How to Get Rid of Cat Litter Smell: Freshen the Air

Next to your cat’s occasional vomiting, the next toughest part of living with a cat is the litter odor box. It does not just deter your friends from coming over, but your cat, too. Imagine if you were the one to use that smelly box.

No wonder cat experts concluded that at least a percentage of cats stop using their litter boxes at some point. While it may be both medical or behavioural reasons for them not using their sandboxes, it still boils down to the box being dirty.

If you are looking to find how to avoid litter box odor and to keep your home smelling fresh, then you are in the right place. By the end of this write-up, you will have a fresher smelling home and a happier feline.

Controlling Litter Box Odor

Before anything else, understanding why the cat’s litter box is smelly is important. Your cat’s litter box smell because your feline visits it about 5 times a day, on an average. These visits are enough to leave the box with a strong ammonia-like smell if the litter just sits dirty.

Also, cat urine contains uric acid that while odorless is highly potent. This acid can last in carpets, fabrics, and woods for a year. So, you do not want your cat to do their business elsewhere.

Your moggy’s olfactory senses are 14 times stronger than yours. Therefore, a litter box that may smell fine to you may be something they turn their noses against and walk away from. This is why you should give the same attention you give your home’s bathroom to your cat’s litter box.

Here are some tips you can try to keep your litter box from stinking.

Pick the Right Litter Brand

There are a variety of litter styles. They can come from corn and wheat to wood and clay. And, with so many to choose from, it can be quite a challenge to know which cat litter is right for your cat.

Set up a test to recognize which is the best for odor control. Get the smallest bags of different litter brands. Put a cup of each litter in different containers. Drop ¼ cup ammonia and be sure to keep them away from your cats.

Allow the ammonia to sit and after a few hours, sniff the containers one by one. You should be able to tell which one is best for odor. Note that cats are not a fan of scented options, so try to keep the smell as natural and as fresh as possible.

Can I add baking soda to my cat litter?

Baking soda makes a great all-natural odor-controller for your litter box. It is safe and non-toxic to cats and mixing a little bit of it with the litter helps absorb pet excretion odors. It is still important, however, to scoop the litter regularly, refresh, and wash the box.

Does charcoal absorb cat urine odor?

Stubborn cat odors in litter boxes can be reduced with charcoal filters. This option is good for the environment, too. The brand Modkat sells odor control kits that comprises of two bamboo charcoal filters. They last longer and are more effective than charcoal.

They can be used up to three months before reviving and refreshing them under the sun. They are as safe and cost-effective as baking soda in removing odor from the litter box.

Say No to Plug-ins, Sprays, and Potpourri

Scented air fresheners can sure bring the freshness inside the homes. They are effective in masking odors brought by litter boxes and other odor-causing factors. However, these are not safe for cats. Potpourri, for instance, can burn your cat’s skin.

Good Litter Box Hygiene

It is a general rule of the paw to scoop daily, if not every time the cat uses it. This is ensuring good litter box hygiene is in place. Clumping litter makes the task easier. At least once a week, freshen the litter entirely by removing the old litter. Wash with soap and water, put up to dry, and dump 2 to 4 inches of fresh litter.

If the box tends to smell over time, try to spray the box’s interior with an anti-bacterial solution that is safe for cats. Keeping a good litter box hygiene is the first step to controlling your cat’s litter box from becoming smelly.

CHECK THIS ARTICLE OUT: Benefits of Using a Hypoallergenic Cat Litter

Position the Litter Box in Well Ventilated Area

New cat owners think that it would be convenient to place the litter box in the basement, somewhere out of the way or not visible, or in the dark. This is because most assume that cat just leaves their things uncovered.

Is it bad to breathe in cat litter?

There have been reports and controversies about cat litters causing harm to cats and humans, however, according to Dr. Andrew Weil these reports are all anecdotal without anything to support the claims.

They don’t. As a matter of fact, they tend to themselves by digging and covering after each time they do their thing.

What cats don’t like is going into dark and shady places to do their business. Sure, they want privacy, but they don’t like cold floors and dim places. Litter boxes placed in such places often end up forgotten. Position your litter boxes in socially appropriate areas like living rooms or areas in the house where your cat frequents.

Keep an Eye on Your Cat’s Diet

Urine and poop are, what makes your cat litter box smell. So, be in the lookout for poop that is particularly smelly. It may mean that your cat has a diet that causes their poop to come out smelly.

Consult with your veterinarian about a safe and healthy dietary switch that may be a solution to your smelly litter box.


Cats are the sweetest and cutest pets you can ever have. But, along with them are their need to pee and poop, just like us. While it may be cute to train them to use the toilet like what you see on cat funny videos, it is just not safe and advisable.

Keeping your house smelling fresh and clean while living with your cats can be achieved by truly removing the cat odor and not just concealing it. The key to this is to have a better understanding of these smells and how to address them.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Also, given the rise of cat ownership worldwide, if litter dust were harmful, we would probably have been seeing more sick cats because of cat litters.

However, if you’re still concerned about breathing through the litter box, you can switch to litter made of corn or wheat as they contain no sodium bentonite.