How to Reduce Cat Litter Box Odor: 11 Simple Hacks

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How to Reduce Cat Litter Box Odor

If you are a cat lover, you probably know the joys and challenges of living with a furry friend. One of the biggest challenges is dealing with the litter box odor, which can be unpleasant and embarrassing. Litter box odor can also affect your cat’s health and happiness, as well as your relationship with them.

Fortunately, there are some simple and effective ways to reduce litter box odor and make your home more comfortable and inviting. In this article, you will learn some tips and tricks to keep your litter box fresh and odor-free.

Regular Scooping & Cleaning of the Litter Box

One of the most effective ways to reduce litter box odor is to scoop and clean the litter box regularly. Ideally, you should scoop the litter box at least twice a day, or more often if you have multiple cats.

You should also clean the litter box with mild soap and water, or a vinegar solution, and rinse thoroughly at least once a week, or more often if needed. This will prevent urine and bacteria from accumulating and causing odor.

Choosing a High-Quality Litter Box

Black & grey litter box

The quality of the litter box can also influence the amount of odor it produces. You should choose a litter box that is made of smooth and durable material, such as stainless steel or good quality plastic since cheap plastic tends to absorb odor.

Another that you can do is choose a litter box that is easy to clean and has enough space for your cat to move around comfortably. Some cats may prefer litter boxes that have covers, hoods, or doors, as they provide more privacy and security, while others may find them claustrophobic and smelly.

Using Clumping Cat Litter Generously

Clumping cat litter is your best friend when it comes to reducing litter box odor. It forms solid clumps when your cat pees or poops, making it easy for you to scoop and remove them. This way, you can get rid of the main sources of odor and keep the litter box fresh and clean.

To make the most of clumping cat litter, you need to use enough of it. A good rule of thumb is to fill the litter box with two to three inches of litter. This will prevent urine from reaching the bottom of the box and causing odor. Avoid using non-clumping cat litter, which can trap odor and bacteria and require more frequent changing.

Trying a Litter Box Deodorizer

Deodorizing litter box

If you want to give your litter box an extra boost of freshness, you can try using a litter box deodorizer. A litter box deodorizer can help neutralize and absorb the odor that may still linger in the litter or the box.

You have two options: natural or synthetic deodorizer. We prefer avoiding synthetic deodorizers for some reasons that you will discover in the next sections. Some natural deodorizers that work well for cats are baking soda and activated carbon.

You can sprinkle them on top of the litter or mix them with it. Baking soda can balance the pH and eliminate the odor. Activated carbon can trap and remove the odor molecules. Before you use any deodorizer, make sure to test a small amount first to see how your cat reacts to it.

Properly Disposing of Litter Waste

Scooping and cleaning the litter box is not enough to reduce odor. You also need to dispose of the litter waste properly. If you just throw the waste in the trash, it can still produce odor and attract pests.

You need to use a disposal system that can seal the waste in an odor-proof bag. This way, you can keep the odor and the germs away from your home and your cat. You should also empty and replace the bag regularly, according to the instructions of the disposal system you use.

Multiple Litter Boxes

Orange cat in front of several litter boxes

Having multiple litter boxes is essential if you have more than one cat. This can help reduce odor and prevent litter box problems, such as territorial disputes, overcrowding, or stress. The general rule is to have one litter box per cat, plus one extra. For example, if you have two cats, you should have three litter boxes.

You should also place the litter boxes in different locations, away from each other, to give your cats some privacy and choice. Having multiple litter boxes can also help you monitor your cats’ health and behavior, as you can notice any changes in their litter habits.

Improving Your Cat’s Diet

What your cat eats can affect how their litter box smells. If your cat has a poor diet, their feces and urine may have a stronger and more unpleasant odor. To improve your cat’s diet and reduce litter box odor, you can try feeding your cat foods that are salmon-based sometimes.

Salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and urinary tract infections in cats. A combination of different proteins in their diet will also lessen the strong ammonia odor that comes from urine.

Placing the Litter Box in a Well-Ventilated Area

A cat litter box on a ventilated room

The location of the litter box can also affect the odor level. If you place the litter box in a closed or cramped space, the odor can build up and become more noticeable.

To avoid this, you can place the litter box in a well-ventilated area, such as near a window or a fan. This will help disperse the odor and keep the air fresh. However, you should also avoid placing the litter box in direct sunlight or near heat sources, as this can increase bacteria growth and odor production.

Avoiding Scented Litter or Deodorizers

You may think that using scented litter or deodorizers can help mask the litter box odor, but this is not always the case. In fact, scented litter or deodorizers can make the odor worse or cause other problems.

For one thing, scented litter or deodorizers can irritate your cat’s nose or lungs, making them sneeze, cough, or avoid the litter box altogether. For another thing, scented litter or deodorizers can mix with the natural odor of the litter box and create a more unpleasant smell. Instead of using scented litter or deodorizers, you can use unscented litter or natural deodorizers, such as baking soda or activated carbon as mentioned above.

Replacing the Litter Box Every Few Months

Orange cat exploring a new litter box

Even if you clean the litter box regularly and properly, it may still retain some odor over time. This is because the plastic material of the litter box can absorb the urine and the bacteria, making it harder to remove the odor.

To prevent this, we recommend replacing the litter box every few months. This will help keep the litter box fresh and odor-free. You can also choose a litter box that is made of stainless steel or other non-absorbent material, which can last longer and resist odor better.

Consulting Your Veterinarian

Finally, if you notice that your cat’s litter box odor is persistent or unusual, you may want to consult your veterinarian. This is because litter box odor can sometimes indicate a health problem in your cat, such as a urinary tract infection, kidney disease, diabetes, or digestive issues. These health problems can affect your cat’s urine or feces, making them smell stronger or different.


You don’t have to put up with litter box odor anymore. By applying the tips and tricks in this article, you can make your home and your cat happier and healthier. You can also enjoy the joys and challenges of living with a furry friend without the unpleasant and embarrassing smell.

We hope you found this article helpful and valuable. Please share your feedback and results in the comments below. We would love to hear from you

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