The aroma of a feline-friendly house is unappealing to guests and visitors. So, taking action to prevent a house smelling of cat body odor, urine, and poop is essential. Regardless of what pet owners think, cats do create a distinct smell in their home. But cat scents can be easily nullified.
You’ll need to display constant vigilance around your cat’s litter box. Most of the smells associated with cat homes arise from feline waste. If such action doesn’t help, consider whether it’s your cat themselves that are creating the odor. A foul-smelling feline is often a cat that needs medical help.
- 1 Why Does My House Smell Like Cats?
- 2 How to Get Rid of Cat Odor in the Air
- 3 How to Mask the Smell of a Cat’s Litter Box
- 4 How to Get Rid of Cat Urine Odor in the House
- 5 My House Smells Like Cat Poop
- 6 Do Cats Smell?
- 7 How Often Should I Wash Blankets and Cat Beds?
Why Does My House Smell Like Cats?
Their litter tray will leave an aroma behind, as will any urine spraying and marking.
Also, cats shed their fur. How much your cat sheds depends on their breed. Whichever feline family your pet belongs to they’ll leave traces of themselves everywhere.
Everything your cat rubs themselves against will inherit their aroma. Your cat is marking these items with their scent. This means that you need to be extremely vigilant about cleaning.
Regular vacuuming is critical if you live with cats. Invest in a pet-specific vacuum, and use it twice a day. Suck up all traces of cat fur, and any spilled litter. Tackle all soft furnishings too, including curtains. This will go a long way to clearing the general smell of cats.
Don’t forget that your clothes will smell of your pets. You’ll need to stay on top of your laundry cycle. Whenever possible, also wash any blankets and cushions that your cat gravitates toward.
Of course, this only half the battle when masking the scent of cats in the home. You’ll also need to keep the air fresh.
How to Get Rid of Cat Odor in the Air
Air fresheners are essential. The smell of your pets will permeate every room in your home.
Ensure that fresh air circulates your home. It’s not always safe to leave windows open. In such instances, leave the air conditioning running. If this is not an option, use freestanding fans.
In addition to sharing the scents around the home, mask the smells where possible. Sprays can be powerful, and are not always pet-safe. Static purifiers are preferred.
If you decide to use an air purifier, pick a scent that’s unappealing to cats. Citrus is usually a failsafe for this. It’s just a matter of safety.
Felines are curious, and they may climb and investigate an air purifier. If it’s made of glass, your cat could knock it off a shelf and hurt themselves.
A purifier that smells unpleasant will deter cats.
How to Mask the Smell of a Cat’s Litter Box
The most common culprit of strong smells is their litter box. This must be cleaned regularly.
Golden rules for avoiding strong, pungent smells from a cat’s litter box include:
- Keep the box in a sizable, well-ventilated room. An enclosed space will magnify the stench.
- Scoop the litter at least once a day. Ideally, do so every time your cat uses the litter box. If you use a clumping litter, it will be obvious where your cat has eliminated.
- Completely change the litter at least twice a week. While you’re doing this, clean the litter box itself. Don’t use strong-smelling chemicals for this, as they will deter your cat. Dish soap should be sufficient.
- Before applying litter to a box, sprinkle a layer of baking soda or dry tea leaves. As Apartment Therapy explains, these absorb and mask the scents of your cat’s waste.
Eventually, you’ll need to replace your pet’s litter box. Cats scratch the floor after pooping. Cats also scratch and dog at their litter box. This will create grooves that bad smells sink into.
You should also avoid the use of scented litter. This will theoretically mask the smell of waste. However, it may also deter your cat from using the box in the first place.
Some pet owners also like to use a covered litter box to trap the smells within the box. Some cats also enjoy the privacy that such a litter box provides.
However, not all cats take to covered litter boxes. A cat feels very vulnerable while they eliminate. In a covered litter box, they cannot see any potential threats coming.
Offer your cat a variety of litter boxes in different locations. Yes, this means more cleaning and work for you. It’s better than risking your cat eliminating outside a litter box, though.
How to Get Rid of Cat Urine Odor in the House
Cat urine carries a strong smell of ammonia. This can be problematic, as the aroma of ammonia is far from pleasant.
To prevent your home from smelling like cat pee, be strict about cleaning your pet’s litter box. You’ll also need to ensure that your cat is not peeing elsewhere, though.
Remember that cats use urine to mark their territory. If your cat has not been spayed or neutered, this is especially likely. If you don’t plan to breed your pet, get them fixed. As the ASPCA explains, this provides many health benefits.
If you spot urine in the house, clean it up using absorbent paper towels. An enzymatic cleaner is also essential. This will break down the chemicals found in the urine. This means that the smell will no longer be an issue.
If you prefer a homemade approach, mix white vinegar with water. A ratio of three-to-one in favor of vinegar will be most impactful. Pour this into a spray bottle, and apply directly to the stain.
My House Smells Like Cat Poop
Arguably only that smells stronger than cat urine is cat poop. Feline feces has a distinct aroma, and it’s not a pleasant one.
If you are vigilantly cleaning your pet’s litter box, check your home for signs of elimination. Your cat may be pooping elsewhere.
If you find that your cat is eliminating outside their litter box, discover why. Is your cat stressed or anxious? This behavior is common in such felines. Get your cat back into a strict routine, and consider more litter box training.
Your cat may also be confused. It’s possible that another part of the house contains a smell that encourages elimination. Thoroughly clean the area with an enzymatic cleaner.
Also, investigate whether your cat cannot access their litter box. If you have an older, arthritic feline, they’ll need a litter box with low sides. They will be unable to lift their leg high enough to climb into a conventional tray.
If your cat isn’t eliminating outside their litter box, ensure the smell doesn’t come from them. Longhaired cats may find that fecal matter clings to their fur.
Senior and obese cats struggle to clean themselves after pooping, due to lack of flexibility. You’ll need to lend a hand. Get some wet wipes, and give your cat a thorough cleansing.
Ensure that your cat’s eliminations are healthy. Felines can be prone to stomach upsets. If your cat has diarrhea, it could be due to dietary sensitivity.
Offer bland food, such as boiled rice and chicken broth, for a day or two. If this does not settle your cat’s stomach, see a vet. Chronic diarrhea can be dangerous for cats, leaving them at risk of dehydration.
Do Cats Smell?
As a rule, cat body odor isn’t something that bothers pet owners. This doesn’t mean that their pet doesn’t stink, though. Love is blind, and it also impacts upon the nose.
Cats have a natural and unmistakable body odor, just like humans. If we fail to shower for a few days, people start to notice. The same goes for cats, but they handle it differently.
Rather than hopping into a bath or shower, cats continuously groom themselves. They’re not just being vain, though. Cats keep themselves clean as a matter of survival.
Felines hunt by scent. They pick up the smell in the air, and act accordingly. As with all predators, cats also have the mentality of prey.
Quite understandably, a cat worries that if they can smell prey, predators can smell them. Cats are born hunters, but they’re far from the top of the food chain. This is why you’ll notice that feral cats are always meticulously groomed.
If your cat smells far from fresh, there will be something wrong. A feline will never let their standards of hygiene drop without good reason. What’s more, the smell of a cat can fill a home.
My Cats Smells Bad
Fans of the sitcom Friends will be familiar with the song Smelly Cat. That ditty may have been a device for comedy, but the lyrics still ring true. If a cat smells terrible, it isn’t their fault.
If there is a distinct and unwelcome aroma emitting from your cat, see your vet. Allow us to stress – a cat is not normal.
However, what’s equally important is understanding why your cat smells. There are various potential explanations, as PetMD explains.
- Bad breath is common in cats with dental troubles. A cat with a toothache will be in pain.
- Smelly skin is usually a result of a skin condition. This may be a temporary flare-up due to an allergy.
- Stinky ears suggest that your cat has an ear infection. You can treat this at home. However, there may be an underlying medical explanation for the ailment.
- Foul-smelling fur is concerning. Cats do not stop grooming themselves unless they’re sick. Get to the bottom of the issue as quickly as possible.
Remember, a cat will never smell by choice. If they had their way, your cat would remain completely undetectable by scent 24/7.
Cats cannot physically tell us when they are feeling unwell. Also, the physical signs are sometimes tough to detect. A foul smell is a key giveaway.
If you hold your breath every time your cat passes, get them to a healthcare professional. It will make your home smell much more appealing, and potentially save your pet’s life.
Should I Wash My Cat So That They Don’t Smell Bad?
Baths are the natural enemies of cats. Many felines will fiercely resist any attempts to wash them.
This is not usually a problem as most cats will take care of their cleaning needs through grooming. Senior cats are likely to struggle due to physical limitations.
You may need to help clean an old cat’s fur. If any feline needs a helping hand to avoid smelling, several options are available.
Wet wipes are the easiest way to clean a cat without bathing. Baby wipes will usually be safe, as these should be unscented.
Alternatively, check your local pet store for cat-specific products. The most important thing is that the wipes are devoid of perfumes and alcohol.
You can use wet wipes to clean your cat regularly. Let your cat sniff them, to grow used to the idea. From there, you can incorporate wet wipes into your cat’s routine. Massage and pet your cat, and apply the wipes as appropriate.
Another way to clean your cat is by investing in a dry shampoo. Any reputable pet store will have these in stock.
Dry shampoo is simple to use. It will be released as foam, which can be massaged into your cat’s fur. From there, it can be brushed out.
Never underestimate the impact that aiding with grooming will have on your cat. A wide-toothed comb or brush will help your pet redistribute oils throughout their fur.
Grooming your cat by hand will also have other advantages. It affords the opportunity to check and clean your cat’s ears and mouth. It also minimizes shedding.
If your cat must be bathed, trim their nails first. Your pet will resist the activity every step of the way.
You can then fill a sink or bathtub with warm (not hot) water, and place your cat inside. Gently massage a cat-safe shampoo into your cat’s fur, and rinse it off.
You must use a cat-specific shampoo for this. Felines and humans have a very different skin pH. This means that human shampoo will damage a cat’s skin.
Cat bathing should always be considered a last resort, however. Your pet will prefer to take care of their own needs. If they’re unable to do so, professional help and advice are advisable.
How Often Should I Wash Blankets and Cat Beds?
Cleaning your cat’s belongings can be a tough balancing act. On the one hand, felines will always gravitate to something with a familiar scent. On the other, if left too long, your cat’s bed can make an entire house smell.
Ideally, a cat’s bed should be just as clean as your own. This means that you should wash your pet’s bed and blankets at least once a week. Just follow the instructions on a label.
If your cat has a bathroom accident or vomits in their bed, it should be washed immediately. It’s always worth having a back up for this reason.
Some cats seem to lose interest in a bed when it’s been washed. Pet owners are often concerned that this is because the blankets no longer smell welcoming.
The most common explanation for this is that you have used a scented laundry detergent. Avoid this when washing your pet’s belongings. A neutral-scented bed and blankets will encourage your cat to add their own aroma.
If your cat remains reluctant to use their bed, toss an item of clothing in there. This can be alternated every day to avoid bad smells. The presence of your scent will be appealing enough to your pet.
Overall, you will find that a clean bed suits all parties. Your cat is likelier to sleep in it, and it will not stink out your home.
A feline-friendly home will have an unmistakable aroma. It’s best to step up your cleaning regime. Just because you no longer notice the smell, it doesn’t mean that it’s not there.
Freshen the air in your home, vacuum regularly, and be vigilant about cleaning your cat’s litter tray. This makes your home more welcoming to visitors and protects the value of your property.