Five Tips to Combat Smelly Kitty Litter

by | Cat Care |

Cats typically don’t smell because they are such clean freaks, so if your nose turns up as you pass the litter box it’s probably because by comparison it’s your cleaning skills that stink.

It’s your job as a pet owner to monitor the litter box for any unwanted smells. If you keep on top of litter box maintenance, you can avoid a stinky situation.

Here’s the Ontario SPCA’s Top 5 Tips for Combatting Smelly Kitty Litter

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Africa Studio (Royalty Free Shutterstock).

1. In order to avoid cat odor, make sure you’re scooping out any litter box solids at least once daily (twice a day if possible) and disposing of it outside the home. If the litter box becomes too smelly, your cat might veto the box altogether and eliminate somewhere else in the home.

2. It is good practice to replace the entire litter box once a week to avoid smelly litter in your home, instead of just topping up the litter. Some clumping litters advertise that they only need to be changed once per month, but keep in mind it’s easy to forget the last time you replaced the litter if you leave it that long.

3. It’s important to keep the box itself clean, not just the litter. Wash the box once a week when changing the litter. Use a mild soap and hot water, and if possible set the box out in the sun to dry for an extra antibacterial effect. Avoid using harsh chemicals to clean the litter box, because cats have a keen sense of smell and if something smells unfamiliar, your cat might avoid using it at all.

4. To keep your kitty content, research has shown most cats prefer fine-grained litters to an open litter box (due to their highly sensitive sense of smell, many cats dislike covered boxes where odors are trapped inside).

5. To further avoid unpleasant odors, you can place a thin layer of baking soda along the box’s bottom to absorb odor.

If you ever find yourself questioning whether or not to clean out the litter box, a good rule of thumb to keep in mind is:  if you find the box smelly, it’s likely your cat will too!

For more on solving litter box dilemmas read this blog post.


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Thank you for your dedication to helping the animals.  Every animal deserves a loving home and to be treated royally.  Just imagine a day without animal cruelty.  What a wonderful day that would be!