No one likes a stinky litter box—not you, especially not your cat. It's tempting to place the litter box as far away as possible from the main part of the house, but if you make it too hard for your cat to get to it, he'll find some place more convenient to do his business. Laundry rooms can be too noisy for a sensitive cat, and in a small apartment, that litter box smell will permeate through every room no matter where you put it!
The best thing you can do to cut down on offensive odor is to scoop at least once a day, regularly clean out (and disinfect) the entire box, and feed your cat a good quality food. However, given its purpose, even the most meticulously cleaned box will eventually smell.
So, short of toilet-training your cat, what can you do?
Using litter deodorizers is an easy hack to make fresh litter last a lot longer. Keep in mind that you're not trying to mask the odor by covering it up with perfumes and other fragrances. Don't use air fresheners and avoid using scented plug-ins nearby. A cat's nose is so sensitive that unfamiliar, harsh scents can deter him from using the litter box.
A good litter deodorizer will absorb the stink and moisture, not cover up the smell. A good deodorizer should also be non-toxic. Trace amounts will come into contact with your cat's paws, meaning he'll ingest bits of it as he grooms.
Some brands of litter already come with odor deodorizer added into the mix, but they don't always work. If you'd like to make your own, try these alternatives:
- Baking soda has been used as a litter deodorizer for a long time by many cat owners. It's not only absorbent but can also suck up odor like nothing else. Baking soda is only toxic in large amounts, so it's fine for your cat to swallow a little while cleaning his paws. Sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda over the bottom of the box then pour the litter on top of it.
- Activated carbon is used medically to absorb toxins, and in a litter box, a small amount can take care of a lot of odor. While safe to use around animals, it can be messy, especially in its powdered form. If your cat gets it on his paws, you'll come home to find black, sooty paw prints all over the house! Instead of mixing it into the litter, try bundling a small amount of activated carbon in several layers of cheese cloth, then put the bundle near the litter box.
- After your next cup of green tea, dry out the leaves and mix it into the litter. Green tea leaves have natural anti-bacterial properties. They'll also absorb odors. Since the leaves have already been brewed, there won't be enough caffeine in them to harm your cat.
- If you'd rather not DIY, you can always buy a litter deodorizer. Smiling Paws Pets sells one made of natural corn cob granules that will absorb unpleasant smells while eliminating particles. It's free of harsh perfumes, and you don't need a lot of it, meaning it's an affordable, easy way to get rid of litter box odors.
Have you tried any of these solutions? How did they work? Let us know in the comments!