“Surprise!” That’s what your cat probably thinks as it watches you discover a puddle of it’s nasty smelling piss or even a little more solid gift. Don’t worry. This is a challenge most cat owners face, so we have tips and hacks for cleaning up your cat’s mess.

Suit Up

    

Before anything can be done, it would help to be in the proper gear for undertaking any cleaning endeavor. A pair of rubber gloves that aren’t too large or flimsy are optimal to prevent any of your cat’s pee or poop from getting on your hands…and potentially getting you sick. Now, usually, you wouldn’t need a face mask for doing any cleaning job but if the stench is too unbearable, then maybe using a face mask could help make it less taxing.

Get it while it’s hot!

Nobody likes cat pee, like, at all. More so when it’s been festering in one spot. Which is why, as soon as you smell it or spot it, clean it right away. Blot-Dilute-Blot is what you want to do in the case of a new pee mess. Using a thick rag or paper towels, blot up as much of the piss as you can. Once the general pee puddle is gone, wipe away any excess moisture with some paper towels. Dilute the spot with a mixture of water and vinegar (this mixture will save the day at least 90% of the time). Blot the area again as done earlier and it should be all dandy.

Bleach please don’t!

Common household cleaners work… on common household problems. For pet related mishaps, it would be best to use enzymatic cleaner that is made specifically for neutralizing cat odors. These can be easily found in your local pet stores or, if you are a stay at home pet parent, can just as easily be purchased online from the likes of Lazada and Shopee (this article is not sponsored by either online shopping site).

Age of Citron(ella)

One thing about cat messes is that if you don’t get rid of the smell, they will go back there. Not because they want to or that it’s their favorite place. Their scent just happened to stay stuck there, signaling it’s “okay.” One way to remove the smell, if using an enzyme cleaner is not possible at the moment, making a mix of water and tea tree oil or citronella should mask the scent and make the area easier to clean.

The Return of the Vinegar

This is a tip that was previously mentioned in our last article on cleaning up dog messes, but surprisingly (or not?) this trick also works with cats. Although it comes with a twist. If your cat happens to make a mess on something that is not your floor and perhaps on your clothes or accessories, rinsing the item with apple cider vinegar and some activated charcoal should do the trick. This trick also helps to lessen the severity of the smell.

Pukes of Hazzard

If in the unfortunate event that your cat manages to puke up some of its food, don’t panic when it comes to cleaning up. Just remember to arm yourself with the essentials: rubber gloves, paper towels, and old but clean towels, rags, or paper towels.

First thing you want to do is scoop up the gunk that your cat has left. Floor cleanup is easy by just mopping up the area and spraying or pouring your chosen deodorizing cleaner on the area if it smells too bad.

Couch or carpet clean up is where it gets… bad. After the initial removal, blot out the area with a clean towel with some soap water or couch-safe cleaner. If it’s solid, you should be fine. If it’s wet… remove the covers and rinse the area with your preferred spot cleaning mixture first before possibly sending it to the cleaners.

I got baking soda!

ONE LAST TRICK: Use baking soda as an air freshener. If there are any lingering smells and after using enzyme cleaner after enzyme cleaner and vinegar rinse after vinegar rinse, attempting to use a baking soda-based air freshener should do the trick.

SHORT METHOD: Sprinkle some baking soda over where the mess happened and leave it for an hour or so and vacuum it up.

LONG METHOD: Make a mixture with baking soda. The ingredients would be 1 cup of crushed, dried herbs (any should be fine), 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and finally 1 teaspoon baking soda. Sprinkle the mix onto the mess and let it sit for half an hour and then vacuum it up. Done!

Hack and Splash

Hairballs are… messy, for the lack of a better term. They can be like disaster ammo if not taken care of properly and quickly. And the way to do that is with a bit of fixing upping. After getting rid of the offending piece of mass, immediately scrub the area and spray or pour your preferred cleaner on the area (like a vinegar rinse or an enzymatic cleaner). It helps to let the area soak first for about five to ten minutes.

Once the waiting time is over, it’s time to get to scrubbing! Just scrub the area with a damp terrycloth and water. If it manages to leave a stain, then don’t worry. That just means it’s time to use the old reliable water and vinegar mix to yet again remove that.

 

This appeared in Animal Scene magazine’s June 2018 issue.