Litter Box Odor

What is the best way to get rid of the smell from the cat litter box? I clean out the box at least twice a day and put new litter in. I even added baking soda to the litter, but it doesn't help. Is there anything else I can try besides buying a scented litter, which is too expensive?

By Linda from Brighton, MI

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July 26, 20100 found this helpful

Yes since I have a cat, you know those air fresheners. Well put it by the litter box and ever time the cat goes away from it, it will spray from movement.

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July 26, 20100 found this helpful

Try FelinePine. I've switched from the clay Tidy Cat litter and find the pellets, while different, mask urine odor. Another cheaper alternative, which I learned from searching for information, is stall pellets. I bought a 40lb bag of those at a local Southern States for less than $7. The FelinePine and stall pellets turn to sawdust when they get wet. I have found the litter pan used in the Breeze litter system to work very well with the pellets. It has two sections; the top part has holes in the bottom and allows the sawdust to sift through to a little tray which you can pull out. Breeze also has pads to line the trays with to absorb any urine that goes through to the tray. I don't miss the dust from the clay litter. The cats track little of the sawdust. There is also FelinePine clumping which is sawdust with something added to make it clump when it gets wet. Good luck!

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Anonymous Flag
July 27, 20100 found this helpful

What works well for me is clumping litter. I purchase the inexpensive store brand and scoop once a day (one cat) and place the scoops in a used produce bag (inspect for possible holes), tie the bag off and place it in the kitchen trash can under the sink until I take the trash out. Absolutely never flush scoopable!

It seems like clumping litter is really expensive because of the initial price but it actually is more cost effective because you only need to scoop the clumps of ammonia smelling urine and the poopy instead of completely replacing all the litter. A 14 lb container lasts for my Rachel for an entire month and the cost is about $5.00 to $6.00. Another bonus is that you don't have to wash the entire litter box as often as if you use regular, paper or pine litter.

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July 27, 20100 found this helpful

I use Tidy Cat litter and clean out the clumps at least once a day. I also use the tidy cat litter box powder.

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Anonymous Flag
July 28, 20100 found this helpful

I forgot to mention that when using clumping litter it works best to keep the litter box at least a fourth full. I start with a about a third. With Rachel I only need to add more about every three days.

Also, if you want extra odor control you can mix in good old fashioned inexpensive baking soda to absorb odor instead of expensive cat litter powder.

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July 28, 20100 found this helpful

Definitely use the "clumping" or "scoop-able" litter. Walmart carries a brand called "Special Kitty." It is less than $6.00 for 28 lbs and lasts for ages. As another poster said, you only remove the clumps, not the whole pan of litter, so it lasts a long time - and best of all - no smell!

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July 29, 20100 found this helpful

Clumping litter yes, as everyone has mentioned. Brands are up to you, and to some extent, your cat. The urine of different cats will react and smell differently with different litters. So the brand that works for one may not be the best for someone else. My cats use either Arm and Hammer or Tidy Cat. It helps that they are not fussy so I can buy the one on sale. I also keep a Freshmatic on the shelf over the litter. And since my litter boxes are in the basement with a limited amount of air exchange, I keep a small air cleaner running on low speed nearby.

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January 13, 20110 found this helpful

I've tried many things over the years. I've tried the automatic boxes and I even tried one that was over $300.00. They didn't work because the feces when disturbed would cling to the rake the boxes use. What a mess! And of course the odors were terrible. I tried using a large storage bin with the sides cut high, but our large, older cat said it was too hard to get in and out. I tried the rug in front of the box trick but, I still had a mess to vacuum up. Finally I am in a happy place. I am lucky enough that I have a seldom used attached garage. I store things in it mostly. I installed a kitty door so the kitty's can come and go.

Now the litter box is no longer in my home. I set the box in a swimming pool and the litter that they kick out or sticks to their feet stays in the pool. I also use a hard clumping litter. It's best if it can't seep to the bottom of the box. I scoop 2x daily, more if I am able, and find a gift for me in their box.

I have discovered that if the feces or litter sit in the box, then the entire box is absorbing those odors, the odor is still there even when the clumps are removed. I take great care in scooping to not breakup the clumps. The little pieces that fall through the scooper screen add up and smell. I dump and deodorize, sanitize once a week. The stick on carbon filters work well.

I tried baking soda but never really saw an improvement things still would smell. I hope this helps, I understand not everyone has a room they can put the box in and install a kitty door, but it's and idea for those that can. The swim pool also helps a lot for those with the room.

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June 30, 20110 found this helpful

You can also add diatomaceous earth, to help with clumping. It's already in most litters.

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September 12, 20110 found this helpful

If the litter box is plastic, it might have absorbed some of the odor. I would replace it with a new one and see if that helps.

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September 11, 2011 Flag
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I have only 1 cat, but the odor from her litter box is very unpleasant. We scoop at least once a day or every other day, but the smell is still bad. I've tried several different kinds of litter and thought the last brand I bought (Arm and Hammer Double Duty) worked. It did for a little while, but it stills smells bad. I was told to try Tidy Cat for multiple cats even though I only have 1 cat. I haven't tried it yet and was wondering if anyone who has just 1 cat has tried it and did it work, or what is the best litter you have tried to control both the pee and poop odors?

There is also a deodorizer called Fridge-it (it looks like a purple cube) that you can clip to the box to control odors. I would like to try that, since litter can be quite expensive. Has anyone tried this product and does it really work? If so, where did you buy it? Any information you can give me would be very helpful as the odor is getting quite bad. Thank you.

By Linda D.

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September 12, 20110 found this helpful

Consider changing your pets diet. Some foods can really affect the "output" smell. Also, try adding a thick layer of newspaper to the bottom of the box to help control odor. Walmart has a their own brand of litter with a citrus scent that works well for our multiple cat household.

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September 12, 20110 found this helpful

Hi Linda,

I also had only one cat and the smell from his box, even though it was covered, was horrendous, even though I scooped every day too. I tried the Multiple Cat ones. Didn't work any better than the single cat ones. I even tried mixing 2 and 3 different types and brands together. That didn't work either.

I switched to the Double Duty one and was amazed at how well it worked!

If you're still having a problem even with that one, try changing his food brand. Over the years I have found that Purina cat food makes their urine and poop really smell powerful! So I never feed that to my cats. Dogs, yes, cats no. My cat was extremely finicky so it took me a while to find one he liked but kept trying till I found one. Then I would stay with the same brand but switch out flavors every other bag.

Taking him off Purina cat food made all the difference. I'm not saying Purina isn't a good food, on the other hand it is a good brand, just that there is something in it that makes their waste smell really really bad.

Hope this helps with yours!

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Anonymous Flag
September 12, 20110 found this helpful

I am not sure if you're talking about regular kitty litter or the clumping scoopable type. If you're using the scoopable and having this odor then it is probably the brand of cat food your fur baby eats or the litter needs to be scooped every day for sure and maybe even twice a day.

I used to use the regular Tidy Cats for multiple cats but switched to their scoopable brand a couple of years ago and no more odor problem. I switched not only because of the odor but also because it's much more cost effective overall because you're only scooping out the pee pee clumps and poopy and don't have to throw away an entire litter box full of pee pee soaked litter. You also don't have to wash out the litter box itself as often either because the pee pee hasn't had a chance to soak into the plastic ;-)

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September 12, 20110 found this helpful

Switch to non grocery store food. Pet supply, farm supply has better foods. Nothing with corn wheat or soy. Grocery store Purina foods now even contain euthanized animals from the pounds and shelters. That poison does not cook off. Nor does the metals from their tags. Evo is good food for cats (dogs too). Cat litter? I am fond of the big green jug of litter purrfect from Costco.

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September 17, 20110 found this helpful

I agree with Deeli - the scoopable or clumping litter is definitely the answer to smelly litterbox problems. It works out to be cheaper than the regular kind because you don't have to empty it out completely - just scoop out the clumps of soiled litter. Walmart sells their own brand called "Special Kitty" but any kind of scoopable or clumping litter will work. Good luck.

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June 23, 2011 Flag

I would like to know how to get rid of the smell from our cat litter box? I've tried all kinds of powders and different litters that are suppose to control the odor, but none have worked. Is there a special kind of litter out there that is proven to control both the urine and the poop odors?

By Linda from Brighton, MI

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June 24, 20110 found this helpful

I have 2 litter boxes in my utility room.

I use Tidy Cat scoopable litter. Every time I scoop, I take a wet rag, spray a little household cleaner on it and wipe down the edges of the litter box. You would be surprised how much urine collects there. Another thing I've done is to put one of those automatic air freshener sprays on the wall beside the boxes. It sprays once every 30 minutes. You can set them to spray more often if you want. The units are a little pricey and so are the refills, but for this purpose, I think they are well worth the cost.

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June 28, 20110 found this helpful

You may also want to wash out the entire litter pan periodically to eliminate odors that don't go away with the litter.

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June 28, 20110 found this helpful

I can't stand the smell of a dirty litter box and actually have it in my office so I have a daily reminder to clean it, every morning. I've tried practically every litter out there and we use Freshstep for multiple cats, even though we're down to one cat now.

If I even get a slight whiff that Squirt did his business, I have to rush to the litter box to scoop it up before my dogs get to it.

My sister has one of those electric litter boxes, that cleans itself and she empties it daily and you would never know she had two, older cats.

Back when we had two cats, I would always sprinkle Baking Soda after cleaning and it helped.

I'm home full time now due to a very long, on-going recovery and I can honestly say I very rarely smell my litterbox at all and it's about 6 feet behind where I sit at my desk in a small bedroom that I use as an office.

Another thing I learned from experience, is the litterbox smelled a lot worse when my cats ate canned food, compared to just dry food when they were younger.

I also leave the top off, so it's a constant reminder to me, everytime I walk into my office, to check.

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June 28, 20110 found this helpful

Dr. Elsey's is the best cat litter for odor control. You can get it at Petsmart. I'm not sure if Petco sells it.

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June 28, 20110 found this helpful

Okoplus is excellent but keep it 3" deep it is also biodegradable & flushes away no problem.

Olivia.

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April 17, 2013 Flag
0 found this helpful

Shay lives in a small house with 5 cats. They, all 5, use one litterbox. As soon as Shay cleans the litterbox and puts fresh litter in, all 5 cats need to use it. Therefore, the smell never goes away. What can Shay do to eliminate or at least neutralize the odor?

By tm

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April 18, 20130 found this helpful

The first thing she needs to do is get at least 2 more litter boxes - 3 or 4 would be even better.

Not knowing what kind of litter or litter boxes she has, these suggestions may or may not apply:

1. Scoop the litter daily.

2. Wipe the edges of the litter box with a Clorox wipe or something similar every time you scoop. If it's a hooded box, wipe the edges of the lid also.

3. Mop the floor around the boxes frequently.

4. Put a bathmat or similar washable rug in front of the boxes to catch stray litter and wash it once a week.

5. Once a month or so, empty the boxes completely. Scrub, rinse and dry them well and refill. If you don't use scoopable litter, you need to do this one a week.

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July 26, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

Is there a way to remove cat litter smell? Can something be added to the litter box? We have tried different foods for our two male cats and even different litter and their poop just stinks up the place. I wasn't sure if perhaps we were using the wrong food or litter brand. Does anyone have any suggestions?

WarpedAngel from MD

Answers:

Litter Box Odor

When we had a cat, we used clay based litter and at times sprinkled baking soda under the new litter when we changed it out. We made a practice of changing out the litter at least weekly, lot of hassle, but the smell went away. (10/24/2008)

By papajan

Litter Box Odor

You also need to use a good brand of cat litter. I can't remember the name of it, but it is for multiple cats and has a picture of a cat holding his paw over his nose or something silly like that. Anyway, you may not have the same brand in the US that we have in Canada.

Some people have had good results using things like organic litter rather than the clay based products, but I think they are more expensive, and I can't vouch for that.

The litter for multiple cat households is worth the money, and I use baking soda as well. I expect the charcoal would also work, but I have just used baking soda.

I would also advise scooping the poop daily. And I hope you have your cats neutered. If they are not neutered, they will have smellier litter boxes. (10/24/2008)

By louel53

Litter Box Odor

I add baking soda to the bottom of box then add cat litter. I also have a slot on top of the litter box and I buy deodorizers to put in slot. The deodorizers can be found at Wal-mart and pet shops.

Angie (10/24/2008)

By pauley

Litter Box Odor

We have 2 cats, female neutered, and find that cleaning the box morning and evening, and adding litter weekly as level goes down works for us. Once a month we empty the box completely and scrub with dish soap and a toilet brush, dry with paper towels and fill it up again. I say cleaning it twice a day is the least we can do for them, because no one likes to use a toilet that isn't flushed, even cats! We don't use any fancy stuff, just clumping cat litter and never have an odor problem. (10/25/2008)

By katklaw777

Litter Box Odor

We changed from Tidy Cat Scoopable litter to Arm and Hammer Scoopable. What a difference! The smell goes away quickly. (10/25/2008)

By Artlady

Litter Box Odor

I use the fragrance free clumping litter by PetSmart. I think it's Exquisite brand, it's their brand. It is the FF multiple cat formula in the green box. It works well and clumps great. Arm & Hammer is also a good litter. Sometimes I sprinkle baking soda on the litter if I'm running low and it's smelly. I also scoop 2x a day; once a month clean the box with soap and water, but also put a drop of bleach with water in the box to let it soak a few minutes before I rinse well, dry, and refill. The bleach deodorizes the plastic box.

I also find that with the scratching, I replace the box itself once a year. (10/25/2008)

By Dorina

Litter Box Odor

I use Arm & Hammer. My friend who works at an animal shelter gave me that advice. It makes a big difference. (10/28/2008)

By

Litter Box Odor

I used to sprinkle baking soda on the bottom liner before adding cat sand/clay. I only fed my cat crunchy food as the watery stuff would make her have loose stinky stools. She loved green beans (warm), cheese puffs, and she got treats. Good luck. (11/02/2008)

By meoowmom

Litter Box Odor

I have tried baking soda, which works well, but I have also used carpet deodorizer (the one that comes in powder form). I sprinkle it in the litter and no smells. It is also a bonus that you can choose the scent! (11/19/2008)

By Mel

Litter Box Odor

These are great suggestions, but I'd have to say I agree with an earlier post that activated carbon is by far, the very best. The absolutely best product that I've used (and I've used many) is called INNOFRESH Pet odor absorber. It was originally recommended by a worker at a large cat shelter that seemed to really know the difference.

It is a fragrance free (better for you and cats) activated carbon odor absorber that just clips right on the side of most litter boxes. It really is the answer for anyone with cats regardless of what litter you use. In fact, I've switched to a cheaper litter and rely more on the Innofresh odor absorber to do the job and I'm very happy with results.

I easily get these on line at innofresh.com They ship incredibly fast and service is great. If you have cats, you've got to try this.(11/30/2008)

By Lorikee

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October 23, 2008 Flag
0 found this helpful

Any tips for limiting and controlling litter box odor? Post your ideas.

Answers:

Pet Doors

Install a pet door going out to your garage and put your litter box out there. Gets the smell out of your house.

By Tara (02/23/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Litter Box Odor

I use scoopable litter. Scoop the litter box daily. Use a deodorizer like Tidy Cat, or Arm and Hammer for litter boxes, or plain baking soda once a week to freshen up the box. Be sure to add fresh litter when the litter level gets low from scooping. I also burn candles to freshen up the litter box area. (02/23/2005)

Litter Box Odor

We bought the automatic litter boxes. They aren't cheap. But they are frugal in the end.

Our litter lasts longer and so do our backs! Very easy to clean. Plus we line the canister with a bag to catch the waste so that we can keep reusing the same canister. And at $15 for 12 of them and having to change them about once a week, that adds up quick! But with lining them, we have been using the same canister for about 4 months now. A big difference!

We have 4 cats and 2 of the large sized boxes and no problems.

Heather (02/24/2005)

By plantgirl848

Litter Box Odor

Charcoal is your answer. Put regular barbecue charcoal (not with fluid on it) in the cat box, and you'll flip. This works for anywhere they decide they feel like going, like carpets, couches, etc., and don't worry about the black, it cleans up with soap and water. I change the charcoal about once a week but it will last longer than that. (02/28/2005)

By Sherry

Litter Box Odor

I have used Odor Free for years with my cat. Mojave Yucca, the active ingredient, works naturally to prevent odors from forming. You might want to check that out. It eliminates all cat odors such as urine, fecal, etc. So no more litter box odors. Also, it prevents hair balls. The website for more information is http://www.catsodorfree.com (06/15/2005)

By Sharon

Litter Box Odor

I have discovered ZeroOdor. It works, period. (08/13/2005)

By the Oracle

CAT BOX Odor is AMMONIA

Being a Biochemist, I have often wondered WHY in the world one is told to use Bicarbonate of Soda (Arm & Hammer Soda) in the cat litter.

I have used it myself and my cat litter box reeks of Ammonia.

Chemically speaking, Bicarbonate would KEEP the Ammonia as a gas ( :NH3 ) due to Acid/Base reaction. Ammonia is a BASE!

It would make more sense to use Citric Acid Crystals which one can buy in all grocery stores (used for canning and for keeping Fruit & Vegetables from turning brown).

Citric Acid (being a non-harmful, biodegradable solid acid) should protonate the Ammonia, forming Ammonium ION (Ammonium Citrate) which cannot be volatile ( NH4+ ). Thus the Ammonia should be trapped.

Most "goodies" in cat urine, etc. would be basic in nature and Citric Acid should neutralize them making them Ionic in nature and thus not volatile.

I am going to try this since I nearly upchuck every time I have to change the litter box.

By the way, I use "Yesterday's News" cat litter. It is made from recycled newspaper and seems to absorb nicely

DoctorBill (12/26/2007)

By DoctorBill

Litter Box Odor

Have any of you checked out the Innofresh Pet Odor Absorber? It uses activated carbon to eliminate the odor. I've found some of the other activated carbon products useful too.
http://www.innofresh.com/innofresh-products/pet-odor-absorber/

So far, it's worked pretty well and says it lasts up to 4 months. We shall see! (09/17/2008)

By bigA

Litter Box Odor

I recommend a product called Innofresh Pet Odor Absorber, it's an activated carbon odor absorber that just clips right onto your litter box. I've been using it for years, as I never found a litter that really works that great. I've got a couple of these clipped onto my litter box and it really helps a lot. I usually just buy it online at www.innofresh.com (10/21/2008)

By kengie

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