10 ways to get rid of kitty litter box smell (without holding your nose!)
Cats are little wonders of the world, but like every other creature, they do need to use the bathroom. Even a low-key smell is an annoyance. If you live in an apartment, especially a small one, getting rid of cat litter box odor can be a chore. To find out how to control litter box odors, read on.
Use unscented litter.
Cats prefer odorless cat litter. Not only that but scented litters just contribute to the bad smell. The idea is not to have any smell, including perfume. And lots of people are sensitive to fragrance. The scents added to scented litter will wear off eventually. Clumping litter is good for odor control, but some cats have swallowed it with fatal results because it clumped in their system. As well, it’s better to throw it out in a bag because it can clog pipes, especially in buildings with older plumbing. Mainly, use a litter that your cat likes.
Use baking soda to control odor.
Just add a small box of it to the litter box. Sprinkle it along the bottom so that kitty will kick it up and mix it in with the rest of the cat litter.
Wash the box weekly.
If you’re in an apartment, this is a messy chore. Dump the used litter into a garbage bag, then use the scoop to clean any remaining sticky litter off the box and put that in the bag too. Then put a few inches of water in the box and let it soak. Then dump that into the bag. Do this a few times until the box is clean. You can use some unscented dish soap but make sure it’s all rinsed off. If you’re using litter that clumps, you can wash the box every other week.
Get a new litter box once a year.
Boxes tend to get all scratched up and the odor will stay in the scratches. It’s a small investment to make, and your cat can be happy too. Makes a nice birthday gift for your cat.
Scoop two times a day.
The box will smell much cleaner if you don’t leave any wet litter in it. In fact, you could do it more than two times a day. If you’re home when your cat does her business, try cleaning it after each time she uses it.
Don’t feed your cat dry food.
Getting rid of cat litter smell is also a matter of nutrition. Use a high-quality wet food. While it may be counterintuitive, dry food has little moisture. Because your cat’s boxy will try to keep its own moisture, urine then becomes more concentrated and thus smellier. If you must use dry food, choose one that has no grains or potato. Same goes for wet food. Grain and potato are used as filler and will just pass through your cat and make its stool even smellier.
Make sure your cat is drinking enough water.
There are ways of doing this such as adding water to your cat’s food or using a cat water fountain to encourage your cat to drink. A hydrated cat will be healthier, and have less concentrated urine.
Don’t use covered cat boxes.
Covered cat boxes just keep the odor in until it seems out, making it smellier. They also keep moisture in.
Don’t pile on the litter.
Keep a normal, flat box with 2-3 inches of litter so that you can scoop it often and add to it. And cats prefer to not have deep litter.
Make sure the cat litter box is big enough for your cat.
The box should be at least 1.5 times the length of your cat. Most cats are around a foot and a half long, so a box should be over two feet long and around a foot and a half wide. Most litter boxes are too short. If you can’t find a big enough litter box, you can cut down a plastic storage box by cutting one edge off so that the cat can easily get in.
By making the litter box experience unstressful, your cat will use it. If he can turn around easily he will distribute the way he piles it more, thus there will be fewer very wet areas in the box.
Try an air purifier or air freshener.
We prefer the first solution, but there are air fresheners that address odors on a molecular level. We don’t like scented air fresheners that mask the smell, but rather unscented ones that get rid of the smell by breaking down the odor molecules. Air purifiers deliver fresh air and filter out pollutants such as litter dust and dander, so you’ll breathe easier. Get a HEPA air purifier to really get the tiny particles.
Get a second opinion, before and after.
While it’s tough, careful cat owners can have entirely odor-free apartments. If your apartment does smell, you may become “scent-blind” after a while. So before and after you try these cat litter hacks, ask someone to come over and give their honest opinion.