1902 Victorian

Bringing our old house out of the disco era and back into the Victorian.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Ah, the Smell of Pee in the Morning

After our master bathroom demo, we decided to tackle the half bathroom. I know it's hard to imagine getting rid of something as attractive as '70s green carpet in the bathroom, but that's exactly what we did.

We've noticed a damp smell in there now and then over the past few months. Then when we got home from Gatlinburg, we discovered that our cat Henry had decided to pee on the guest towels in a tray on the counter. Removing the offending towels and tray and cleaning the countertop didn't take care of the smell entirely.

So we decided to remove the carpet, which had always been our intention eventually. Underneath the carpet is a layer of plywood, as expected. I begged Darwin to take up a small piece of the plywood to see the condition of the original wood floor underneath. But underneath the thin plywood was another layer of plywood. We believe that under THAT is the wood floor, and *gasp* Darwin actually agrees with me that we should restore the room back to its original floor.

This is a half bathroom so not used for typically splash-happy occupations like bathing. We figure the wood floor will be fairly safe in there (while in our master bathroom we plan to tile).

Removal of the carpet took care of the truly horrid pee smell, but the damp smell grew worse. Then we noticed two water-damaged areas on the floor, on either side of the wall next to the vent pipe.

We don't know yet what could've caused this, but Darwin sprinkled baking soda around the floor in the toilet corner, and the damp smell has ceased ... for now.

The rest of the work in this bathroom will have to wait until we at least get the toilet restored to working order in our master bath, which will have to wait until the demo is finished and the floor tile installed. We don't want to have two toilets out of commission at once.

Of course, we could take Henry's route and pick any convenient spot to do our business. Yep, he peed beside my desk this morning on top of a plastic bag. This is a new - and very unwelcome - activity for him. What is wrong with my cat?



Anonymous said...

Your cat may have a urinary tract infection. I'd call your vet.

11:56 AM  
Beth said...

Poor kitty! And poorer you for his new habit. I'd go with the vet as well.

12:02 PM  
Matt & Charli said...

Our poor cats had a UTI as well. We took them to the vet but they wouldn't pee there! Instead we took them back home where they proceeded to pee everywhere.

We decided to get the UTI cat food, and mixed it in with their normal food. We haven't had a problem with them peeing, and we didn't have a vet bill to pay either. Try the food, I think Purina makes the food that we got them.

We even took them off the food and the problem has not returned.

12:26 PM  
Kristin said...

I'd read that a UTI can make a cat pee in places besides the litter box. It's weird, huh? Why does an infection cause a change in the location of the peeing? We recently changed their food to one for overweight kitties b/c Henry is decidedly tubby. I wonder if that food is affecting him negatively.

2:05 PM  
mindy said...

The baking soda cure - my favorite way to get rid of bad pee smells ;)

Make sure you use an enzyme cleaner anywhere you think your cat peed. They're supposed to remove ALL the scent, so even your cat forgets it peed there (and doesn't do it again).

2:10 PM  
Megan said...

Apparently the peeing outside the litter box has to do with the pain and discomfort of the UTI. They don't want to have to go, so they don't visit the box. Changing food can stress cats out and cause UTIs. I would call the vet because with male cats the mineral deposits causing the infection can eventually block the urethra, which is an emergency situation. If there is a UTI he needs antibiotics.

2:24 PM  
Urban Queen Anne said...

I usually use vinegar to clean up any cat smells. It works wonders and the smell never comes back after a day or so (like with other products).

Cats with UTI do their business elsewhere is due to the fact that it hurts them to go, no matter where they go. They first associate their litter box with a 'hurt' pain so they stay away from there...

2:24 PM  
John said...

Check with the vet to see if it is an UTI first.

If it isn't, it could be a behavioral issue. In some particularly skittish breeds, dramatic changes in their environment (like demolishing the bathrooms) can trigger this behavior.

2:28 PM  
Rachel said...

Aw, poor kitty. Speaking as the owner of a cat named Henry who also likes to pee in unexpected and unwanted places--yes, kitty might have a UTI. If so, it's not usually a big deal and is treatable with antibiotics and sometimes special food. Hopefully your Henry won't follow in my Henry's footsteps, in which a UTI led to more UTIs and repeated blockages of the urinary tract and very expensive surgery! These problems can be more common and severe in male cats, so if he keeps it up (and it doesn't seem to be the food and such), I'd get him in to the vet. They can take a urine sample to test even if kitty's not cooperating by peeing at the vet.

I think the peeing in other places is either because they feel they can't make it to the box or they're trying to get your attention, plus they associate the box with pain, I'd guess.

Love the blog, by the way, and the house! I'm a regular HouseBlog lurker. :)

2:30 PM  
derek said...

Our cat was using the whole basement as a litter box when we had the floor ripped up. I guess it's hard to blame him, since it was a dirt floor.

4:07 PM  
halloweenlover said...

funny, my dog did the same thing. I was really mad because he started peeing on the bathroom rugs (although they were washable) and then it turns out he has a UTI.

Girlie, you have the BEST luck with finding wood floors under your floor! I am super jealous!

4:08 PM  
Blair said...

So sorry, I hate that pesky smell. I just had a fabulous reccomendation about a products called Kids and Pets that was relatively cheap and worked well.

6:04 PM  
Kristin said...

Thanks for all the advice! Good to see so many animal lovers out there! :) Henry is due for a vet checkup, so I'll probably take him in. The question is where? I don't believe Eutaw has a vet.

9:59 PM  
Anonymous said...

Keep the house, get rid of the cat...

12:29 PM  

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