Black light is the common term for ultraviolet light (UV) and cat pee glows brightly under ultraviolet light because it contains phosphorus.
Therefore a black light has its uses in a cat lover’s home under certain circumstances. Jackson Galaxy says , “I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have a UV light”. He particularly needs one because he is constantly playing cat detective. He is always involved in problem solving in homes where there is a resident cat.
For the average mortal the black light might have limited use but nonetheless it is worth knowing about because ‘inappropriate elimination’ as it is euphemistically referred to is a widespread potential issue in homes with cats. Jackson says, “If you have a urination issue in your home, a black light is a absolute must.”
The black light should be used in the dark for best effect. In ambient light the information gathered becomes less precise.
Black light peeing insights and guidelines from Jackson Galaxy
- The fluorescing colours change depending on how long the pee has been around. The colour changes from orange-yellow to white over time as the protein breaks down.
- Fresh spots of urine glow more brightly than spots that have been cleaned.
- Even after cleaning and when there is no perceptible smell or sight of feline urine you still see urine spots under a black light. Jackson explains that this is because the pee breaks down the dye in the carpet, “so it will always flouresce”.
- “Make sure that each stain has a beginning and an end. Trace it…”
- Glowing swirls indicate an attempt to clean feline urine from the carpet.
- From me: mark the spot with a coin or some other object as you won’t see the urine without the black light.
Interpreting cat pee under a black light
A circle if light indicates that your cat is letting go of his bladder. Glowing on vertical surfaces indicates spraying (territorial marking – invading cats?). Little glowing drops indicate a urinary tract problem perhaps cystitis caused or exacerbated by stress (my thought). Cats with cystitis deposit drops of sometimes bloody urine around the home and sometimes in places like the bath.
P.S. Some (a little) of this is from me. The quotes are from Total Cat Mojo by Jackson Galaxy pages 345 and 346. Thanks Jackson – appreciated.