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When you have a cat and you live in a small apartment, cat litter smell can become quite a problem, in fact, it can be such a problem that you absolutely need to find a solution as fast as possible.
I know what a cat litter smell can do to your brain – it is unbearable torture: you simply can’t enjoy anything and I’ve had moments when I wasn’t even able to work!
If this is happening in the summertime then this should be an urgent priority on your to-do list.
So what can you do to get rid of the cat litter smell in a small apartment?
As I myself live in a small apartment I can tell you from my experience how to handle this problem. I can tell you exactly what I did to eliminate cat litter odor and it worked very successfully for me.
Where You Keep The Litter Box Is Crucial
So first of all, the cat litter box position in a small apartment is of great significance. It is actually always important when you have an indoor cat, but this is even more important when the space is small and both you and your cat share it so close to each other.
I have found my perfect spot for a cat litter box in my small apartment, check my process of trial and error.
What I would never do is to keep the litter box in my main living area of the apartment, this, of course, depends on the space organization but if possible at all please try to separate the litter box from your main dwelling space. Even with the cleanest litter box when your cat goes for its job it is going to smell, so put it somewhere far from you.
The Cat Litter Matters – A Lot
The second most important thing: the type of litter that you use. This was my mistake in the beginning: as a new cat owner, I thought I was using the best possible litter in my area. And as it happens by coincidence one day I bought a new type of cat litter – and my life changed, that is how much cat litter matters.
So now I use only one type of cat litter and I would never change it as long as I have money to buy it and it is available in stores: it’s a crystal cat litter.
The reason I love it so much is that it simply doesn’t smell! It is truly amazing how good those crystals trap the odor and once trapped they stay trapped. I literally can’t smell that I haver a litter box on my balcony even in summer. Now you may think that since it is on my balcony I shouldn’t smell it anyway but this is not the case: with my past litters there were days where I couldn’t stand the smell.
Now what I would suggest is you try this crystal cat litter, I am absolutely convinced that once you try how good it is you’ll never look back (so to speak 🙂 ):
Crystal Cat Litter For Small Apartment
I want to keep it short and sweet so I will give a few benefits of this great cat litter:
- it absorbs odor wonderfully
- very light
- easy to scoop
- easy to clean
- lasts a long time
- no dust at all
- very little to no tracking
In case you find this cat litter too expensive I suggest sprinkling baking soda in the litter box with whatever cat litter you are using. Baking soda is great at removing the smell of urine. It is made from sodium bicarbonate that does a great job of soaking up odors.
Clean The Litter Box Regularly
Ok, this is obvious so I am not going to spend time explaining this part, but if you notice a smell coming from the litter box you should make an effort to clean it (more) regularly.
Regularly here means whatever time period is good for you, some clean it even daily, I must admit I am a bit too lazy for that, but if that is what it takes to get rid of unpleasant litter box odor then definitely do it.
I deep clean my cat’s litter box once a week, this means I completely remove the sand, wipe the bottom with wet wipes and put in fresh new sand (silica gel sand as I’ve mentioned above).
Change the Litter Box Once a Year
What I have found out that has helped a lot with eliminating the cat litter odor in my small space is that the litter box itself, no matter how clean you keep it, over time it receives a cat odor and it gets harder and harder to get rid of this smell. This is because the plastic itself can be scratched when your cat digs the sand and in the crevices dirt accumulates over time, which leaves a bad smell.
So I advise getting a new litter box once a year (unless it is a very expensive one, like those self-cleaning litter robots).
If you are not as lazy as I am, or you don’t have the budget, you can try some cleaning products and soak the box in them for a while, in hope to get out the odor of the plastic.
For me personally, this is too much hassle, so I prefer to simply buy a new cat litter box once a year. And it feels really good, instantly all the cleaning is much faster and easier, not to mention the shiny new color and the excitement of using a brand new product. And in the end, it is not that expensive, there are litter boxes in all price ranges.
In my lifetime I have once bought a litter box that had a carbon filter on the top. In my case, it didn’t help much though, but it is good to know that there is a possibility of getting a litter box with a carbon filter, it may serve as an additional helper in removing cat litter smell in a small space.
And finally, let me mention that litter box style matters! It can make quite a difference in how much the smell escapes. What I would suggest as the best litter box for masking cat odor is a top entry litter box. Besides reducing the smells of a cat’s business, and it will also reduce the amount of tracking from the litter.
Let me stop for a moment at this point and say this: if you follow these 4 simple rules from above your small apartment will have no problems with cat litter odor. They are simple but very effective and quite enough on their own.
Watch Your Cat’s Diet
Since cats are meat eaters this means that when they go for number 2 it can smell pretty bad. Cat owners have noticed that a change in their food can significantly reduce the poop smell.
Some cats can be intolerant to certain types of food so this is up to you to test this as each cat is an individual with specific characteristics.
Basically, make sure your cat eats good quality food with all the ingredients included that are vital for its health.
Or if you don’t have much time for tracking this correlation, you can try the other methods mentioned here.
Level It Up
Here are a few additional things that you can use to reduce litter smell in the apartment:
- What I have found to be actually very efficient is a simple ventilator. Whenever my cat goes for its business and I start smelling it I turn on my very plain, non-fancy, old-fashioned ventilator, and in 5 minutes the room has fresh air and no smell at all! I could not live without it even though I have an air conditioner: my good old vent is irreplaceable when it comes to fast cleaning the air.
- If you like your litter box and you have no intention of changing it soon you can add one of these bamboo activated charcoal bags in the area. They are filled with a natural ingredient, charcoal, that is healthy to be used around pets as well as babies. The bags work by absorbing the odor and the absorption power depends on the distance you place them from the odor source, so the closer to the litter box the better. They can last up to 2 years, you just need to refresh them under the sun for 2 hours every month.
- A much better option is to add some additional helpers for neutralizing cat litter smell and make your home smell as fresh as possible. What I have on my mind is that you can use an air purifier for litter box smell. When choosing an air purifier you should choose an air purifier with a carbon filter that will help absorb odors from cats.
This is how I spend most of my time working with my cat Puffy on my feet warming me 🙂