You need an enzymatic cleaner like Nature’s Miracle, Simple Solution, or Anti-Icky-Poo. Cat pee is notoriously difficult to eradicate, so you need to pull out the big guns. I’m tagging this “team cat pee” so you can browse back through the archives.
You need an enzymatic cleaner like Nature’s Miracle, Simple Solution, or Anti-Icky-Poo. The enzymes in the cleaners will break down the organic matter causing the stink. Steam cleaners won’t actually remove the cause of the odor. I believe NM makes a cleaner that’s meant to go in a carpet steamer, but I’ve always had better luck just saturating the area and letting it air dry. This will also help prevent re-marking.
To find where they’ve peed, invest in a hand-held black light (I got one on Amazon for $6, I think), and in the dark, the areas they’ve peed will fluoresce yellow. Resist the urge to black light your entire home because that never leads anywhere good. (Interesting fact, laundry detergent fluoresces bright white under a black light. So if you black light your laundry room, the various drips and spatters will look like someone committed a Tide homicide in there.)
Also, this may be obvious, but make sure your pets have ample opportunity to go outside (or, in your cat’s case, a clean, accessible litterbox or two that he or she will use regularly).
Oh, puppies. So cute. So much work. So destructive.
If you aren’t already, I might suggest getting him comfortable in a crate for short periods of time at first so you can get some stuff done without him underfoot.
Also possibly useful: meal plan. Try to have at least a rough idea what you want to eat for the week, and when you do have a spare few minutes, prep what you can. See if you can find 20 minutes a day where the puppy doesn’t need your constant attention (and hell, if he does, leash him to you so he can’t get into too much trouble), and tackle whatever the worst area is.
And keep in mind that puppies aren’t puppies for that long. He’ll chill out, he’ll get over the stomach bug, and when he settles down a little, so will your life.
One reason I love UFYH is that it’s explicitly intended to be accessible by people with different physical and mental health capabilities (THANK YOU FOR THAT, SO MANY TIMES OVER!), and while my house is by no means entirely unfucked, due to a nightmare move + major health issues this year, I have found a few ways to do household chores that had become more and more difficult as time went on/various injuries accumulated.
(I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a connective-tissue disorder, and the TL;DR version of what that means is that I get hurt easily, I heal slowly, my joints and spine are hypermobile, and I have a growing collection of permanent soft-tissue injuries, along with the bonus super-fun double-punch of trigeminal neuralgia and chronic migraines, common in EDSers. You could think of me as someone with a bad back, bad knees, bad shoulder — you get the idea.)
I’ve recently found a couple of tricks that are really helping me maintain, even when my back is fucked or when I’m having trouble getting up/down off the ground. The three tasks that I identified as most difficult AND most likely to cause injury (in this case, they had a high likelihood of throwing my back out) were scooping the catboxes, loading and unloading the dishwasher, and loading and unloading the (floor-level, front-loading) washer and dryer. All of these required either sitting on the floor or bending way over and reaching forward, and they were hurting me all too often.
I bought an appropriately-sized Ikea tabletop from the options here(59”x29.5”, for my space, and I chose the “Vika Amon” style):
I then bought the *adjustable* (this part is crucial!) Vika Kaj style legs, which have a minimum height of about 2 feet off the ground.
And then I bought a Torbjörn adjustable office chair (I wouldn’t use this to sit in for long, but that’s not what it’s for — it’s crucially light, easy to move, has swiveling wheels, and *it adjusts down to about two feet off the ground.)
You may see where I’m going with this — the litterboxes went up on the assembled table (with a temporary intermediate step in between for my elderly chubby cat who doesn’t like to jump — will be looking for a more permanent cat-stairs arrangement in future), I can wheel the chair up to the table, level with the litterboxes, and scoop away to my heart’s content. (Okay — to the CATS’ hearts’ content, to be fair.)
The “scooty-chair,” as I have so dubbed it, is also immensely helpful in loading/unloading the dishwasher, and it even fits into my closet-sized laundry room in order to let me load and unload the washer without wrecking myself.
I’m really pleased, because it means that I have to rely on my (non-live-in) partner for fewer things, and it also means that I feel more independent and can unfuck these portions of my house without worrying that half the time I’ll wind up hurting myself in the process! :D
BTW, I can usually be found at http://ashbet.tumblr.com/ :)
Excellent ideas! Thanks for passing them along!
scatteringashes asked you:
I have a two part question. We recently got new chairs and a table. The chairs are at least pretending to be leather, and my cat has claws. He has a whole dedicated covered-in-carpet cat thing to deal with his claws, but I’ve recently caught him taking scratches at our new chairs. Part I: Does anyone know how to talk a cat into not scratching a chair? Part II: Is there anything I can do to make remove the claw marks from the chairs? They’re only a small, few now, but I hate them. A lot. Thanks!
A leather conditioner or polish should help blend the scratches back into the material. As for keeping the cat away from the chair, the old pennies-in-the-can trick is a classic, as is a spray bottle of water (although I don’t know if that’s still a valid training tool).
Cat people, I know you have opinions about this. Have at it.
I didn’t get as much done as I had anticipated (that’s usually how it happens anyways), but the silence while the kids were at school and Hubby was at work was amazing.
I got all of the dishes done, and instead of finishing the laundry I cleaned the bathroom instead. I cleaned off the shelf unit and decided to keep it. I started decorating it which helped de-clutter other areas of the living room.
Back away from the canines with the vinegar. And the Suave, too, preferably. Human shampoo can cause irritation on your dogs’ skin. I’d pick up some dog shampoo; they even make kinds specifically for stink control, and keep in mind that bathing the pups too often isn’t good for their skin or coats.
Cat pee advice!
You can certainly try an enzymatic cleanser like Nature’s Miracle, but if the pee has soaked into the wood, it might never really be gone. Refinishing the furniture might help, but the emphasis is on might. If it’s a waterproof or water-resistant finish, your chances of salvaging the piece are much better.
For pet-related funk, I always recommend Nature’s Miracle. I’ve used it on sealed hardwoods with no problem, but patch test first, just in case. If it seems OK, you can actually just mop with it. Vinegar will work, too. Just don’t use any ammonia-based cleaners, like Lysol. For overall funk, like the kind that lingers in the air, put a pot of water on to boil, and put in a generous pour of vinegar, and a few slices of citrus, if you have any.
And ventilation is always key. Windows open, fans if you can. Get the air moving.
A lint roller or a rubber glove (like the yellow ones you might use for doing dishes) will help get up loose hair. Also consider more frequent brushing; your cat will lose less hair on the bedding.
Even though you don’t have carpet, vacuum EVERYTHING. Furniture, floors, baseboards, tiny cracks and crevices, everything. Anything washable goes in the washer and dryer with the highest heat possible. And make sure you let the owner know, so they can treat the dog. Fleas are no fun for the pooch, either.
ETA: I totally forgot to mention the “throw out the vacuum bag or thoroughly sanitize the canister” step. That’s important.