You probably do if you happen to be owned by a feline companion or two. Or maybe you are like me and find yourself spending many hours of your day scooping out yet another litter box. You may find these litter box tips & tricks to be quite useful.
My Feline Back Story
I have had cats in my life as far back as I can remember. Indoor cats. Stray cats. Barn cats. Foster cats. Black cats. White cats. Tiger kitties. Tuxedo cats. Orange “Garfield” kitties. Siamese kittens. All of them hold a piece of my heart and are happy memories of a lifetime ago.
All of these feline encounters mean I have been dealing with kitty litter and cat poop pretty much all of my life! If that doesn’t make one an expert on ‘all things cat poop’, I don’t know what does?
Back in the day, I think owning a cat was a lot simpler. Cats came and went as they pleased and did their business outside like their wild counterparts.
Cat Care Today
Today, if you walk down the cat aisle of your local grocery, big box store or pet store you will probably notice a staggering number of litter choices. Made from a wide variety of materials such as clay, corn, silica gel crystals, recycled paper, wheat hulls, walnut shells, and bark, to name just a few. There are also more than a few sizes, textures, and scents to choose from. A mind-boggling amount of choices that would leave any cat loving person confused on how best to care for their feline companions.
There are even Litter Genie Cat Litter Disposal Systems for odor control and litter disposal. And if that isn’t cool enough, there are even automated litter-robots!! These fantastic self-cleaning contraptions know when your cat has entered the litter box and detect when it’s time to ‘clean-up.’
Even with all these choices in litter types and the added benefits of modern technology that make life with a cat so much easier today, cat owners still have to deal with having a potentially stinky litter box in their homes.
Most Common Question
One of the most common questions I get asked as a pet sitter, as well as someone who has cats of my own, is how do you deal with the smell associated with having cats in your home?
Litter box odor can be the toughest part of living with cats. And even if the smell doesn’t bother you, it can be quite embarrassing to have friends come over who can “smell cat.” Unfortunately, there is no ‘magic’ product or litter box tips & tricks that will mask or hide the dreaded “cat smell”…but there are a few tried and true best practices that can keep the smell of your feline friends under control.
5 Litter Box Tips & Tricks
- Scoop the litter box daily or more. There is no getting around it, urine and feces are a stinky business. And the longer it sits there, the more likely it will be for the smell to invade your entire house. Scoop early and often to cut down on the odor emanating from your litter box!
- Empty and replace litter frequently. Even if you could scoop every time your cat uses the litter box, you are bound to miss some. And even the tiniest bit will get stinky over time. To combat this, regularly dump out the entire litter box, wash the box with soap and warm water (not ammonia-based cleaners, as ammonia can make the smell worse), dry it and replace with fresh litter.
- Waste Containment System. In a perfect world, you would take all wastes collected from your litter box directly outside to an outdoor trash receptacle, as far away from your house as possible! But as we all know, life is not always quite that simple. So it is important to have some type of waste containment system in place. Whether that be a Litter Genie, as previously mentioned, or some other make shift waste container with a cover, which can be lined with a deodorizing garbage bag that can be disposed of regularly.
- A second layer of defense. A little tip I have learned from some of my pet sitting clients over the years is that some of them use scented disposable diaper baggies to scoop their litter boxes into and then drop the tied-up baggies into their waste containment systems. The diaper baggies have a fresh baby powder scent to them which I find to be rather pleasant. Plus, it acts as a second layer of defense against odors.
- Choose a brand of litter that works for you and your cat. As a professional pet sitter, I have the distinct advantage of being able to test out and try all kinds of cat litter just by caring for my client’s cats. I am able to see and smell which ones work and which ones are less than desirable. Over the years I have probably tried them all. My current favorite litter for my own feline friends is ökocat Natural Wood Cat Litter. A natural wood-based, clumping litter that is better for my cats and for the environment, absorbs odors and clumps nicely. I also find the fresh natural wood scent to be a refreshing change from the common perfumed clay-type clumping litters.
These are just a few of the litter box tips & tricks that I have learned over the years caring for my own cats, as well as, so many of my pet sitting clients who have cats. Cats really do make such wonderful pets, especially when you can keep the litter box smelling fresh and clean.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using this link