Cats are far easier to toilet train than dogs. There isn’t much to it really – just show them where the litter box is and that is about it. Job done.
Even if your cat does take care of its business outside sometimes, it is still a good idea to provide a litter box for indoor use if required. The issue some cat owners have with litter boxes, however, is the odor.
Fortunately, it’s not as hard as you may think to resolve the issue of litter box odor. We’ve put together five tips that could change your life (yes, really).
If you’ve been struggling to contain the odor from your little one’s litter box, put down the air fresheners and read on. We’ve got some advice for you.
5 Ways To Control Litter Box Odor
1. Empty daily (more often if required)
Keep an eye on the litter box, so you know when your cat has been. Sometimes, you’ll hear them. If solids appear in the box, remove them as soon as you can.
It’s obviously not as easy to remove liquids, but if you are using some of the best clumping litter, you can probably scoop out the worst of it. You should do this at least once a day but staying on top of it by removing anything visible will help keep any nasty odors at bay for longer.
Keep some biodegradable bags nearby for the task, along with a scoop. Once the soiled litter has been removed, take it outside to a proper bin. A consistent routine makes it far easier to keep litter box odor under control.
2. Position the box in a well-ventilated area
Plenty of cat owners hide the litter tray somewhere they don’t need to look at it.
It makes sense but putting it in a small utility room or somewhere else with limited space and ventilation can help increase any stinky smells that arise.
Ideally, put it somewhere close to a window or door. Some windows can be locked so they remain open just a sliver. If you can do this, it’ll help ventilate the area where the litter box sits.
Cat owners are increasingly turning to stylish cat litter box furniture as a way to hide the box from sight while still allowing for good ventilation.
Others make use of a good litter mat, which not only makes the surrounding area look a little more pleasing on the eye, but also goes a long way in stopping dust and other debris making its way around your home.
There are also top entry litter boxes that hide the litter away while remaining accessible to your cat. You might imagine cats would have a hard time using them, but cats adapt seamlessly to the best top entry litter boxes.
If the tray needs to go in another room out of the main portion of your home, leave the door wide open to increase airflow.
3. Change the litter as often as required
How often? It depends on the type of litter you choose. Non-clumping litter requires a full change far more often than the stuff that clumps.
Read the recommendations on the packet and remember to adjust according to experience and how often your cat goes. However, if you find the litter is starting to stink before the recommended times stated, change it sooner.
Those recommendations should only be used as a guide. You’ll soon get to know how often a full change is needed.
There are cat litters designed specifically to lock in odors and stop litter box odor almost completely. These litters really can make a huge difference, the best odor controlling cat litters can even mask smells without the need for artificial scenting.
If you find it hard to keep on top of litter duties, the best automatic litter boxes can detect mess and clean up silently without you needing to do anything – what a time to be alive!
4. Whenever you change the litter, wash out the box and dry thoroughly
We recommend having a spare litter tray for this purpose. Allowing the washed box to air dry is the best bet, so if you have a spare you can swap that out and fill it ready for your cat to use.
Once your washed box is dry, you can store it to swap out again next time. Far easier than having a cat desperate to go who won’t go outside for some reason. If the box is still damp when you refill it with litter, that dampness can also cause odors to appear far sooner than they otherwise would.
5. Replace the boxes as often as required
Some say you should replace each box annually, but it depends on how well it lasts. Your cat has sharp claws – something you are no doubt aware of, thanks to all that pawing – and these will create scratches in the litter tray.
Even with a good clean using the right products for the job, you won’t get those scratches fully cleaned out. Eventually, the bacteria deep in those scratches will cause a stink. Keep an eye on this element of the tray whenever you wash it, so you can buy a replacement in good time.
Some cats are heavier pawed than others with the digging and covering, causing more scratches to appear in the plastic. Keep an eye on it and replace the moment you notice significant scratches appearing.
Is there anything else you can do?
Yes. For example, if you own two or more cats, make sure each cat has a litter box. They may not always use the same one, but it takes the pressure off trying to maintain one box for both or all of them.
It also helps to use a litter designed for multiple cat households; we’ve written a guide to the best cat litters for multiple cats that goes into more depth on the benefits.
You could also resort to a deodorizer. Baking soda works well when mixed into the litter. However, you can also buy a selection of products designed to make sure your kitty litter box always smells good.
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