How to Keep a Clean Home When You Have a Cat

Most people love a house with a pet in it. A few sets of little paws running around can make everyone feel at home. However, they also bring with them some other concerns. A big one is the smell. When you’re having visitors that have pets allergies, it can be a worry. Many pet owners don’t realize that their pets bring quite a distinctive smell to their homes. You can end wondering if your cat stinks.

While having a house that shows the evidence of a pet living there is likely to happen, a cat doesn’t have to take over the entire house. A smell of a pet doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Equally, you don’t need to spend every waking moment cleaning and freshening. Having a pet doesn’t have to increase your cleaning duties by a major amount. It is possible to have a cat and not have to spend a long time cleaning.

If you’re wondering if your cat smells, they likely smell like a pet. It is unavoidable that pets have a smell to them. Even with frequent washes, our pets are still going to smell like pets. So, the main objective should be to minimize the effect of this on your home. If you’re worried about cat smells overwhelming everything else, then you should take steps to minimize the impact of your pet, rather than trying to keep your clean pet smelling like roses. Keeping your house smelling good despite a pet starts quite predictably with their litter box.

Does My Cat Stink? – Litter Boxes

A cat that smells bad might be adding to the scent in a house, but a lot of this is likely down to their toilet habits. Cats are unlike dogs in this respect, a dog shouldn’t be leaving a scent all over their house unless they’re still being toilet trained or if they have ended up litter trained as well. However, a cat uses a litter box. This is a festering box of smells that comes with having a cat. However, there are steps you can take to minimize the smell.

Cleaning the Litter Box

The first step to keeping your house free from the smell of litter is to change it regularly. Your cat’s litter box doesn’t have to be emptied every single day, but you need to take care of the major messes.  This varies on the type of litter that you use.

Irrelevant of the litter though, staying on top of cat litter can do a lot to help with the smell of cats. You should clean out any messes in the litter box more often to keep the smell to a limit. This will take care of the smell, and save you some litter. Doing more small cleans should enable you to only change your cat’s litter fully once or twice a week.

Obviously, sometimes you need to change it more often. If your cat has had a bad stomach or a health condition, then more frequent changes are going to be necessary.

Types of Litter

Different types of cat litter can help you cut down on the smell! Each has its pros and cons but these are the main types to consider.

  • Clumping Clay – This is a bentonite cat litter than forms into clumps when used. This makes it easier to get out the user the litter. However, it is non-biodegradable and quite dusty.
  • Non-Clumping Clay – This is also made out of clay, but it won’t clump. This makes it harder to scoop out all of the offending used litter. This type will need a full empty more often.
  • Corn Based Litter – Corn litter is another type that clumps making removal easily. However, the main problem with this is a cat’s grooming routine. Most cats end up intaking a small amount of their litter each day while grooming. Corn isn’t the best thing for cats to eat, so this litter isn’t a great choice.
  • Silica Gel Crystals – This type of littler is made of gel beads. It keeps smells at bay very well. It is also absorbent and dust-free. This type of litter is more expensive than others but it is pretty good at controlling any potential cat stink.
  • Recycled Paper – This type of litter is made from recycling paper that has been formed into pellets. It doesn’t do a great job at hiding smells, but it is quite eco-friendly.
  • Pine – This is made from pine and then treated to make it safe for cats. It has a natural scent which does a good job of hiding the smell from your cat. This type of litter will mask smells well, but it will be difficult to clean. The litter pellets crumble easily. While it does clump to a degree, you will have to change the entire box out more often.

Which Litter is For You?

Unfortunately, not all of those litter types are accessible to everyone. Some cats can become picky about their litter. This means not every cat is going to use your preferred type of litter. If you have a picky cat, then you might be stuck with a type of litter that is less than ideal for controlling smells. Luckily though, there is more you can do.

Other objects around the litter box can help you out with the smell too. If you’re struggling to use a type of litter that controls smell, there are some options.

Does My Cat Stink

Activated Charcoal

Active charcoal is used in various places around homes for its absorbent nature. It can trap smells and prevent them from moving around your house. In the case of cat litter, this can be a big help. To use it, you need to have the activated charcoal close to the litter box. A lot of people use activated charcoal bags to get this done. This keeps the charcoal in a safe place and allows it to do its job in soaking up all of the scents that come from having a cat.

Scented Sticks

Scented sticks that have been soaked in a fragrant liquid can be really helpful for reducing the smell of cat litter. Having these around your cat’s litter box will help to reduce the smell that comes from it. This is a lot more cost-effective than spraying some air freshener whenever you’re close to the litter box.

Using the Right Litter Box

As well as placing good smelling items around the litter box and changing it regularly, you can cut down on smells by using the right type of litter box. As with the type of litter, you’re going to be limited here by your cat’s preference. Not every cat likes every type of litter box. However, if your cat seems okay with a different type of litter box then switching might be helpful for cutting down on smells.

Covered litter boxes provide much more containment for the smell of the litter box. This will do an awful lot to get rid of the smell. Open boxes allow the smell to spread easier, a covered box is going to make a big difference.

Keeping on Top of Hair

Does My Cat Stink

If you’re attempting to keep a house that doesn’t look like it is the property of a messy cat, then hair is going to be a major factor. Most cats will shed hair. While the amount depends on the breed of cat that you have, it is going to be a major concern.

While cat hair itself doesn’t tend to smell, it is usually quite visible. The smell of a cat isn’t your only problem in a home, another is making it appear that someone other than a cat lives here. This can become a problem when everything is coated in their fur.

You can use lint rollers on furniture to remove excessive build-ups or hair. A pet-centric hoover can also be great at lifting off all of that pet hair that has accumulated.

However, the best thing to do is get at the fur at its source. A Furminator is a tool that helps you cut down on the hair that comes off of your cat. Brushing them with it removes any loose strands. Using this on your pet will take care of the hair that is due to come off of them. If you use a tool like this regularly enough, you should be able to keep things relatively free from cat hair without having to constantly hoover and use lint rollers.

Air Fresheners and Purifiers for Cats

Air Fresheners are usually pretty ineffective. Most people think of them as aerosols that briefly spread a smell, only to be overwhelmed by the pet smell within an hour. These aerosols are pretty wasteful, and not particularly effective. However, there are alternative pet air fresheners out there that can help without having to be sprayed non-stop.

These come in a variety of forms, but these are some of the best ways to cut down on pet smells.


Air Purifiers

Miniature air purifiers have been designed to deal with lingering pet smells in the air. These are considerably more efficient than full-scale air purifiers. They can cut down on the nastily smells that come along with a cat without having a constant hum running.

Charcoal Bags

Charcoal bags might be helpful for dealing with the smell of cat litter, but they work anywhere. These bags can help to soak up the smells in any room of the house. Having a few on hand to deal with the areas your cat spends the most time in can make a big difference

Pet Stain and Odour Sprays

These sprays aren’t going to be used every day, but they’re effective for one-off messes. Rather than relying on normal cleaning chemicals, these substances are formulated to remove stains and smells that are specifically caused by pets.

Can You Have A Home That Doesn’t Smell of Pets?

Does My Cat Stink?

Cats will cause a few unwanted smells and messes in any home. This is just part of the trade-off for the love and companionship of having a pet around. However, it doesn’t have to take over your home. By using some of these tips and tricks, you should be able to cut down on the smell of pets without having to do too much extra work. A cat deodorizer, the right cat litter, and using a tool to remove shedding will make a big difference without much of a time commitment. This way, you can have a home that is welcoming to your pets and visitors without letting them overwhelm your house.

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