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How to Make Your House Not Smell Like Cat

Having a cat at home is all fun and games – except for the unwelcome smell that sometimes hangs around. Did you know cat odors can be tougher to eliminate due to proteins found in their urine?

In this blog post, we’ll share effective strategies for vanquishing those tough stinks, and helpful tips on how to make your house not smell so much like your feline friend. Interested in minimizing pet odors in your home asap? Let’s get to it!

A cat playing with a fish bowl

Causes of Cat Odor in the House

Cat odor in the house can be caused by various factors, including inadequate cat litter box maintenance, cat urine and marking, as well as cat dander and shedding. Let’s take a closer look at a few of these causes.

Cat Urine and Marking

Cat urine is one of the leading contributors to a strong pet odor in your home. The residue left behind by cat pee, particularly when not cleaned up immediately, can leave a lingering smell that’s difficult to get rid of.

And it’s even worse on hardwood floors or sofa cushions, as this can lead to trapped odors and unwanted smells.

Marking behavior only amplifies this issue. Certain cats prefer to mark their territory with small amounts of urine, resulting in numerous spots around your house being hit with these foul feline smells.

Both male and unspayed female cats are known for marking behaviors which often increase during mating season or periods of stress, exacerbating the problem further within your pet’s stuff and living spaces.

A cat napping on a chair

Cat Dander and Shedding

Cat dander and shedding can contribute significantly to your house smelling like your cat. This happens because tiny particles of skin and fur get released into the environment every day, when your furry friends groom themselves or rub against surfaces such as sofas or curtains.

Their presence in high amounts can result in a persistent pet odor that permeates your home.

Thankfully, frequent grooming not only minimizes pet odors but also reduces allergens in the air by removing loose hair before it hits the furniture, carpets, or hardwood floors.

Tips for Eliminating Cat Odor

In this section, we’ll explore some simple tips and tricks you can use to prevent cat odor from accumulating.

Regularly Clean the Litter Box

Keeping your house smelling fresh and free of cat odor is primarily dependent on maintaining cleanliness in your cat’s litter box. It’s advisable to scoop the litter box daily, making sure to remove any clumps or solid waste. Once scooped, it’s important to dispose of the waste outside of your home in a sealed bag or bin to keep any lingering odors at bay.

To ensure the most effective cleanliness, completely replacing the litter on a regular basis is crucial. Typically, this should be done every one to two weeks, although the frequency may depend on the number of cats you have and their usage of the box.

When replacing the litter, it’s good practice to wash the litter box thoroughly using mild soap and water. Remember to dry it completely before pouring in the fresh litter. To make this cleaning process easier and more efficient, consider using litter liners or pan liners. These can prevent odor buildup in the litter box itself.

A cat playing with a cardboard box

Use Odor-Neutralizing Products

To combat cat odor in your home, using odor-neutralizing products can be a game-changer. These specially designed products work by breaking cat urine odors down and eliminating the odors rather than just masking them.

Look for enzymatic cleaners or air neutralizers that are specifically formulated to target pet odors. They contain enzymes that break down the organic compounds found in urine or marking, effectively getting rid of the source of the smell.

Ensure Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation is an essential factor in eliminating cat odor from your house. Good airflow helps to remove any lingering smells and keep the air fresh. Make sure to open windows regularly to let in fresh air and allow unpleasant odors to escape.

You can also use fans or install a ventilation system that circulates the air, effectively reducing any foul feline smells. By ensuring proper ventilation, you can enjoy a clean-smelling home free from unwanted pet odors.

Regularly Vacuum and Clean

Maintaining a house free from cat odors extends beyond just taking care of the litter box; it necessitates a regular vacuuming and cleaning routine. A high-quality vacuum cleaner, specifically designed to tackle pet hair, is a worthwhile investment. Make sure to regularly vacuum all surfaces, which includes not just floors, but also carpets, rugs, furniture, and curtains.

Certain areas in your house may require extra attention – specifically, the ones your cat frequents or where they shed the most fur. To make cleaning these areas easier, consider investing in a handheld vacuum or an attachment that can navigate upholstery and hard-to-reach places with ease.

It’s essential to empty the vacuum canister or change the bag frequently to prevent trapped odors from making a comeback. For an added punch of freshness, consider sprinkling baking soda on carpets before vacuuming. This natural deodorizer can significantly help in minimizing odors.

Soft surfaces like furniture or bedding can sometimes trap stubborn odors. In such cases, use enzymatic cleaners, which are specifically formulated to eliminate pet odors, to keep your furnishings fresh. Additionally, ensure that removable fabric items such as pillow covers, cushion covers, and blankets are washed regularly to keep them odor-free.

Use Air Purifiers

To combat lingering cat odors in your home, consider using air purifiers. These devices work by trapping and neutralizing pet dander, hair, and other airborne particles that contribute to unpleasant cat smells everywhere.

Look for air purifiers with HEPA filters as they are specifically designed to capture tiny particles like pet allergens. Place the air purifier in areas where your cat spends the most time or where odors tend to be concentrated.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Cat Odor

Aside from keeping your home clean, there are several preventive steps you can take to minimize cat odor. Let’s take a look at some of the most useful.

Spay or Neuter Your Cat

Spaying or neutering your cat is not only important for their overall health and wellbeing, but it can also help in reducing and preventing unwanted cat odor in your house. When cats are spayed or neutered, it helps to decrease certain behaviors that contribute to strong odors such as spraying and marking territory.

By eliminating these behaviors, you can significantly reduce the unpleasant smell that can linger in your home. Spaying or neutering also helps to control hormone levels, which can minimize urine odors.

A gray cat on a white cushion

Provide Multiple Litter Boxes

Ensuring your house doesn’t smell like a cat involves strategic litter box placement. A crucial part of maintaining a fresh-smelling home is having multiple litter boxes, especially when you have more than one cat. Here’s why:

Cats are inherently territorial creatures. By providing them with multiple litter boxes, you allow them to have their very own designated space for waste elimination. This personalized space becomes even more essential if you live in a multi-cat household. Each cat should have access to their own litter box to prevent competition or anxiety that might arise from using a shared facility.

Having multiple litter boxes isn’t just beneficial for your cats’ mental wellbeing but also helps maintain cleanliness. With only one litter box, the chances of accidents increase if the box is occupied or if it becomes dirty faster than it can be cleaned. Multiple boxes, on the other hand, help ensure that there’s always a clean and unoccupied space available for your cats to use.

Placing these litter boxes in various areas around your home also serves a dual purpose. Not only does it offer your cats options based on their preference, but it also helps in spreading out and mitigating any potential odors. This distributed arrangement ensures that one specific area of your home doesn’t bear the brunt of the cat smell. By following this multi-box strategy, you can ensure a cleaner, fresher smelling home for both you and your kitties.

Regular Grooming

An integral aspect of maintaining a fresh-smelling, cat odor-free home is regular grooming. Here’s how you can make this part of your routine to ensure a clean and pleasant living environment:

Incorporate regular brushing into your pet care routine to eliminate loose fur and dander from your cat’s coat. This routine not only minimizes shedding but also curtails the spread of allergens and unwanted odors throughout your home.

Cleaning your cat’s fur and paws with damp wipes or pet-safe grooming sprays can go a long way towards maintaining freshness. These grooming tools help clear away dirt, debris, or urine that could otherwise lead to unpleasant smells.

Regular nail trimming is equally important. Cats, when scratching surfaces, can release pheromones, creating a persistent odor in your home. By keeping their nails short, you limit their ability to scratch and leave scent marks behind.

Wash Cat Bedding Regularly

Keeping your house free from persistent cat odors necessitates regular washing of your cat’s bedding. The following strategies can help ensure that your feline friend’s bedding remains fresh and clean:

When choosing a detergent for your cat’s bedding, go for a mild and fragrance-free soap. This choice can help avoid any potential irritation or adverse reactions that stronger detergents might cause. Opt for a soap specifically designed for pet bedding or consider a hypoallergenic laundry soap for a gentler approach.

Observing the care instructions on the bedding label is critical. Different materials have unique washing requirements; while some may necessitate delicate or cold water cycles, others might withstand regular machine washing. By adhering to these instructions, you ensure the longevity of the bedding material.

Before you put the bedding in the washing machine, take a moment to brush off any loose fur. This simple pre-wash step can prevent hair buildup in your washing machine and ensure a more thorough cleaning process.

Key Takeaways

  • Regularly clean the litter box to prevent cat odor from accumulating.
  • Use odor-neutralizing products and air purifiers with HEPA filters to eliminate lingering pet odors.
  • Ensure proper ventilation by opening windows and using fans or a ventilation system.
  • Regularly vacuum, clean, and use natural deodorizers like baking soda to remove cat hair, dander, and odor from surfaces.
  • Spay or neuter your cat to reduce urine marking and unwanted odors.
  • Provide multiple litter boxes in different areas of the house for proper elimination behavior.
  • Regularly groom your cat to minimize shedding and dander buildup.
  • Wash cat bedding regularly to prevent odors from lingering. Avoid using scented candles or air fresheners as they may mask the smell but not eliminate it completely.


In this blog post, we’ve seen how maintaining a clean and fresh-smelling home with cats is possible by following a few simple tips. Regular litter box maintenance, using odor-neutralizing products, ensuring proper ventilation, and regularly cleaning and vacuuming are key to eliminating cat odors.

Additionally, taking preventive measures like spaying or neutering your cat, providing multiple litter boxes, regular grooming, and washing cat bedding frequently can help keep your house smelling fresh and free from that distinct cat smell. So give these a try today – and give that cat smell in your home the old heave ho!