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Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty!

The Case of the Spraying Cat

As I move through the years I find myself believing less and less in "coincidences."

Things happen for a reason.

For example, just last week I was reminiscing to my co-workers about the cat my family used to have when I was much younger. He was a friendly tabby named "Woody." An indoor cat, through and through, and more or less well-behaved.

When we moved from Pittsburgh to the home in Durham (where my folks still reside), however, something happened to Woody.

He started spraying.

That's cat-talk for urinating to mark territory.

We don't know why--the previous owners had a cat, maybe?--but Woody began peeing regularly into one of the corners of the dining room. And my mother--a neat freak if ever there was one--wasn't having it.

We tried a couple of products to get the scent of urine out of the carpet, both to freshen up the room and to get Woody to stop his territorial actions. But the problem grew worse and worse, until eventually my parents reached a breaking point and banned Woody--declawed and domesticated--to the great outdoors.

Long story short: Woody freaked out as an outdoor cat, everyone felt bad that we had set our beloved cat up for a miserable (and borderline inhumane) remainder of his life, and one day I returned from a long bike ride to find that Dad had rounded Woody up and taken him to the Humane Society. I never got to say goodbye.

So just today I saw this post in our Fix It Forum, about a cat-owner with a urine-soaked leather couch. It seems our Forum Friend wants to get the smell out.

I'd direct him to my parents, but they wouldn't be any help.

Yes, I'm still a little bitter. But I think the conversation with the co-workers, followed by the not-so-random forum post, is a sign that I need to forgive my folks and get on with my life.

One lingering question remains, though: What solution didn't we try? What product would have worked to take the scent of urine out of the carpet and get Woody to stop his misbehaving?


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Does anyone have natural remedies

03/09/2010 01:29 PM Handyman

to remove urine odors and stains?

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typical behavior of de-clawed cats

03/09/2010 08:41 PM feralcatwoman

Ben - the exact same thing happened to my sisters de-clawed cat, and millions of others. When they moved, she marked with her urine around the house because she didn't have her claws. One of the many reasons cats have claws is to mark their territory - their paws have scent glands and a scratch mark is a little post-it-note to say "I was here". Without their claws to do this, de-clawed cats use their urine instead. The scientific data states that de-clawed cats are twice as likely as clawed cats to develop litterbox problems (this is info the vet doesn't tell you).

When a cat is de-clawed, their entire 3rd phalanx (or knuckle) bone is amputated because the claw grows directly out of the bone. De-clawed cats stop using the litterbox because of painful paws, arthritic wrists from walking without their last finger digits, or to mark their territory.

Another reason cats need claws is for stress-reducing scratching. They "hold" the scratching post with their claws and scratch to stretch their muscles and reduce stress. So without his claws, your cat couldn't de-stress properly after moving - cats are very territorial and moving is always difficult.

De-clawing is so cruel that it is illegal in many countries worldwide, as well as 8 cities in California. There are many humane ways to manage claws like trimming them, Soft Paws, and providing appropriate places for them to scratch like cardboard pads & tall sisal scratch posts.

It's too bad your vet didn't tell you all this before he de-clawed your cat, your kitty would still be living with you. My sister wasn't told either and she deeply regrets it.

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03/16/2010 10:20 AM kdjkdj

Unfortunately many people do not well consider their responsibilities when getting a pet. Pets should be treated well according to their specific needs and personalities. I myself have a dog and 4 cats. I rescued the cats last year, one born to an outside mother, and 3 whose mother left them on my very cold porch. Today they are part of my family and although I am not a cat person I do my best to keep them happy and safe. I would never declaw a cat since a cat can escape outside and end up being unable to climb or defend itself.

Maybe to some my opinions are radical but I think far less of people who put betray the trust and even love those pets have for them. I really feel sorry for those pets who have been dumped and have no respect at all for those who have dumped them.

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03/24/2010 02:54 PM TheLibrarian

Here's an all-natural odor remedy that works to eliminate pet odor, including those from spraying:


It won't bring the cat back, I'm afraid.

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