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Litter Box Odor

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  • Litter Box Odor

    Does anyone have tips on dealing with strong urine smells in the litterbox? I've had one cat for 11 years, the other one for 5 years, and suddenly this has become an issue. I took older cat to vet, he is healthy. No signs of any infection in either cat. I replaced the boxes, scrubbed the floors, etc. and it improved temporarily but within a couple days of cleaning box it comes back. I'm getting frustrated!

  • #2
    How often do you scoop? For me, its 2-3x/day with 2 (now, sadly, one *sniff*). I just cant stand the smell of anything in the box. plus I have (had) 3 boxes....just went to 2 for solo kitty.

    If you're scooping a few times a day and it still smells, you might try switching litters and/or dumping the whole box after a couple of days, though I'd suspect an inferior litter not doing its job absorbing urine.

    Have you changed foods recently?

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    • #3
      What are you feeding?
      ______________________________
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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      • #4
        Are you using a clumping litter? I use Fresh Step and don't have litter box odor even when DD "forgets" to clean the boxes. She's supposed to do it daily. We have 4 cats and 4 boxes.
        I'm a second hand Vegan. Cows eat grass. I eat cows.

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        • #5
          Did you have either cat tested for diabetes? The most common symptoms are a strong urine smell, excessive urination, and consuming a lot of water.

          If you are cleaning the litter box(es) regularly, like several times a day, there shouldn't be much of an odor. If this problem came on only recently, then I'd be looking at some sort of health issue as the cause.
          Surgeon General warns: "drinking every time Trump lies during the debate could result in acute alcohol poisoning."

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          • #6
            We are now up to seven indoor/outdoor cats and three boxes. Get clumping litter. Don't get the Armand hammer stuff, it just stinks like perfume instead of absorbing the odor. We're too cheap to buy the Fresh step but my mom uses it (which is where I got my experience with clumping litter and loved the stuff), and TSC has a store brand that works well enough.
            When I use the regular litter I have added a layer of baking soda underneath and with only the two it worked for quite a while, but with seven . . .
            Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
            Incredible Invisible

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks everyone! Cats are eating Purina One. Diet hasn't changed recently. I use TidyCat clumpiing litter. I'll try Fresh Step if its better at odor control. I'm pretty sure vet tested older cat for diabetes when he was there. My younger cat hardly drinks any water and I wouldn't say they are peeing excessively. I really can't scoop more than once a day as I have to leave for work around 6 am.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by caryledee View Post
                I'm pretty sure vet tested older cat for diabetes when he was there. My younger cat hardly drinks any water and I wouldn't say they are peeing excessively. I really can't scoop more than once a day as I have to leave for work around 6 am.
                The cat would have to have been fasting before the test. Unless the vet kept the cat overnight, it's doubtful he/she tested for diabetes.

                Sometimes it's not how often they pee, but how much.
                Surgeon General warns: "drinking every time Trump lies during the debate could result in acute alcohol poisoning."

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                • #9
                  Fresh Step is what I use - it has carbon in it, which really does help cut down on the urine odor. I still scoop twice a day (2 cats, 2 boxes).

                  Sometimes the cats that don't drink a lot end up with highly concentrated urine with a stronger smell.

                  I solved that problem by getting one of those cat fountains (Drinkwell is the brand, found at PetSmart, Fosters & Smith, etc). The cats are always drinking now - the difference is amazing.

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by tarynls View Post
                    Fresh Step is what I use - it has carbon in it, which really does help cut down on the urine odor. I still scoop twice a day (2 cats, 2 boxes).

                    Sometimes the cats that don't drink a lot end up with highly concentrated urine with a stronger smell.

                    I solved that problem by getting one of those cat fountains (Drinkwell is the brand, found at PetSmart, Fosters & Smith, etc). The cats are always drinking now - the difference is amazing.
                    That's a good point with the higher concentration of urine. I absolutely never see this cat drink. The fountain would be an easy thing to try. I can see it becoming a main source of entertainment for them though.

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Go Fish View Post
                      The cat would have to have been fasting before the test. Unless the vet kept the cat overnight, it's doubtful he/she tested for diabetes.

                      Sometimes it's not how often they pee, but how much.
                      No, I guess she didn't test him then. I guess I need to keep that in mind. I hope that isn't what the problem is. We had a poodle that developed diabetes. Do cats have to get insulin shots?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        wood pellets

                        I use wood pellets for litter and it never smells. More biodegradable also.
                        And really economical.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Once the fountain is in place for a few days, the novelty of playing with it goes away

                          Yes, if cats are diabetic, they do require insulin shots. We had one that was on a schedule of twice-daily meals + injections.

                          Usually diabetic cats will drink a lot of water (and urinate a lot). If the diabetes is uncontrolled, you can sometimes smell a sort of sweet acetone smell on their breath.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I use Arm & Hammer Double Duty clumping litter - works well on "both" smells. I have one cat and scoop 1-2x per day. The box is in the laundry room just off the kitchen and I only smell "fresh" poops. Once its covered, not smell.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I tried Tidy Cat once to try to save some $$.

                              Wow was it a mistake LOL Bad clumping and almost no odor control.

                              Now I mostly use Boots and Barkley (Target) and A&H, and both work well, I just get whichever is cheaper at the time. That's B&B unless the A&H is on sale.

                              You might also consider changing to food. It's very easy for the Purina One to have changed and you didn't know it. Try Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul - not that much different from the PO, more reliable formula, and should result in less solid waste at the very least.

                              This is, of course, after making sure the kitty is healthy and not, as suggested, potentially developing some issue like diabetes.
                              ______________________________
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                              • #16
                                We used to have bad litter box odors no matter which litter we used (some were less effective than others). Once we changed the cats from Purina One to Blue Buffalo grain free cat food the litter box odors all but went away. We have found that the most effective brand for odor control is Fresh Step Clumping litter. All other brands were given to my husband for use in the garage.
                                "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

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                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Thanks everyone! Going to make some changes and hopefully take care of things!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by bellboots View Post
                                    I use Arm & Hammer Double Duty clumping litter - works well on "both" smells. I have one cat and scoop 1-2x per day. The box is in the laundry room just off the kitchen and I only smell "fresh" poops. Once its covered, not smell.
                                    Ditto the Double Duty version of A&H... it is about the best I've ever used.
                                    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

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                                    • #19
                                      At the risk of sounding like a commercial;

                                      I was an Arm and Hammer girl until I tried Fresh Step multi cat with carbon.

                                      That's where I go now.

                                      Paula (two male cats).
                                      He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by tarynls View Post
                                        Once the fountain is in place for a few days, the novelty of playing with it goes away
                                        Not for my boy kitty! I dump ice cubes in the fountain every morning, and every morning he is SO excited to splash around (and ultimately drink.) My other cat is normal and just uses the fountain for drinking, not fighting the water demons.

                                        I echo the other posters about the Arm & Hammer double duty. It's definitely much better than previous A&H, and was even strong enough to mask my friend's cat's previously room-clearing, atomic "stinkies." They were using Fresh Step before that.

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