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One of the biggest pains of every cat owner is keeping a clean home while having cats at the same time. Especially if there is a highly demanding job involved or a whole family is living in the same home too.
For example, my friend who has two kids really likes cats and wants to have one but she simply can’t manage the additional workload, so despite her kids begging for a pet, she doesn’t allow them to have one.
So organizing yourself well and sticking to a schedule is very important if you don’t want to wake up one day and realize that your home looks as if a bomb fell right in the middle of it.
Kinda like mine is right now and I am going crazy from thinking of the huge amount of cleaning that I need to do and I simply can’t unglue myself from the monitor. Of course, I could hire someone to clean it for me but I hate strangers coming into my home even if it is a cleaning lady.
So to avoid a total mess here are some truly helpful tips on how to maintain a clean and fresh-smelling home with cats:
Regular Litter Box Cleaning
The litter box is the main source of bad odor in your home so you really need to clean it regularly.
This regularly depends a lot on where you keep the litter box: mine is on the balcony so I scoop it every 2-3 days but in summer in hot weather, it requires even more often scooping.
I have brought home another blind kitten (not quite willingly, leaving it behind meant certain death for it and it meowed so loud that I could not get the sound out of my head), its box is for the time being in my hallway and this I clean every day several times a day.
I fully replace the litter once a week and I use wet wipes to clean it completely before pouring the new litter.
Now please remember this is something you can not procrastinate on. Cats are very clean animals and if the litter box becomes too dirty for them you will experience some very odd behaviour from your cat. It may even start going to the toilet outside of a dirty litter box.
My rule is that I never miss cleaning the litter box, even if everything else is a mess. Don’t make your life harder than it should be and be very regular with cleaning the litter box. It is that super important.
Using good quality litter can make a huge difference, I prefer to use silicone litter like this one, it holds odors fantastically and lasts a long time.
Use a litter box liner: This can help to make cleaning up easier and can also help to trap odors.
I open my windows and circulate fresh air in my apartment several times a day. First of all, it is good to bring in fresh oxygen for the brain and second, it clears bad smells fast. I always turn on the air conditioning fan too to shorten the time.
What I have noticed is that my 2 cats love it when I get fresh air from outside, they immediately wake up from their nap and start running around and playing.
Even if you have an air conditioner or air purifier I would still recommend getting fresh oxygen from opening your windows, even in wintertime.
Air Fresheners and Purifiers
As I see things using air fresheners is controversial, as I have read some horror stories on Facebook where people have bought air fresheners and their cat has died several days later from it! The one I am referring to is electrical, you plug it in for it to start working.
But my question is: can you trust that the chemical inside the air freshener is truly pet-safe even if it is marked as such? I wouldn’t risk it, so I am not recommending using air fresheners but just wanted to include it here as an option.
What I do use is an air purifier, and I especially recommend those with HEPA filters, they can be very efficient in removing pet odors from the air:
I absolutely can’t imagine surviving winter time in my town without an air purifier. I can really feel the difference when I breathe, so if you wonder if they help I can assure you from my personal experience that they make a big difference in the air at home.
If there is a particular activity that I hate doing while cleaning my home it is vacuuming. I find it incredibly boring, even if I listen to music or some YouTube lessons. Sometimes it takes days for me to make myself even touch the vacuumer. I will get myself a robotic vacuum cleaner, I should have done it a long time ago but there is always something else that needs to be done and I forget.
Of course, it is a no-brainer to know that if you want to have a clean home, vacuuming is absolutely necessary. This is particularly true for vacuuming carpets and furniture where cat hair and odors can linger.
Having one of these robot vacuums can make your life so much easier and enjoyable, just run it and keep doing your thing while it works for you.
When I get it, I will feel like a boss lady at home, with all my gadgets working for me 🙂
If your home starts smelling like cat urine or generally “catish”, sprinkle baking soda on carpets and upholstery, let it sit for a bit, then vacuum it up. Baking soda is a natural odor absorber.
Washable Pet Bedding
When you are buying a cat tree, a cat bed or generally anything a cat can sleep in, there should be removable, washable parts for easy detachment and cleaning.
For example, my cat tree does not have removable bedding but as with almost everything in my home, I use additional covers like blankets, and I cover the top shelf with a cute mini cat blanket that is so easy to wash and dry.
These mini cat blankets with paws are so cute, I love them! Very practical too, easy to wash and easy to dry, just get them – you won’t regret it.
Regular grooming of cats is not only essential for their health but also plays a significant role in maintaining a fresh-smelling home.
By brushing and combing your cat regularly, these oils are evenly distributed across their coat, keeping their fur looking shiny and smelling clean. This routine also removes loose fur and dander, which are common culprits for pet-related odors in the home.
Additionally, grooming sessions can include ear cleaning and nail trimming, which further contribute to reducing any unwanted smells.
Bathing your cat, though not frequently required, can be beneficial in some cases, especially if your cat gets into something particularly smelly or dirty.
Regular litter box cleaning, combined with grooming, ensures that any odors associated with your cat are minimized, thus maintaining a fresher and more pleasant atmosphere in your home.
My cat is an indoor cat so I just groom her in the shedding seasons, the rest I leave it up to her. She is white as snow, my little beauty, so she does a great job in maintaining herself in clean condition.
Clean Cat Toys and Accessories
You should regularly wash and disinfect cat toys, dishes, and other accessories.
As I am a bit lazy (is being busy a valid enough excuse?) I use plastic dishes which I throw away after several meals, and as far as cat toys I am constantly buying new ones, so the old ones go in a bag next to the trash containers, so maybe someone is re-using them for their own pet…
Clean up Spills and Accidents Immediately
Don’t let any accidents sit around, as they will quickly start to smell!
Use enzymatic cleaners in any areas where your cat has had accidents. Here is how they help with odors:
- Enzymes: These are protein molecules that act like tiny biological scissors, specifically targeting and breaking down odor-causing organic matter. Think of them as “eating” the mess that produces the stink.
- Organic Targets: Enzymatic cleaners focus on organic materials like pet accidents, sweat, food spills, and grease. These are the prime culprits behind nasty odors in your home.
- Neutralization: Once the enzymes break down the organic matter, the odor-causing molecules are neutralized or transformed into something odorless. Think of it as cutting the stench at its source, not just covering it with fragrance.
Charcoal Air Purifying Bags
Place charcoal air purifying bags around your home; they are great for absorbing odors.
Grow Odor-Absorbing Plants
Some plants, such as peace lilies and snake plants, are known for their ability to remove toxins and odors from the air. Place a few of these plants in your home to help keep it smelling fresh.
Keep the Cat’s Diet Consistent
A consistent, high-quality diet can reduce the odor of your cat’s waste.
Periodically steam clean carpets and furniture to deep clean and remove embedded odors.
If you don’t own a steam cleaner you can just hire a cleaning agency to provide this service for you. As this is an activity that is done maybe once a year it is very convenient to have it done for you.
Clean Feeding Area
Keep the area where your cat eats clean and free of leftover food.
My cat used to always have dry food in the bowl, dry food does not smell so this is good in terms of odors, but now with the new kitten, it is impossible for cat food to be leftover so I am perfectly good on this point 🙂
Use a Litter Box Enclosure
A litter box enclosure can help contain odors, as well as litter scatter.
I just recently had an experience with a closed or open litter box and let me tell you: get from the very start an enclosed litter box.
For an apartment there isn’t another option, check what happened to me: I first bought an open litter box, basically a plastic tray, I thought it was a small kitten so it would serve it well. But even with a small kitten, she was spreading the sand all over the place with its little paws and it was just a mess all around the open tray. So it is maybe even worse with a new kitten as it still doesn’t know how to properly use it and even burry its stuff. So I had to go and buy another closed litter box. Just learn from my mistakes and get yourself a proper closed litter box from the very beginning.
The above enclosed litter box is just perfect for any home, you can put inside it any kind of litter box and it will look so stylish. Comes in various colors and can even be used for sitting. I think it is a very elegant solution for a litter box in an apartment, both in terms of aesthetic and practical point of view.
Regularly Clean Hard Floors
Mop hard floors regularly with a pet-safe cleaning solution.
Scented Candles or Wax Melts
Use pet-safe scented candles or wax melts to add a pleasant aroma to your home.
Replace Filters Regularly
Change the filters in your air conditioning system regularly to keep air circulating and reduce odors. This is also an easy maintenance as you only call a service to replace them for you. I aim to replace mine at least every 2 years.
In my opinion, this is very important for your health so don’t skip this activity.
Designate a Grooming Area
Have a specific area for grooming your cat to contain hair and dander, if you don’t want them flying all over your home and it’s easier for cleaning after the grooming session.
In my building downstairs there is a service for grooming dogs so in case you have multiple pets I think hiring help to groom some of your pets is a very good solution. You don’t waste your time and it is done by professionals. I only wish it was a salon for grooming cats 🙂
Invest in Odor-Resistant Furnishings
Consider furniture and materials that are less likely to absorb odors.
Regularly Wash Throw Rugs and Blankets
Wash any throw rugs or blankets that your cat uses frequently. You can also use a fabric refresher spray on furniture and other surfaces.
You should also wash your carpets once a year. My cat is generally well-behaved but cats are still animals and they act based on their instincts. So when it wants to throw up it doesn’t care if it will mess up the carpet or not. Or their paws in the litter still carry specs of sand/dirt on the carpet.
If your cat is an outdoor cat then washing your carpets is absolutely necessary. And really it is nothing hard: just call a service, and they come to your home take the carpets, wash them and bring them to you. The easiest home cleaning!
High humidity levels in your home can amplify cat odors. This occurs because water vapor in the air traps odor molecules, allowing them to linger for longer periods and become more noticeable. The result can be an intensification of typical feline scents, ranging from the litter box to natural muskiness.
If you live in an area with high humidity getting a dehumidifier can be a highly effective solution. It will significantly reduce the humidity content in the air which will lead to reduced pet smells, making your home more pleasant for both human and feline residents.
Importantly, dehumidification has additional benefits beyond odor control, as it helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew, contributing to a healthier indoor environment. Therefore, implementing a dehumidifier in your home with high humidity levels offers a practical and beneficial solution for both odor reduction and overall well-being.
DIY Odor Eliminators
Create DIY sprays with water, baking soda, and lemon or essential oils that are safe for cats.
Random life update: anyway I just wanted to tell you that having a handicapped kitten (you can see it has no eyes) only means you love it MORE, here it is with me in the local coffee bar with my friend who is just as crazy about animals as me (God does connect you with people that are exactly on your frequency):