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cat_in_house(MCT)—I get the impression that there are a lot of untrustworthy cats in this country from the number of remedies submitted to me on combating urine odors.

Here’s a step-by-step from reader Ed Zoller in Jacksonville, Fla.:

If the area is carpeted:

• Remove the carpet and padding.
• Clean the area by scrubbing with a stiff bristle brush and a solution heavy with Pine-Sol or Lysol. Don’t use ammonia-based cleaners; ammonia will intensify the odor and might even attract the cat for a return.
• If the surface is wood, underlayment, oriented strand board, plywood, or even concrete, be sure to dry the area as quickly as possible. Use a Shopvac or old towels.
• Continue to dry the area with fans for at least a day or two after you scrub.
• When it is absolutely dry, paint the area with Kilz or a similar product. Use a generous coat or two, and let it dry thoroughly.
• Replace your padding and carpet.

“By the way, remember that a black light used in the dark can show you where urine is located on carpet or other surfaces,” Zoller says. “This can help you narrow your search so you know where to remove carpet and treat.

“You might also want to research all the reasons cats do not use their litter box.” Otherwise, “you may solve the odor and stain problem only to have to replace the carpet and re-treat all over again.”

©2013 The Philadelphia Inquirer
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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