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So Sick of House Smelling Like Litterbox - Help! - UPDATE

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I will admit right off the bat that probably we're not doing all the litterbox cleaning that we should.

We have one cat.  Her litterbox is in a room at the top of the stairs on the second floor.  Now that the weather is colder, we're keeping windows shut...and when I walk into our house from outside I'm immediately hit with that ammonia-y litterbox smell (only poop smells when she's just recently pooped).

We use World's Best litter.  We scoop out the poop and pee clumps about every two to seven days bag.gif...although recently I've been trying to do it every 1-2 days.  We never really empty out the whole box and wash it out.  When we add fresh litter, which is usually only every few weeks, the smell is less noticable for a couple days.  What I'm doing now is opening the window in the litterbox room and turning on a window fan so that it's blowing out.  This helps, but is not something we can keep doing since it's almost winter.


Suggestions (criticisms!) please!!

post #2 of 25

When I have had cats in the past I have done the following...


1. I scoop EVERY day. It only takes one minute and makes a lot of difference.

2. I used a deodorizing enzyme powder in the litter (I also used World's best as our litter, and it worked well with this).

3. I completely change out the litter and clean the box every month or so. During the month I'll add litter as needed to replace what has clumped and been removed. But on the first of the month the whole batch gets tossed, the box is sanitized, and I put in fresh litter.


It is more work, for sure, but an odor-free house is worth it.

post #3 of 25

I have a small house with three cats (recently indoor only cats).  For our main litterbox (only one gets used regularly, the others are pretty much left alone), I scoop twice a day and then dump everything out, wash out interior of box using my hose and cleanser, and dry once a week, typically Mondays. 


My DH absolutely hates the smell of kitty boxes and this is the only way he survives without gagging constantly.


I'm not sure with World's Best litter but I know every week when I clean out my litterbox, there are huge urine clumps that I have missed all along the bottom.  Of course, I keep the litter in the box super deep otherwise it gets really nasty.

post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 

What deoderizing enzyme powder do you use? 


I know actually cleaning out the whole box on a regular basis is probably a crucial step...but, ugh, the work.


Thanks for the suggestions!

post #5 of 25

Don't know if this will work in your house, but what we did was move the litter boxes down to the basement and install a cat door in the wall so that the cats could jump onto the basement steps and go down there. So, we didn't so much get rid of the smell as move it to a place where we don't have to smell it!

post #6 of 25

Are you fully cleaning it less because of the cost?  I ask because The Worlds Best Cat Litter is basically the same thing as chicken feed, which runs a whole lot cheaper than the litter (chicken feed clumps and everything).


If it's more that it's just a pain, switch to a larger box.  A 20 gallon or so rubbermaid box with a cat sized hole cut in the top or side makes a good box.  It's enclosed so stinks less, and a larger area for the urine keeps it from stinking as soon.  And a sprinkle of baking soda never hurt a cat of mine.


post #7 of 25

Wow. I scoop out every time the cat uses the litter box. I scoop out after every poo and pee and then wash the box and put fresh litter in about once a week.

post #8 of 25

What we did was certainly not 'crunchy' but I HATE the smell of cat litter box. 

Oh, and where the box was didn't matter. In one apartment it was in the master bedroom closet. In one apartment it was in our main hall. In another house it was in our utility room, in one house it was in our pantry!


Lidded litter box, we used disposable liners. Filled the box with Tidy Cats Multi-Cat litter(we only had one cat). Scoop every 1-2 days. Dump everything and start again once a week. To save some money, I only filled the box about half-full. And I never had to scrub the box because it had the liner. 

post #9 of 25

Whatever you do make sure you scoop at least once a day.  It is really not good for the cat to be in the box walking around on it's own pee and poop.  Just think of where is is going next- your lap, furniture or carpet.  Do you really want his little feces feet on you?  Keeping the box clean is healthier for your cat and keeps your house from smelling bad.

post #10 of 25

We found our litter box smelled a lot better when we switched to the feline pine litter.  No more ammonia smell, though if there's a poo, we smell that.  We clean daily.

post #11 of 25

Litterbox is in garage with a cat door to get to it. I change it once a week. No smell enters the house.

post #12 of 25

We use the same litter, also for one cat.  We scoop daily, if we forget a day there really isn't anywhere for the cat to go and still have enough litter to cover up her business.  We have a round covered litter box as I hoped that would also cut down on the smell and avoid her tracking litter all over. We dump the whole box ( or what is left over by that time) about once a month, maybe sooner.  I start out with the whole bag rather than adding it bit by bit.  When we dump, the box gets rinsed out and gets a rinse of vinegar, then water again to help keep odors down. It sounds like the location of the litter box isn't convienient to cleaning it easily.  Ours is in the laundry room, with our trash can outside the laundry room door.  Do you have a place near a back door or garage door where you can put the litter box?

post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 

I said to my husband that we need to start washing out the whole litterbox at least every other week.  Hopefully that and scooping every day will help.  Location is a real PITA in our house.  Right now the room it's in is our "office", but will eventually (hopefully) be a bedroom for child-number-2-to-be.  When that happens, we have no idea where we're gonna keep it.  We don't want to keep it in the main bathroom (we only have two) because we don't want to mix kids and litter.  We could keep it in the third floor bathroom, but would have to move it when we have overnight guests since that would be the guest bathroom.  We don't have a mudroom, just a little pantry area off the kitchen...and we really don't want it near the kitchen.  Basement in unfinished and a mess...therefore, potentially hazardous to kitty unless we do some major rearranging and organizing.  No garage.

post #14 of 25

Ours is in our "guest" bathroom.  We only have two bathrooms, but don't use that one that often.  We don't move it when there's guests, but we don't force our guests to use that bathroom, either, it just happens to be closest to the room that we have them staying in.  No one has complained... and really there's never anyone staying with us for more than a couple days.  Do we want them so comfortable that they'd stay longer?  lol.gif you know the saying "fish and houseguests smell after 3 days" orngtongue.gif

post #15 of 25

I have two cats.  Littermaid automatic cat box, with borax in the container.  I empty the container every trashday, so once a week.  The borax really helps with further drying the urine clumps, so there is not enough moisture to get bacterial action (ie, ammonia smell).  We recently switched to world's best litter.  It doesn't keep the smell down better than Tidy Cat, but it doesn't smell like artificial powder fragrance, and it stays cleaner than Tidy Cat.  Cats like it a lot.  They are more likely to bury it with the World's Best than the Tidy Cat. 

If I was purchasing an automatic box, I wouldn't buy littermaid again.  There are brands (including littermaid, now) with metal tines and such that are more highly rated than my plastic tined littermaid.  But it works well.  I do general maintenance every 3 months or so, where I dump the entire box, and scrub the dirty parts.  It lives on a bathmat, to catch stray pee/poop.  The mat gets washed every month or so. 

post #16 of 25

When I had our 3 cats inside there was 2 18 gallon rubbermaid totes in the laundry room.After  trying a few litters I stuck with the swheat scoop.Now that they are in a garage side room due to one cat peeing on the floor(and money is an issue) I use scoop litter. Even with scooping daily there will be urine soaked litter over time that smells. I have added baking soda to the litter.Atleast monthly you should dump,wash,and refill the box. That will help with the smell.


Non-medicated chick feed is worth a try. I tried a new litter in one tote weekly till I found them using the swheat. I may get some chick feed again  next time I am getting layer pellets. I HATE the clump litter dust...so bad for your health(and kitties). I hold my breath,but still all that dust and litter is just gross.

post #17 of 25

We have three cats and four litter boxes. One doesn't really get touched all that often, but it's there.  We scoop everyday at least once, sometimes twice if we walk by them and they look messy. We will add fresh litter to the box if the scooping seems to leave just a thin coating in the box.  The litter boxes are filled pretty full with litter.  I would say it's about 1/3rd of the box. Thin layers don't keep the odor down.  The boxes get washed and changed completely once a week.  We have no litter smell in our house. (We have asked friends who don't have cats if they smell anything in the recent past.)  We buy our litter In giant bags from Costco for about $11.  The bag will last through two complete swap outs and occasional fills during the week.  We tried this weird pellet system at one point and the cats wouldn't go near the box.   The general "rule" is that you have one box per cat, plus one additional. All of our boxes are in the same location in the basement.


I also found that keeping the box very clean, they are less likely to pee in areas they aren't supposed to.  It's a lot of work, but we just try to incorporate it into our daily clean routine.  

post #18 of 25

 subbing for ideas.  We recently got a cat and I really cn't stand the smell of liter.  We keep the pan in the bathroom so I will be more likely to clean it since it is right next to the toilet.  Is there anything wrong with cleaning the daily clumps into the tiolet?

post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by bluebirdmama1 View Post

 subbing for ideas.  We recently got a cat and I really cn't stand the smell of liter.  We keep the pan in the bathroom so I will be more likely to clean it since it is right next to the toilet.  Is there anything wrong with cleaning the daily clumps into the tiolet?

you can do that IF you bought a litter that says it's flushable.  e.g. world's best (which is what we use).  our toilet is prone to clogging so sometimes, if a clump is especially big (i guess  this would only be if you don't scoop frequently) we let it sit in the toilet for a bit before flushing so that the water in the toilet bowl starts to decompose the clump a bit.


i'm already noticing that, with scooping every day, the smell is not as noticable outside of the room that the litter is in.

post #20 of 25

I don't have a huge smell issue but I have only one cat.  I have a litter box with a lid and currently using Tidy Cats Multi Cats.  (any tips on switching litter brands... I tried to switch before and my cat revolted)  I don't scoop every day but every couple days and add some fresh litter weekly.  At the end of the month, I completely dump the litter and scrub the box.

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