Pet Odors

Tips on How to Avoid and Reduce Your Cat’s Offensive Odors

“Smelly Cat” might have been a popular song on the hit television series “Friends,” but cat owners really don’t want to be greeted at the front door by an overpowering wave of odor that’s been generated by their furry feline friend. However, when one owns a cat (or perhaps it’s more accurate to say, “when one is owned by a cat”), one also owns the cat-generated scents.

How then do you control such odors or, better yet, how do you avoid such smells in the first place? Read through the “scentsational” tips that we’re here to present to you to make your cat-containing life as sweet smelling as possible.

Start with the litter box. The best way to avoid litter-box-related odors is simple – clean it thoroughly and clean it often. If your time is limited and/or your memory is somewhat lacking, consider investing in one of the self-cleaning or quick-cleaning litter boxes currently available on the market. Other products to aid in reducing litter box odors include:

  • Electronic odor “misters” can be placed near the litter box; they release a pleasant-smelling mist on a predetermined timed basis.
  • If scooping isn’t your method of choice, you can purchase a litter box that features a “lift and sift” removable liner pan.
  • Litter “enzymes” can be sprinkled and mixed into the litter to help in tying up and reducing odors.
  • Litter “lockers” hold the litter that’s been removed and confine the odors from being released back into the air.
  • Non-toxic long-lasting litter box “pearls” or “crystals” are capable of absorbing odors quickly and effectively. Cleaning needs are reduced and generally easier to do.
  • Odor “absorbers” can be placed near or above the litter box.
  • Recycled litter box liners can be used for their ability to neutralize odors and increase airflow around the litter. They can also be easily be disposed of to remove any lingering odors.

Other odors that your cat leaves behind might not be related to its litter box; they might be from “accidents” or scent-marking activities. What follows are a few general suggestions to avoid and/or control such smells.

  • Any cleaning product with an odor has the potential of luring the offending animal back to the scene of the accident (or crime) and encouraging them to repeat the process. Use unscented products if possible.
  • Clean up any “messes” as soon as you see them. Blot urine; don’t scrub it in.
  • If the odor can’t be removed from the carpet, furniture, wallpaper, door, floor baseboard, etc, consider getting rid of the item retaining the smell. Expensive perhaps but definitely smell reducing.
  • If you can smell cat urine but you’re having trouble identifying where it’s coming from, consider purchasing a handheld, battery-operated blue UV light that can aid in revealing the exact spot. Such devices generally cost less than $20.
  • Odor “neutralizing” candles and sprays have been created and can be used specifically for controlling pet odors.
  • Spend some time looking at pet catalogues or the aisles in your local pet store. The array of odor-eliminating products is vast. From enzyme neutralizers to peroxide products, there’s literally something for everyone.
  • Take note, steam cleaners can actually “set” stains and odors. Cool water extraction however is an option.
  • To discourage a cat from urinating in certain areas, cover the area with a “crinkly” type material such as a flannel-backed tablecloth that’s made out of nylon.
  • To discourage cats from leaving behind offensive odors in certain locations, calming, as well as “stay away” type cat pheromones, can be released into the air via electronic or manual means. Non-pheromone based “stay-away” electronic or manual misters can also be used.

Following the pre-emptive suggestions that we’ve made should put you on the odor-free pathway of happy cat ownership. If smelly cat has other ideas, try the “after-effect” suggestions and all should soon be coming up roses. One final note worth mentioning…spayed and neutered cats are much less likely, if at all, to continue scent-marking activities. Yet another advantage of having your cat spayed or neutered.