Spraying - The Good, the Bad and the Downright Frustrating, Part Two
In my previous post, I talked about some of the reasons that peeing in the house occurs. Once we can get to the bottom of why it’s happening, it’s a matter of implementing the appropriate solutions to the best extent possible.
I remember working with one very sweet cat who had been given up for adoption because the household’s dog had been terrorizing her and it became an untenable situation. She had developed peeing behavior as a defense and ended up in foster care. Despite how friendly and adorable she was, the foster agency was having a hard time placing her because she had also been peeing in her cage. I get very sad when I think about the countless animals that are given away for this very reason. I worked with her and learned that she was merely “marking her territory” — as she had done with the dog — as a pre-emptive defense mechanism because of all the other cats in nearby cages at the shelter. I explained to her that as natural as this is for her (cats just doing what cats do), humans find the smell repellent. (It’s quite funny how surprised animals are when I tell them this!) I explained that I was sure that she could find a nice, loving home — which she desperately wanted — if she could just reign in her urge to pee in the cage. Happily, this resolved with only one session; I was thrilled to hear that she was adopted to her new home just one week later.
As I mentioned in my previous post on this topic, changing this behavior can sometimes take longer, especially if there are multiple animals involved. I won’t deny that it requires patience and persistence on our part!
I’m always on the lookout for products that will help support my clients in their efforts to retrain their animals as well as get the smell out of their houses. Did you know that regular cleaning products will not work? While we may not detect any residual odor after cleaning, the animals definitely can, due to their more sensitive noses, and this can trigger them to pee (or even poop!) again, usually in the same favorite spots. If you’ve had to clean the same areas over again, this is probably why.
Enzymatic solutions are only cleaners to use, as they break down the chemical compounds in animal waste. Nature’s Miracle is one that works quite well, and there is another one called Biokleen that has a light, pleasant lime scent. And while we are on the subject of a clean house, I’ve recently discovered Smells Be Gone, which is a unique, very effective air freshener. It does not mask odors with strong, synthetic chemicals as other fresheners do — it also breaks down compounds — but in the air itself. So if you find your house just has that stale “animal” smell, I recommend you try canisters of Smells Be Gone in a few rooms. It lasts for about a month and doesn’t have a strong scent — it literally “pulls” the bad smells out of the air. At first, you might think it’s not doing a thing, but after several weeks, your house will smell a whole lot fresher (not perfume-y — just clean.)
As I mentioned in the previous post, kidney disease is unfortunately very common in elderly animals, particularly cats, and that causes them to not be as good about their litter box habits. Here is a link to a site with lots of info on the subject. Veterinarians are always on the lookout for kidney disease, but if your older animal hasn’t had a checkup in a long while, you will want to keep an eye on this.