While masking the litter box odor with air freshener or scented candles helps for a quick fix, you need to get to the source of the odor before you can truly eliminate it.
There are a couple of key places to focus on when ensuring the litter box smell stays in check.
The Litter Box Itself
According to petMD the easiest and most critical way to keep litter box smell under control is to keep the litter box clean. It sounds like a no brainer but we humans can be forgetful or we can procrastinate on unpleasant jobs. But seriously, this is the number one way to keep things in check.
And, as we all know (I hope), cats simply prefer a clean litter box. Boxes that are left unscooped can drive your cat to peep or poop somewhere other than the box and that definitely can cause unpleasant odors throughout your house!
Scoop the cat litter boxes at least once a day and, personally, I think you should do more. Once in the morning and once in the evening.
Many people recommend sprinkling baking soda at the bottom of box. I do this sometimes too. Baking Soda absorbs odors and won’t harm your cat. You can also sprinkle the baking soda over the top of the litter periodically for a little refreshing.
Changing The Kitty Litter – Veterinarians and cat behaviorists have varying recommendations on how often to completely change out the cat litter but I like to change it completely a couple of times a month to really keep odors at bay. Every time you change the litter, wash out the box with mild soap and water.
I also keep extra clean boxes ready to go so the cats aren’t left with no box while you’re scrubbing theirs. This also cuts down on wear and use of the boxes.
Certain litters are made to fight odor like lightweight ARM & HAMMER™ Clump & Seal™. There’s a unique technology that forms a tight seal around odor and destroys it with powerful odor eliminators and ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda. Get a $2 off coupon here.
Also, replace boxes completely once a year, or more frequently. No matter how well you wash them, over time, the plastic in boxes can break down and being to trap bacteria which leads to smell that no amount of scrubbing is going to help!
Check out these DIY litter box area fresheners from petMD.
Outside the Litter Box
Sometimes cats pee or poop outside the box. It’s maddening. But it’s a problem you can solve with a little patience and detective work on your part.
The first thing you should do if your cat is going outside the box is to take him to the vet. There are a number of medical issues that could be the problem. You need to rule those out first.
If he has a clean bill of health then you need to put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and see what’s what.
Often the cause is a dirty litter box. So make sure to scoop that box at least daily.
Your cat might not like the litter, in which case you might want to offer some other options. Do this by offering options in another box to see which he prefers. Don’t just switch it out on him. If the litter itself isn’t the issue then you might make it the issue by doing the switcharoo.
Some cats prefer varying depths of litter so experiment with that. Sometimes the box itself is too small or has a cover on it that the cat doesn’t like or more.
Check out petMD’s resource center for additional reasons your cat might be avoiding the litter box.
This post is sponsored by petMD and ARM & HAMMER™ Clump & Seal™, and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about The petMD Cat Care Center, but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. ARM & HAMMER™ Clump & Seal™ and petMD are not responsible for the content of this article.