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Welcome, Crazy Cat People!
There is nothing worse than realising that your home smells of cats or even worse a visitor comes into your home and points out that they can smell your cats! So you are now asking
”How to stop my home smelling like cats?”
Below we look at numerous things you can do around the home to get rid of any smells coming from the litter box, urine smells and more!
For urine smells THE BEST product on the market is by live pee free – Check them out by clicking below!
*This is a fairly long post. You can either read it all or use the table below to access any parts of the post that interest you!
Jump ahead to:
1. Use baking soda to STOP litter tray smells!
Baking soda is great for use in litter trays! It literally binds to and neutralises urine smells from the tray.
This was a game-changer for me! What you want to do is make sure that once the litter tray is fully clean to use a layer of baking soda on the bottom of the tray then put 3/4 of the litter over that layer, then another layer of baking powder and the following 1/4 layer of litter on top of that!
So you have two layers of baking soda to attack those smells on the spot! (Thank me later) 🙂
2. Use clumping litter and clean it daily
If you are not using clumping litter then it may be worth trying this litter with your cat to help stop cat smells in the home.
Some non-clumping litter is okay if it absorbs urine but I have tried them all and I much prefer being able to remove the cat’s urine rather than leaving it around in the box all day!
A really good clumping cat litter that is perfect to use for your cats is Dr Elsey’s Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter, it comes in a whopping 18.14KG bag and is natural and 99% dust free and unscented which is best for cats! Check it out on amazon here and see what you think!
3. Change litter box at least once a year
A fresh litter box once a year is a very good idea purely because the plastic eventually will absorb some of the litter smells.
One of my previous litter trays was 3 years old and even though I cleaned it regularly after a while it would still smell awful even though it had been cleaned with soapy water.
The best advice is to buy a new tray once a year for your cats to keep your home free of cat smells!
4.Some cats HATE scented litter in there trays
Scented litter, Ewwww!
I don’t know about you but I have bought some scented litter in the past and it did make me feel sick, it just smelled so chemically and offensive in my home so imagine what that smells like to a cat who has a sense of smell 14 stronger than humans!
The smell can be so strong that it can make the cats not want to use the litter tray anymore and this can lead to them going to the toilet on your carpet and furniture as a last resort!
Stick to the unscented litter to avoid this.
5. Consider which litter tray that you are using
As a fellow crazy cat person, you will most probably know that cats are the fussiest animals ever!
Cats personalities vary so much but they can be very particular and for good reasons, some cats may not like certain litter boxes.
Some popular litter boxes are
- Hooded litter boxes
- Automatic litter boxes that self-clean
- Tray litter boxes
- Open boxes
- Top entry boxes
- Corner boxes
- High side boxes
So you get the picture? There are lots of different boxes so experimenting with what your cat likes is always best to prevent them from going outside the litter box and creating cat smells around the home.
What you need to consider is if any other pets will be standing at the door of the litter box and trapping your cat inside, the last thing you want to do is have a cat that is scared to use the litter box for fear of being trapped.
Multiple exit points are the best and that’s why some people prefer an open-top box but it’s about working out what is best for your cat!
6. Ask an honest friend if your home smells
We don’t always realise the smell of our territory if we are constantly at home. It’s a bit similar to when you walk into the house of a smoker and you can smell it so badly but they don’t realise because they are sat in it all day long.
This is where asking someone you trust comes in handy. It could be a friend or a family member or even a neighbour.
If they say that it does smell then you can take on board some of the tips in this post and hopefully get your home smelling clean and fresh again in no time. 🙂
7. Wash away any stains on carpets straight away
We have all been there, relaxing on the sofa with our favourite movie or TV show and you can either hear or see your cat either spraying or being sick all over the carpet you just cleaned earlier that day.
It’s a good job we love our little fur babies as much as we do!
The worse thing you can do is to leave the smells lingering on the carpet, get to work straight away and clean it up. The longer the smell is left to soak into the fabric the worse it may get but also once your cat has done their business in one spot they will be more inclined to repeat this behaviour next time due to the smell of ammonia.
So remember to neutralise and clean that smell ASAP.
Keep reading to find out how to effectively get rid of cat urine smells.
8. Clean your cats and keep on top of grooming
Grooming your cats is something you should be doing frequently and it can also help remove any unwanted fur that faecal matter may become attached to.
Cat hair doesn’t always smell but when it’s left to build up it may add to smell over time especially if your cat has been outside and rolled around in anything with an odour.
A good type of brush to use is a de-shedding tool especially if you have long-haired cats. Check out the FURminator below, it just takes all the stray hairs from the undercoat away and you will be amazed at the results.
Click the below image to find out more!
You may also wish to bathe your cats now and again and use a cat-friendly shampoo, NEVER use human shampoo on your cat in case of a reaction to the numerous chemicals inside.
P.S – I have never managed to bathe my cats, they would hate me forever 🙂
9. Use pet febreze on furniture and carpets
Febreze is amazing for getting rid of odours and they even have a pet-safe one. I wouldn’t recommend just using this straight on urine stains but it is great for just helping to keep your home smelling fresh.
You can use febreze on clothes, furniture, beds and carpets. I always have a bottle around and you can pick them up for pretty cheap!
It will not just mask the smell but it neutralises the smells leaving behind a fresh just cleaned scent.
10. Clean and wash cat beds every now and again
This is something you can do now and again and the reason I say this is due to territory marking, cats need to mark their territory by leaving behind scent from their glands.
Cat beds are perfect ”Scent soakers” so make sure you don’t wash away their scent too often but now and again you will need to wash them as over time they may build up bacteria and mounds of cat fur which can contribute to smells in the home.
11.Use an air filter and purifier to clean the air
Air purifiers can come in very handy to help eliminate smells, you want to make sure that you get one that is good at removing pet smells in the home so you need one with an activated charcoal filter.
Enter the LEVOIT Air Purifier! Which chemically decomposes the pet odours in the air. It helps to remove pet dander and is very good at preventing allergies by removing mould spores and pollen.
It is also a fairly good price compared to some more expensive products!
Check it out by clicking on the image below!
12. Deodorise floors with baking soda
Our good friend baking soda is back again!
Not only is it great to use in the cat litter tray to reduce smells but it is also a great carpet deodoriser. Simply shake a generous amount of baking soda on the carpets and leave for a couple of hours before hoovering away, it should help to soak up and neutralise any odours around the home.
13. Be careful of the rugs you use around cats
I used to have a large deep pile rug in my living room and my cat litter tray was kept just to the side of this rug.
You wouldn’t believe the number of times I would have to shake this rug to try to get out all the stray pieces of cat litter, biscuits and cat hairs.
Deep pile rugs collect so much dirt and just imagine how that stray litter may be contributing to cat smells coming from your home. Instead, opt for a short pile rug and at least then you can hoover away and dirt and debris that may build up.
14. Open the windows and let in some fresh air
This is a no-brainer and I apologise if it comes across that I am trying to teach you how to suck eggs!
It’s important to let some ventilation into your home especially when you live with cats and other animals. I make it part of my routine to open the windows for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening even if it is the middle of winter to ventilate my home and let in some fresh air.
Believe me, it makes all the difference.
15. See a vet straight away if spraying outside box
If your cat is urinating outside the litter box it is very important to visit a qualified vet to rule out any health problems your cat may have.
Some of these conditions could be serious and you need to see a vet immediately to treat any conditions as fast as possible.
This article by PETMD may be useful in finding out more about cats urinating outside the box (Don’t worry the link opens in another tab so you can come straight back to my blog post when you have had a read)
16. Assign personal territory to each cat
The personal territory is important for cats and for a cat to feel confident in their environment they need to have territory that they feel they own and that is theirs.
This can be hard with multiple cats but normally in multiple cat households one cat may be more of a tree dweller (a cat who likes to jump up high) and another may be a bush dweller ( a cat who likes to stay grounded )
If this is the case why not create cat furniture and shelves and a bed on top of a wardrobe where one of the cats came to claim and multiple beds on the ground?
How does this relate to cat smells?
A cat who doesn’t feel like they own their space may engage in spraying or scratching furniture to mark their territory if they feel they don’t have a place to call their own.
So by making plenty of space for your cats and choices where they can play, eat and sleep then you are avoiding any potential spraying which can contribute to cat smells in the home.
17. Enrich the environment and make it fun for cats
An environment that is fun for cats and entertaining is an environment where cats are happy and that means they are less likely to then engage in territorial behaviour in the home such as spraying.
Hiding places are important for cats to rest and relax alone if they so wish to and also a good variety of cat toys is essential.
There are multiple ways in which you can design your home to make it more appealing to your cats such as –
- Passive stimulation such as a window to look out at all day so your cat can hunt in their mind
- Cat shelves placed on the walls for cats to jump up on
- Plenty of scracthing posts placed around the home
- Cupboards and other furnitire that cats can observe their territory from
- A secured fish tank
Jackson Galaxy the original cat daddy and cat behavioural specialist wrote a great book on how to ”Catify” your home and make it entertaining for your cats. The book contains knowledgeable tips on how you can make your home attractive for your cats while also taking into account your taste!
If you haven’t read it yet then for a cat owner looking to make their space more fun for the feline it is a necessity – Take a look at the book here.
Check out the video below by Jackson to find out the importance of ”Catifying” You’re home!
18. Place litter tray where the cats are spraying
To your absolute horror, you went out and bought a lovely litter tray just to find your cat using somewhere else in the home such as the carpet or even the bath.
This is an indication that your cat may not like to use the litter tray in the location that you have placed it. So it makes sense to move the litter tray to the place that they are now going to the toilet as they must prefer that location instead.
Cats can be fussy animals so sometimes we have to play by their rules!
19. Clean the area straight away where cats spray
Cats are very much ruled by their sense of smell which is a lot stronger than ours which is not surprising considering that cats have 200 million odour senses in their noses alone compared to humans who have only 5 million.
Once a cat has urinated in a certain spot of the home the smell of ammonia may keep attracting them to use that spot again and again and before you know it the smell will build up over time and it can be really difficult to get rid of, leaving a part of your home smelling like cat urine.
So act fast and read more tips below on how to neutralise the smells.
20. Never shout at a cat who sprays in the home
In general, shouting at a cat will not help the situation at all. Cats who are spraying may be very stressed out, to begin with, and shouting at them may lead them to engage in more destructive behaviour and spraying.
Instead, work on reducing the stress in your home and finding the root cause of why your cat may be spraying everywhere.
21. Don’t use bleach to get rid of cat smells
It is never a good idea to use bleach when cats are going to be around. The biggest worry is that if your cat treads on the bleach that is left out or there is a bit you may have forgot to wipe up and then licks their paws they are ingesting these harsh chemicals and may then need urgent veterinary care!
The superpower of bleach comes from its ability to break down proteins in viruses and bacteria but it could also break down the proteins in your cat’s skin!
In terms of smells in the home, some cats are strangely attracted to bleach because of the similarities to cat urine and ammonia so if you do clean a surface with bleach your cat may decide to urinate on this area, further perpetuating the issue.
22. Invest in ”Live pee free” today!
This is a great product and is 100% guaranteed to remove the smell of urine in the home if this is a particular problem for you. It is used by many people to quickly and easily get rid of the smell.
It contains NO bleach, No enzymes, No fragrance and NO detergent.
The product is lab tested and it’s 8.3X more effective than the leading enzyme brands and 10X more effective than fragrance & detergent products. It also works on any surface around the home.
23. Use vinegar and enzymes on cat urine stains
Good old vinegar has so many uses around the home. Did you know that it’s also really good for cleaning up cat urine?
Here’s what you need to do once you spot the cat urine –
- Blot the area where the urine is with cold water and a paper towel to absorb as much of the cat urine as possible onto the towel
- Place vinegar on the carpet in a ratio of 1:1 with warm water and leave to soak and let the vinegar neutralise the ammonia in the urine, leave to work for 15 minutes
- Take some biological washing powder and mix with water and then scrub the carpet with this solution and let the enzymes in the powder further break down the ammonia and proteins that cause the smell.
24. If your cat sprays maybe get them neutered
Did you know that getting your cat neutered can reduce if not stop spraying within the home?
This is not the case every time so isn’t a guarantee but in a lot of cases, it can reduce spraying dramatically. So maybe speak to your vet to find out more about neutering and if it’s the right option for you and your cat.
25.Reduce stress levels in cats to stop spraying
Reducing stress within a household can go a long way in helping to stop cats from urinating and spraying everywhere as well as helping to control any other destructive behaviours.
If destructive behaviours are a particular issue for you then you may also want to check out my other blog post that goes into detail on why cats behave this way and exactly what you can do about it. Check it out by clicking here.
There are numerous ways in which we can help cats to relax around the home such has.
- Provide lots of entertainment and toys for your cats to play with around the home
- Stick to a regular routine with your cats, this includes feeding times, playtimes and cuddle times
- Introduce newcomers into the home slowly and prepare your cats
- Use Feliway plugins or collars on your cat to replicate pheromones
Feliway plugins are a lifesaver and a product worth purchasing to help reduce the stress within a new home. They are particularly important when you move home or introduce a new baby or partner.
They are supported by 20 years of research and 93% of cat owners said they noticed more serenity in their cats!
Just plug them in and they then release synthetic hormones into the atmosphere. The hormones they release are the same hormones cats use to mark their territory where they rub their cheeks up against furniture and they help your cat to feel relaxed, safe and content.
They may just be the help you need to reduce spraying thus reducing the smell in your home.
Check out Feliway plugins on Amazon by clicking here or on the picture below.
26. Be a detective, find out why they are spraying
Once you have ruled out any potential health issues as to why your cat may be spraying if you don’t have an answer it’s time to put on your detective hat and delve a little deeper to find out why your cat is marking their territory so often!
Cats mark their territory to let other cats and humans know that they own this space and it is theirs.
Create a journal and think back to when and why your cat started spraying? Brainstorming can sometimes provide us with clues?
Did someone new enter the home, a new baby? A new partner? Did you change around a lot of furniture which interrupted the routine of your cat?
As you keep your journal of when your cat urinates you can start to pinpoint what happened that day to make them urinate? What changes occurred in their environment?
Jackson galaxy recommends placing a ”X” with tape on the areas to spot any patterns.
Maybe you will find out that the spraying is being done around the bed of the new housemate or child? Then you can examine and start to work on the relationship between your cat and this person.
Often journaling can give us so much insight into what is going on but even if it doesn’t you then have a record that you can take to a cat behavioural specialist who can then hopefully find the root cause of the issue even if you cant.
I hope this post has helped you find some ways in which you can reduce any cat smells around your home and you have gained some value from reading this.
As always take care of yourself and your little fur babies! 🙂
Mark (The Crazy Cat Man)