Cats are wonderful pets as many cat owners will attest. However, the pet odors associated with cats often create havoc in many households. It is quite possible to enjoy cat ownership and eliminate pet odors associated with cats if you possess the skills and remain diligent in your efforts.
Cat lovers list many qualities that make them absolutely love the cats in their lives. They also list a few detriments to cat ownership as well. Unlike canine counterparts, feline pets are generally housed entirely indoors and with that close cohabitation comes all of the odors, fur and the required litter boxes. In multi cat households there are even more opportunities for creating the dreaded “cat smell”. It is quite possible to eliminate the odor associated with cats if you possess the skills and remain diligent in your efforts.
Keep those litter boxes clean. Cat urine odors are absolutely horrible, but are not impossible to eliminate. Keeping the litter boxes clean involves much more than simple scooping of waste—although multiple daily cleanings are helpful. Cat owners need to also completely sanitize the litter box a few times per month as well with an enzymatic pet stain and odor remover. If you are able to use litter pan liners, those certainly help—but, the plastic composite of litter boxes is a notorious odor absorbent material and sanitizing it will help keep those stale odors from lingering. If you just can’t get your pet to stop going outside the litter box, read our article entitled When Your Cat Won’t Use the Litter Box.
Think outside the litter box. As cat owners know, litter box filler does not always stay inside the box—the area outside the box gets quite a bit of thrown and tracked litter. There is certainly the potential that any stray litter was not “clean” as well. Thoroughly vacuum the area daily and frequently spot clean around each household litter box with an enzymatic cleaner specifically formulated for pet waste odors.
Keep kitty groomed. Most cats perform ritualistic, if not compulsive, grooming acts frequently. However, some cats do not. Larger cats or those of long-haired breeding often have more difficulty with self grooming. Daily brushing helps these cats significantly. It helps prevent matted fur and body oil build-up or skin irritation. If your cat has difficulty removing his body oils, as some cats do, you may need to learn to bathe him periodically. No, cats generally do not enjoy baths, but, just as in humans, oils do create odors and you owe it to your home environment to put the extra effort into cleaning kitty if he is not up to the task.
Stay up to date on veterinarian visits. If your kitty is urinating outside the litter box or has a less than pleasing odor, there may be an underlying medical condition causing the problem. Urinary tract, bladder and kidney issues are quite common—especially in long-haired, male cats. Skin irritations from excessive body oils are also common and can become stinky, especially if scratching has led to an infection. Ensuring that your cat is healthy is not only a quality of a responsible pet owner, but will reduce or eliminate many cat related household odors as well.
Become meticulous with housekeeping. Cats are quite unlike their canine counterparts. Cats nap where the mood strikes—and not always in the same location. If a good beam of sunlight breaks through, a new napping place is born. Pay attention to spots where the cats frequent and plan to clean those more often. However, to totally eliminate pet odor regularly, you will need to be more willing to clean the entire house more often including under beds, behind furniture and in any other dark, hidden, cat friendly hiding place. Rather than cleaning the carpet twice a year, you may need to clean every 2-3 months. Clean upholstery frequently as well. If your cats choose to nap on bedding or sofa pillows, those may need weekly cleanings with enzymatic cleaners.
Terminate kitty vomit odors too. Pet urine and body oils are not your cat’s only odor creators. Cat owners are familiar with frequent kitty vomit and hairball elimination. Be sure to clean these accidents with enzymatic cleaners or a high quality pet odor remover rather than simple stain removers. Stain removers alone may diminish the stain, but will likely not remove the associated odor.
You love your cat and you love your home. With a little extra cleaning effort, you can wipe out those cat odors and live happily ever after.