Nothing upsets people with cats more than to find that their much-loved and hitherto house-trained tiger has suddenly ceased to be clean.
Drastic reactions – like screaming at the cat, chasing it with a water pistol or rubbing its face in the mess – can however lead to a complete loss of trust and be completely counter-productive.
If the cat suddenly starts behaving in a completely different way, there has to be a reason for it. There is a whole range of possible explanations, and the first thing is to look into these and investigate the cause. But if you have been sticking to all the fundamental rules described earlier, it is unlikely that one slip is going to lead to a permanent state of affairs.
If the cat has got fixated on a place other than the litter tray, you should act quickly to make it as unattractive as possible. You can keep the door to the room shut at all times, or move the furniture around. You can also move the feeding area to the place the cat has just polluted – because cats never do their business at the same place where they feed. If you cover the spot temporarily with plastic film or aluminium foil, that will also act as a deterrent.
You must then place a cat’s toilet in the immediate vicinity of the no-go area – then move it each day gradually closer to the place where you want it to be. If even the most thorough cleaning fails to produce results, you should get rid of the dubious blanket or carpet altogether. If even traces of the smell remain, the place where they are perceptible will continue to be viewed by the cat as a public convenience.
This dissolves the fat contained in the urine, as well as the urine crystals, and the smell disappears altogether, even for the cat.