How to Get Rid of Smell in Cat Litter

You may love your cat, but the P.U. of litter box odor is something else entirely. The ammonia smell of cat urine is enough to make your own hair stand up at the back of your neck, and it would curl your tail if you had one. The poopy smell is something else entirely, and it’s not shy about giving you a one-two punch to the nostrils if you are anywhere in the vicinity. That stuff could be bottled and sold as a very effective personal protection spray. No one would want to mess with you if you were decked out in “Eau de Kitty Crap.” – it’s just that powerful.  If you share your home with one or more felines, you need to check out this guide to how to get rid of smell in cat litter.


If you find the stank exuding from the litter box overpowering, think of how poor kitty feels. Their sense of smell is much more highly developed than ours, and they are quite fastidious about where they go to the bathroom. Staying on top of litter box odor means you are less likely to be dealing with cleaning up cat accidents in other parts of your house.




How to Get Rid of Smell in Cat Litter

1 Keep the Box Clean

If you are going to lay the smack down on smelly cat litter, you need to go after it where it lies. The problem may not be in the cat litter itself, but rather in the box. Regular cleaning with a mild dish detergent (unscented is best) and water or a bleach and water solution (one part bleach to 20 parts water) will help to keep it spic and span. Cleaning the box  every week or every other week will make sure that you are adding the cat litter into a clean container.


2 Vinegar and Baking Soda Clean-up

Wash out your litter box with a mild detergent. Wipe it off with white vinegar and let it dry thoroughly. Put a layer of newspaper in the bottom of the box and shake some baking soda on top. Add your kitty litter on top, as usual. With this method, any smelly stuff will be absorbed by the newspaper instead of seeping through to the plastic of the litter box. You can also try placing a dish of vinegar next to the litter box to absorb kitty litter box odors.


3 Clumping Cat Litter Solution

Clumping cat litter is less likely to smell than the type that you are supposed to empty out at regular intervals. When it gets wet, it forms a ball around the liquid that is easy to identify. Simply scoop out the “deposit” your kitty has made (liquid and solid) daily. You will still need to give the litter box a through cleaning as well, but this product should do a good job of keeping the smell quotient to a minimum.


4 Keep the Litter Box Under Cover

You can give your cat some privacy when using the loo and contain the smell at the same time by purchasing a covered litter box. Your best bet is to introduce your pet to this type of box as a kitten. Large cats may find this style too confining, since they have to crawl through an opening every time they need to do their business. The disadvantage to this system is that it makes cleaning the container a bit more challenging. You will have to remove the lid every time you want to clean out the box, and it may be too high maintenance for some pet owners.


Prevent Cat Litter Smell Naturally

1 Offer High Quality Food

If you are holding your nose when your cat takes a dump, reconsider what you are offering as food. A store brand pet food may be cheaper, but that may have something to do with the amount of smell coming from the litter box. Switching to a better quality dry food can help to keep the stinkage down and keep your eyes from watering when you cat uses the box. You may need to test different foods before you find the right one for your cat, so don’t be discouraged if it takes some time to find one that the cat likes and doesn’t reek on the other side.


2 Limit the Moist Food in the Diet

Moist food is a treat that many kitties really enjoy, but it can be like all-you-can-eat beer and burrito nite at your favorite Mexican restaurant. It tastes great going down, but you (and everyone in your house) will be paying for it later. The higher level of moisture in the food tends to create looser, smellier stools for your cat, so offering it as an occasional treat rather than part of a steady diet can help to keep the aromas coming from the litter box down.

3 Water and Plenty of It

Encourage your cat to stay well hydrated and you will notice less stank coming from the litter box. If your kitty doesn’t seem interested in visiting the water bowl very often, you can make this more palatable by adding a small amount of chicken broth or tuna water to it. Put out several bowls in areas where your cats hang out, so that they have a supply available to them at all times. If the following solutions are insufficient in eliminating odor, it may be a sign that you need to visit you pet care credit.

Published by

Joe Fresh

Joe is an odor combatant, chemistry extraordinaire and all around good guy. He has an over-productive olfactory system with absolutely zero tolerance for unpleasant aromas.

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