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Pet odor remedies revisited

Joan Fieldstone

August 13, 2014

By: Joan Fieldstone, Home Improv Advocate

In: Interior Home Improvement

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about tackling pet odors, specifically, the kitty litter box and what I thought was an incident of my dog marking the bench where the litter boxes were located.

I suspected I might have collared the wrong culprit when I started having to throw out each of the dog's beds because they reeked -- but not from dog urine. The smell was too strong to belong to a dog. I finally had proof positive that the dog was innocent when I caught one of the cats on my bedding in midstream.

Cat with dog
Almost got away with it

Luckily, I have kept my bed waterproofed since the years when a previous cat of mine marked my bedding almost daily after a stressful cross country move. My no. 1 rule of pet ownership after that -- use waterproof pillow covers and the best waterproof mattress pads that money can buy especially if you have a lot invested in a good quality mattress.

That being said, I now know why I was having such a hard time banishing the remaining odor from the bench cushion. The homemade dog urine odor remover was a lot less effective on cat urine. I finally took the whole cushion outside and saturated it many times over with water from the garden hose in an effort to flush out the rest of the smell. It's a foam cushion covered in vinyl, so I was able to squeeze a lot of the water out by stepping on it repeatedly and leaving it out in the hot summer sun for two days. It's much better, but my sensitive nose can still detect some telltale scent. I've been keeping my eyes on the kitties to make sure none of them re-enact the crime.

Nanotechnology litter box works magic on odors

Unfortunately, I cannot report on the effectiveness of the DIY dog urine remedy since it was not designed for cat accidents. However, I can report on the nanotechnology cat litter box. It's a huge success!

The inside of the hood is sprayed with an environmentally and biologically safe coating made from titanium dioxide. TiO2 is found in all types of products that go on and in our bodies -- white bread, suntan lotion, all types of cosmetics and yogurt, to name a few common ones. Although the coating feels chalky to the touch and can't be washed without rubbing it off, it doesn't get soiled. It resists dirt and bacteria by oxidizing ("burning off") the molecules that cause odor and stains.

The TiO2 is activated in the presence of sunlight, but since there is no sunlight inside the box, it's equipped with a small UV bulb in the top of the domed hood. The box stays plugged in so that photocatalysis -- light being the catalyst for oxidation to occur -- can take place continuously and keep the odor from escaping into the house. Even without the door on the box, which I removed because the cat who used the bedding as litter feared the enclosed space -- there is no longer any odor when the cats use the box or when it's not cleaned immediately after use.

It took about a week for the nanotechnology coating to activate with the UV light running day and night, but I am thrilled with the results. The box is easily large enough to accommodate multiple cats of varying sizes. According to the brochure, the non-chemical, photocatalytic purification process "…removes harmful organic compounds, viruses, bacteria, allergens, toxins, and odors." You can use any type/brand of litter your cats and you prefer, and the bottom of the box can be dumped and cleaned as you normally would. It retails for $179 on Amazon.com, and for the time it saves and how much cleaner the house smells, it's worth every penny.

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