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Natural Remedies for Litter Box Odor

A stinky litter box can be an embarrassing problem. Even if you scoop your litter box daily, a fresh “deposit” from your kitty can send unpleasant aromas back into the air.  If you’re wondering how to remedy the problem in a pet-safe, nontoxic way, consider the following solutions.

Natural remedies that work well

Special scented, pet-safe, soy and beeswax candles can be purchased online and even in many veterinary offices.  Some even contain an enzyme that helps to cleanse the air. After you clean the litter box, lighting one for an hour a day can help remove any smells that may still be lingering in the air.

If you have a chronically malodorous litter box, the litter itself could be to blame, too.  Some clay litters do a good job absorbing liquid but not always the smells. Others are heavily laden with perfumes, which only cover the odor with an even stronger scent.  Consider switching to a pine, walnut, corn, or paper litter instead. Not only are they recycled and environmentally friendly, but they have subtle and natural scent.  

Natural remedies that won’t work

Essential oils may seem like a safe bet at first.  They are derived from plant extracts, and they have a pleasant fragrance.  However, cats can’t break down essential oils in their bodies. If they ingest, inhale, or absorb these oils through their skin, it could lead to fatal poisoning.  It’s best not to use an essential oil diffuser in your home with cats. If you have a question about a cleaning product that uses essential oils, show the ingredient list to your vet.

What’s more, you may not have considered an air purifier to be a “natural” product at first, but their most basic components are a fan, a pre-filter made with activated charcoal, and a HEPA filter made from glass strands.  Many people place air purifiers near litter boxes with hopes of controlling the odor. While it’s true that the air purifier may catch airborne cat litter particles, thereby reducing the smell a little bit, most household models aren’t designed to capture the ammonia and urea that causes the odor in the first place.

Are you worried about your litter boxes’ odor level reaching extreme heights while you’re out of town?  Hire a pet sitter! Our sitters will diligently scoop the litter box every single day. Drop us a line to be paired with one today!


Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

Image by Yuyu Pang from Pixabay.


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