How to Get Rid of Cat Litter Smell | Our Tips

Does your home smell like Eau D’Litterbox? If so, it’s time to get serious about learning how to get rid of cat litter smell.

Cats are the world’s most popular companion animal. We love that they are fastidiously clean and fiercely independent.

Their pet parents also have a very common single complaint. Litter box odors rise to the top of the heap for us Keepers of Cats. Interestingly the problem has more to do with humans than their pets.



In this article:

  • Choosing a Litter Box
  • An Ounce of Prevention
  • What About Scented Cat Litter?
  • Final Thoughts: How to Get Rid of Cat Litter Smell


Choosing a Litter Box

Size does matter. When you bring your kitten home, a big litter box may seem silly. She’s so little! Nevertheless, when she’s grown, she will need a much bigger place to potty.

When you buy a litter box make sure it is at least twice the length your kitty will be when she’s grown and just as wide as it is long.

how to get rid of cat litter smell || Fluffy Kitty

Provide one box and a spare for each feline family member you have. If you just have one feline friend, you’ll need two ample litter boxes. Keep the boxes in places where Kitty can have plenty of privacy and there’s good ventilation.

Choosing a covered box may be more aesthetically pleasing for you. Be aware, though, that something that’s out of sight and out of mind can get smelly in a hurry. Because of this, covered litter boxes require more attention than uncovered ones in the end unless yours cleans itself.

In selecting a litter box, choose a smooth plastic surface with nothing for the litter (or anything else,) to cling to. It should be easy to wash with soap and water.

An Ounce of Prevention

Interestingly, about 10 percent of cats will stop using their litter boxes at some point in life. Why?

Usually it’s because of the smell. Cats are far more finicky that even us humans.

They do not want to have to walk around in a smelly, lumpy, or wet place just to tinkle. (They have to clean their messy feet afterward, remember.)

If the litter box gets funky, chances are you’ll find surprises in your bedroom slippers or other startling locations.

how to get rid of cat litter smell || Fluffy Kitty

How to Get Rid of Cat Litter Smell

The number one answer to the question – how to get rid of cat litter smell – is to keep the odors from developing in the first place.

1. Scoop twice daily without fail (for the more frequent poopers)


2. Empty and clean the litter box weekly using unscented dish soap and water (or lemon/vinegar solution)


3. Refill the box to about two inches deep with clean litter


Catching cat pee and poop before it can soak in and stain the room with its nasty odor, is the most effective way to prevent this unpleasant cat litter smell.

If you are still experiencing a bad cat litter smell, even after cleaning it several times daily and rinsing the litter box weekly, then you might consider changing the type of cat litter you use.

We use a natural litter (wood pellets) and it definitely makes a positive difference. Now we just need to teach Yoda how to properly cover his litter instead of scratching the wall next to it. It’s a little cute and funny until it wakes us up at 4am! 😉

What About Scented Litter ?

No matter what cat litter you use, from the mega-expensive brands to the dollar store variety, your cat won’t use it if the box is dirty or smelly.

Scented cat litter products can actually irritate your cat’s sensitive nose and make her avoid the litter box.

Because of this, veterinarians generally do not approve of scented litter.

Instead, plain old baking soda (just like you have in the kitchen cupboard) can be an excellent, natural deodorizer.

how to get rid of cat litter smell || Fluffy Kitty

Final Thoughts: How to Get Rid of Cat Litter Smell

It’s important that we understand that if it smells bad to us, the litter box smells even worse to the cat.

If you want to avoid cat litter smells you must prevent them in the first place.

Consequently, you will do well to scoop often and wash frequently to avoid those nasty litter box odors.

We conclude that the kind of litter you use is far less important that your attention to cleaning it. Poop scooping is just one of the tiny prices we  pay for the love of a cat.

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