We love our furry babies to bits, but it doesn’t change the fact that some things might not be so enjoyable. If you’re wondering how to get rid of the cat litter smell in your apartment, you’re probably willing to exhaust every option.
I’m not going to lie, I know just what a disaster it can be when your pet decides to “go to the bathroom.” I don’t blame her because nature calls, of course. But does she really have to do that just before my guests arrive?
I think we’ve all been in a similar situation at least once. You’re enjoying some quality time together with your friends and family when something starts to smell bad. My cat even comes out and meows at me as if to announce she’s just done her business.
Of course, she’s such a meticulous creature and needs me to tidy up her litter as soon as possible. However, when I’m in the middle of doing something important, that’s almost impossible. So in times like these, I wonder if I could at least minimize the smell coming from her litter box.
Sometimes I wish she was an outdoor cat so she can do her business outside on the grass. But why would she get her paws dirty when she has a personal cleaner in the apartment?
Is your cat being naughty?
Some felines love their pet parents so much that they leave them presents all over the apartment. Perhaps you’ve heard of this behavior before. Usually, outdoor cats will bring dead rodents and birds to the doorstep.
However, your cat’s presents are a bit different. Unfortunately, these are a bit stinkier and not any nicer to look at. Is your pet being naughty and pooping all over the place?
This particular behavior can mean more than one thing. If it’s a behavior problem, it might be some kind of a protest. For instance, felines will do their business all over the place if they want to show their dissatisfaction.
Some cats play with their poop in order to show you that there’s something wrong with their litter box. Other times, it could be a medical reason and if the behavior persists, you should seek out a vet’s advice.
Either way, it’s never the nicest case scenario when you come home from work and get a whiff of her stinky business just as you enter the door.
How to get rid of the cat litter smell in the apartment?
If you want to avoid getting into any more embarrassing situations, you need to know how to get rid of the cat litter smell in the apartment, ASAP. Let’s face it – other than being in a humiliating situation in front of your guests, no one likes to live with that stench.
However, there’s always a chance that the unpleasant smell isn’t coming straight from the litter box. Perhaps your pet has recently left you a present elsewhere and decided to stay quiet about it.
Moreover, there are some cases where you should be least worried about the smell. If your feline’s urine has a suddenly different and stronger smell than usual, she may be experiencing some medical issues. Cats’ urine is usually a good indicator of their health.
But first, you’ll need to locate the source of the smell. Sometimes it’s one exact spot that your pet keeps choosing. Other times, unfortunately, it can be a random corner in the house.
Let’s look at some simple ways to get rid of the cat litter smell in your apartment.
This one might be a bit too obvious but it can really work wonders. If you happen to find old cat poop in your apartment, it’s the best way to remove it without getting your hands dirty, especially if you aren’t able to reach it without moving your couch and other furniture.
Also, your lovely feline might leave all sorts of stains and cat hair all over the place. Over time, these will start to smell funny (but they aren’t as noticeable as the other presents she leaves for you).
Therefore, I always vacuum everything. My hardwood floors, every piece of furniture my pets occupy, as well as carpets. The vacuum picks up waste, cat hair, as well as dandruff. By doing this regularly, you can keep the stench down and eliminate the cat litter smell in your apartment.
I’d tell you now to imagine this scenario but I don’t have to, it’s reality. Your cat finishes her business in her litter, and guess what? The litter goes flying all over the apartment.
I know some people opt for a closed cat bathroom. But what should I do if I have a spoiled brat who doesn’t want to use a hooded litter box? Sure, I even bought those little mats and put them around so it won’t look like the litterbox exploded.
Honestly, I can’t say that I haven’t tried. Sometimes, cat parents have it so easy with their lovely, tidy furbabies. Other times, you’re stuck with a picky monster like I am. Therefore, I’ll probably stick to vacuuming.
2. Mop the floors
I’m sure you’ve tried this method already, but did you do it right? I’m not saying there’s only one way to mop floors. But if you want to get rid of the cat litter smell in your apartment, you’ll need to do this on a regular basis.
That said, this part always comes after vacuuming the place. The vacuum will do half the job by picking up any tiny remnants of presents your cat left you, as well as cat hair and dander. While the mop can’t really do that, it can definitely eliminate any stains that the vacuum isn’t able to erase.
However, this is something that you should be careful with. Don’t use too aggressive detergents on your floors, especially if you have a small kitten. These can be detrimental to them because they tend to lick anything and everything when they’re little.
If you have a curious cat like me, and one who doesn’t have a thought behind its eyes, you’ll resort to more gentle products and warm water. Hot water is known to eliminate germs and natural cleaning products will give out a nice scent.
3. Keep your windows open
First of all, I want to get something straight. Never leave your windows ajar if your cat’s in the room. Perhaps she’s never done it before, but what can guarantee you she won’t jump up at it now?
We know our little felines are unpredictable creatures, so I don’t recommend airing out your apartment unless your cat’s under some type of supervision or locked in another room. That’s why I put up netting on all of my windows so my kitto and I can safely air out the apartment.
There’s nothing better than breathing in the fresh air, especially in the early morning hours. If there are any stains in your apartment, this method will help you minimize the smell.
This tip alone doesn’t mean you don’t need to still find the source of this nose-pinching accident. So let’s say that airing is a good method to get rid of the cat litter smell in your apartment, but it’s also a temporary one.
4. Turn on the washer
No, I’m not saying you should put your feline in the washing machine. Well, it’s true that they like to spend time in it, but this doesn’t mean that they would appreciate you turning it on for them! What I’m referring to here is washing your stuff.
When I say stuff, I don’t mean anything specific. If you still haven’t located the source of the smell and your apartment’s starting to resemble a swamp because of it, I’d recommend washing everything you can.
Try taking your mats somewhere so they can get them thoroughly cleaned. Perhaps the cat litter smell in your apartment is coming from an old stain on the carpet that faded. Ugh, why couldn’t the smell fade out along with the color?!
Also, I’d definitely check clothes. It’s not unusual for cats to defecate on their owners’ clothes and personal belongings due to certain behavior problems or even medical issues.
I know it sounds gross but check if you have any old pieces of clothing that you left outside your wardrobe unless your pet managed to get into it.
If you’re among the small percentage of lucky cat owners and still have curtains intact, I’d also highly recommend washing those too. Perhaps at one point, your pet peed in a nearby spot, and the curtains soaked it in. You’d really be surprised by all the different case scenarios cats get themselves into.
This is a funny one too – well, for some people. My friend’s cat did her business in her shoes once. Imagine her anguish when she went to put on her new, shiny shoes. But hey, at least she found the source of the cat litter smell that she’d been searching for in her apartment for days!
5. Bathe your fluff!
This is the piece of advice that every cat parent tries to avoid. It’s simply a nightmare trying to bathe your feline because they hate water so much. They don’t even like taking a sip of it so they won’t get their paws wet. No wonder why cats shake their paws so often.
So, how on earth are you supposed to succeed in this task? If you’re an inexperienced feline owner and you’re not ready to embark on this journey yet, you might want to visit a pet groomer. It wouldn’t be really fun fighting with your pet and having scratch marks all over your arms and face.
There’s a chance that your pet didn’t leave any presents all over your apartment, but that she herself is the source of the smell. Even though cats like to keep themselves clean all the time, it’s not always possible.
Maybe her fur got intertwined with all the cat litter while she was using the bathroom. I know, it’s not an envious situation but it’s possible. If the unpleasant scent doesn’t diminish after the bath, maybe it’s time you get concerned.
Sometimes, the smell isn’t there because your cat rolled into something, and it resembles the cat litter smell. Unfortunately, your feline might be sick, or perhaps she has a skin condition that gives out a similar odor. Cats can tell when you’re sick, but can you pick up on their behavior?
If the scent remains even after a groomer’s session, it would be best to take your pet to the vet to have her examined, just in case. For such a meticulous creature, it’s nearly impossible to be dirty and smelly without a good reason.
6. Use baking soda
“Nothing’s working and I have my plate full of this already. How am I going to get rid of the cat litter smell in the apartment? I already vacuumed twice today; mopped the floors, too! I’m freezing because the window is constantly open and it’s cold outside. What should I do?”
If the smell still continues to linger around your apartment, you’re probably at your wits’ end. It can be really draining cleaning all day only for the stench to return with a vengeance. Perhaps you’ve exhausted every option you can think of and you don’t have a clue what to do next.
The guests are arriving in a few short hours and you’re starting to seriously contemplate rather taking them to a nearby restaurant. You just can’t bear the embarrassment the moment they step into the apartment and catch a whiff of such unpleasantness.
This is where baking soda might actually help out. It’s known to neutralize all sorts of scents and gradually, make them vanish. Perhaps it’s your last and only hope, so make sure you do this right.
I’d recommend putting the baking soda all over your carpets and furniture. Leave it there to sit for a couple of hours. Leaving it overnight would be the best option, but if you’re a bit tight with time, this can work as well.
After the waiting time is over, don’t wipe it off but rather vacuum it. This way, the baking soda will eliminate the smell and you won’t leave any mess around.
There’s one thing you have to be careful about, though. Your feline isn’t really keen on taking a lick of this ingredient, but you should still be on the lookout. If she decides to try it, no need to worry. On the other hand, if it’s baking soda with a strong odor, it might cause a slight risk to her health.
7. Air fresheners and air purifiers
Air fresheners can be good for a one-time thing. They’re used only to mask the current scent that’s lingering around the house. Over time, the smell will probably become stronger than the air freshener so there’s not really much these can do.
On the other hand, we have air purifiers. These might help your case with eliminating the odor more thoroughly. These machines trap the particles that may be the source of the stink in the beginning. But there’s a catch.
Unfortunately, air purifiers are more expensive than simple air fresheners. Sure, it would be a great investment for the future. So if you ever get one, make sure you put it in the room your cat spends most of her time.
You still don’t know how to get rid of the cat litter smell in the apartment? You haven’t found a way to eliminate the lingering scent? It might feel like there’s no way out, and you should just throw your stuff outside (or, at this point, in the bin!)
Hang on before you do that, though. There’s something you can try that might work well for you. Getting rid of the strong smells in your apartment might demand a lot more work than a simple vacuum and mopping of the floors. And this is where steaming comes in.
If the source of the cat litter smell in your apartment is some stubborn stains on your carpets, perhaps it’s time to bring out your secret weapon.
Getting rid of the cat litter smell in your apartment is difficult. First and foremost, you have to do some investigation all around the place to find the source of the scent.
While you do so, you hope there aren’t any gifts your pet left you while you were at work. If your feline’s a polite and meticulous one, perhaps she isn’t the one to blame.
It could possibly be an old stain that isn’t visible to the eye. No one likes to live in a smelly apartment, so it’s crucial you find out how to get rid of the cat litter smell ASAP.
If the stink persists, it’s best to rather then take your fluffball to the vet. Perhaps an underlying condition causes that scent to linger in the air.