the best way to remove stains and odors, you’ve got to know what kind of mess you’re dealing with. Is it on fabric or hard wood? Is it a new mess, or has it already dried? We’ll delve into each type of stain and how to best handle them.

The easiest mess to handle is one that is machine washable, so we’ll start there. Any sort of fabric, like clothing, sheets or pillowcases can be a target for your cat. If you find that your cat had an accident on your clothes or sheets a few days ago, put the dirtied items in a pile and cover them in baking soda. This will lift some odor by absorption.

Next, place the items in the washing machine following normal instructions. In addition to detergent, add two to four cups of white vinegar as well as a scoop of baking soda. Try to keep the load small, so that the items are fully agitated during the wash cycle. For good measure, follow-up with another rinse cycle, using water only. Repeat this cycle as necessary.

If you’ve found machine washable items that have been recently urinated on, follow the same instructions, but skip past the initial baking soda step, and right to the washing machine. The less time the items have to soak, the easier it will be to clean.

Unfortunately, we aren’t always so lucky as to have our cats pee on machine washable items. If you’re cleaning up a mess on carpet or upholstery, you’ll need to treat the stain by hand. Many cat owners swear by the power of white vinegar and baking soda. If the stain is old, start by sprinkling baking soda on the carpet. If the stain is new, use a clean paper towel to blot away as much of the excess urine as possible. Be careful not to rub it in any further!

Next, use a ratio of 3:1, water and white vinegar to saturate the soiled area. Again, use a clean and dry paper towel to blot of excess liquid. Once dry, sprinkle baking soda on top, then vacuum after about 15 minutes.

rocco-roxieIf this is not effective, or if you are one of many who are just as offended by the smell of vinegar as you are of cat urine, try an enzymatic cleaner. Rocco and Roxie Odor and Stain Remover is an affordable and increasingly popular product with pet owners. Like several other popular brands, it uses a particular bacteria to actually break down the ammonia crystals which cause odor. Whichever product you choose, be sure to read the instructions carefully!

If you are attempting to remove cat stains and odor from hardwood, the solution is not so easy. It is recommended that you stay away from chemical products for this, as the same compounds that often destroy the odors may also destroy wood. A more gentle solution is to spray a generous amount of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution onto the wood and immediately wipe it. Repeat daily until the problem is resolved. If the scent seems to be set deep into the wood, you may have to resort to sanding and resealing it.

cat-pee-uvUnfortunately, cat owners may experience the horror of smelling urine that they are unable to locate. In this case, you can unleash your inner CSI tech and use a blacklight to find the source of the foul odor. UV blacklight flashlights will help quickly resolve this problem, and can be purchased for as low as $10 on Amazon. Just use the flashlight in a dark room and look for a glowing area.

The best way to prevent the accidents and odor from coming right back is to understand why they’re happening in the first place. “Accidents” are typically not at all accidental, but are the result of a behavioral or medical issue that needs to be addressed.

If your cat is repeatedly urinating in the same area, especially after the addition of a new family member (human or animal), you are most likely experiencing territorial behavior. Also consider your litter box maintenance habits. If you have recently changed litter type or cleaning habits, your cat may respond negatively. Try reverting back to your last litter brand or cleaning the litter box more often.

If your cat is urinating in a variety of spots, you’ll want to get him to the vet as the cause may be health-related. Urinary tract infections are a common cause of urination outside of the litter box. Incontinence is also a possibility, especially as your cat gets older.

Hopefully, you do not need to use these tips very often, but when the time comes, use common sense. Make sure that any cleaning products you purchase are safe for your pets and other family members. Try your best to understand your cat’s motivation so that this cleaning process does not become ritual.

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Caring for a Pregnant Cat

Just like humans, cats needs to remain calm and healthy during pregnancy in order to deliver healthy offspring. While the cat gestation period only lasts nine weeks, their care requirements have a surprising number of similarities to that of a pregnant human.

caring-for-pregnant-catBefore making special arrangements, it would be wise to ensure that your cat is actually pregnant, and not just overweight. Aside from the obvious weight gain, darkened and enlarged nipples are another giveaway.

Once you’ve confirmed that your cat is pregnant, it’s recommended that you take her to the vet to make sure there are no issues or complications. Using ultrasound technology, your vet should be able to tell you how many kittens are expected and approximately when they’re due.

Start mixing kitten food into your cat’s regular diet. Overall, you should be feeding her at least 25% more than usual, depending on the size of her litter. Kitten food provides extra calories and nutrition to help the fetal kittens grow. Just like any diet change, you’ll want to avoid doing this too abruptly to avoid digestive issues. As always, your cat should have access to fresh water at all times.

As is the case with pregnant humans, your cat may exhibit unusual behaviors during this time in her life. She may show signs of discomfort, as well as increased appetite, and even a stronger desire for attention.  Use common sense and cooperate with her, as much of this behavior is instinct-driven. If she wants more food, feed her. If she’s feeling affectionate, pet her!

As the due date approaches, introduce a whelping box in a safe and familiar area. This is simply a box with blankets and or towels, providing your cat comfort and security while giving birth. It should be open on top, but ideally not out in the open, where she may feel vulnerable. Giving birth is messy business, so any materials added to the box should be easy to wash or okay to dispose of.

Once you’ve set up the box, draw your cat’s attention to it by providing affection or treats. Do this a few times, and gauge your cat’s comfort level. If she doesn’t seem to enjoy spending time there, you may want to rethink its location. Placing a cat’s favorite blankets, or something that smells like her, may also help her feel at home.

Around the nine week mark, the day will finally arrive where your cat goes into labor! All cats are different, but a common sign is seeing your cat panting and nesting in blankets. She may also groom herself much more than usual. On this big day, you need to keep your home as quiet and stress-free as possible. This means no visitors or strange smells, like cleaning products, if you can help it.

It is completely normal if your cat goes into labor somewhere other than your whelping box, no matter how accepting she seemed earlier. Some cats will even start making their own nest, often stealing items like dirty laundry from around the house.

While it is ideal to let your cat handle the birthing process on her own, you should be aware of the normal stages so that you may intervene if necessary. Despite the common misconception, your cat will not abandon her kittens if you touch them. The most important thing is that the newborn kittens are safe from falls or suffocation when they finally arrive.

Now that you’ve made it through the ordeal of caring for a pregnant cat, it is time to begin the journey of raising her kittens! This is a fun and heartwarming experience, but it is to be taken very seriously. Be sure to do your reading before the kittens arrive- nine weeks will pass before you know it!

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Polydactyl Cats – Special Cats

polydactyl-catsNormally, a cat has got just 18 toes: 5 of them are on each of the front paw while 4 of them on each of their rear paw. Polydactyl cats are a special type of cats that have extra number of toes on one or more of the paws. This trait is a genetically influenced anomaly called polydactyly or hyperdactyly.

There are several other things that escape the eyes besides the added figure which make these cats special and certainly interesting. In this edition I ventured to research and compile a few things you didn’t know about Polydactyl cats. So, are you ready to learn? In 5, 4, 3, 2 …1

#1: Polydactyly/hyperdactyly is a dominant and harmless mutation

Besides giving you an extra job when trimming your cat’s nails, this condition is certainly harmless and it does not make your pet weak or disadvantaged in any way. As a matter of fact, most people often find polydactyl cats attractive as the extra paw often takes after a thumb and this makes them even more playful and interesting to play with.

This trait is also a dominant trait. Thus, if just one of the parents has this condition, then close to half of the offspring will have the trait. So, if you really want to have one in your home, you will only need to get one of the parents with hyperdactyly and give it a try.

#2: Maine Coon has the highest number of polydactyl cats

Polydactyly is a common trait in Coon with just about 2 in every 5 cats in Maine Coon having the trait. Some researchers have also linked Maine to have been the cradle origin of the trait in America. On a keen examination, this state often experiences adverse cold temperatures and snow in its northern interior annually. This extended paw makes it easy for the cats to glide through ice (much like a kitty-snowshoe). Once more, this condition becomes so advantageous again.

#3: What is the highest number of toes ever recorded for a cat?

A Canadian kitten by the name Jake is the Guinness World Record holder for having had 28 toes. It had 7 toes of every paw which were perfectly functional; each of them complete with a claw, pad and a bone structure. Do you have one with more than that? Why not share it with us?

#4: Did you know that Polydactyly was a sign of good luck too?

In the ancient times, cats with many paws were thought of by the sailors to be a sign of good luck. These pancake-footed cats were thought to possess an upper hand when hunting mice and the sailors claimed their feet were also adapted to swimming as they could easily balance through water. Thus they were more preferred and reared in most Western Europe regions where most of them survive even to date. Do you think they still are?

 

Does Your Cat Have a Sensitive Stomach?

There’s a fine line between being a picky little brat that has gotten used to being hand-fed by its owners and being a cat that can’t tolerate certain foods because of a sensitive stomach. For most people, the difference between the two is not easily noticeable, but there are certain behaviors that should make you ponder.

meow-i-was-sick-a-few-days-beforeLike people, cats can suffer from gastrointestinal and digestive disorders. If digestion or absorption of food is reduced or its passage through the digestive tract is altered, your feline friend is most probably suffering from a digestive disorder. They are quite common and most clear up within a few days. However some cats need long-term management due to regular or permanent digestive issues. Dehydration, malnutrition and acid-base and electrolyte imbalances are consequences that need to be dealt with efficiently, so it is essential that you recognize the signs and consult with your veterinarian.

Most often, the signs of these afflictions are soft stools and diarrhea, but you should also check for other possible symptoms such as vomiting, change in appetite, weight loss, abdominal pain, flatulence, diarrhea/constipation, regurgitation, blood or mucus in the feces or weakness.

It’s best not to delay diagnosis, because when a gastrointestinal disease becomes chronic it can be a debilitating problem for your cats and testing and a thorough diagnosis from the vet will be required. In simple cases of a sensitive stomach, the situation can easily improve by checking the source of the problem.meow-connection-hairballs.jpg


Spoiled or questionable food
could have provoked any of the aforementioned symptoms. Even hairballs are often at fault, in which case giving your cat a specialized “hairball formula” cat food is recommended.

Milk or dairy products can also be the cause of a sensitive stomach in your cat. While cats might be fond of the taste, you should remember that they often lack the ability to digest dairy products properly and they are often considered human foods that could be dangerous to animals.

Feeding your cat according to package directions might seem extreme to some, but it is ultimately a wise decision as eating too much can upset a cat’s digestion. You should also keep in mind that any change in nutrition can irritate your cat’s system.

Switching your cat’s food should be done slowly by gradually mixing greater and greater proportions of the new food with the old one.

Cats that eat fast also swallow a lot of air. By dividing big meals into smaller portions, fed throughout the day, you could easily solve this problem!

Lastly, always feed your cat a nutritious, high-quality food! It’s not just about the taste, it’s also the fact that food made with low-quality ingredients cannot be easily digested by cats.

Be mindful when dealing with these issues and remember to confirm with your vet whether it is a simple and easily treatable problem or a serious health issue!

 

When Do Cats Stop Growing?

Cats are adorable feline friends who keep us motivated and always happy at the comfort of our homes. One curious thing though about these pets is how they grow and the time they take to reach full maturity. According to research, most cats usually take an estimated 1 ½ to 2 years to fully reach maturity. Although this principle doesn’t occur to all cats, research reveals that a young kitten is considered to be fully mature at the age of one year. After your cat is one year old, their bones and sexual maturity continue growing for another eight months till the age of 18 months.

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The growth of a cat.

Similar to dogs, cats are categorized into different breeds such as Persian Cat, British Shorthair, Ragdoll and Maine Coon among others. Some breeds such as the Maine Coon have a very slow growth rate where it takes up to 4 years to fully mature. What’s even more interesting about this breed is that a fully grown adult resembles a kitten in appearance.

Cat Math

Cats mature pretty much slower than humans. A one year old cat is usually considered to be fully grown. When we relate this to humans, you’ll find out that a one year old cat is equivalent to a 21 year old human. How can you tell a cat’s age? According to experts, it’s relatively easy to guess the age of a cat. A young cat has floppy ears, quick minded, very playful, has a very sharp mew voice and it’s usually a messy eater.

The skin and bones

Paying our attention to body growth, cats usually take around 6 to 10 months to fully develop strong bones. After the 10 months, your cat starts adding on body mass as well as increase the fur. During the next four months, your cat will trail through sexual maturity period where they will fatten up. From 15 months to 3 years, a cat is considered to be a teenager and during this time, a male cat is ready to mate and produce kittens of its own. However, the time taken by your cats to fully reach maturity is relatively variable and depends on the breed.

Social maturity

One can easily predict when a cat is fully mature through social behaviors. When a kitten is about 8 months old, you’ll notice that she’s more playful, temperamental and very clingy due to hormonal changes. As she grows from 8 months to 2 years, her behavior changes where she becomes more relaxed, calmer and settled. During this time, your cat will develop social affection signs where she wants to spend more time with the owner.

Finally, when your cat approaches 10 years, she’s considered to be fully mature and elderly. During this time, a cat requires special care through feeding on a balanced diet, spending more time with them, helping them sharpen their memory and giving them more time to sleep and relax on their own. At this age, it is also recommended that you provide them with a joint health supplement, as cats are liable to joint issues just like us.

In fact, they actually tend to suffer more from joint pain and aches due to their frequent jumps and hard landings. My supplement of choice is Cosequin for Cats: a veterinary-approved supplement and is the only joint health supplement brand shown to be effective, safe, and bioavailable in published, controlled U.S. studies.

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Top 10 Health Benefits of Having a Cat

While it is well known that dogs are loyal and affectionate and have been labelled “man’s best friend” for aeons, cats have suffered from a bad press. With a reputation for being aloof and distant, moving from owner to owner without any real loyalty, and doing nothing but scratching and hissing, cats really do suffer from a poor brand image. But as the thousands of cat lovers will testify, there are in fact, many positives about cat ownership. Here are just a few reasons for making a moggie part of your family:

  1. The popular saying laughter is the best medicine could have been written for cat owners. One of the biggest health benefits of allowing a cat to join your household is that you will never stop laughing – the popularity of cat videos on the internet and programs like Cats Make You LOL, are testament to this fact – cats are funny!
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Cats do make you LOL!

According to market research there are around two million different videos of cats posted on YouTube and each one gets an average of 12,000 views – that’s a grand total of nearly 25 billion views!  So what are the health benefits exactly? Well, having your own cat to laugh at on a daily basis can help to reduce the level of stress hormones in your body, increase the amount of immune cells and help your body to produce more infection-fighting antibodies.

 

  1. Cats bring you back down to earth. You might have had a great day and think you are a super important human being, with a vital job, which no-one else could possibly replace, the head of your own household, and someone who contributes a valuable role in society. But just one look from your cat will bring you right back down.

So what is the health benefit of this you might ask? Well, it’s about balance in life and reducing that feeling of burden and responsibility which we all carry around with us every day. One look from your cat and you are no longer a tense manager with the weight of the company on your shoulders, your only responsibility is to open the tin and feed the cat – you have no other role in life.

  1. Cat purring is actually beneficial for us physically according to medical research reports published recently. The research showed that the purring noise is therapeutically good for us and can benefit humans in a number of different ways, and it has even been proving that the sound of a cat purring near to us, can actually lead to improvements in several health conditions.

A cat purring within a range of 20-140 Hertz, will create therapeutic benefits for humans who are nearby. The sound has been connected with reducing stress symptoms, lowering the likelihood of a heart attack and even making bones stronger.

  1. Although part of the negative reaction to cats is often tied to people’s fear of having an allergy of them, the opposite can also be true, particularly for children. Being brought up with animals in the house, cats in particular, has been shown to reduce levels of allergies in babies.
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Having a cat actually reduces your child’s risk of having asthma. 

Studies have shown that if you are about to have a baby, having pets is actually beneficial for the baby, as being around the pets from an early age can trigger their immune system and prevent the allergies from developing in the first place. There is even evidence that living with cats can also prevent children from developing asthma.

 

  1. One of the key benefits of owning a pet is proven stress and anxiety reduction. Owning a pet gives you something to think about other than yourself, not to mention having a gorgeous furry cuddle monster to curl up with in the evenings, particularly if you live alone. Pets give us unconditional love, even allegedly aloof and distant-seeming cats.

Having a cat has been proven to release stress and anxiety as caring for something else takes your mind away from your own troubles and concerns. Not only that, but stroking and petting an animal is very calming and soothing for anyone.

  1. As well as reducing stress and anxiety levels, cat ownership has been shown to have a beneficial impact on people suffering from depression or from loneliness, perhaps following a bereavement or a life-changing situation such as a divorce or messy break-up. Cat ownership may not immediately spring to mind as a depression treatment but studies have proven otherwise.

Obviously cat care can’t actually cure a medical condition, but it can certainly help provide a different focus for sufferers, taking them out of their own head. Companionship can also help in the battle if the depression is caused by loneliness.


  1. People with autism suffer from difficulties communicating and bonding with others, particularly true of autistic children, but many studies have shown that another therapy area where cats have been proven to help youngsters on the autistic spectrum to learn to communicate and they have been seen to bond closely with pets including cats, when they struggle to bond with people.

children-cat-playing-photography-2__880There have been many cases of children benefiting from feline therapy, developing their communication through bonding with their cat. It has been shown in studies that children on the autism spectrum, who have pets, are far more social than those without, and talking about their pets also helps them to bond better with other people.

  1. Owning a cat can actually lower your blood pressure. Scientific experiments have shown that cat owners frequently have lower blood pressure than those who don’t own cats. It’s not clear why this is the case, other than that perhaps it is linked to the general calming impact and reduction of stress levels associated with cat ownership mentioned earlier.

A study was taken held in Russia years ago which proved in a rather bizarre way that cats can lower blood pressure. The study involved getting cat owners to listen to loud music and scream, and then the same thing was done with non-cat owners. The results were very different as the non-cat owners had very high blood pressure increases as a result.

  1. Health benefits are not just for individuals – our carbon footprint affects the health of everyone in the world and while we focus on things like cars and pollution, it is all too easy to ignore the carbon footprint caused by our pets. The meat eaten by dogs and the impact of their faeces on the environment is huge. Owning a cat can help us to reduce our pet carbon impact.

Cats do impact the environment in terms of the amount of birds they catch and kill and the meat which they eat, however, they have far less of an impact on the environment than dogs do.

  1. It has been proven that cat owners are less likely to visit doctors and hospitals, making fewer visits than non-cat owners. Again, it’s not clear why this should be the case, although perhaps all of the other health benefits added together, help lead to this final crucial positive reason to own a cat.
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A cat a day…

The same studies also revealed that nursing homes which used cats for patient therapy, managed to lower their medication bills than those which didn’t have cats. They also showed that cat ownership helped people to live longer.

So, from reducing stress to lowering blood pressure and helping people to recover from depression and loneliness, cat ownership has been proven to provide many and varied health benefits to humans, so perhaps it’s time to reconsider their reputation and go out there and embrace the positive benefits of becoming a cat parent.

Hydration in Cats – Making sure your cat is getting enough fluids

Cat owners have to worry about a lot of things. From the smallest aspects in life such as acquiring the best toys in order to keep their cats away from scratching apart the entire couch to extreme measures required to prevent or even treat their pet’s certain health issues. Some of these health problems could however be avoided if cat owners paid proper attention to their pet’s water intake!

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Glass are NOT a recommended way to hydrate your furry friend!

Since cats are usually not overly preoccupied with drinking water and care more about their yummy treats, owners often forget to pay attention to one very important aspect: hydration! It’s not rare for a cat owner to notice that the water bowl has been barely touched by its furry friend although more than a day or two passes. All animals however, cats included, require a balanced diet and fluid intake in order to maintain their health and although it might be troublesome for some when trying to convince their cat to drink more water, there are certain ways to deal with this common problem!

First of all, try focusing on the type of “dishware” you provide for your cat! Do not try to convince yourself that as long as your cat doesn’t jump around its water bowl or the kitchen sink then everything is fine. Because it is not! Cats have a tendency of being quite the picky little scoundrels and it is not uncommon to see a cat refusing to drink water because it hates the bowl you chose for him.

As absurd as it might sound, this is an important part of maintaining your cat properly hydrated, because these pets hate having their whiskers hit the sides of a bowl as it prevents them from being able keep their surroundings in view. So instead of a deep and narrow water bowl, try using a wider and shallower one to avoid such problems! You might also be surprised to see that your cat prefers drinking water straight from a running faucet instead of its bowl. That is mainly based on the fact that cats generally avoid still waters such as puddles, ponds and lakes!

Secondly, pay more attention to the type of food your cat consumes! Dry food has its undisputable advantages, but when it comes to hydration, excessive consumption of dry food is the most common mistake owners make. Offering your cat a proper amount of wet food daily will make it easier to avoid dehydration and will balance out the lack of water intake that your cat might be struggling with!

Last but not least, always keep your cat’s water fresh! Same as with humans and many other animals, cats hate having to drink water that has been standing around for long. Provide fresh water at least once a day!

Dehydration is a common occurrence in cats all around the world. Pay attention to the aspects above and hasten to your vet if your cat shows any signs of lethargy, loss of appetite, dry mouth, depression, elevated heart rate, decreased skin elasticity or sunken eyes. Obviously, the aim is to never get at this stage. Do give due importance to your cat’s hydration!

Recommended: Cat Fountains

Cat fountains are a great way of getting your cat to drink more as cats are naturally attracted to flowing water and they are more likely to drink from a cat fountain than a cat bowl with still water. Personally I use PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain for my cats as apart from featuring an enticing free-falling water stream, it also includes a replaceable carbon water filter that removes bad tastes and odors, and helps to keep water fresh. It has a built in reservoir so you won’t need to refill it too often and it is made from BPA-Free plastic to safeguard your cat’s health.

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