Replace All The Litter And Clean The Box Every Two Weeks
After a while, your litter will absorb the smell of the pee and poop in the box. Thats why we advise changing all the litter once every two weeks and cleaning the entire litter box in the process. This routine can be made easier by using litter box liners, in which case you can clean the litter box itself with a quick wipe.
Putting Litter Boxes In The Right Place
Having enough litter boxes in your house is essential to minimizing cat odor, and so is having boxes in the right place. Litter boxes are bound to smell bad, and where you place the litter in your home may explain why it has an offensive odor.
If you leave boxes near the entrance of your home, its going to be the first thing you smell when you walk in, giving the impression the entire house stinks. Additionally, litter boxes stuffed into narrow spaces may worsen because the odor has nowhere to go.
If you have multiple boxes, experiment with relocating one of them to another spot in the house to see if it helps make the space smell better.
Leave litter boxes in open-air areas where the air circulates and carries the scent away, especially during warmer months when you open the windows. It also helps to leave litter boxes near air fresheners in your home to help mask the smell.
Add Deodorizers To The Litter Box
Between cleaning the litter box, to boost the power of your litter to fight odors, add commercial cat litter deodorizers to keep foul cat smells at bay. Many store-bought deodorizers work like carpet cleaners by absorbing moisture and odors to keep the box smelling fresh longer.
If you cant find any deodorizers in the store, try mixing baking soda into your cats litter. Some deodorizers also come in spray form that you can spritz into the litter box to mask the cat litter box smell. If you add any sprays to the box, do so after a deep clean and before you add fresh litter.
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Ok But Do Automatic Litter Boxes Actually Work
Yep, they really do. Not only does an automatic litter box do the scooping for you, it also keeps odor at bay. You’ll no longer have cat poop and pee just literally sitting out in the open in your house. It’ll be swept into a sealed chamber to help repress the smell.
Be aware though, a lot of self-cleaning litter boxes are enclosed, which not every cat will like. If your cat doesn’t regularly like a covered box, opt for one that’s open. Automatic litter boxes also make noise while they’re cleaning themselves, which could scare timid cats. There are quieter options out there for cats who get spooked easily.
Ways To Reduce Litter Box Smell
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Your cat is the sweetest, most adoring, cutest love of your life until they drop a land mine in their litter box thats toxic enough to clear buildings and send villagers running for the hills.
A demon has awoken! they shout into the night, running for safety and pinching their noses.
If your cats litter boxes are always a little too ripe here are some simple tips and tricks to tame the smell.
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How To Detect Cat Urine In Your Home
If youre reading this article, you may have already lived through the worst case scenario – your cat has already peed somewhere that isnt the litter box. Or, even worse, you dont know where they peed, but you can smell it.
Every cat owner has been through this nightmare, but luckily for us, we have options. You could simply sniff around your floor, or you can cut your searching time in half with this UV stain pet urine detector. Its perfect for finding those hard-to-find spots where your cat may have done their nasty deed.
After youve found the stain, use our pet stain & odor remover to rid yourself of the stain and smell once and for all – no stress, no mess, just success!
Also Great: Arm & Hammer Cloud Control Clumping Litter
*At the time of publishing, the price was $15.
We like the Arm & Hammer Cloud Control Clumping Litter because it does a good job of trapping odors, and it has tiny litter granules that clump better than those of most cat litter brands we tested. Also, the Cloud Control litter doesnt gunk up the bottom of a pan, and it produces virtually no dust. But those tiny granules may track throughout the home, and the Cloud Control litters traditional cardboard-box container can be a hassle to carry and open.
Even though Dr. Elseys Ultra had the best odor control, the Cloud Control litter did the best job of making tighter, defined litter clumps that were the easiest to scoop and clean during our tests.
In our tests, the Cloud Control cat litter trapped stinky ammonia and sulfur-like hing odors better than the competition, and only a faint stench remained when we were sitting next to the dirty litter only Dr. Elseys Ultra beat it in this area by completely trapping the odors. The Cloud Control cat litter quickly negates odors if your cat regularly buries their waste, but itll take a few minutes for the smells to dissipate if your cat is rude and never covers things up.
The Cloud Control litters smaller granules are easier to scoop and clean, but those tiny specks are also more likely to stick to your cats paws and track throughout the house. Invest in a good cat litter mat, like the Easyology Premium Cat Litter Mat, which traps fine granules better than any mat weve seen.
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How To Stop Litterbox Odor
Scoop it daily
The first rule of litter boxes is this: scoop it out everyday. Your cat wont take its trash out, so might as well do it before the smellwafts all over your home. Remember that the litter box stinks because of theurine and feces inside. By taking it out, youre also removing the odor, atleast most of it.
Aside from saving your nose from the murderous scent,removing deposits from the litter box is also for your cats sake. Some kittieswont go potty on a litter box unless you remove the bomb first.
For some, an automatic scooping box might sound like a goodidea. But heres the catch: the mechanical sound may spook your cat. And sinceyour cat is afraid of the litter box, theres a high chance that youll dealwith accidents all over the house.
Get the right type of litter
The type of litter you use plays a big role in odor control. Litter products nowadays have their own claims of odor-fighting properties.
Some litter brands have proprietary formulas that lock awaysmell once the fluids are absorbed into the material. You can also find litterwith activated carbon, crystals, and other odor-neutralizing add-ons.
As for the type, clumping litters are ideal because itprevents the fluids from spreading all over the litter box and your home.Clumping litters are also easy to scoop since its already rock-solid.
Moreover, you can find litter products with syntheticcrystals that offer better odor control. However, most of these arenon-clumping and quite costly.
Best Cat Litter Box For Odor Control
Our experts agree that individual litter boxes placed far apart in the home is the ideal arrangement. But if thats not feasible, consider Ahns favorite for families with more than one cat. Multiple cats will put more wear and tear on a litter box. This one, made of extra-heavy plastic and chrome-plated latches, will stand up to heavy usage. It has an ingenious little step at the entrance to catch litter as your cats step out. And its self-cleaning tray will make it less likely Oliver will encounter Lunas leave-behinds.
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Price: Not Bad But They Get You With The Refills
You can find the PetSafe ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Litter Box on sale online for about $145, which is about average for an automatic litter box. I don’t mind paying this for the product since it works well, but I do take issue with upkeep costs. A 6-pack of ScoopFree Premium Blue Crystal Litter Trays retails for around $100, which means youre going to be spending around $200 a year on supplies for this litter boxand thats if you only have one cat. Personally, we usually use regular litter and spend less than $100 a year. To double that expense seems a bit much.
Do You Need To Switch Litters
If your cat is using the litter box, and the litter youre using right now is reasonably priced, clumps well, and doesnt smell terrible with regular scooping, keep using what youre using. Even our favorite litters can only do so much.
Its common for about 2 percent to 4 percent of cats to reject any given litter.
Cats have a reputation for being picky about litter, but if your litter leaves room for improvement, chances are good that your cat will go along with a change. Its common for about 2 percent to 4 percent of cats to reject any given litter, according to Ray Brown, of Arm & Hammers parent company, Church & Dwight. Ease the transition by mixing in some of the new litter with the old for a week.
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Location Location Location And Numbers
The rule is one litter box per cat, plus one. So if you have one cat, you need two boxes. If you have four cats, you need five boxes.
Keep the boxes in different locations in your home. If a cat is on the third floor, and the box is in the basement, they may decide not to make the long trek.
Also, choose the right spots for your litter boxes. Donât put a box in a small, enclosed area, like a tiny bathroom or closet, which will concentrate litter box odors. A larger, well-ventilated area is best. But it needs to be in a quiet, low-traffic area, away from your catâs food, other pets, and anything that can startle or scare your cat while they are using the box.
Yes, it takes a daily effort on your part to keep litter box odors at bay. But the result will be a happier cat and a better-smelling home.
How We Tested Automatic Litter Boxes
We tested 14 automatic litter boxes in our New York Lab, evaluating each on a variety of metrics while also taking note of our testers’ subjective impressions. Most we purchased ourselves, but we have also noted when review models were provided by the manufacturer.
Beginning with ease of setup, our testers timed how long it took to get an automatic litter box up and running. If directions were confusing, or an app annoying, our testers let us know. Next it was time to put the litter boxes to the test, running them through a methodology designed to determine their ease of use. This included evaluations of each box’s interface, and putting it through the paces of a manual cleaning cycle.
Using blue modeling compound dipped in water to simulate solid waste, our testers then rated each box on its performance. Water scented with vinegar was used to test how well a box could contain or eliminate smells. Once each automatic litter box was put through multiple cleaning cycles, filtering several days worth of waste, we emptied each box of litter and gave each one a thorough cleaning.
Finally, testers were asked to give their overall impressions, rating how they perceived the product’s value, both before and after learning the retail price.
The scores and reviews provided throughout this roundup are a synthesis of our lab tested ratings and at-home follow-ups.
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Buying Larger Litter Boxes
Cats are fickle, and even the most minor thing like a litter box that feels too cramped is reasoning enough for them not to use it. If your cat has a litter box that isnt the right size, you could end up with poop on the box walls or outside the box.
A too-small box may also be too shallow for your cat, limiting the amount of litter inside. A small litter tray that works for a new kitten wont work the same for a full-grown cat. If you find yourself smelling your cats poop more than usual, consider upgrading to a larger box that accommodates your cats size.
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Self
I mean, it’s right there in the name, isnt it? It’s self-cleaning, aka you don’t have to hunch over the litter box and tediously sift through dusty kitty litter, mining for chunks of your furry little loved ones solid waste product. It is, hands down, the worst household chore, but an automatic cat litter box essentially eliminates it from your daily to-do list. Thats pretty priceless right there.
An automatic cat litter box is also a great choice if you’re out of the house often. We all know cats are quite self-sufficient creatures, but cleaning their litter box is pretty much the only thing they can’t do for themselves. So whether you’re at work all day or you like to go away for long weekends, your kitties will be much happier with a self-cleaning litter box that can take care of that task for them.
Last but not least, some automatic cat litter box models can even save your back and your wallet, in the long run from having to haul pounds upon pounds of dusty cat litter into and around your home. While many do allow you to use your cat’s preferred regular litter whether thats clay litter or a clumping litter some are designed to be used with washable granules that rarely need replacement, or odor-neutralizing, dust-free crystal litter that can go as long as an entire month without changing.
With all of that in mind, here are our top picks to help you find the best automatic litter box for you and your cat in 2022.
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Consider Investing In An Automated Litter Box
The rule of thumb is to clean the box twice a day. Some cats are so fastidious, and they need their box cleaned after every use – in which case invest in an automatic self-cleaning box to help you maintain a state of perfect cleanliness.
Some automated litter boxes operate at regular intervals. In contrast, others use sensors to determine when Kitty has “doing her business” and operate the cleaning mechanism several minutes after your cat is done.
Read our guide to choosing the right automatic litter box for more information.
Odor Prevention: Surprisingly Effective
I fully expected the PetSafe ScoopFree Litter Box to begin smelling within a few days. I was surprised that even after three weeks of use, I couldnt smell any waste, even though a pile of poop was hiding under the cover. This is likely due to the crystal litters ability to dehydrate solid waste. I suspect that it would start to smell if you didnt change the litter on time.
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How Often You Should Clean The Litter
This obviously depends on the type of litter you are using, and the number of cats you have. For a clumping type substrate, that we highly recommend, you will need to remove the stool and pee agglomerates at least once a day and refill the box every other day.
Note that some non-clumping litters require you to stir the grains once you remove the stool. So, make sure to check and follow the instructions on the package.
Our hack for cleaning the clumping litter easily is by putting 10-15cm of litter. When there is enough litter, the cats pee does not go to the bottom of the tray, and the ball that forms becomes much easier to remove with the shovel.
However, if you put in little litter, your cats pee will spread over the bottom, and you will have to remove much more substrate, which will ultimately prove to be less economical.
What Is The Best Place To Put A Cat Litter Box
Cats prefer a quiet, clean place to do their business, just like humans do. Its best to place the litter box in a quiet room with limited foot traffic, and against a wall so your cat will feel safe when they use it. If a litter box is too hard to reach or too far away , your cat may not be able or even willing to go there. And boxes that are near loud appliances can upset your pet.
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Establish A Litter Box Maintenance Routine
You should make cleaning the litter box into a routine. Cleaning the box “whenever” just won’t work. If you’re around to clean the litter box three times a day on the weekend but then cannot clean it at all during the week, that’s not good enough for your cat’s needs. What you should aim for is a consistent routine that includes regular cleaning of the box at fixed intervals.
Consider the following questions –
1. How long does it take you to clean the litter boxes?2. At what times can you regularly clean the boxes? Mornings? Evenings? Or maybe it’s the middle of the day?3. Can other people help you out when you’re not available?
Based on the answers, set up your routine, focusing on what times each box gets cleaned up every day and who will do the cleaning .
Tips for effective litter box maintenance –
- Use a good scoop. It will help you clean the box quickly and more efficiently.
- Keep the tools of the trade nearby. Have your scoop and plastic bags ready.
- Stock up on litter and make sure you always have enough for topping up the litter box.
Once you set up a routine that’s right for you and your cat, cleaning the litter boxes becomes much easier. You have to put less thought into it and can just work as part of your regular daily routine.