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Cat box woes....

Last post 01-26-2010 6:53 AM by methemom. 20 replies.
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  • 10-19-2009 12:36 AM

    Cat box woes....

    I have a covered cat box that my two cats share, I scoop it in the morning and at night and anytime in between that I am home and there is a mess.  I add baking soda to it, but I just can't get rid of the odor.  I tried the multicat but the smell of the litter alone is offensive and really messed with my sinus.

    I need a tried and true system to keep my box clean and odor free, not to mention the DUST!  Yikes.  Even the cover does not seem to help much with that problem.

    If any of you cat lovers out there have a method for me, I would be ever so grateful!


    Henry Ward Beecher wrote, "It is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich."

  • 10-19-2009 12:55 AM In reply to

    • AmyC
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on 10-24-2007
    • Posts 868

    Re: Cat box woes....

     I would change brands of litter...I like the one with the orange cat on the front...I can't remember the name at the moment, It may be scoop away. 


  • 10-19-2009 1:41 AM In reply to

    Re: Cat box woes....

    I don't use a clumping litter. I use "regular" Fresh Step.

    I put baking soda in the litter box when I put fresh litter in the box.

    Scoopable litter is dusty.

    I have never used a covered litter box. Mine fits in a corner & is a triangle. I ordered mine from a catalog.

    Some cat foods make for stinky litter boxes.

  • 10-19-2009 7:51 AM In reply to

    Re: Cat box woes....

     When I change the liter, I wash the litter box with hot water using Dr Bonner peppermint soap. That gets rid of the old smell. The scent settles into the plastic so even when empty you can still smell it. A good cleaning is very important. Also we changed dry foods to B4Grain. This was due to an allergy but the reward was much less poop; The amount you feed the cat isless, they use more of the food so less poop, less smell. It is more expensive to buy but in the long run the cost is about the same cause you feed them less. I do not use the clumping litter. I think that it smells worse than normal cheap litter. Babs

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Prayer Circle
  • 10-19-2009 7:53 AM In reply to

    Re: Cat box woes....

     I agree with looking to the food first. 

    You teach people how to treat you -- Dr Phil
  • 10-19-2009 8:16 AM In reply to

    Re: Cat box woes....

     I will add that my cat only get dry food. The litter box is an open one. Never used the closed ones. Babs

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Prayer Circle
  • 10-19-2009 9:51 AM In reply to

    Re: Cat box woes....

    I think you need to look for a low-dust or "dust free" litter; these are available in both regular and clumping.

    If the smell is truly rank, you may need to go on a poo watch!  A cat could have developed worms and that's an easy 1-2 pill fix.

    Cats, as they get older usually, but sometimes with younger ones, don't drink enough, so you have to supplement their liquid with canned food.  As a cat might not be drinking, the urine is very concentrated when it's released and that will have a very strong odor. 

    If you are using dry food, you may need to switch brands.  The easiest way to switch to make a mixture of 75% current food with 25% new food and feed that to them for a few days.  Then go to a 50-50 mixture, then 25% original food with 75% new food, and then finally to all new.  Sometimes just getting it to a 50-50 is the best you can do b/c cats are finicky and will stop eating if they don't like it or know it.  I've known a few cat owners that mixed equal parts of the cat's preferred but poorer quality food with a better quality food and had decent results.  I made it a point (and still do) to switch up on my cats; it's all Iams brand but it's different flavors and stuff.  I did this when they were babies so they got used to it and will pretty much eat anything we give them... or anything they find like the tassles on my DD's bike, but that's another story altogether!

    Unfortunately you're going to have to do a lot of experimenting to figure out the true problem.  I would start with the cheapest option (probably the cat litter) and see how that works.  The next would probably be changing the food and the vets office would be last unless you think there is something seriously wrong; in that case, a vet appt is always cheapest when you catch a problem early on!

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in the General forum
  • 10-19-2009 10:26 AM In reply to

    Re: Cat box woes....

    Thank you everyone! 

    I will give the box a good dump and scrub next weekend, I think I have been a poor doer of that!

    Their poo looks fine, no worms so far. 

    I hate to take away the canned food as it seems to be something they love, but if it helps with the smell, we all have to live together!  ;-)

     Have a great day!

    Henry Ward Beecher wrote, "It is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich."

  • 10-19-2009 10:37 AM In reply to

    Re: Cat box woes....

    quality and quality food litter goes a long way!  plus reg cleaning etc.  also some cats just don't cover the poop!   I use clumping litter. 

    One thing I have found because I don't have to add litter often (cats go outside alot) that every once in a while, you have dump the whole box of litter and start fresh.   it collects odors and little leftover bits. 

    some people use shredded newspaper or the pine stuff too.

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Hobbies and Crafts
  • 10-19-2009 9:53 PM In reply to

    Re: Cat box woes....


    You can get charcoal odor-obsorbers. Arm&Hammer makes a special odor-killer, stronger than the baking soda alone. There are some good catalogue houses on the web that may have something, too.

    I agree that the smell might be related to the food. I feed mine some dry, some canned, and I have 10 litter boxes, clumping litter from WalMart. Clean them twice a day and not a smell in the apartment. So I'm sure you'll find a solution.

    One more thing - how deep is the litter? For mine, I use mortax-mixing pans from Home Depot. They're huge, and I fill them at least a good foot. The cats can really bury their stuff.

    Good luck with this!

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