About a year ago my partner and I took in an 8-week-old kitten that we named Vincent; he is one of the cutest and most affectionate cats I have ever met, but for as snuggly and super cute as he is, he has also been just as frustrating. In the first month we had Vincent, I realized how well-behaved and low maintenance our older cat Devin is. We have it good with her, which could be due to two things; either because of the different breeds they are or because Devin is female and Vincent is male. Since adding Vincent to our household, I have been told numerous times that male cats are more difficult and higher maintenance than females; isn’t that odd considering how it is mostly the opposite in our human world?
The source of most of our frustration with Vincent has been the litter box. He has historically been so off-and-on with using it that I could not figure out what, exactly, his problem was with it.
I first interpreted his litter box problem as spraying and marking his territory because it started when he was so young. A few weeks before he was six months old we had him neutered; what he lacked in age he made up for in weight, so having the procedure done before he was exactly six months was still completely safe. Phase one of narrowing down Vincent’s litter box problem complete.
We then started going down the list of factors that could cause cats to have this particular problem. He did not have a urinary tract infection, he had no reason to be overly stressed, the litter box was cleaned daily, and we changed litters hoping to find one that he liked more than the others. Through this process, Vincent began urinating where he was sleeping most often. Unfortunately for my partner and I, this meant our bed and any blankets we had laid down anywhere for the cats, whether on the couch, chairs, or on the floor. Needless to say, there has been a lot of cleanup needed around our apartment. My partner had seriously considered trying to find a new home for Vincent, but I got attached to him and believe strongly that if an animal is experiencing a problem that we cannot figure out, it should never mean that the animal loses its home. It should never work that way.
In the end, we found that Vincent is afraid of litter boxes that have a cover on them causing him to simply avoid the litter box. I actually found this revelation to be kind of cute, thinking that he is afraid of the dark and of venturing into a litter box he can’t assess first from the outside. By simply removing the cover of his litter box, we have not had any problems since. I wish I had thought of this before the months of frustration ensued.
So, you’re probably wondering how we removed all of Vincent’s little “accidents” up until the time we finally figured out what the problem he was having with his litter box was. Here is a little recipe for a natural cleaner to get rid of your pet’s messes and odors.
You Will Need
- Hot water
- All-natural, all-purpose soap
- Baking soda
- Fill spray bottle with hot water, two tablespoons of vinegar and a generous squirt of all-natural, all-purpose soap. Shake well.
- Spray cleaner over area until it is soaked completely. Let cleaner set into area for about an hour while periodically soaking up excess water with a towel.
- When area is dry, cover with baking soda and let sit. After about an hour, vacuum up the baking soda.
This has worked much better than any other pet cleaner I have ever bought, which makes me just a little ticked off that I wasted a good amount of money on cleaners that never worked half as well as this natural cleaner I made at home did!