Cleaning up toileting accidents

Cleaning Tips

Use an enzymatic cleaner to remove scents which may attract your pet back to the same spot.

After cleaning, feed or play with your pet in the area, to prevent it becoming a toileting spot.

Provide your pet with appropriate toileting spots.

The cleaning process

‘Accidents’ around the home need to be cleaned up thoroughly. Otherwise your cat or dog may return to this same spot each time they toilet. Try one or more of the following...

Black-light torch
It can be tricky to spot exactly where your pet has urinated. The use of a black-light ultraviolet torch, in the dark, can help you identify spots that require thorough cleaning.

Non-ammonia cleaning products
Again our human emphasis is on cleanliness with strong, perfumed, often ammonia-based products. These ammonia-based cleaners may smell like urine to the feline and canine nose and they actually encourage the cat and dog back to that particular spot to relieve themselves. Without knowing it, we have actually created or encouraged the unwanted habit!

Non-perfumed cleaners
Humans often value the scent of our cleaning products. Our cats and dogs, however, do not. The smell of bleach or other strongly perfumed cleaning fluids may be discouraging your cat from using the litter tray and your dog from using areas you would like them to toilet. 

Try using non-perfumed cleaners or a bicarbonate of soda solution with very hot water to clean the litter tray and the inappropriate area where your cat or dog has chosen to toilet. Otherwise, if your pet does not mind your cleaning products,continue to use them but also add an enzymatic cleaner.

 
 
Deodorizers & odour eliminators
Deodorizers are available for your cat’s litter tray. These may have the opposite of the desired effect, however, if your cat dislikes their aroma and starts to urinate and defecate outside of their litter box to avoid the scent. Odour eliminators may help encourage some cats to use their litter trays again.

Enzymatic cleaners
Usually the most successful method of cleaning your pet's urine or faeces is to use an enzymatic cleaner. These are cleaning products that have enzymes within them. Enzymes attack and destroy the bacteria that are collecting in the waste, giving it its characteristic foul odour.

Your laundry washing powder may have enzymes within it (check the pack). You can make a solution of this and apply liberally to the affected area.. While this may be close to hand and the most economical solution, be careful that it does not remove your carpet colours or stained floorboards.

There are also commercially available products that help remove the scent. These are available at most pet specialty stores.  These cleaners may need to be applied liberally to carpets and other areas soiled by your cat or dog, even between floorboards to eliminate any toilet residues. 

Use of these will ensure your pet is not attracted back to these areas to toilet. Be aware, however, that your pet will now be looking for new areas to toilet so ensure you are providing these or opportunities to relieve themselves outdoors.