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Litter Box Smell Hacks

I’ll start this off by admitting that I was never a cat person. Dogs, yes. But cats? No ma’am.

Litter boxes just freaked me out. I grew up with a cat in the house but that cat wasn’t mine. It was my moms. My dad took care of the litter box. Somehow, he managed to keep that litter box smell away but I never paid attention to his tricks. I did see, though, that he consistently changed the litter and the liner every single morning.

When I moved out of my parents house I vowed to never own a cat. The idea of scooping poop out of a litter box just wasn’t appealing to me. So I just never adopted a cat.

I adopted dogs, instead, who can’t hold their bladders- the irony.

After moving in with Leslie and realizing that she, too, was a magnet for unwanted and disabled animals, the vow I made to myself was thrown out the window and suddenly I own three cats. Yippeee.


I cannot take the litter box smell. It drives me up a wall. I feel like my nose is constantly working and searching for that smell just to give me something to obsess over.

We tried so many things to contain that smell. I’ve tried all the litter. I’ve tried fancy boxes. I tried talking the cats out of peeing all together but they just won’t listen. #stubborn

While no solution is a perfect one size fits all solution, there are ways to minimize the litter box smell to an acceptable level.

I’ve got some litter box smell hacks for ya. Lesss gooo.

1: Litter

Honestly, this is probably the most important thing. I’m super cheap, ya’ll. I hate spending so much money on cat litter every other week. For most of the litter I’ve tried, I had to change it out weekly to keep that litter box smell down.

This means I was going through those big jugs every two weeks or so. It’s EXPENSIVE. Even the cheapest litter adds up when you’re having to change it so as often as I was. It’s super frustrating.

One day I was having a mental breakdown, googling litters and coming up with nothing. I gave up and moved on to mindlessly scroll of Facebook when, in true Facebook fashion, an ad popped up on my feed. It was a video of someone cutting a piece of pink foam with scissors inside of a litter box and I was like ….. what?


It was an ad for “PrettyLitter“. I decided to go to the website, saw the bag was $24 and almost choked. I quickly left the site and didn’t think about it again.

Until I was at Walmart grocery shopping. I happened to run across the PrettyLitter display so I decided to read on the bag. I was pretty intrigued, but still, the price tag made me want to vomit so I passed on it.

Later on, again, while scrolling Facebook, I see the ad. So I started researching and learning. The litter is made with Silica Gel, which is pretty cool. It’s safe for everyone including my stupid dogs who think cat poop is fresh treats made just for them.

The Silica Gel absorbs the urine instead of clumping, dries out the poop, and it locks in the smell. It is also formulated to change colors based on your cat’s health. The colors are green, blue, yellow, orange and red. All indicating a different health stage. Since cats are so good at hiding health problems, this is really handy. On my next Walmart trip, I put on my big girl panties and bought a bag.

Ya’ll.. I never went back. I am now on a subscription based plan and I have no regrets. This litter is incredible. I change it out completely about once a month, because I suck, and it does it’s thing. It controls the litter box smell so well. It isn’t dusty and I don’t have to worry about scooping pee clumps all the time. I love love love this litter. One bag is made to last one cat a whole month. Again, because I suck, I get even longer per bag out of it.

Ultimately, I am saving a ton of money on litter. Instead of spending $13 a week or more on litter, I spend $24 on one bag once a month.

2: Odoban

I’ve mentioned before how much I love Odoban. It is my go-to multipurpose cleaner. I use it for everything from floors to laundry. It is great at neutralizing urine for all of the species in my house. Pet to human.

When it is time to change the litter out, I’ll dump it and then spray the box down with Odoban, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe it clean. Any residual smell that would normally be left in the box is gone.

In between litter changing days if the litter box starts to smell I’ll grab the bottle of Odoban spray and just spray the top layer of litter. That will typically neutralize whatever smell is starting and keep it at bay until I have a chance to change the litter.

Odoban is safe to use around animals and is safe to use in litter boxes. It is, honestly, my favorite cleaning product. If I could be a spokes person for Odoban, I totally would.

3: Baking Soda

Baking soda is a gift to cat owners, specifically, I am convinced. After cleaning out the litter box, I’ll sprinkle a layer of baking soda at the bottom of the box and then pour in the litter. That baking soda helps to absorb litter odor, as well. Baking soda is super cheap and versatile. I use it everywhere that I need odor absorption. Especially places where the pets tend to be.

4: A Litter Box With Tall Walls

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m CHEAP. I refuse to spend hundreds of dollars on something my cat is going to poop on. I just won’t do it.

You cannot convince me that a robotic cat litter box is worth that price tag. No ma’am.

What I can say, though, is that a litter box with tall walls is the way to go. The ones with the short walls all the way around just cause chaos in our house. The cats are so rude and they kick that litter right out the box and onto the floor. That leaves me having to sweep up litter around the box constantly.

Not only do they kick the litter everywhere but sometimes Tom likes to spray and will pee on the wall behind it. Because men.

A litter box with tall walls makes a huge difference. Given your cat isn’t a senior and has trouble getting into the litter box, then you should consider something more efficient to fit their needs.

My current favorite litter box is disguised as a house plant in a big “pot”. So it’s pretty much covered everywhere except for the opening for the cats to go in. It keeps the litter contained perfectly and also contains the odor. It’s a win win.

Another option is a Rubbermaid bin with a lid. My dad cut a hole in the lid and lined the bin with a garbage bag. The cat jumped into and out when she was finished. Litter contained and smell contained. This also kept the dogs out of it. No poop treats for them.

5: Litter Box With a Lid

Speaking of lid.. I highly recommend using a litter box with a lid or dome top. They aren’t all that expensive and even if they are, having the litter contained keeps the smell to a minimum.

A lid makes a huge difference when it comes to the litter box smell. I keep the litter box house plant in the living room where the cats tend to hang out and then I keep another litter box in the hall way. The one in the hall doesn’t have a top on it, it just has tall-ish walls.

I go through hell with the hall way one because of the litter all over the floor and the smell when it’s due to be changed. One day I will switch to another plant one, but again, I’m cheap.

6: Scoop the Poop

Obviously, you want to scoop your poop often. Kitty Kitty likes to take her death awakening poops in the morning when I am just getting up. I usually run and scoop it out because you can smell it in the next town over. The PrettyLitter pulls the moisture out of the poop and contains the smell pretty quickly, but if I’m right there I try and get it out right away.

I’m not going to jump on my high horse and say that you need to scoop the box X amount of times a day because, lets be honest, it’s not realistic. When I’m cooking dinner in the evening after working all day the last thing I’m going to do is walk over to the litter box to scoop it. I’m not doing.

Having the litter to help with the smell made a huge difference. But I do make a conscious effort to check it pretty often and get it scooped.

Litter Box Smell Conquered

I hope you got some good insight here. I’ve struggled so much with the litter box smell in the house. I wish I had known these little tips or hacks, if you must, when these cats first decided to invade my life.

Finally, we can all live in somewhat harmony. Now I just have to figure out how to keep them from practicing their Olympic performances at 2 in the morning. When I figure that one out, I’ll be sure to share it.

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