7 Tips to Keep Your Cat's Litter Box Smelling Fresh!

7 Tips to Keep Your Cat’s Litter Box Smelling Fresh!

By Ariane Benefit

Is there anything worse that having a guest come into your home and instantly say “Oh, you have a cat?” And the cat is nowhere to be seen? Oops. That’s a good sign you may not be keeping the litter box as clean as possible.

In my work as a professional organizer, organizing the litter box is usually the first thing to be done for my dear cat loving clients. In my 25 years of owning cats, I’ve tried everything to make the job of keeping the litter box clean smelling easier. I’m proud to say that today I have 3 gorgeous Maine Coone cats (you can see pictures on my blog) and guests in my home are always SURPRISED when they see the cats. That’s because they can’t smell them!

Here are seven organizing tips to keep your cat’s litter box neat, clean & fresh.

1) NEVER put the litter box in your own bathroom unless you absolutely have to! The litter gets everywhere and it stinks. If you have to keep it there, get a fully enclosed litter box with an opening for the cat to walk through. They will track litter outside the box though. So that leads to my next tip.

2) The best place place to keep the litter box is in a small closet with cleaning supplies. Just make sure to keep the door cracked open. I recommend keeping a long item such as shelf paper on one of the shelves so the door can’t be accidentally closed. If the area is carpeted, line it with plastic or vinyl carpet liner. Or better yet, remove the carpet if you can. Be sure to get a litter box that has high walls and a dome or cover. The Booda

3) Clean Step Dome Litter Box works great and really does help cut down on the litter tracking.
Every time you scoop the litter, use a handheld vacuum to clean the area around the box. Store the vacuum cleaner on a shelf or hang it on a wall in the closet. My favorite vacuums are the Black and Decker ones that use the same rechargeable batteries as all the other B&D tools. We keep an extra set of batteries and charger by each vacuum so we never run out of power.

4) Use a great litter. The best litter I’ve found in 26 years of living with cats is Tidy Cats with Crystal Blend Scoopable litter and now I use the new Tidy Cats “Small Spaces” litter mixed in. Even with 3 cats, it keeps odors under control. Make sure to fill your box half full with litter. One of the most common mistakes I see is too little litter in the box. Cat’s like a very clean box, if there isn’t enough litter, they may go outside the box. And if they use the box without enough litter, it will stink horribly!

5) Remember to scoop often. Make that job easier by keeping a large scooper hanging near the box, and plastic grocery bag holder attached to the inside door. Keep it stuffed with lots of grocery bags. Every day, scoop the pet waste into a bag, double bag it, tie it up airtight and put it in the trash.

6) Keep a roll of paper towels near wherever the litter box is. If it’s in a closet, use a paper towel holder that screws into the door and hang the paper towels on the inside of the door. Also keep a spray cleaner handy.

7) Empty the box completely once a month. Dump the litter into one of your handy grocery bags. Use your paper towels or a disposable pop-up cleaning product such as Clorox Wipes handy to clean the litter box and the surrounding floor. When you are done, throw the towels or wipes in with the litter, tie the bag up tight and dump it in the trash!

There you have it. A nicely organized litter box area. So what’s keeping you? Go and organize that litter box today so you’ll never again have a guest smell the cat before they even meet the dear furbaby!

© 2006 Ariane Benefit, Neat Living

Ariane Benefit, M.S.Ed., is a professional organizer, consultant, speaker, and author of the Neat Living Blog at http://www.neatliving.net which provides expert organizing tips, home makeover photos and much more. Her mission is to help people simplify, clear clutter, and get organized enough to live a life they love! She provides practical creative solutions for people who want a neater, simpler, less stressful life. Ariane can be found on the web at http://www.neatliving.org

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9 Responses

  1. Lauren
    | Reply

    Wow! Once I got down the whole list I was thinking this would be a lot of work. But after looking at what was said to do I realize my problem. Not scooping everyday catches me off guard. I am very busy so its hard to keep up with a litter box full of three. Now I have gotten and atomatic litter box and that sure is a help. But I’m still having a little bit of a problem when it comes to keeping the whole house smelling fresh. Any odor sprays you personally use that actually WORK? I find myself having to change the whole litter in just 1 week. I scoop everyday now but the odor doesn’t seem to go away. I have tried many fresheners but I have come down to one that I really like its Arm & Hamer scented powder for cat litter. Before I leave to go to work I sprinkle some of that in there and it keeps it smelling fresh! Thanks a lot for all the advice! It has helped a whole lot!

  2. Lady Banana
    | Reply

    I’m doing everything listed there, I even change the whole litter every 3 days and wash out the box, but it still smells after a few hours 🙁

  3. Pattie Vogt
    | Reply

    For Lady Banana if you put baking soda in the freshly washed lkitter box and a good layer of litter in the box (I’m not talking about an inch or two) it will stay better smelling. Also, if you keep two litter boxes you can take the box you are going to clean and put hot water in it with a squirt of dish soap. Set the box in the sun for a few hours. Then bring in the box and rinse it out with tepid water and it shouldn’t smell. (That’s when to put the baking soda in the box) If you have two litter boxes you can set the other one up while the one is in the sun. I read this somewhere a while back and tried it and it works.

  4. I can stand odor from my cat’s litter box! Besides cleaning the box everyday, using baking soda worked great for me. Also adding one extra litter pan helped a little bit. But alas I gave up and bought an self-cleaning litter box. Just because I have major time commitments to work. Thanks for the post, great info!

  5. Cat Training
    | Reply

    I third the baking soda suggestion. Works like a charm!

  6. Jason
    | Reply

    my wife dont like dogs she always kick it, this site helps me how to take care of my cats!

    • kaye matter
      | Reply

      Jason, kick your wife and she how she likes that!!

  7. Noah Minard
    | Reply

    Lots of good tips here. However, I always had at least some odor until I got an air purifier. You’ll need one that has a lot of carbon since this is the part that adsorbs the odor. Austinair has the most carbon and the filter lasts for five years so the maintenance costs are low. Works like a charm. New visitors don’t even know I have cats until they come out to say hi!

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