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What Is That Smell!?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
My kittens litter box smells like ammonia. It stinks! I live in a studio apt. so this stench is not an option for us! Is this normal? Why all of a sudden? I've been introducing new food, slowly, could that be the cause? any insight???
post #2 of 19
Usually the ammonia smell is a build-up of old urine. Have you cleaned/disinfected the box recently? How many times a day do you scoop it? What type of litter do you use? Is is possible that the cat is going outside the box, and urine is on the floor or wall? I hate that ammonia smell! Good luck!
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
I scoop twice a day and clean the box once a week. I do have two sharing one box. (it's fine and necessary, no lectures on that please)
but they have been peeing ALOT more than usual and I am almost positive that it due to their new food, Weruva, which is in a gravy.
Now, I may sound clueless (they are my first cats) but how do you get the pee out of the litter? I see that is clumps together a bit, but it always fall apart before and sifts through before I can get it out. AM I buying crappy litter? TIDY CATS CLAY MULTIPLE CATS - It hasn't been an issue in the past 6 months.
post #4 of 19
It might be a combo of the new food and the litter---maybe try a litter that clumps better? I use Fresh Step unscented with odor eliminating carbon...it also comes in a multiple cat formula(I think)....It works really well for us. If you don't want to change their litter, maybe go back to the food that you were using? Good luck!
post #5 of 19
yep. crappy litter.
I use "scoop away" which is the tightest clumping litter I've been able to find. Gets everything out whole, little to no breaking.

I agree with the previous poster about it maybe being outside the box.

When my babies got too big for the box, their little booties would hang off the side a bit and they'd sometimes get the tile around the box instead of inside. Maybe try a covered or larger box?

Don't worry about the one box for two kitties. It doesn't matter if I put 20 boxes in my house, they'll all use the same one anyway... As long as you keep it clean (which it sounds like you do) it shouldn't be a problem.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Since they are in a very large covered box I am going to assume it is the crappy litter. Figures, I just bought 10, 30lb bags! Ughh!! But, is there anyway to find out if t is outside of the box? I plan on during a thorough cleaning tonight..in,out, behind,under, you name it!! Any recommended cleaning products???
post #7 of 19
If its ammonia smell, that would be coming from the pee. Kittens may have a high concentrate of smell when peeing. Be sure the kitten has plenty of clean drinking water. Are you feeding wet or dry or both?

And unneutered/unspayed kittens urine will be stronger till they are fixed.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
they are both fixed and I do leave out lots of clean drinking water, but I have noticed that they are drinking less. They get wet and dry. I wonder if the new food, which has lots of gravy, is deterring them from drinking as much water. I guess I should drain a little out of their food to see if that makes a difference. I was also thinking about getting a fountain to hopefully entice them a bit more.
thanks everyone and keep the advice coming...it is soooo helpful!!
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by JandM View Post
Figures, I just bought 10, 30lb bags! Ughh!!
If you're not going to use that litter - no way you can tough through that smell at all, you could try asking your local shelter if they would like it. Surely they would appreciate the donation.

You could try using a bit of baking soda in the box too to help keep the scent down between complete changes.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by JandM View Post
is there anyway to find out if t is outside of the box? I plan on during a thorough cleaning tonight..in,out, behind,under, you name it!! Any recommended cleaning products???
You can buy a blacklight, available at many pet stores. The urine will glow in the dark.

You'll want to soak any affected areas with an enzymatic cleaner such as Nature's Miracle. If you just use conventional household cleaners (that is, non-enzymatic), the areas might smell cleaned to you --- but they won't to your cats with their superior sense of smell. This could lead them to believe that it's OK to continue to urinate in these places.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JandM View Post
I wonder if the new food, which has lots of gravy, is deterring them from drinking as much water. I guess I should drain a little out of their food to see if that makes a difference.
I wouldn't bother. The gravy presumably makes the food more palatable and it does represent an intake of liquids, which is always a good thing. At least with the gravy you can easily see the amount that they are consuming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JandM View Post
I was also thinking about getting a fountain to hopefully entice them a bit more.
A lot of people here (myself included) have done just that, with pretty good results, so I would always recommend doing this.
post #11 of 19
Don't remove any moisture from their food please. Also a drinking fountain is a wonderful idea. Our two drink much more water now that we have a fountain.

And yes, crappy litter. World's Best Cat Litter is what I use (multiple cat formula). I scoop once daily and clean the whole box out about once every 6 weeks and add 4-5 cups fresh litter about once per week. The litter is in our bedroom and there is virtually no smell (except when they first use it for #2 of course).
post #12 of 19
I have to agree about the food. please don't drain any of the liquid out.
Felines get up to 80% of their fluids from their food. I wouldn't be concerned if you don't see them drinking often, just the opposite in fact. Excessive drinking is rarely (if ever!) a good sign. (UTI's, diabetes, etc.)
I also have a drinkwell fountain for my furbabies, but I'm pretty sure they play in it more often than they drink from it.
post #13 of 19
Both my Cats & I prefer Cat Attract litter. I live in a 400 sq ft 1 bedroom appartment with 4 cats (Only 3 boxes and I understand how hard it is to find placement for them). IMHO the Cat Attract does the best job of reducing odor.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by JandM View Post
I see that is clumps together a bit, but it always fall apart before and sifts through before I can get it out. AM I buying crappy litter? TIDY CATS CLAY MULTIPLE CATS -
Any litter with CLAY in the title probably isn't true clumping litter which means if you let it go a whole week and you have two cats peeing a lot it's gonna smell. If you have tons of the litter and want to use it then I suggest at least dumping the entire box twice a week cleaning it throughly once a week. Otherwise, do as someone suggested and donate the litter to a shelter and buy litter that specifically says "Clumping" on it.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by twstychik View Post
Any litter with CLAY in the title probably isn't true clumping litter which means if you let it go a whole week and you have two cats peeing a lot it's gonna smell. If you have tons of the litter and want to use it then I suggest at least dumping the entire box twice a week cleaning it throughly once a week. Otherwise, do as someone suggested and donate the litter to a shelter and buy litter that specifically says "Clumping" on it.
I have to agree. I have no love of any clay litter whatsoever. I find they hold odours and can be pretty nasty. I love my WBCL.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone, lots of useful advice! I WILL (and have) NOT drained the liquid from their food. and I will definitely be getting a new litter, but it really messes up my budget!!! I wonder why the woman I adopted them from told me to use clay litter, she claimed it was the only safe kind of litter for kitties. And me being a newbie I just did what she said. Live and learn. In the meantime, can a add a little bit of the new stuff to the old stuff, will that make any difference?
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by JandM View Post
Thanks everyone, lots of useful advice! I WILL (and have) NOT drained the liquid from their food. and I will definitely be getting a new litter, but it really messes up my budget!!! I wonder why the woman I adopted them from told me to use clay litter, she claimed it was the only safe kind of litter for kitties. And me being a newbie I just did what she said. Live and learn. In the meantime, can a add a little bit of the new stuff to the old stuff, will that make any difference?
I think what she was probably trying to say was that clumping litter isn't very safe for little kitties. If the litter is dusty (like most clays) they can inhale the dust and it acts the same way in their bodies as it does in the litter tray - it attracts the moisture and clumps which in small kitties can form a ball in their intestines or even the lungs and be very dangerous. I stay away from those myself. I was using clay and then switched to Swheat Scoop when Bijou was little and every time he went to the litter he started sneezing. That's when I changed to World's Best. I like the WBCL because it isn't dusty and although it clumps in the litter pan, it is made of corn so if the kitty ingests any it will pass through just as their poo does. Even though WBCL costs more, I find it also lasts at least twice, if not three times, longer than any other litter I've ever used so I do save money in the long term.

I just got my neighbour to switch over to WBCL and she loves it. I was doing her litter boxes when she was away at Christmas and the clay litter smelled really bad after only a day or two.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by saya View Post
yep. crappy litter.
I use "scoop away" which is the tightest clumping litter I've been able to find. Gets everything out whole, little to no breaking.
I agree with this- my only problem is that it's very dusty when you're pouring new stuff in, or even just stirring it around to find clumps. Also, the "unscented" still has a little fragrance. Add this to the dust and I can't breathe.

I've controlled that a little by getting a top-entry litter box that covers all but the entry and keeps the dust from spreading around the room. Once it gets warmer and drier outside, I'm still going to do all of my litter changing outside and leave out there for 10 minutes or so until the dust settles.
post #19 of 19
yea..i have heard that some kitten may catch eye infection if those dusty litter go to trapped in their eyes. i think it's probably nothing to do with your food. If you want to whether your cats is drinking less, it's better for you to see how much they pee. My babies they play a lot with the fountain. However, i reckon it's better to get a fountain which they like to play because that drink while they play with it. i have tried all brands of fountains and found drink well the best so far.if you don't want your cat to paly with water, then you might want to get that blue ball shape one ( i think the brand was catman). if you are getting drink well, no need to get the platinum one tho since it's more expensive and work the same as the normal. it really worth the money since it will make them a lot healthier as well as their pee a lot less smell ( although more in quantity!).

i suggest if you really don't want to waste your 10 bags of litter, go and donate it. you may mix it with other better litter. but i think saving on litter will take a lot of work to make up! personally i find time more precious than money :P ( since i am a lazy cat!!)
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