Q. I enjoy reading your column every week.
We have a problem with cats marking their territory around our home. We’ve not had this problem until recently. The neighborhood has acquired several mature cats who wander in our yard on a daily basis. We have two altered male cats (indoor only). The influx of “challengers” has created quite a problem.
Our door is an unpainted, but stained, wooden door. It’s the outside cats’ favorite marking spot and the inside cats’ point of retaliation. We have a product (Stink Free*) that works well on the painted surfaces. But, we surmise, the wood is penetrated with odor.
Do you know of product that will clean the wood deeper than the surface? Would sealing the door now–just seal in a smell that will haunt us in humid weather? Could it be as bad as replacing the door! Any suggestions?
*We’ve tried every odor remover available that promises to eliminate urine odor. So far Stink Free is the only one that does the job (at least to our noses!).
P.S. The cats are not feral. Various neighbors have brought in a number of new dogs and cats. We have no idea where these cats live.
A. If the stain on your door is not too old and still has some sealing properties, you should be able to remove the odor as you would with a painted door. But stains are not as effective at preventing liquid penetration as paint in good condition would be.
Try a different product: Nok-Out. We have used it many times and I have recommended it to a number of people to solve some horrendous odor problems. The worst of which, in our own experience, is when a daughter, who lived in Boston at the time, came home from work to a very smelly bedroom. Skunks had nested under a porch and let loose. Her bedroom window opened onto that porch. She called me and I had Nok-Out express-ship her a gallon of their product. She sprayed it under the porch and saturated the entire bare earth with it, as instructed. It did the job, and she could reintegrate her bedroom.
Nok-Out, to be effective in a case like this, must contact the entire odor-producing source. Therefore, to eliminate the cat odors, instead of spraying it, soak a rag with it (wear rubber gloves) and rub the affected area for quite a while to make sure that Nok-Out penetrates deep into the wood fibers to get to all the urine that may have soaked in. You’ll have to do the same both inside and outside the door since your own cats have retaliated.
Once the odor is completely gone, you should apply more stain on the door to prevent future penetration if the cats continue to desecrate it. And you should restain every two to three years to keep it effective.
You can order Nok-Out directly from the distributor: Osburn Distributors, PO Box 3799, Pflugerville, TX 78691-3799. E-mail: email@example.com. Phone: toll free – 866.551.1927 or local – 512. 607. 6621, Fax: 512. 607. 6324.
Or better yet, you can order it easily from my Web site, www.henridemarne.com. On the right of my blog’s Q&As, there is a yellow coupon with a 10 percent discount code. If you click on it to place your order and mention the code (HDM), the product will be shipped to you and you will receive the discount.
Meanwhile, I suggest you talk to a vet or other cat expert to find out if there are ways to discourage the cats from continuing their assault on your door.