As fun as owning a cat can be, the number one issue that many cat owners face are foul odors that cats can sometimes leave behind. Cats are generally very clean animals, and if there’s any bad smell in your home, it’s most likely because of something you’re not doing, rather than something that the cats are. The number one cause of bad smells in a home with cats is the litter box, while other causes are a bit more complex. We’ll cover the most common causes as well as those that are less likely. Here’s what you need to know.
You need to scoop out any feces from cat litter twice a day, or as many times as your cat goes. Cat urine is often well-absorbed by high-quality litter. Some owners may opt for lower quality kinds to save up on money, but they only end up using more to cover up the smell. One of the best kinds that trap foul smells is silica litter, but it’s a little on the pricey side. Some cats may also be allergic to silica, so consult your vet before you make a purchase.
The safest kind of litter you can buy and the most efficient in trapping foul smells is pine wood pellet litter. It comes with a huge amount, so it’s very budget-friendly, and it traps smells almost immediately. Make sure you purchase pet-friendly pellets because the process of production differs from pellets sold at your convenience store. The latter can be toxic to cats.
Your cat’s litter box is another major factor of efficiently trapping smells. If you have an open-lid litter box, this can introduce bad smells to the bathroom, or wherever you keep the box. Litter boxes with lids and a cat door are much better at keeping foul smells at bay. But if you’re feeling fancy, opt for automatic self-cleaning boxes. You can read this detailed review if you’re unsure how these work. Many individuals don’t have the time to scoop out cat poop multiple times a day, and this is where automatic boxes come in handy, so they surely give you a bang for your buck.
If you have recently moved, or if your cat has been under a lot of stress lately for any reason, this can be a cause for cats to urinate and defecate outside their litter boxes. This is a common feline way of marking territories, and it is also common when you introduce a new pet to your home. Never yell at or punish a cat for urinating outside the litter box, because this will only encourage more bad behavior. Cats cannot be disciplined; they can only be made to adapt to new changes.
If you’ve recently relocated, or if you’ve introduced a new fur baby to your house, make sure to make your cat feel at home. You can do this by buying it toys and designating a whole area for the cat. The area where it eats its food is also an important part of the territory, so always separate food bowls and scratching posts if you have multiple pets.
If you have a male cat, you need to neuter it for many reasons. For one, it will make them far less aggressive with you and with other animals that may be in your home. Male cats are extraterritorial if they aren’t neutered, and they tend to spray on walls and other surfaces to mark their territory and to invite female cats for mating. Neutering your cat will prevent it from spraying, and will also make it less prone to misbehaving.
Newborn kittens that have been separated from their mothers at a very early age have not been given enough time to learn basic cat behavior, such as cleanliness and hunting. If you have recently adopted a kitten and it refuses to use the litter box, this is only because it has no idea that it could. Watch your kitten and wait for it to go. When you see that the kitten is about to urinate or defecate, pick it up by the scuff and take it to the litter box. Do this several times, and make sure that the litter box is where the kitten can see it.
Otherwise, if your kitten always smells bad, you’ll just have to wait it out. As cats grow up, they grow more flexible and become better at bathing themselves. Never bathe a kitten more than once every month, as this could make it prone to catching the cat flu, which can be very dangerous to young cats.
Cats are incredibly clean creatures by nature, and any signs of misbehavior must be tackled by removing the cause, rather than attempting to discipline the cat. Animals have a fascinating ability to adapt to surrounding conditions, which need to be tailored to their liking. Invest in a better litter box, higher quality litter and removing any causes of stress, and you’ll see results immediately.