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Dear Christopher Cat

My veterinarian successfully treated my cat’s bladder infection, so she is no longer urinating outside the litter box. However, I still smell cat urine in my living room, so I must have missed some of the spots she left on my carpet. How can I get rid of the odor?

Christopher Responds

Here’s a bit of trivia about cat urine: It fluoresces when you shine a “black light” on it.

To find the spots of dried urine on your carpet, use a black light like the kind teenagers use to illuminate fluorescent posters. Novelty stores and poster shops usually carry them.

Darken the room and shine the black light on every square foot of carpet. Keep the light close to the carpet, and pay careful attention to corners and areas under tables.

When you spot a telltale glow, soak the area with an enzymatic cleaner like Nature’s Miracle. Use copious amounts, so the liquid gets through the carpet to the pad below.

A week or two later, recheck your carpet with the black light.

If you see a faded glow in an area already treated, you didn’t use enough enzymatic cleaner. To thoroughly neutralize the chemicals in the urine, you’ll need to re-treat the carpet.

One of my feline sisters had a short bout of inappropriate urination several years ago. The black light and enzymatic cleaner helped return our house to normal very quickly – and I’m sure they will do the same for you.

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