The Best Way to Get Rid of Cat Litter Smell. – KingdomOfCats

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The Best Way to Get Rid of Cat Litter Smell.

KingdomOfCat Admin


Many homeowners with cats believe that the real smell comes from cat poop. That is not the biggest problem as the main smell does actually come from cat urine.

The quickest and easiest way of getting rid of a cat litter smell is prevention. The pungent smell that comes from a cat litter box is mainly caused by cat urine being left untreated, and that urine will create a very strong and horrible smelling ammonia gas. If you can prevent that from happening by regular cleaning, or even better by self-cleaning, then you will have solved the problem of cat litter smells in the home.

Preventing Cat Litter Smells In Your Home

Prevention is almost always a better solution than trying to cure or fix the smell and odors. Here are 5 quick tips that will help you prevent the smells that come from cat litters and you will go a long way in getting rid of any potential cat litter smells around your home

  1. Remove cat poop and clumps once or twice a day.
  2. Use an enclosed cat litter box rather than an open tray as the box helps contain the smells.
  3. Add a little baking powder (bicarbonate of soda) to your cat litter as that is excellent at absorbing smells especially cat urine.
  4. Clumping litter dries out urine and makes it clump, and these clumps should also be removed once or twice a day.
  5. Locate the cat litter box somewhere quiet and avoid any area where there is a lot of people or footfall.

How to Get Rid of Cat Litter Smells

It is worth pointing out at this stage that you should be aware of a common problem. If your nose gets used to smell, and that means any type of smell, then you no longer really properly smell it. A good example of this is that a close friend of mine works really close to an abattoir.

 Now if you know what that smells like it is one of the most horrible smells in the world. Yet the people who have to live with that or work close to it barely give it a second consideration. It becomes a normal smell that they associate with work. The same thing can happen with a cat litter smell in your home



This happens to many cat owners and they become blissfully unaware of the odor in their home. Anyone visiting the home may also be too polite to tell the owner and so yet again they become unaware of any cat litter smells and odors. 

This happens to many cat owners and they become blissfully unaware of the odor in their home. Anyone visiting the home may also be too polite to tell the owner and so yet again they become unaware of any cat litter smells and odors.

The Cat Litter Smell

When cat litter is in the box or bag there is little or no smell associated with it. You can buy scented litters which do have a slightly perfumed scent, though do be aware, that some cats don’t like scents. Pine is a very popular scent. While these can be useful, all they really do is mask the underlying cat litter smell.

In most cases, the mixture of the cat litter scent, and the perfumed litter, can often be a really bad smell as well. It is a different smell but not a pleasant one. Using a scented litter may help a little but only if the cat litter box is regularly cleaned.


Cat litter smells can really only come from two sources and those are obvious. They are cat poop and cat urine. The only way to fully control cat poop smells is to get rid of the poop as soon as it arrives there. There are a few ways of doing this which I have listed below:

  • By checking the litter box 1-2 times a day and removing any poop or clumps with a scoop
  • Changing out the litter completely once a month
  • By using an automatic self-cleaning litter box
  • By using a manual self-cleaning litter box.
  • By using a very expensive self-flushing litter box

Finding The Best Cat Litter Box for Odor Control

Self Cleaning Litter Box

The automatic self-cleaning box is the most practical and affordable of these solutions. They are a bit more expensive though when compared to the standard enclosed litter box or cat litter tray. They also get mixed buyer reviews in that some cat owners love them, whereas some other cat owners find they do not work that well.

The Best Way to Get Rid of Cat Litter Smell

These self-cleaning boxes cost anything between $50-100 depending on the brand and the type of box. In my opinion, these are a good choice for any cat owner who is out of the house for longer periods of time. These boxes will help keep your litter box clean, even if they don’t do a perfect job.

Simply by keeping the litter clean and getting rid of the poop as soon as the business has been done, it makes a huge difference to the odors in your home.

Self Flushing Litter Box

The self-flushing boxes also work but they are mighty expensive at around $200-300. They also need a little bit of time to install. However once that is done, then you have a good method of controlling the cat litter smell.

These can be programmed to self flush, and that does help a great deal in controlling odors in your home. Aside from the price, the other major drawback with these, is that they siphon the urine and poop into your toilet. It will stay there until the actual toilet is flushed.

The Best Way to Get Rid of Cat Litter Smell


All that said, they confine the litter smell to the bathroom, and if the toilet is regularly flushed, then you have a good system for controlling odors. The price though is a major stumbling block for many cat owners.

Regular and Consistent Cleaning

If none of the above options of litter box appeal to you, then regular cleaning is the best option. That does mean removing the cat poop with a scoop 1-2 times a day. If you are using a clumping litter, then it also means removing the clumps 1-2 times a day

Checking and cleaning the box regularly is a free option of course but that is time-consuming, hard to remember to do, and you have to physically do the scooping. There is however a manual self-cleaning litter box which makes that task a little bit easier. Those are certainly worth your consideration.

The Best Way to Get Rid of Cat Litter Smell

They work using a sifting pan and you rock the litter box from side to side to sift out the clumps and then remove them. There is still some manual intervention but you do avoid having to do the scooping. These are very popular with many cat owners.

When the poop and clumps have been removed, they should be placed into a plastic bag, and taken out to the garbage. Don’t store these in an indoor bin as that will also make the house quite smelly

Enclosed Litter Box vs Cat Litter Tray/Pan

It is also true that an enclosed, hooded or covered litter box will help control smells better than an open tray style of litter. Litter trays or pans are inexpensive and you will pay slightly more for an enclosed box. In my opinion, it is worth doing that as it will help control the odors.

With a pan or tray litter, the poop and urine can quickly and easily escape into the air. The enclosed box helps control that and if that box also has some type of carbon filter, then that filter helps absorb any odors. That in turn reduces and helps control the odors from the litter.

What to do if your house smells like cat litter but you don’t own a cat?

The cat litter smell in a home is a problem that many people have even if they don’t even own a cat. It can also be a real pain to find out where the smell is coming from, and an even bigger problem to get rid of. Most likely the previous occupants of the home will have had a cat.

The Best Way to Get Rid of Cat Litter Smell

P/s: A house will not be a house if there are no cats 


The best way to get rid of cat litter smells in the home is to prevent them in the first place. Personally I would recommend an enclosed sifting litter box, and to use a good quality clumping litter. Remove any poop and clumps by sifting the box a couple of times a day.

A manual self-cleaning box is, in my opinion, a very good option. You don’t have to scoop, the cleaning is pretty fast and with an enclosed box the smells do get contained. It really doesn’t take that long to shake a box a couple of times a day, and get rid of the poop and clumps.

Try to get into the habit where you change the litter out every 2-3 weeks, and make sure to wash and dry the litter box, before replacing it with new litter.



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