STAIN AND ODORS
We know you love your pets, and you love your rugs. Unfortunately, the two do not coexist well. No matter how well you train your pet, accidents are unavoidable. That is where we come in. Khazai Rug Cleaning can get not only the pet stain out of your rug, but we’ll take that bad odor out with it.
This rug was not only dirty, it was covered in pet urine. The owner almost lost hope in this rug. The experts at KHAZAI RUG CLEANING were able to to remove the pet urine and odor and bring this rug back to life.
Even after you remove the stain from your rug, the smell will still be there. You may not smell it all of the time, but when humidity increases it reactivates the pet odor. At Khazai Rug Cleaning, we are experts in pet odor removal and we can make sure that smell won’t come back.
BEFORE AND AFTER
Urine stain removal on a large rug
Timing is IMPORTANT when removing pet stains
If you contact us right after your pet stains the rug and before it dries, we can reduce the chance of a permanent stain to almost nothing. We use special cleaning agents with water saturation that are guaranteed to remove 100% of the pet urine odors from your rug.
When urine is deposited on your rug, it initially has a PH balance of 5 to 6. This is on the acid side of the PH scale. It is much easier to remove the stain at this stage. After drying, the PH changes to between 10 to 12, which is on the alkaline side, it becomes much more difficult and stubborn to clean. However, we have years of successful experience in removing even old and dry urine stains from rugs. Once you bring your rug in for inspection, we can properly diagnose next steps.
If you leave urine in your rug, there may be other concerns besides odors. Urine attracts moths and carpet beetles. Also, the longer urine is left in the rug, the more likely the foundation of the rug may be damaged. This is due to dry rot, which can weaken the foundation over time. It’s best to treat urine stains as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary damage.
After a urine stain has been freshly treated, do not walk on any damp areas. If your rug is damp it will attract more dirt from shoes and traffic and you may end up with a bigger stain than before.
Pet stains can be the hardest to get out
When your pet first relieves itself on your rug the urine is an acidic stain. Over time that stain turns into urine crystals, which are a food source for bacteria. When the bacteria grows from eating the crystals, that’s what releases the urine smell from your rug. Your rug will not stink in the winter, but when the weather begins to warm up it will begin to smell badly. This is because bacteria needs a warm climate, an organic food source, moisture, and lack of light.
When your pet has an accident on your rug, if you do not get to it right away, it will eventually seep into the floor. As the urine dries the liquid will evaporate. It leaves behind urine crystals which makes the urine more concentrated. They consist of bacteria, urochrome, uric acid, urea, proteins and hormones.
If not treated properly, the odor from pet accidents can travel through your home, can impact both your health and happiness. Also when your pet urinates in a certain spot, it continues to come back to that same spot unless you get the smell removed.
Trying to clean the rug yourself?
Simple cleaning the area will not get these types of odors out of the carpet once it has settled. The breed and sex of your pet, its health, and mostly diet will play factors in whether or not a urine spot will become a permanent stain. Female dog urine is often more acidic than a male dog’s, which is more likely to cause a stain.
We suggest cleaning accidents thoroughly with an enzymatic cleanser designed to neutralize pet odors. You can find this kind of cleaner at most pet stores. However, many stains and odors can only be removed with professional rug cleaning.
Cat urine has a very distinct odor that is caused by proteins and high levels of uric acid
Healthy cats don’t drink large amounts of water, which makes their urine more concentrated. At the time of urination, the fluid is acidic. As the urine dries, the uric acid forms crystals and becomes alkaline. This makes cat urine smell very pungent.
Cats also eliminate powerful hormones when they relieve themselves. Male cats that have not been neutered release testosterone-spiked urine. This acts as a signal, telling other males to stay away and letting females know they are near.
Cat urine is usually left unnoticed until it becomes a problem. Cats have a habit of marking their territory outside the litter box, and that includes on rugs and carpets. After a while, the bacterium in the urine decomposes and gives off an ammonia-like odor characteristic of stale old urine. The second stage of the decomposition process emits mercaptans, compounds that give a skunk’s spray that notable bad odor. Older animals have kidneys that have lost efficiency and thus tend to have the worst smelling urine.
Can home remedies help?
Vinegar and baking soda work to neutralize the odor temporarily, and hydrogen peroxide is 30% more oxidizing than chlorine. But cat urine is composed of things that REQUIRE enzymes to break down the chemical bonds. At Khazai rug Cleaning, we are experts on these types of stains and what it takes to get the smell out of your rug.
What are the facts?
It’s estimated that 10% of all cats will eliminate outside their litter box at some point. Quite a few of these cats have some issue with their litter box, but approximately 30% don’t have litter box problems at all. These cats are urine marking. Urine marking is a form of indirect communication used by cats. If your cat has suddenly taken to wetting your carpet or another area of your home, first you have to figure out why it’s happening then address the problem.
Here is a short list of possible causes for cats urinating outside the litter box:
- Your cat may be urine marking (see next section)
- The box isn’t scooped often enough
- Your cat doesn’t like the choice of litter
- The box is in a high-traffic area or is difficult to get into or out of
- Your cat has a medical condition such as FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease) or another illness
- Your cat is a senior citizen or it is experiencing cognitive decline
Understanding Cats and Dogs
Animal species who live in social groups have sophisticated methods of interpersonal communication, especially animals who can cause significant harm to each other like dogs. Dogs have developed a social mechanism for preventing conflict through ranking. They are prepared to assume either a leadership or deference position, and they can read another animal’s body language to interpret the intentions. But cats have a somewhat unique social structure. Cats do not eat, sleep, hunt, or socialize in packs as dogs do.
Cats are often solitary creatures. When they mature they go off on their own and claim certain territories. They might share a territory with other cats, but it’s a timeshare approach—they avoid each other whenever possible. They haven’t developed a social system like dogs. Socially, cats who conflict often handle things like two neighbors in an argument. Although one might back down if he thinks he might get injured, neither will ever perceive himself as having a lower status than the other. Cats do not have a system for resolving face-to-face disputes, so face-to-face disputes can be dangerous for them. To avoid conflict, cats communicate indirectly—as in they leave messages.
Is urine marking normal?
Cats have different ways of leaving messages for each other, and one way is urine marking. By urine marking, a cat tells other cats of its presence and makes a statement about such things as what piece of property is his and how long ago he was there. Cats can even advertise when they are looking for a mate. All this information is available to other cats in the urine. This way, cats rarely have to meet up with each other.
Cats who live in houses still view their world in the same way as cats who must survive on their own in the wild. They can only use the communication skills that nature gave them. If their world is predictable, there are no conflicts, they are spayed or neutered, and they don’t need a mate, cats have little reason to mark. But, if they want a mate or they are distressed about something, they’ll deal with their distress like any cat: they’ll mark their territory. To a cat, marking helps keep unwanted individuals away and it creates an atmosphere of familiarity that helps them feel secure.
How can I tell if my cat has a LITTER BOX problem or COMMUNICATION problem?
It takes some investigating to find out whether your cat is urine marking or just has a litter box problem. Cats who urine mark also use their litter box to void, so urine in the litter box does not rule out marking outside the box. But urine marking deposits are typically different than eliminations in the litter box.
The following is a list of characteristics that indicate urine marking:
- Urine marks are usually left on vertical surfaces. Marking on a vertical surface is known as spraying. When spraying, a cat usually backs up to a vertical object like the side of a chair, stands with his body erect and his tail extended straight up in the air, and sprays urine.
- Urine mark deposits often have less volume than voided deposits. The amount of urine a cat sprays when he’s urine marking is usually less than the amount he would void during regular elimination in his box.
- The urine has a very strong scent. The reason cats learn so much from the marking of another cat is that a urine mark isn’t just normal urine. It also contains extra communication chemicals, which often smell bad to people.
Here are some characteristics of a cat or a household that can contribute to urine marking behavior:
- The cat is an unneutered male. Female, neutered, and spayed cats can also urine mark, but it is not as likely. As one function of urine marking is to promote reproductive availability, this is particularly useful for an unneutered male cat.
- There are multiple cats in the household. The more cats that live together, the more likely it is that they will urine mark. Homes with over 10 cats invariably have urine marking problems.
- There has been a recent change in the home. When things change, cats can become stressed. One of the ways cats deal with this stress is by marking their territory. This could be to leave a message that this place is theirs, or even to comfort themselves with their own familiar scent. Stress for cats can be caused by a whole number of things, such as someone moving in, moving out, getting another pet, remodeling a room, changing work hours, going to stay in the hospital, having a baby, even buying a new coat or bringing home groceries in an unusually large paper bag.
- There is conflict either between the cats who live in the home or between the house cat and other cats it sees outside. Cats mark in response to conflict with other cats for the same reasons they mark in response to household changes. Conflict between cats is one of the most common reasons for urine marking.
What should I do?
The first step in fixing any marking problem is to rule out medical problems. Although there is no medical problem that contributes specifically to urine marking, physical problems can create increased anxiety in a cat. Those problems can then contribute to marking. Once you have visited a veterinarian and they have determined that your cat doesn’t have a medical issue, then you can consider other ideas.
Here are a few things you can do to remedy urine marking behavior:
- Neuter or spay your cat if you have not already. Although marking isn’t limited to neutered/spayed cats, neutering or spaying is a proven treatment for cats who mark as a reproductive advertisement.
- Prevent your indoor cat from seeing other neighborhood cats by closing your windows, blinds, and doors.
- If you still have issues with neighborhood cats, you can attach a motion-detection device to your lawn sprinkler to deter their visits.
- If neither of these ideas work, you could use a synthetic cat pheromone in areas where the cat has seen an outdoor cat and marked. Products like this deliver a synthetic pheromone that has been shown to have some effect in relieving stress in cats. Deliver the pheromone through a diffuser plugged in close to where your cat has seen the outdoor cats. This type of product can be found in many pet stores and online.
- Use medications. Because marking is often a sign of stress or anxiety, medication can provide additional treatment. If you’re considering medication, be certain to first consult with your veterinarian, a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB or ACAAB) or a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behavior (Dip ACVB).
If you live in a multi-cat households, here are some ways to treat urine marking:
- First determine which cat is doing the marking. If you can’t figure out which cat is marking, speak with your veterinarian about giving fluorescein, a harmless dye, to one of your cats. Although the dye does not usually stain furniture or walls, it causes urine to glow blue under ultraviolet light for about one day. If you don’t get fluorescein, you can just temporarily confine your cats one at a time to determine which one is doing the marking.
- Provide enough litter boxes. Conflict can arise if there are too few litter boxes for all the cats, which can lead to marking. Make sure you have one box for each cat in your house, plus one extra.
- Place litter boxes in low-traffic areas with at least two exit routes. The idea is to avoid conflict between cats. Also, if you have a dog, be sure to keep the litter boxes far from his/her food and water bowls. Cats can mark in response to dogs just like other cats.
- Scoop at least once a day. Also be sure to clean all litter boxes with warm water and unscented soap, or baking soda and no soap, and completely replace the litter once a week. This helps reduce any offending “other cat” scent.
- Provide multiple perching areas, like shelves or cat trees. Cats need solitude and their own space. Without cats having their own space, conflicts can arise.
- Distribute resources. Provide multiple sources of food, water, scratching posts, and toys. This way, each cat can make use of them while avoiding conflict with another cat.
- Play with your cats individually. Playing with your cats in different areas at different times can sometimes reduce conflict issues. Encourage play with toys that dangle on strings suspended from sticks. Mutual play between cats can also sometimes help reduce conflict. However, keep in mind this might simply increase conflict if your cats react poorly when spending time together.
What not to do:
Here are a few things to avoid when treating urine marking:
- Rubbing your cat’s nose in his urine is a bad idea, so avoid it.
- Throwing things at your cat will not help, so avoid doing this as well.
- Do not clean up accidents with an ammonia-based cleanser. Urine contains ammonia, so cleaning with ammonia can attract your cat to that same spot again.
Whatever the reason for your cat’s behavior, it’s imperative that you get rid of urine odors so your cat won’t continually return to the scene of the crime and re offend.
Can I clean stains myself?
For old (dried) urine stains, treatment will depend on the type of surface. Hard materials like tile, wood, and baseboards can be cleaned using a safe, natural solution like one part hydrogen peroxide and two parts water or undiluted white vinegar. If you’re dealing with a hard surface, just liberally spray the solution on the urine stain, wipe, and repeat. Do this as often as necessary until the stain and odor are removed. If the smell remains despite repeated efforts, purchase an enzyme-based cleaner and re-treat the area.
Cleaning carpeting, upholstery, and other absorbent surfaces is a different story and often requires more effort. While natural cleaners like hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or baking soda can deal with some of the resulting odors from cat urine, they don’t deal with all of them. You should use an enzyme cleaner like Nature’s Miracle or Urine Off to take care of the uric acid in cat urine stains.
Here are the steps to take to clean urine from rugs, carpet, and other absorbent surfaces:
- If the spot is still wet, use paper towels, a rag, or cloth and blot up as much of the urine as possible before proceeding to the next steps.
- Pour plain water over the spot and soak up the moisture using cloths or paper towels.
- Saturate the spot with an enzyme-based “digester” preparation like Nature’s Miracle or Urine Off and let it sit for the prescribed amount of time. Thoroughly soak the soiled areas, including the padding if the urine has soaked through the rug.
- Using more clean paper towels, blot up as much as you can and let the spot air-dry. It is a good idea to then protect this area so people do not walk on it, or to make sure the cat doesn’t re-soil it.
- Depending on the scope of the problem, this might turn into a multi-week project as you have to continually soak and re-blot the area. However, there are still some stains and odors you just can’t get out at home, and there are many harsh chemicals could damage your rugs. If you want to get pet urine removed safely and naturally, call us at Khazai Rug Cleaning.
Here are some additional tips we can provide
- Use a blacklight to find the stains. If you’re not sure where or how long your pet has been urinating inside the house, the quickest way to find the urine marks is with a blacklight. Darken your house and walk around shining your blacklight on floors, baseboards, and anywhere else you think your pet may have done their business.
- Don’t use a regular carpet-cleaning product. Instead, use a specialized pet formula. If you try something else on the spot first, then use a specialized pet formula, you may not get good results.
- Resist hard scrubbing. No matter how bad the stain may look or smell, resist the urge to use a harsh scrubbing motion while cleaning it. You can quickly destroy the texture of your carpet or rug this way.
- Prevent future urine stains. Once the urine is completely removed from the area, we’ve found applying a few drops of a pure essential oil. Fruits like lemon, tangerine, or lavender on the area does well as a deterrent.