TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Care & Grooming › Smelly Litterbox Dilemma
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Smelly Litterbox Dilemma

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Mom wasn't keen on us having an indoor cat in the first place. She had one twenty years ago, Winston, and he was such a fantastic cat, but after that, she didn't want another indoor cat. Then Zoey came along. As some of you know, I live on a ranch, and we have NO white cats, because they are so easy to see at night, and always end up as a meal for an owl or coyote. I fell in love with her right away, and Mom couldn't help herself. Even Daddy, rough and tough cowboy Daddy, is in love with her, it is so obvious. So when Bobby moved the litter out of the safety of the barn, we took her in. That was about 6 weeks ago, and Mom hasn't smelled the litterbox this whole time. Until yesterday. I don't know why, but now it has started smelling. The litter is clean (I cleaned it out completely a couple days ago), and I scoop the box atleast once, sometimes twice, a day. It's in the office, under the desk and by some boxes where nobody can step in it or kick it or anything. The dining room it just outside of the office, and Mom claims she can smell it, so can Tyler, my bro. Dad and I can't. And for the life of me I can't figure out why it smells! I use Fresh Step cat litter; should I use the Multiple Cat strength with the same brand? She has gone in it faithfully this whole time, no 'accidents' so I'm getting curious as to why it smells now! Mom doesn't want the house to smell like a cat person's house, and she didn't want Zoey indoors to begin with. (Trust me, I would have Sherbert in here too if Mom would let me!) It's not like she'll kick Zoey out because of the smell, but she doesn't like smelling it while we're eating, and she doesn't want other people to smell it. (I can't smell it at all.) What can I do? Air fresheners? What kind? Help!
post #2 of 27
It's possible that the smell has simply permiated into the boxes around the litter area.
Since it sounds like you are doing everything right as far as cleaning, perhaps try getting an air purifier for the room like this one, or maybe (and I hate them myself) a hooded litterbox with a charcoal filter.

A multicat formula litter might not be a bad idea, or maybe try different brands and types to see what works best.
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Next time I'll try the Arm & Hammer brand which is supposed to work well for the odor. Meanwhile, is it safe to add baking soda to the litter box? Will that help? Febreeze doesn't work, it doesn't last. I think I'll try some Oust, that's supposed to be really good for odors in the air. The advertisements on TV use cats and dogs as examples, which means nothing, but I'll give that a try along with the baking soda. We have 2 air purifiers in the house, but I'll see about getting a small one and putting it in the office.
post #4 of 27
Sure try the baking soda, it certainly won't hurt.
I'd be wary of using the Oust or Febreeze.
Yes, they are safe enough, but they both have to be completely dry before your cat comes into contact with them.

Good luck
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Am clutching baking soda canister in my hand as I write this! As far as Oust goes... it's in the air, so I think in about 2-3 minutes it would be dry, no?
post #6 of 27
Should be fine yeah.
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Okay, thanks. Tomorrow we'll see if the smell has lessened- I'll ask Mom since I can't smell it. Zoey seems doubtful of the new smell in her litterbox.. If the odor still exists, we'll invest in some OUST. Then we'll go from there.
post #8 of 27
have you switched food or treats at all?
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Nope. I alternate between her wets (Nutro, Meow Mix, Natural Life, Fancy Feast) but I have for 4 weeks, and the smell (or so Mom says) didn't start until yesterday. She says that now she can smell it only slightly with the baking soda. *shrug*
post #10 of 27
Is it a urine smell or a poop smell?

Another possibility is if she peed over the side of the box, onto something right beside it. Or sometimes when they pee ON the side of the box, it doesn't matter how clean the box was...it will smell until it's washed again. Just random thoughts.
post #11 of 27
if you can try one of the natural clumping litter ... they smell way better than clay:"_)
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
I've checked; she has not peed over the side of the box or on the side of the box, and I washed it just a couple days ago. Besides, she insists on going in the exact center of the box when she goes. And Mom says it's not a urine or a poop smell... just smells like a litterbox. Which I'm sure is normal... just curious on how to get rid of the smell. And I'll look into a non-clay clumping litter. Can you recommend anything? I seriously doubt Mom will want to order cat litter, so it'd have to be available locally. I'll look into Arm & Hammer instead.
post #13 of 27
Ah, yes. Litter. My foe. I was hunting for the source of the litter smell myself and found out it was the scoop! So now I clean the scoop every few days with the special cleaning stuff for cat messes. No more smell.

I have also noticed some litter just isn't strong enough. My newest little one is a stinker my other cat can't stand it...nor can I. I am currently using Everclean, it clumps fantastically! So I can get everything out of the box. But the odor of the litter itself is strong...they have an unscented which i am going to try.

As far as non-clay litter, feline pine was nice till the hot whether came and the dampness made it reek...it was so bad. But I liked it when it was drier. Smelled like pine.

But I know that the Everclean has a cedar litter...wonder if that might be nice too. Who doesn't love the smell of pine or cedar?
post #14 of 27
DO you have chickens on the farm??

if so you have litter.. egg layer or chick starter makes a great clumping litter..
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
No, we don't have chickens on the ranch. But Mom really wants some, so next year we'll prolly fix up the rundown chicken coop and get some. But chick starter is readily available to me at our feed store... Is it a better price than A&H or FS?
post #16 of 27
Right now we've been using mostly Target's Pet Essentials Scoop and Wal-Mart's Special Kitty scoop with crystals. But I just found out Tidy Cats Multi-cat scoop (red bucket) has gone back to the original formula. So we will be going back to that. We used it for years before they changed to "Tidy Lock" and now that it's gone back to the old formula, so my cats will be very happy. Tidy Cats red doesn't smell like the standard "kitty litter floral" perfume, is low dust and my cats like it.

Maybe your Mom is smelling the "kitty litter floral" scent? I know *I* hate that smell. Fresh Step is pretty strong smelling, I accidentally bought that one day and after a week and a half changed it. Our whole apartment smelled like litter perfume. It clumped well though. And now Fresh Step is available in Unscented if you like Fresh Step.
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KuntryKitty View Post
No, we don't have chickens on the ranch. But Mom really wants some, so next year we'll prolly fix up the rundown chicken coop and get some. But chick starter is readily available to me at our feed store... Is it a better price than A&H or FS?
chick starter costs me about 15 for a 40 lb.... egg layer is about 10 for 50lbs so I think less than the clays
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
Does it clump well?
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by fifi1puss View Post
As far as non-clay litter, feline pine was nice till the hot whether came and the dampness made it reek...it was so bad. But I liked it when it was drier. Smelled like pine.

But I know that the Everclean has a cedar litter...wonder if that might be nice too. Who doesn't love the smell of pine or cedar?
I use Feline Pine and although I've never had a problem with it reeking in warm weather I kind of anticipated that and have always use a dessicant in the closet where the litter box is. I like the DampRid brand (available at Home Depot). The kind that hangs on a closet clothes bar is best I think.

I also use a charcoal filtered air freshening fan. It's a TrueAir I got at Bed Bath and Beyond. LitterMaid makes one that clips right onto the edge of the box. I would try those if I didn't already have the TrueAir. Uncovered fresh poops will smell for a short time but I don't think there is anything you can do about that except immediately scoop them.

http://www.littermaid.com/showproduct.asp?prodID=15

Good luck!
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Fortunately, in my situation, the simplest, easiest, most in-expensive solution was the best. I just sprinkled bakings soda in the litter and mixed it in with the litter with a scoop, and the smell immediately disappeared! Mom says she can't smell a thing! Thank you for all of your suggestions and ideas, though, it's nice to know that in case anything at all ever happens, you guys are here for me. But sharky, I will definitely look into chick starter or egg layer for a litter, and mschauer, thanks so much for the ideas for air sanitizers! I may try that clip-on LitterMaid one anyway. Thanks again ya'll!
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KuntryKitty View Post
Fortunately, in my situation, the simplest, easiest, most in-expensive solution was the best. I just sprinkled bakings soda in the litter and mixed it in with the litter with a scoop, and the smell immediately disappeared! Mom says she can't smell a thing! Thank you for all of your suggestions and ideas, though, it's nice to know that in case anything at all ever happens, you guys are here for me. But sharky, I will definitely look into chick starter or egg layer for a litter, and mschauer, thanks so much for the ideas for air sanitizers! I may try that clip-on LitterMaid one anyway. Thanks again ya'll!
You're very welcome. Zoey is very lucky to have you to take care of her.

Good luck!
post #22 of 27
No advice, I just wanted to say that Zoey is a sweetie. How could anyone not fall in love with her.
post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 
Awwww.... thanks mschauer! I can't give her the top-notch high quality foods, or the coolest house to roam, or dozens and dozens of toys... But she is spoiled with love! :

Yosemite: thanks! I know, isn't she adorable? We totally fell in love with her! I love Siamese, but she is different... she's almost a pure, snow white, and only her little nose is black, not her face. Odd... prolly cause she's only half Siamese... She's snoozing in my lap right now, and I'm oohing and ahhhing over her! What's a meowmy to do?
post #24 of 27
Just caught this thread and will weigh in with more advice. Even though your girl only pees in the center of the box (and not on the sides or over the edge), you should still purchase a spare box and rotate that in at least once a month if not every few weeks. Use a urine neutralizer cleaner on the dirty box then put it out in the sun to bleach it out before rotating it back in. Urine will get into the plastic of the box very easily and after a while will cause it to smell, regardless of what you do with the litter itself.

I buy Sterilite plastic bins from Target rather than pricey litter boxes.
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Momofmany: thanks for the tip! I'll invest in another litterbox, maybe just a Rubbermaid or Sterilite containter. These things are my best friends! I organize letters, books, seasonal clothing in them- my hamster even lives in one, with LOTS of holes drilled in the top of course! Tomorrow when we're in town I think I'll pick one up. What cleaner do you suggest? We usually just use something like diluted Fabulosa or the Clorox Kitchen Cleaner...
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KuntryKitty View Post
What cleaner do you suggest? We usually just use something like diluted Fabulosa or the Clorox Kitchen Cleaner...
I just use dish soap and warm water to clean ours.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KuntryKitty View Post
What cleaner do you suggest? We usually just use something like diluted Fabulosa or the Clorox Kitchen Cleaner...
It depends on the time of year and whether or not anyone in the house is sick. Bleach is not necessarily good for cats but its the only thing that will really kill some germs. I will use it in the summertime but only if I can completely wash out the bleach with soap afterwards then put it outside in the sun to bleach naturally. Don't simply use Clorox Kitchen Cleaner as it has bleach in it. I'm not familiar with Fabulosa.

What works even better is a combination of a urine neutralizer such as Nature's Miracle, Nok Out, or Urine Gone, then cleaned out with soap and water after the neutralizer has been given it's time to soak into the plastic. If you are doing this every other week, a jar will last a long time.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Care & Grooming
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Care & Grooming › Smelly Litterbox Dilemma