Help – my cat’s litter tray is smelly! How to keep it fresh

Think all cat litter smells bad?

Think again. It’s a myth that having a cat means you’ll need to put up with a smelly home. Or that you’ll need expensive air fresheners to cover unwanted odours.

If you take care to choose the correct litter for your needs, use it properly and look out for any other reasons for malodour, there’s no reason why your home can’t be a happy, healthy environment for both you and your cat.

The type of cat litter you choose can make all the difference when it comes to malodour.

Not all litters are equal

Some litters are smellier than others. Basic wood cat litter and paper-based litters can be cheaper than those made with clay, but usually don’t clump or manage odours as effectively. The fibres absorb cat urine but most are likely to stay wet. This is a perfect environment for bacteria to multiply and odours to worsen if the litter is not replaced often. Manufacturers may use added ingredients or alternative manufacturing processes to try and remedy these problems.

Silica cat litters are more absorbent than paper. The material they are made of is commonly used for protecting shoes and electronics from moisture and humidity. However, it’s important only to choose high quality silica litters made with ingredients that are specially formulated to be safe for cats. Also, if the crystals are not comfortable for your cat’s paws, they may choose to go elsewhere.

Ever Clean litters are made with superior bentonite clay, which our rigorous laboratory tests have found to be the best cat litter material and the most absorbent. It’s a soft, natural material with superior odour control that is gentle on paws and won’t leave any unhygienic liquid in the tray. We can help you choose the right kind of cat litter for you and your cat.

After you’ve removed unpleasant odours, bring some more pleasing smells to your home.

Good scents

Whether to choose a scented or unscented cat litter is completely down to you and your cat.

Some people prefer lightly fragranced litter or cat litter freshener to cover any odours created while the litter tray is in use. This can make the home a more pleasant environment. All our Ever Clean scented litters are safe for cats.

Others may be more sensitive to odours and decide that an unscented litter is best for them. There are also some cats that prefer only to use litters without scent. That’s not to say you can’t also use your own natural air fresheners nearby – such as natural oils or even fragranced plants. As always, do check that anything you bring into your home is not harmful to cats.

If unwanted smells persist, go back to basics to make the cat litter as effective as possible.

Use your tray right

For many people, the cause of unwanted odours around the litter tray may be that the tray isn’t filled properly or changed often enough.

Cats need plenty of litter in the tray to allow them to dig and move around – just as they would outside. We recommend filling your litter tray to a depth of around 7cm. Any less isn’t best for your cat. It can also cause unwelcome smells as the litter won’t be able to clump properly and liquid may collect on the base of the tray.

It’s also important not to overfill the tray as your cat may dig too much and spread the litter outside of the tray onto nearby soft furnishings.

Always clean the litter tray after it’s completely emptied. This also applies to self-cleaning litter trays. You’ll help remove smells and keep everything hygienic and healthy for your feline friend.

Ever Clean is a clumping clay cat litter, which means you won’t have to change it as often as other types of litter –you simply scoop out the tight clumps every day or so. Whichever litter you choose, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent odours. With a paper-based litter, this may mean a complete change of litter every time the tray is soiled.

With a little thought, your home can be the perfect environment for both you and your cat.

Can’t find the smell?

If you’ve chosen a good quality cat litter and are changing it often, but malodours continue to persist, there are a few other things to consider.

Does litter keep finding its way out of the tray? It may be that your cat is tracking it around your home in their paws and spreading odours. Some opt for a cat litter mat to catch any litter around the tray. Aim for a mat that is comfortable for your cat’s paws, yet also hygienic.

Alternatively, you may decide to switch to a litter with larger granules designed for this purpose.

Some cats’ aim leaves a lot to be desired. If you’ve got a high-flyer that sprays out of the litter tray when they go, you may want to consider trying a litter tray with higher sides. Just make sure your cat won’t have any problems skipping in and out – some may spill their litter onto the floor when jumping out of the tray.

A sudden change in smell from your litter tray can be a sign of cat health problems such as kidney disease or a urinary tract infection. It’s always worth speaking to your vet if you have any concerns at all about your cat.

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