Four Tips For Fresh Cat Boxes

These cat litter box solutions can keep your home neat and clean

Breathe in fresh air around the box with these helpful hints. Via Public Domain Pictures

You see it every time you invite your friends over for dinner. They look at each other furtively and then quickly suggest you go out instead. Your boyfriend insists on always going to his house, claiming his TV is nicer. Deep down, you know the real culprit: cat litter box odor.

They’re not cat people, you try to justify to yourself. But, look: Even if someone is a cat person, they don’t want to visit a cat outhouse! There is nothing worse than having a freshly baked cake on the counter, and all you smell is your cat. Try these simple tips to control the odor and regain your sense of dignity, before the boyfriend finds a girl who’s allergic to cats.

Tip 1: The Box

Covered boxes keep the odor contained. I personally like top-entry litter boxes because they help reduce the amount of cat litter that gets spread everywhere, control odor and keep my dog from eating at the kitty buffet. Both of my cats were older rescues when I got them, so I believe any cat can learn how to use one of these litter boxes.

Sara from the Irvine Animal Care Center, an animal shelter in Irvine, California, recommends scooping the litter box once or twice a day, to really keep odor down. Every couple of weeks, completely scrub the litter box to keep the container from absorbing odors and to kill germs.

Tip 2: Location

How many evenings have you had ruined because there you are, sitting on the couch cuddling with your honey, who suddenly sees (and smells) the cat box sitting right next to the couch? Talk about a mood killer!

Nowadays, you can find all kinds of mod-type boxes as well as cat litter box hiders that conceal the box inside a cabinet, side table, etc. As a bonus, these help contain litter box odor. Regardless of the box, a well ventilated area also helps prevent lingering cat odors.

Tip 3: The Litter

Think of litter as your cat’s toilet paper. If it doesn’t have the right texture and absorbency, it won’t do its job.

According to Janene, Zakrajsek, owner of pet boutique Pussy & Pooch in Southern California, a premium clay-based cat litter with activated charcoal is absolutely supreme at odor control. In the green category, she recommends a pine litter.

Sara puts baking soda in her cats’ boxes for extra odor control. Janene adds, “I have found that crumbling activated charcoal (found in the aquarium section of a pet store) into the litter is effective at reducing strong ammonia odors.”

Sara reminds us to change cat litter slowly, by mixing your kitty’s current litter with the new, just as you would their food, in order to avoid your cats’ refusing to use the litter box.

Tip 4: Diet

What goes in must go out, right? So it only stands to reason that if you are feeding your cat junk, junk will come out. Compare it to you eating four corndogs at the fair. Not pleasant! The better the diet, the less waste and odor your cat will make. Less waste means less clean-up and less litter, so that’s an added perk. In addition, better food means you cat’s health be better and she will need less trips the cat vet. Clearly, better food more than pays for itself over time.

If you follow these tips, you will be able to have your cake with friends, and smell it too.

Article Categories:
Cats · Lifestyle


  • Covered litter boxes might trap the smell, and hidden litterboxes are more attractive to the human eye, but both these ‘solutions’ are far more geared towards human preference than feline necessity. Cat’s have a more advanced sense of smell than we do and covering the litter box turns it into a stinking box that we still insist they use. Cats are fastidiously clean and a stinking litterbox will push them to find other places to defecate, resulting in them going outside the litterbox.

    If you HAVE to have a covered litterbox, at least make it one with a side entrance – cats don’t like to leap down into their own waste and elderly/infirm cats or cats with less mobility will find going to the toilet a chore at best with a top entrance litterbox.

    If you do regular litter cleans when the animal uses the box, maybe using clumping litter because it’s easier to get all the particles out, and keep the home ventilated the smell becomes less of a problem; removing the source of the smell is better than covering or suppressing it.

    If you make the decision to take an animal into your home, making a commitment to become their caretaker, their welfare becomes your responsibility and their needs should come above your preferences. Frankly, if your significant other puts a few moments of olfactory discomfort or the sight of a litter box over the welfare of your animals and the chance to spend time with you, they can get lost.

    DCJ November 18, 2016 11:53 am Reply

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