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How to Reduce Litter Box Odor: 6 Tips

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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How to Reduce Litter Box Odor: 6 Tips

Why do litter boxes stink? That one's simple. The litter box is your cat's "toilet" ....of course it's going to stink! Even the best litters can't prevent it. Litter can only absorb so much odor – once the litter is saturated, nothing helps.

Some people constantly complain about litter box odor. But if you do the right things, the odor can be greatly reduced.

Here are some tips to help reduce litter box odor:

1. Scoop. You can never scoop too often. There should never be more than 5 piles in your box between scoopings. If there is – you either need to scoop more often or have more litter boxes.

2. Seal the scoopings. Once you scoop the box, don't let the soiled litter sit there ... it is going to stink. I like to keep a small trashcan that seals shut right next to the litter box. I put the soiled litter in there along with the litter scoop. When it closes, it seals the odor inside. When the bag is full, simply take it out and replace it with a fresh bag. Commercial units are also available such as one called the Litter Locker. In my experience and testing, the Litter Locker works well but a small sealable trashcan with lid also works really well and are a lot less expensive. You have to buy bags for the Litter Locker that go with the machine. If you get your own sealable trashcan – you can use your own bags.

3. Change the litter. There is only so much saturation litter can take. Periodically you need to empty all the litter out of the box, wash out the box, and then refill it with clean litter. Do this at least once a month.

4. Clean the box. When you change out the litter, wash out the box. If the weather is good, I like to take it outside, let it soak for a while with warm soapy water, and then scrub it well. Remember to rinse like crazy (cats don't want to smell residual soap). Dry the clean box and refill with clean litter.

5. Replace the box. With continued use, the plastic in your cat's litter box actually starts to break down. You may notice that the plastic starts to get rough and eroded on the bottom where the box is frequent in contact with urine. Once this happens, the box starts to seal in odors. Periodically I toss the entire litter box and replace it with a new one. This may be once a year or so, depending upon its use and condition.

6. Use litter spray. If you scoop frequently and your cat's litter box still smells, a spray Zero Odor or Arm & Hammer Litter Box Spray can really help. These sprays can neutralize odors. This is especially great to do before guests arrive.

We hope these tips help keep your home fresh and clean ... and free of litter odor!

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