Reduce Your Cat’s Litter Box Odor in 5 Simple Steps

Reduce Your Cat’s Litter Box Odor in 5 Simple Steps

Now that you know why your cat's litter box could be so smelly and what's causing excessively stinky pee and poo, it's time learn a few tips to eliminate or mitigate these odors.

While your cat will never poo or pee rainbows or flowers, there are some ways you can handle and reduce litter box odor. Finding a litter that’s a dream for city apartments, multi-cat homes, and easy to clean can help reduce cat litter odor, but your kitty box cleaning routine is often equally as important. If you’re skipping any of these steps when fully cleaning your kitty’s box, you’re missing out on having the cleanest cat box on the block! Give your kitty a box she’ll be proud to pee in. Eliminate the offensive odors using these tips.

1. Frequently Scoop that Poop and Pee

This is a no-brainer, right? If you read our previous article, you know that your cat’s urine contains urea which reacts with the air to form ammonia, and the sulfur and bacteria present in your kitty’s poo is rather stinky as well. Removing the source of the odor can easily eliminate the problem.

If you use flushable litter like TofuKitty, you can easily scoop, flush, and quickly forget the unpleasant aroma.

Non-flushable litter, you can scoop your kitty’s waste and tie it up in a plastic bag to trap the stench then toss it in the trash.

How often should you scoop? The sooner the better and the more frequent the less stink.

2. Provide Plenty of Litter Boxes

Most experts recommend 2 litter boxes per cat in your household. Cat using the litter box.

Make sure your cat has potty options. Most experts recommend one to two boxes per cat in your household. Round up when caught between numbers. This will extend the lifespan of your cat’s litter box and prevent the smell from concentrating in one area. This can encourage your cat to use the box more frequently, reducing how concentrated your cat’s urine becomes.

3. Thoroughly Clean Your Cat’s Litter Box at Least Once Per Month

Claws + Plastic = Odors. Most litter boxes are plastic, which is porous and is susceptible to scratches. These scratches can hold bacteria and therefore odor. So, think about scrubbing the litter box as a way to eliminate stinky bacteria. The more often you scrub, the cleaner the box will be.

What’s the Easiest Way to Get Your Cat’s Box Squeaky Clean and Fresh Smelling?

How to clean your cat's litter box. Natural cleaning supplies.

  1. Wear gloves and a mask (especially if you’re pregnant).
  2. Dump the litter.
  3. Dampen the box and sprinkle some baking soda on the surfaces.
  4. Use a sponge and scrub the entire box (inside and out) with a mild scent-free detergent, like dish soap.
  5. Dry the box with a towel.
  6. If you can, let the box dry a bit extra in the sun to get the moisture out of the scratches.
  7. Refill with a litter that contains no perfume, fake smell, or strong scent. 

4.  Choose the Best Litter for Cat Odor

I always recommend finding a litter that works well for small spaces, even if you don’t live in an apartment. Why? Because your cat’s litter box is likely in a room, closet, or bathroom, which is a tight space. A lack of airflow can concentrate the ammonia smell created by your cat’s urine. Which litter is best for you? Let’s take a look at how most litter handles odor, and you can determine which is right for your cat and home.

Traditional Clay Litter

Clay litter is made of calcium bentonite (clumping) or sodium bentonite (non-clumping) which absorbs moisture. In its natural habitat, on a hillside or mountaintop, before being stripped from the land, the clay transformed into litter hold about twice its weight in water. This water is baked off, emptying the tiny spaces in the clay where cat urine can be absorbed.

What about the odor? For the most part, clay litter on its own doesn’t absorb odor but often masks it with perfumes and other additives.

Non-Clumping Alternative Litters: Pine, Corn, Wheat, and Paper

The plant-based alternatives stick to your cat’s waste to coat it and absorb some moisture. Some of these products, like pine, have a naturally fresh scent that is pleasant. These can often be flushable, making it easy to clean your cat’s litter on-demand.

SoyKitty Sustainable, Plant-based Cat Litter

Tofu, when dried and made into litter, acts like a sponge to rapidly absorb liquids and trap odor. This makes it easy to scoop and flush without batting an eye. SoyKitty performs two to three times better than clay litter, making it the best apartment cat litter with its superb odor control for small spaces. 

Beware of Perfumes and Additives:

Cats have extra sensitive snoots. When you choose a litter that smells like an island paradise, your cat’s sense of smell can be overloaded and find using her litter box unpleasant. These perfumes also mask the unpleasant odor, which can result in waste being left too long and grow harmful bacteria. Most vets advise cat parents to choose perfume-free cat litters.

5. Choose the Right Diet

Choose the right diet for your cat. Cat eating whole foods from a bowl.

There are some aspects of your kitty’s diet that can make their waste extra smelly. Some of these will naturally take care of themselves while others may need the help of your vet. 

  • New Food: When you switch your kitty’s food, her stomach needs a little time to adjust. This can cause stinky poo.
  • Food Allergies: If your cat is allergic to an ingredient in her food, it can make digestion difficult. This results in partially digested food and extra smelly stool. Vets often recommend an elimination diet or allergy test to find the offending ingredient.
  • Vitamins: This is a problem some people have too. Vitamins can make your kitty’s waste smell foul. If your cat’s diet is comprised of a AAFCO cat food, there’s rarely a need for additional vitamins, unless they’re vet-recommended. 

Final Thoughts On Those Unpleasant Feline Lavatory Odors

Keeping your litter box clean and fresh creates a world where we can forget about the only downside of cat ownership. It also helps your cat feel more comfortable when using her litter box. So, think outside the box, clean it regularly, and enjoy some fresh snuggles from your beloved kitty!

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