The sharp, pungent odor of cat urine can permeate carpets, furniture, clothing, and any porous materials in your home. Even a single, small urine spot can fill the entire house with the unforgettable and unmistakable smell of cat pee. The bad news doesn’t stop there. If your cat has urinated in one spot, you can be almost certain that he has soiled other areas of the house as well. If you’re faced with this scenario, you have a battle on your hands. You will need the best cat urine removal products and methods to be sure that you address every single spot your cat has christened with his pee.
Finding the Evidence: The Sniff Method
There are two methods for locating cat urine stains. The least pleasant is to use your sense of smell. You can crawl onyour hands and knees to sniff every inch of your carpet, clothes, plants, furniture, pet bedding, children’s toys and any other objects or areas that might hold appeal for the offending kitty. It’s not the most efficient method, and some people simply can’t stomach the idea. No matter how much time you spend looking, you aren’t likely to find all the urine spots. The human nose has a relatively short attention span. You may find that your powers of discernment diminish quickly, and your dog will probably not be first in line to help you out.
Using a Black Light to Find Odor Sources
You might have only seen black lights at parties or on television crime shows, but these amazing ultraviolet light tools can actually reveal cat urine stains on nearly any surface.
When you turn out the lights and shine a black light over surfaces and objects in the room, any urine stains will glow a lovely shade of neon yellow. You can then outline the area with a piece of masking tape or place a small object on it so that you can locate it easily with the lights on and treat it with proven urine odor removal products. Black lights illuminate phosphorus-containing substances such as urine, blood, saliva and other bodily fluids. Every stain your black light highlights may not be urine and may not be a source of odor. Older stains may be more difficult to see.
Choosing the Best Black Light
You can find black lights that are designed for detecting urine stains in most pet stores. Two types of black lights are available. The most common is a small, inexpensive light that has less power and may produce fewer results. These can usually help you find urine on carpet or upholstery, but they can be difficult to work with. Their bulbs are small and don’t produce enough UV light to properly detect older or weaker stains. Many people who use them may find it necessary to crawl on the floor to detect any glowing areas of urine, and this defeats the purpose of buying a black light in the first place.
A more reliable product is the LED black light flashlight. You can operate these models with a quick shift of the wrist and usually from a standing position. While they are more expensive, keep in mind that they are a one-time purchase that will serve you well for many years and pay for themselves by saving you tons of money on misused treatment products. They will also save many hours spent on your floor playing search-and-destroy with cat pee stains. If you don’t find all the stinky urine spots, you can’t make them go away. If even one is left in place, you will smell it, and so will your cat; it will invite him to make further contributions. Using the best tools and methods can save you money, time and effort. It can also save your relationship with your cat.
Tips for Finding Cat Urine with a Black Light
You should use your black light at night if possible. If you must use it in daylight, be sure that every source of light is diminished or removed. Close blinds, curtains and doors. Turn off night lights and electronic displays. The less light there is in the room, the better your black light will work for you. Some porous surfaces, like concrete, absorb urine stains so well that they may become harder to see, and it’s easier to see a faint glow when there is no ambient light interference. Industrial-type black lights provide adequate light for helping you see how to get around. Be very careful navigating in the dark when using low-powered black lights.
Mark Your Progress
When you locate and treat stains with enzyme cleaners, the phosphorescent glow in the treated area will become dimmer under the black light. It may be helpful to make a map of the room or mark off stained areas with masking tape so you can apply repeated treatments easily when the stains become less visible.
The yellow glow of cat urine will eventually fade even without treatment; this can make it more difficult to accurately locate and remove stains. It’s important to treat all urine stains as soon as possible. If you know your cat has a tendency to urinate on carpet, it’s wise to check your carpets regularly with the black light so any spots can be found and eradicated quickly. Remember that untreated urine stains will invite your cat to repeat the unwanted performance. If you’re diligent in managing a cat urine problem, there will be less chance of your home becoming a cleanup project worthy of a HazMat team.