Smelly cat litter can be a big problem for cat owners. Not only is the strong odor offensive to the owner, but it can also be embarrassing when hosting guests. No one wants their house to smell bad, and proper handling of litter box odor can be a real challenge to cat owners. This issue of cat litter odor can even prevent some people from getting a cat in the first place. In order to deal with the problem of smelly cat litter, several different approaches can be useful.
The first approach to handling litter box odor is hygiene. Make sure that you scoop out your cat’s waste twice every day. If your cat uses the litter box very frequently, you may need to scoop the litter box even more often. Using clumping litter can help contain the waste and make cleaning the litter box easier. If too much waste is allowed to accumulate in the litter box, your cat may choose to eliminate somewhere else. Cleaning the litter box regularly helps your cat maintain good litter box training. By keeping your cat’s elimination contained to the litter box, you prevent bad smells from spreading to other areas of the house. Also, keeping your litter box clean can drastically help to minimize bad odors in the area. Make sure to change all the litter in the box at least once a week. This in-depth cleaning can also contribute to your efforts to reduce litter box odors.
Although it may be tempting to use a scented litter, the foreign smell can actually discourage your cat from using the litter box. If your cat decides to eliminate somewhere else in the house because of the scented litter, the odor problem may become much worse. So, avoid scented litters and simply maintain high levels of hygiene in your cat’s litter box by regular cleaning. Artificial scents may mask the problem, but in the end this approach may make the litter odor issue much worse. Treating the problem via better cleaning practices is a much safer approach.
Although cleaning can help reduce litter odor, a more basic approach to the problem can also help significantly. Addressing the problem at its root involves adjusting your cat’s diet to minimize foul odors in the litter box. A cat’s natural diet consists of raw meat. Cats’ bodies are designed to digest raw meat in a very efficient way. Because raw meat is digested efficiently, the waste produced is minimal and the odor is nearly non-existent. In order to reduce the odor of your cat’s litter, try feeding your cat only raw meat. Because this is the most natural diet for cats, their waste will smell much less.
On the other hand, cats that eat foods containing grains and potatoes produce waste with a very bad odor. This is due to the fact that cats do not digest grains and potatoes easily at all. Unfortunately, many commercial cat foods contain large amounts of grain/potato “fillers” to increase the volume. But the cat’s digestive system is not designed to handle large quantities of grains and starches. To help your cat maintain good digestive health and prevent litter odor, try switching to a more natural cat food without grains or potatoes. Avoiding these types of food can help your cat digest its nutrition more efficiently. Choosing cat foods with a high content of meat or choosing raw meat itself (even better!) can greatly increase the efficiency of your cat’s digestion. Efficient digestion will minimize the odors in the litter box as well.
One other way to reduce litter box odor is to attach an anti-odor packet of unscented crystals to the top or side of the litter box. These crystals are designed to absorb foul odors, without emitting any type of scent. The large, porous surfaces of the anti-odor crystals absorb the odors in the surrounding air. This way, the bad smell can be somewhat eliminated in the litter box. At the same time, your cat will not be driven away by artificially scented litter or scented deodorizing packets.
In addition, placing an air purifier in the room with the litter box can help to remove foul odors from the air. This method can be especially effective if the litter box is stored in a small room such as a bathroom. The air in the room has a relatively small volume. So, this air can easily be purified with the machine before circulating to the rest of the house. This helps to clean the air and filter out the bad smells coming from the cat litter. However, make sure that the room containing the litter box is not too small. Cats will be discouraged from using a litter box in a room that is not easily accessible. Also, a room that is too small may actually make the odor problem worse by concentrating the odor in a small space. Make sure that enough air circulation is available in the litter box room to allow for proper air purification.
Another technique for fighting litter box odor is to try changing to a different type of litter. Sometimes certain types of litter are more effective than others at containing the waste odors. For example, clumping litter seems to be more effective at minimizing litter odor than absorbent litter. The clumping litter forms a cohesive “shell” around the waste, preventing much of the odor from escaping into the air of the room. The absorbent litter, on the other hand, simply soaks up the liquids in the waste and does not isolate the smell as efficiently. Therefore, changing to a type of litter that is more effective in fighting odors can help reduce the smell of your cat’s litter box.
In general, litter box odor is a problem that can be easily solved by examining the potential causes. Your cat’s diet, your litter box cleaning schedule, and location/setup of the litter box can all contribute to the odor levels. By evaluating these things, you can reduce the foul odors of your cat’s litter and make owning a cat much more pleasant.