25 Easy Litter Box Hacks For a Fresh Smelling Home

Any cat parent knows too well that our kitty companions can be stinky when they get down to business in their litter boxes. To fight our felines’ fragrant waste we’ve put together these 25 litter box hacks. They’ll have you going from peyew to woohoo!

#1 Clean and scoop daily 

Just like how we’re turned off by dirty toilets, our kitties are also not a fan of having their bathrooms soiled. The best way to keep things tidy is to scoop their waste daily. Come up with a daily routine where you scoop in the morning, midday or night. 

#2 Wash the litter box once a week 

Similar to how you clean your toilet once a week, it’s also important to clean your cat’s “toilet”! Washing their litter box a quick wash on a weekly basis is especially important if you’re not using a litter box liner.

#3 Use vinegar for sanitizing 

Vinegar is a chemical-free way to sanitize and deodorize your cat’s litter box. After rinsing out your cat’s litter box and wiping all the particles out, grab a scrubbing brush and white vinegar and vigorously scrub the whole box. Rinse again and dry before adding a liner or fresh litter. 

#4 Replace the litter completely once a week 

If you have a multi-cat household, completely changing the litter in all of their litter boxes is one of the easiest ways to combat odors. While daily scooping helps, there are still going to be small clumps of urine and fecal matter that are dispersed throughout the box. Entirely replacing the litter gets rid of these bits of waste. 

Litter box hacks

#5 Use unscented litter

While it might seem like using unscented litter is just asking for a smelly litter box, using heavily perfumed litters, especially clay clumping ones, are often loaded with chemicals that can harm your cat or even deter them from using their little box. Unscented litters, especially non-clay ones like pine or corn, have fewer dangers and are naturally odor-repelling. 

Litter box hacks

#6 Add baking soda 

Just like its natural cleaning partner vinegar, baking soda is well known for doing the heavy lifting when it comes to lifting stains and odors. You can use baking soda in combination with white vinegar to clean your cat’s litter box weekly, or you can sprinkle it directly into your cat’s litter and stir it up, so it’s evenly dispersed. 

#7 Add dried green tea leaves 

Dried green tea leaves are an organic way to deodorize your kitty’s litter! This cost-effective and chemical-free cat-safe solution to stinkiness also has antibacterial properties! Be sure you’re only using pure green tea leaves as certain herbs and essential oils are toxic to cats.

#8 Use a Litter Genie 

Litter Genies, or other tightly covered garbage bins, are a great way to store bags of your cat’s waste without stinking up your whole house. Once you’ve filled the trash bin you can easily dump it into your larger outdoor garbage pails. 

#9 Use a litter mat 

Litter mats pull double duty when it comes to handling litter box smells and messiness. They’re the first line of defense against your cat tracking stinky litter around the house and on furniture.

Litter box hacks

#10 Ventilate 

Putting your cat’s litter box in a well-ventilated area is an effective way to shield your home from the stench of their waste. The more space their litter box has from confined areas, the less likely it is to build up offensive odors. 

#11 Have extra litter boxes 

While a single litter box is just right for a single cat when you add more felines into the mix you’re going to need to up your litter box game. Ideally, in multi-cat households, you need one box for each cat with one extra. If you have two cats, that means you’d need three litter boxes. If you have four, that number rises to five. 

Litter box hacks

#12 Go for non-clumping litter 

If you’re ready to think outside the clumping clay litter box when it comes to combating the brutal ammonia stench of your cat’s urine, you’ll find many non-clumping litters that are up to the task. Often crafted from organic materials like pine chips and corn, these non-clumping litters naturally fight odor. 

#13 Use the right amount of litter 

If you’re not filling your cat’s box with enough litter, stinkiness is inevitable. Too little litter, especially typical clumping clay litter, means your cat’s waste will quickly fill it up.

#14 Get a bigger litter pan 

There are some super cute litter boxes out there, like ones that look like artificial plants that easily fit into corners, but they’re often too small and awkwardly shaped to be practical for one cat, let alone two or more. A classic wide-open rectangular litter pan without a top may not be the prettiest, but it gets the job done. 

#15 Use a heavier litter box 

Thin litter boxes made from flimsy plastic often can’t keep up with the weekly volume of your cat’s waste and are prone to moving around, leading to your cat’s waste falling outside of the litter box and litter tracking. Choosing heavier, more sturdily built litter box guards against leaks and other accidents. 

Litter box hacks

#16 Use odor eliminators

Because some essential oils in odor eliminators can pose a danger to cats, we recommend choosing candle or spray odor eliminators explicitly made for use around pets. You can also ask your veterinarian for some guidance.

#17 Get bags specifically designed for cat waste 

Bags that are specifically designed to hold your cat’s waste like Eco Leo and Planet Poop are environmentally-friend, biodegradable, and strong enough to contain the smelly odors of your cat’s waste. 

top entry litter box

#18 Use a top-entry litter box 

 High-walled, partially-lidded, and ventilated top-entry litter boxes, like the ones ModKat is famous for often have textured lid around the entry hole to trap stray litter and thick leakproof bases. 

#19 Make a cleaning bucket 

Create your own litter box cleaning bucket by gathering a well-built scooper along with a little sweeping brush and dustpan to keep the litter box and the area around it tidy and odor-free. We love Fresh Kitty’s 4-in-1 Litter Box Organizer Cleanup Kit.

#20 Use the right scoop 

Investing in a well-built and high-quality scooper is a must. Look for medium-sized ones crafted from sturdy materials with angled edges to get hard-to-reach areas and slots that let clean litter granules fall back into the box as you shovel up your cat’s waste. 

#21 Master deep cleaning

To do a full deep clean of your cat’s litter box start by emptying the box’s contents into a trash bin. Rinse the box of any remaining particles, then fill it with hot soapy water mixed up of non-toxic dish liquid with a few drops of vinegar. Let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Then, scrub it thoroughly with a cleaning brush and rinse it until cleansed of all suds. Dry it thoroughly with clean rags or paper towels before refilling. 

Litter box hacks

#22 Uncover the litter box 

Covered or hooded litter boxes may seem like they’re giving your cat “privacy” but their claustrophobic design actually magnifies the stinky smell from your cat’s waste and are challenging to properly clean. Uncovered, flat, open litter boxes don’t trap odors and are easier to clean. 

#23 Use charcoal filters 

We already know how effective charcoal filters are in purifying water in automatic cat drinking fountains. But did you know that they can also absorb odors and fight bacteria inside of your kitty’s litter box? Simply place the filter at the bottom of your cat’s litter box before refilling to enjoy all of its benefits. 

#24 Consider flushable litter 

If you want to entirely bypass bagging your kitty’s waste, you could try toilet-safe flushable litter. Especially if you scoop right after they use their litter box. However, be sure to read the instructions before flushing their waste as it could lead to a clogged toilet and plumbing issues. 

#25 Replace the litter box annually 

If your budget allows it replacing your cat’s entire litter box once a year, especially if you use a classic flat rectangular pan, is another big way you can keep your home smelling fresh. 

Key takeaways

From the ingenious idea to scatter dried green tea leaves to the how-tos when it comes to deep cleaning with these handy hacks, you can say goodbye to grimy and grungy litter boxes and forever slay the stereotype of the crazy smelly cat person. Which is your favorite? Drop us a comment and let us know!

Victoria Tomis