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Let’s be honest: no one likes to be around stinky things. And while you may have come to believe that your cat doesn’t mind her own smells, that is actually far from the truth. In fact, studies have found that some cats will just flat out refuse to use their litter box if it smells too bad.
So, how to get rid of those bad smells in a stinky litter box? One really effective solution is to use a litter deodorizer. As you might suspect from the name, these litter tray powders and sprays contain chemical substances that bind with odors and instantly neutralize them. Let’s take a look at the best products to reduce litter box odor.
- Top 3 Litter Deodorizers (Recommended)
- Product Reviews: do they work?
- Other ways to avoid bad odors in the litter box
- Frequently asked questions
Top 3 Litter Deodorizers (Recommended)
Product Reviews: do they work?
1. Arm & Hammer Litter Cat Litter Deodorizer Powder
This cat litter tray powder has a great rating and for good reason: it is super easy to use and highly efficient. Since the product is made of all-natural baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), it is completely safe for cats and humans.
Sometimes when you scoop out used litter, those clumps remain in the corners that will start to pick up a strong urine smell. This powder can be sprinkled on the bottom of the litter box before adding your litter on top, and what it does is sit there and neutralize all the foul smells coming from those clumps.
After testing Arm & Hammer’s litter powder, I was quite impressed with how well it works. It basically allows you to use your litter up to twice as long before having to replace it, which can save you quite a bit of money in the long run. Highly recommended.
2. Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats Litter Box Odor Destroyer Powder
Another great powder-type deodorant that eliminates just about any strong unwanted scent coming from clumped and used litter. This product works by absorbing fluids, drawing them and their foul smell away from the bottom of the litter box. Again, this process prolongs litter life and thus saves you some money in the long run.
Nature Miracle’s product is ideal for multi-cat homes.
3. NonScents Total Odor Control Deodorizer
Just from looking at the can, you can tell this is a simple product. No fancy marketing tricks here, just plain litter odor eliminator that can both be sprinkled on top of fresh and used cat litter.
The product is all-natural, meaning there are no artificial scents or harmful substances added. That’s great! You can use as much of the stuff as you want. We gave it good a try, to see if it lives up to expectations.
And it works! On average, we usually have to replace our litter about once every 7 days without deodorizer. After applying 1/4 inch of NonScents, we managed to stretch that out to 12 days. That’s a huge amount of money saved on litter long-term!
4. Hartz Unscented Nodor Cat Litter Spray
This spray contains a compound that works on contact by permanently surrounding the airborne molecules that give a bad smell. You can use the spray on a clean litter tray to prevent future smells, but it can also be applied to already-used litter to counter any smells.
Since it doesn’t clump the litter, you can use as much as you’d like. The spray is very easy to use and contrary to other products, it doesn’t contain baking soda.
5. Fresh Step Fresh Scent Deodorizing Crystals
Other ways to avoid bad odors in the litter box
Cat litter deodorizers have been proven to be effective, but they’re certainly not the only way to get rid of bad smells in the litter box. Here are some steps you can take to keep everything smelling minty fresh:
The most obvious thing to do is replace your litter in time and clean the box every week. Unfortunately, these are also the things that owners seem to easily forget.
Thorough cleaning does not just involve scooping out some clumps and adding fresh litter every now and then. The bad smell also comes from deposits on the bottom and in the corners of the box. Cleaning it every so often with water and soap will remove all smelly clumps and bacterial growth, leaving your cat satisfied and happy to use her tray.
We recommend you wash the tray at least once a week with a mild detergent that is not scented. Make sure to also clean your scoop and the detachable top part of the box in case your model comes with one.
The right litter tray
Indeed, not all litter boxes are created equal. If you want to prevent nasty smells as much as possible, it’s imperative that you choose the right type of litter tray.
Starting with the size, be sure to buy one that is large enough. Cats don’t like stepping into dirty or moist litter, so you would do well to provide them with a big enough surface.
We also recommend going with an open model. Whilst the closed type may do a better job at trapping any odors inside, they certainly don’t make the trip to the old litter box more pleasant for your furry friend.
Once you’ve picked up the right litter box (or multiple, in the case of multi-cat families) it’s time to decide where to place it. A good spot is easy to reach, quiet, well-ventilated, and away from other resources like food and water.
Our favorite room is our toilet because it ticks off all these requirements. The only drawback is that we can never forget to leave the door to the toilet open, especially during the night. As we have experienced a few times, closing it denied our Lola access to her litterbox, which resulted in us waking up to find cat pee all over the floor. Yikes!
Choose the perfect cat litter
Cats can be very particular about things they do or don’t want to use. If you want the highest chance of success, we suggest you try a few different litters to see which one is most effective.
Clumping litter is a great choice because it’s very easy to scoop. But not every cat will find clumping litter comfortable. It’s a matter of testing out to see what works.
Want to read more product reviews? Check out these articles:
- Puzzle treat dispensers reviewed – An article from Joanna that shows what puzzle feeders are, why to use them and which ones we recommend.
- Tofu cat litter – product reviews – A biodegradeable litter that leaves a virtually no tracking. We reviewed three of them!
Frequently asked questions
Some of the commercial products sold in stores are based on baking soda, so you can expect to get a decent result from DIY endeavours. However, baking soda also has certain negative properties. Also keep in mind that certain additives and chemicals in commercial deodorizers may prolong litter life even further.
Using litter box deodorizer on a carpet is probably not a good idea. While the product may do a decent job of covering up the smell of urine, there is a good chance that other chemicals will interact with the fabric and cause irreversible damage to your carpet.
Yes, using it is 100% safe, but not every cat will be able to tolerate the perfumes that are present in some deodorizers.
That is entirely up to you! We didn’t find any difference in effectiveness among the different types of deodorizers you can get. Powders are the most convenient, but a liquid spray is easier if you need to get into every nook and cranny of a litter tray.