When comparing the duties of owning a cat vs. owning a dog, the topic of the litter box will often come up as both a pro and a con. Some people will say that the litter box is an excellent advantage for pet owners, as cleaning up after your pets is contained to one area and doesn’t require taking your pet outside to use the bathroom. Others will say the litter box is a con, as it’s smell has a way of emanating throughout the home. If only there were a way to enjoy the convenience of the litter box without the nasty scent. Good news, there is!
While it may be unrealistic to erase the smell of a litter box completely, there are a variety of steps cat owners can take to mitigate and isolate the litter box smell.
One of the best ways to keep your house from smelling like a litter box is to scoop out the remains once per day. Many times when cat owners are complaining about their home smelling like a litter box, it’s because they are not scooping the litter box regularly. Your cat will use the little box several times per day. As you know if you own a cat, if you let all of those remains build up over a few days, you’re going to smell it.
You want to make sure that you’re cleaning the litter box once a day. Set a routine for yourself and it’ll become an easy part of your day. Either change it every morning or every evening. In addition to keeping the smell of cat remains and litter at bay in your home, scooping the litter box daily will promote a healthier and more comfortable daily life for your cat. Cat’s are a bit obsessive when it comes to keeping themselves clean, so when they’re using a dirty litter box with days worth of remains piling up, they don’t feel comfortable and spend more time grooming themselves. In some instances, this can lead to over grooming, which can leave nasty little sores on your kitty. Additionally, cats can develop bacteria related illnesses if fail to provide them with a fresh litter box.
Change Out the Litter
In addition to daily scooping of remains from your cat’s litter box, you’ll want to make sure that you’re regularly changing out your cat’s litter. A good pour of litter can last you up to a week if you’re scooping out remains daily. But, after about a week you’ll want to empty the litter and fill the box with a fresh pour.
While the remains have been extracted from the box, the smell will stick to the litter grains. Also, if you have a litter material that is scented, the freshness of the smell will slowly fade and the smell of your cat remains to take over.
Surround the Box with Air Freshening Techniques
Sometimes extra reinforcements are necessary to suppress the smell of a litter box. There are a variety of air freshening techniques that you can deploy, including:
- Dryer Sheets: Dryer sheets are an effective, efficient, and cheap way to mitigate smell. Many people place dryer sheets in the bottom of their waste bins, and using them to combat litter-box stench is also a great method. Depending on how your litter box is set up, place a few dryer sheets either on the bottom of your litter box, near your litter box, or taped to the sides of your litter box. They’ll provide relief much longer than you’d expect.
- Air Freshening Plug-In: These handy little units can be plugged in near a litter box to provide constant relief. One of the great things about plug-ins is that you can select from a variety of scents. This allows you to demo a few out until you find a favorite. The plug in cartridges are a bit more expensive to purchase than dryer sheets, but emitting a fresh scent to cover the litter box does wonders.
- Covered Litter Boxes: By covering your cat’s litter box you can help suppress the smell. You can do this by either purchasing a covered litter box, or, by creating a DIY roof to place your cat’s litter box under.
Strategically Locate Your Litter Box
Where you place your litter box plays a huge role in how much of the smell is escaping and wafting through your home. Deciding where to place your litter box varies based on your residence, but you want to choose a place that is out of sight, provides privacy for your cat, and isn’t too close to a vent. By placing your litter box close to a HVAC vent, you’re bound to smell the litter box in other area of your home. Some of the better places to hide your litter box are in basements, closets, bathrooms, seldom-used rooms, and three-season rooms that get a steady flow of fresh air.
Learn More Litter Box Tips at PetPlace
PetPlace is an excellent resource for pet owners and animal lovers. Among the thousands of vet-approved articles, we have on our site are tips for pet care, pet health, pet behavior, and specific breed information. Looking for more info on litter boxes? We got you covered. Check out the Fine Art of Litter Box Care and 8 Reasons Why Your Kitty Won’t Use the Litter Box.