Thursday, February 4, 2010

What Is That Smell?

Last night, we began to detect the unmistakable scent of cat pee in our garage.
Cats, like dogs, mark their territory.
It took a bit of hunting, but I finally decided that the smell was coming from the rug that sits right in front of the door that leads into the house.

A short time later, Pearl said she smelled it in the house. I just figured it was because I'd had the garage door open and closed a half dozen times while trying to locate the smell.
We followed our noses and wondered if Lucky, our cat, had marked the rug (inside) by our front door.
If you have a cat, you know that the scent just about can't be removed. I usually just throw stuff out. I really didn't want to throw out a nice rug by the front door.
The thing is, it's not like Lucky to mark anything.
Marking primarily comes from a cat that wants other cats to know, "This is mine, stay away."
We don't have any other cats. We don't have neighbors with cats.
He is the the ruler of all he surveys, and thus has no need to mark.
That all changed on Tuesday.
Tuesday night after I'd gone to bed, my older kids heard Lucky outside. It wasn't a cat fight, but it was enough noise to draw their attention.
They opened the door and called Lucky in. He came, but they could tell he had something on his mind. Pretty soon, he was back at the door. He was making sounds only a cat can make. They said it wasn't angry noises, just meowing and general attentiveness toward something outside.
They flipped on a light, and there at the door was another large, orange cat.
Tom assumed it was looking for a fight, so he chased it off.

Fast forward to last night. After we spent some time discussing the smell coming from the front door area, Lucky came over to see what we were doing.
He began to sniff madly at the front door and roll on the carpet. He seemed as though he'd caught a whiff of catnip. Happy, happy kitty.
I opened the door, hoping to catch a sight of the stray cat.
No kitty, but the doorsill was wet. I bent down to sniff the wet area.
Sure enough, it was cat pee!
The stray had marked the front door. The smell was coming in the house! It's likely it had marked the rug in the garage as well. Now the rug outside the back door has the dogs and cat all wound up. The stray has officially marked all 3 doors that lead into our house.

Here's the rub. I think it may be a female. Lucky is no longer able to make kittens, but he sure seems interested in this kitty in a way he has never displayed before. When we've had strays in the past, he's run them off within a day or two.
I haven't seen this cat. I've only smelled her.
I've searched to see if she's hiding in my garage. I've rustled the bushes to see if she's napping somewhere outside. I know she's got to be around because it's been raining for the last 2 days. Cats really, really hate to be wet.

I have to catch her. This marking stuff has got to stop. Lucky has lost his mind and comes and goes all night long. In, out, in, out.
Wish me luck. I need some sleep and I can't stand the smell coming in all my doors.
Bad kitty, bad!


  1. Good luck CeeCee! Lucky is a gorgeous boy. This lady cat must be quite something to have him going so crazy. Amazing that she has found and marked all three doors that lead into your house. I can imagine you've got quite the madhouse going on right now.

  2. Have you tried vinegar? I've had great success using it to neutralize cat pee. Get the super strong version or make some yourself by leaving a bowl of plain white vinegar on a counter for a couple of days. The h2o will evaporate leaving a stronger concentration. Spray this on the cat pee areas. It will neutralize AND act as a deterrant. I've also had great luck using cayenne pepper as a deterrant. I just sprinkle it in whatever area I don't want Callie in and she stays AWAY! (Currently this is the guest bathtub which, to her, was looking like a giant toilet for peeing into, apparantly. Thus, if you are ever in my guest bathroom this will explain the red powder sprinkled in the bathtub.)

  3. Ugh, I hate that smell. Good luck figuring it out.

  4. Ughhhh. Cat pee is just awful to deal with. I suspect there is a girl hoping to get LUCKY - in every sense of the word ;-) I'm sorry. I could not resist.

    I hope you find her. Do you have a live trap you can maybe bait her into with canned tuna?

  5. Oh man. Good luck. I detest the smell of cat pee. It's one of the reasons I don't miss my cats, nor did I want custody of them!!

  6. Cat pee is horrible!

    When my parents came to visit, we had to move Jenna's kitty and all it's accoutrements into her room, including the litterbox, because my parents hate cats (under the guise of being allergic...they're not). But I digress.

    Well after they left (thank goodness) we moved Jenna's kitty's litterbox back down to the laundry room because it was stinking up my daughter's tiny room something terrible.

    Well, Jenna's kitty decided she didn't feel like going downstairs to pee...too much work probably and she is lazy, so she found a basket of Jenna's underwear and made that into her litterbox. gah!

    I had to wash Jenna's panties 2 times with extra washes and rinses, including baking soda and vinegar to remove that smell.

    Some of the pee soaked into the carpet and I've used vinegar and it didn't work and so I dumped rubbing alcohol into it. It's the same stuff those expensive enzyme eaters use for pet odors. And it's just starting to fade the smell.

    Needless to say, I gave in, and now the litterbox is back in Jenna's bedroom. bah!