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Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Clean the vents with a 1:10 dilution of household bleach and water. Try to determine the culprit and have him/her seen by your vet to rule out medical causes. To rule out UTI, submit a clean urine sample or have your vet collect a sterile sample for urinalysis and culture. Blood work may be able to diagnose kidney disease or diabetes. Once medical causes have been ruled out, you can focus on behavioral issues. If you have multiple cats, the general rule of thumb is to have a litterbox for each cat in the house plus an additional litterbox. Try different types and brands of litter. Your cat may prefer one to another. Try litterbox attractants. Search www.pet360.com for options. If your cat is stressed or feeling anxiety, try to determine and reduce or eliminate the offending stimulus. If that isn’t possible, calming pheromone collars or sprays may be effective.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Mold, especially black mold, produces a smell that very closely resembles cat pee. If you find black mold in your home, seek out a professional remediation service, as black mold can be very dangerous.
If you do not clean the areas around the air vent register opening the scent of the urine will cause the pet to instinctively re-soil the area. One of the best methods for removing the odor is to use baking soda and white vinegar.
How to get rid of cat urine odor in the air? Cleaning up cat urine at the source is the only way to remove the odor from the air. Enzyme cleaners are best, otherwise, try home remedies such as white vinegar or baking soda.
Mold is a type of fungi that thrives in damp, dark environments. When mold grows, it releases spores into the air that can cause respiratory problems in both people and pets. In addition to causing health problems, mold also gives off a musty, cat pee-like odor.
Black mold exposure could be life-threatening to our cats and dogs, if not addressed quickly. One case study from 2007 describes a pair of cats that died of a pulmonary hemorrhage following exposure to black mold in their home.
For a natural solution for getting rid of black mold, combine one part baking soda with five parts distilled white vinegar and five parts water in a spray bottle. Alternatively, you can use a chemical-based mold and mildew remover, all-purpose cleaners, bleach or dish soap.
If cleaning up has not solved the problem and you have ruled out medical issues, an air purifier that deals well with VOCs is a good tool for eliminating pet odors. Some air purifiers are very good at removing or destroying VOCs, while some barely do anything with VOCs.
Some recommend adding one pound of baking soda to the wash or to run a cycle with a cup of white vinegar and no detergent, then run a second cycle with regular detergent. Try again. Cat urine odor is a difficult smell to get rid of and you might have to repeat the steps again until the smell is gone.
Must-Have Cleaners to Remove Cat Pee Smell

Baking soda: You use baking soda to neutralize fridge odors, so don`t overlook this powerful cleaning agent for soaking up odors from cat urine, too. Vinegar: Vinegar can neutralize the bacteria in cat pee on carpets and other soft surfaces to help control odors.

Multiple things can cause your house to smell like cat urine, even if you don`t have a cat. Investigate if there is mold, leaking Freon, sewer gases, smelly plants, spoiled food, or even stains from previous pet owners.
The smell of ammonia is often an indicator of the presence of animal urine in your basement. This smell indicates that you have a pest infestation or that there are animals that are gaining access to your basement. The problem with animal urine is that it is a breeding ground for bacteria.
Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin.
If you`re not wearing any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), you`re inviting all of those mold spores to settle on your clothing, the area you`re cleaning, your shoes (allowing mold to travel to other areas in your home), in your eyes, and up your nose into your upper respiratory system.
Mold can cause difficulty breathing, eye irritation, sore throat, sneezing, rashes, confusion, fatigue and many other symptoms that seem flu or allergy related. Dangerous black mold can cause severe respiratory problems including bleeding in the lungs.
How long does a cat or dog`s scent stay in a house? It can last for months or even years, depending on the type of odor. The different kinds include those that come from: Dog or cat urine.
Avoid using steam cleaners to clean urine odors from carpet or upholstery. The heat will permanently set the stain and the odor by bonding the protein into any man-made fibers. Avoid cleaning chemicals such as ammonia or vinegar.
Airborne ammonia and ammonia compounds can be filtered out of rooms with air purifiers designed to specifically filter airborne ammonia, such as the GC AM.
These enzyme cleaners contain several different enzymes, including protease, lipase, amylase, cellulase and urate oxidase. These enzymes work together to speed up the natural process of breaking down the bacteria, ammonia and other unpleasant substances in the cat urine.
Baking soda has great properties that deodorize the smell of urine. Sodium bicarbonate is the substance baking soda is made of, and it`s amazing at soaking up odors. You can sprinkle it on the carpet or furniture after you`ve cleaned your cat`s urine, make sure the area is dry before doing so.
Vinegar is also an amazing natural cleaning option for more serious pet odors. Try using vinegar (diluted with a bit of water) in a spray bottle and spray on carpets or floors. Or use in combination with baking soda on cushions or bedding for an extra powerful, odor-eliminating punch.
A trash or urine smell coming from your vents could be a sign of critters getting into your duct system or HVAC equipment. Mice especially like to nest in and around the ductwork or system where its nice and warm.
Tips for How to Get Rid of Ammonia Smell

If you want to know how to get rid of ammonia smell, you`ll need white vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. Use vinegar to spray the area with the odor. The baking soda will remove the smell from carpets. Mix the peroxide with water to clean the area with ammonia.

If the basement smells musty, then it is most likely due to the presence of mold and mildew in your basement. Molds and mildew thrive in damp places. To prevent illness caused by mold and mildew, you need to remove the musty odor from your home.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. Why do cats meow?
ANSWER : A. Cat parents often wish they could better understand what their favorite feline friends want or desire. A cat’s meow can be interpreted in many different ways and can indicate an array of feelings and needs. Here are some of the most common reasons for your cat’s vocalizations:

1. Greeting- Many cats will meow as a greeting when you enter your home or walk into a room. Cats will also meow at another cat or animal in the household to extend a hello and acknowledge the other animal’s presence.

2. Attention – An exuberant meow followed by leg rubbing or another attention seeking behavior may indicate your cat is looking for some quality time spent together. Some petting or rubbing behind the ears may be in order.

3. Hunger – A meowing cat is often a hungry cat. This is one of the most common reasons for a cat to vocalize to their owners. A cat will meow to get your attention at feeding times or even when they want extra food.

4. Sickness – A sick or hurt cat may begin to meow excessively, warranting a visit to the veterinarian. There are numerous reasons for a cat in distress to meow—whether it is related to an upset stomach, an injured leg or a urinary blockage. These meows should be carefully investigated.

5. Entering or leaving – Most cats will vocalize when they want to be let in or out of a room. You may notice when you are in the bathroom or behind the closed door of a room that your cat begins to meow, scratches at the door, and often reaches its paw under the door. This is a clear indication that the cat wants to be where you are.

6. Angry – An agitated cat may meow to warn their owner or another household pet that they are upset and would like to be left alone. This angry meow may increase in sound volume as the cat becomes more stressed or agitated. Often a cat will exhibit this type of meow at the veterinary office when they are unhappy with their examination or restraint.

Each feline is different and so are their vocalizations. Learn to understand the variety of meows your cat uses on a daily basis. This will help you develop a better relationship with your cat and help them live a more trusting and happier life.

Q. We have found our cats peeing on the air vents in the basement. When we went to clean up, we found black mold, can they sense/smell it, there for p on
ANSWER : A. Clean the vents with a 1:10 dilution of household bleach and water. Try to determine the culprit and have him/her seen by your vet to rule out medical causes. To rule out UTI, submit a clean urine sample or have your vet collect a sterile sample for urinalysis and culture. Blood work may be able to diagnose kidney disease or diabetes. Once medical causes have been ruled out, you can focus on behavioral issues. If you have multiple cats, the general rule of thumb is to have a litterbox for each cat in the house plus an additional litterbox. Try different types and brands of litter. Your cat may prefer one to another. Try litterbox attractants. Search www.pet360.com for options. If your cat is stressed or feeling anxiety, try to determine and reduce or eliminate the offending stimulus. If that isn’t possible, calming pheromone collars or sprays may be effective.

Q. My cat continues to scratch on furniture and carpets. He has plenty of scratching posts around the house. Please help!
ANSWER : A. Scratching is a natural behavior in cats that can be frequently frustrating for pet owners who want to keep their furniture from being shredded on a constant basis. The texture of furniture and carpet is very appealing to cats and this why they frequently choose to spend their time on this activity as opposed to playing with their own cat toys. Here are some suggestions to help curb this unwanted behavior:

1. Purchase a cat scratching post or cat tree that is covered in carpeted or textured material. Place it in an appealing spot that your cat would be inclined to spend time (eg. in the sun). You can also place catnip on the scratching post or cat tree to make your cat even more interested in the new object.

2. You can utilize double sided tape on the ends of the furniture because you cat will not like the sticky feeling and will learn to not scratch in that region. Use the tape that has a lighter adhesive in order to prevent any permanent damage. Other materials, such as aluminum foil or bubble wrap can also be placed on the furniture to discourage the scratching.

3. Keep nails trimmed short by either learning to do this on your own at home or using a veterinary technician, or groomer. Nails can usually be trimmed every 6-8 weeks.

4. Redirect the unwanted behavior. If your cat begins scratching, use a favorite or new toy to distract the cat from the scratching. Give your cat positive praise for not scratching.

5. As a last resort you can use a spray bottle full of water to spritz your cat when he or she is scratching inappropriately at your furniture. Generally, cats do not like water and this will discourage them from continuing the behavior.

Have patience with your cat because it can takes time to understand this is an unwanted behavior and that furniture is not another toy for them to use. You can always consult your veterinary or veterinary behaviorist to help with ideas or further solutions to this problem.

Read Full Q/A … : I found Pickle on

Q. My cats nose is stopped up on antibiotics. She has a loss of appetite, acting normal though. Is 3 ounces of can food enough in 24h? 9 pound cat
ANSWER : A. Cats with stopped up noses tend to eat much less, as you’ve noted, because they can’t smell their food as well. And the smell of food is pretty important to a cat’s appetite. You can start by warming up the food in a microwave – not too hot, test it yourself by putting your finger right in the center, as the temperature of microwave food can vary – as this will intensify the smell and hopefully make your cat more interested.

Saline nose drops, like those that are used on little kids, are safe to use on a cat to clean the discharge that is dried around and in the nose. There’s a brand called Little Noses that’s available in the U.S. That I like. You can put it on a q-tip and try to remove the debris. Humidifying the air with a humidifier can help as well, or you can put the cat in the bathroom and run the shower enough to generate steam. Don’t use “real” nose drops like Neo-synephrine or anything else like that – cats quickly build up resistance to them.

A 3 oz can of food is an OK amount in 24 hours, but do try the techniques above to help your cat get more interested in food. You might also try some baby food – no garlic or onions in the ingredients – as cats usually really like the taste of it.

Q. My cat is pooping outside of the litter bix. He is 2 1/2. He did this as a kitten. It stopped then started about 3 months ago. Litterbox is clean.
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination or house soiling can be a frustrating problem but with a bit of detective work on your part, there is hope. First, before deciding that this is a behavioral issue, any medical problems (diarrhea, constipation, fecal incontinence, pain on defecation, etc.) need to be ruled out and/or treated. If your cat receives a clean bill of health from your vet but is still eliminating outside the litterbox, then we need to consider that something about the box itself might be aversive to your cat. Cats can be quite finicky about their litterbox and toileting habits. Below I have listed common recommendations and cat preferences for litterbox use. Review the list and make any changes that could account for your cat’s aversion to defecating in the litterbox:
* Soft, fine-grained clumping litter (vs, coarse-grained, non-clumping litter)
* Unscented
* 1 – 1 1/2 inch depth (especially older cats or cats with hip problems)
* Larger pans (especially for large cats) – want to get whole body inside – poop just outside the box might mean the box is too small
* Open, non-hooded
* At least one shallow side to get in and out easily
* Easy to get to – not hidden away, preferably in areas they spend time in or near – and not near appliances that make scary, unpredictable noises (washers, dryers, refrigerators)
* Scoop minimum 1X/day – preferably 2
* Clean the litterbox with soap and water and put in fresh scoopable litter at least once/month (instead of just continuously adding)
* Some cats prefer to urinate in one box and defecate in a separate box, so you may need 2 boxes even if you just have 1 cat. Multi-cat households should have 1 box/cat plus 1 extra.

Q. Our cat of six years has on two separate occasions has defecated on the living room rug and recently pee’d on the skirt of the Christmas tree.
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination in cats is often a behavioral problem rather than a medical problem, so the first step is to have him seen by your vet to eliminate any kind of illness or condition as a cause for his eliminating outside the box.

If medical issues are ruled out, take a look at other reasons. Has there been a lot of unusual activity? Has you cat been left at home or boarded? Is the litterbox in a busy area? Has anything happened recently in this area to make him reluctant to use it again? Is there another cat, pet or person that is preventing him from getting to the box? Have you changed it from a hooded to an open box, or vice versa? Is it big enough? Have you changed the type or brand of litter? Is there something attractive about the spot he uses? Cats dislike disturbances to their routine and may act out to express their dissatisfaction.

The general rule is one litter box per cat in the household, plus one. That way each cat can have a place of their own to go in case the box is occupied or another cat has claimed it as territory. They should be scooped daily, if not more often and changed completely weekly, washed with soap and water only. You can offer one kind of litter in one box and another kind in another to see if there is a preference. I don’t recommend the crystals, it makes a hissing sound when wet that startles some cats and make them reluctant to use it again. The litter boxes should be located in a quiet, low-traffic area so that the cat can use them in peace. Make sure any other pets or people aren’t giving them a hard time around or in the litter box. It may take some investigation and experimentation to find your cat’s preference and accommodate him so that everyone is satisfied with the situation. And, when cleaning up pet accidents, don’t use any cleaner containing ammonia. This leaves behind a scent similar to urine.

Q. My cats refuse to walk on wood floors and carpets every time I have them cleaned… Why is that?
ANSWER : A. Cats are very sensitive to changes in their enviroment, including new odors and textures, and they have a much better sense of smell than people do. It is possible your cats do not like the smell of the cleaners that were used to clean the carpet and wood floor and are avoiding them. If so, once the odors have off-gassed, your cats should be more willing to walk on them again. Changes in texture could also be a factor. Has the nap of the carpet been lifted? Are the wood floors more smooth or slippery? Give your cats some more time to adjust following the cleaning. Normal activity and off-gassing should help. However, if the behavior gets worse, not better, or your cats experince hair loss, sores, excessive scratching or biting, contact your veteriarian. They could be reacting to chemicals in the cleaning products.

Q. My cat started to pee outside the litter box. What should I do?
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate bathroom use in cats is often a behavioral problem rather than a medical problem, so the first step is to have him seen by your vet to eliminate any kind of illness or condition as a cause for his defecating outside the box.

Once medical issues are ruled out, it’s time to take a look at other explanations. Has there been a lot of activity that wasn’t normal? Were you away and your cat was left at home or boarded? Is the litterbox located in a busy area? Has anything happened recently in this area to make him reluctant to use it again? Is there another cat, pet, or person that is preventing him from getting to the box? Have you changed it from a hooded to an open box, or vice versa? Have you changed the brand of litter or kind? Or is there something about the spot he has chosen to use that is attracting him in some way? Cats dislike disturbances to their routine and may act out as a way of expressing their dissatisfaction.

The general rule of thumb is one litter box per cat in the household, plus one. That way each cat can have a place of their own to go in case the box is occupied or another cat has claimed it as territory. They should be scooped at least daily, if not more often and changed completely on a weekly basis, and washed with soap and water.

You can also offer one kind of litter in one box and another kind in another to see if there is a preference. I don’t recommend the crystal kind, since it makes a hissing sound when wet that can startle some cats and make them reluctant to use it again.

The litter boxes should be located in a quiet, low-traffic area so that the cat can use them in peace. Make sure other pets or people aren’t giving them a hard time around or in the litterbox. It may take some investigation and experimentation to find your cat’s preference and accommodate him so that everyone is satisfied with the situation.