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Old 10-13-2011, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,232 posts, read 13,556,847 times
Reputation: 6011

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I've had cats on and off my entire life and have always had litter boxes. I've had the electric litter box thing that's got that little rake that cleans it after they potty each time. I've used clay litter, clumping litter, newspaper type litter, etc., and no matter, the box smells.

My son just had to move out of the place he was in - long story - and he can't take the two cats he has with him where he's temporarily going, so until he finds a cat friendly house again, the kitties are with us. The problem is with a house full of dogs, including my daughter's nutso dog, I have to keep the cats in a room that a friend of mine is staying in with her little boy. At least they get attention, so it's not an all together bad situation.

This past weekend my daughter found a Siamese mix under the hood of her truck when she went outside - maybe 9 months old or so. So it's here now until I can find an adopter or rescue for her. So three cats in one room. It's a big two room suite, but it's still one room. Right now we're using Arm and Hammer Multi-Cat Clumping in the litter box. My friend is very good about scooping a couple times a day. A dirty litter goes into a bag that's sealed and taken to the trash outside. But even so, the room still smells like a cat box.

Is there anything anyone can suggest? I feel horrible for my friend, now having to share a room with three cats. She's been great about it and gives them lots of attention - they sleep with her and her son and which ever dogs are in the room that are cat safe - but it's got to be rough to go in and smell that box. Now granted, my nose tends to be VERY sensitive to cat smells. It may not be as bad as I think. She hasn't mentioned it. But it's bothering me and I'm hoping that maybe I'm using the wrong litter or not cleaning it frequently enough or perhaps the food they're eating makes it worse? I don't have the money to feed them expensive food so they get the Purina One for urinary health or something like that. I run a dog rescue and we've got 14 dogs here too, so money is tight and sadly, food is where I had to cut some money.

Any suggestions?
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Old 10-13-2011, 04:46 PM
 
Location: NW Penna.
1,756 posts, read 3,042,907 times
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That is decent cat litter for odor control. The clumping litter from Aldi stores is good. As is the big orange and blue box stuff from Dollar General Stores.

But, generally, if you have pee smell it's a cat peeing someplace outside the box. Lots of people say have one more box than cats, and with three cats in there, they might be overloading the box. Or, one or more don't like the others' smells and are peeing some other place in the room.

Urine Away and Urine Out are both good products but they are the soaking kind. Put some on the surface and let it soak, is how they work, enzymes and deodorizers.
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Old 10-13-2011, 04:50 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 19,129,335 times
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is it smelling of cat urine and poop? or it it smelling of the fragrance put into commerical litter? Often when those additives get moist, they relase the fragrance to mask the waste smell and they can become overpowering. If its' the litter smell versus the cats waste smells you may want to find one with "non smelling" litter additives and see if that helps. Another unknow fact is those clumping litters absorb waste and smells, but scopping only removes the big clumps and leaves behind many smaller pieces or saturated materail that didn't clump. After a while, those can't absorb anymore and start stinking up the place. Many litter pans themself can retain urine and fecal smells. When doing a complete change, look in the pan and see if its starting to get a coating which is almost pure urine & fecal moisture hardened with the litter dust.

and to add I agree with the above about too many cats in one litter box and the possible that one isn;t using it.
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Old 10-13-2011, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Northern Illinois
2,189 posts, read 3,409,771 times
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Hi....my hubby and I have 24 cats in our home and we have LOTS of litterboxes of varying types to satisfy every personality - covered, open, large ones, and I'm here to tell you that no matter what you do or how much you clean - you are going to have some smell involved. I scoop every day (usually twice), clean the boxes regularly with hot soapy water and I replace the litter weekly. I use Fresh Step non clumping litter (we don't like the clumping kind - it tends to turn into wet cement with so many users!). I also liberally sprinkle Tidy Cat litter deodorizer in the boxes - smells good and it has baking soda in it as well. Wet food will generally make their feces smell worse, but honestly, it smells bad even with dry stuff. You may try one of the premium foods (we use IAMS in the orange bag) and see if that helps - it may reduce the amount of waste produced (I can't tell - too many cats!!). I would stay away from generic brands - it's not nutritionally good and it seems to go right through them. Plain baking soda may help absorb some of the odors and it's cheap, too. Let's face it, everything that lives and breaths makes waste and no matter what you call it - it stinks. You may find supplies cheaper at a warehouse store or Walmart, although their selection is rather limited. Also, consider having your kids chip in to help you buy supplies - since it sounds like you are helping them out, which I am sure they do appreciate. It's only fair. Good luck to you.....
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,165 posts, read 57,302,589 times
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I sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of the litter pan when I change the litter. It helps a lot. I buy it by the sack!

Three kitties using one box, though? Try at least one more box. They might not like sharing, especially with the third cat in the mix.

Good luck!
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
7,201 posts, read 11,329,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs1885 View Post
I've had cats on and off my entire life and have always had litter boxes. I've had the electric litter box thing that's got that little rake that cleans it after they potty each time. I've used clay litter, clumping litter, newspaper type litter, etc., and no matter, the box smells.
If the box smells there is urine or feces stuck to it somewhere. How clean is the "little rake?" A clean litter box that's scooped a few times a day has no odor.

Quote:
My friend is very good about scooping a couple times a day. A dirty litter goes into a bag that's sealed and taken to the trash outside. But even so, the room still smells like a cat box.
Check the bottom and sides of the litter box for stuck urine or feces. Look close. In my opinion one box isn't enough for three cats unless constantly scooped. Are one of the cats not neutered? Is the scoop she uses clean or corroded with damp or dried litter? Has funky litter been scattered behind the box?
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
7,201 posts, read 11,329,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CFoulke View Post
Hi....my hubby and I have 24 cats in our home and we have LOTS of litterboxes of varying types to satisfy every personality - covered, open, large ones, and I'm here to tell you that no matter what you do or how much you clean - you are going to have some smell involved. I scoop every day (usually twice), clean the boxes regularly with hot soapy water and I replace the litter weekly. I use Fresh Step non clumping litter (we don't like the clumping kind - it tends to turn into wet cement with so many users!).
Wet cement? If that's a problem you need more litter boxes or you need to scoop a lot more often. Clumping litter will help prevent odors like nothing else will and doesn't easily turn into a wet cement consistency. By the time you dump the non-clumping litter, there is urine in there a week old and already rancid and foul smelling. Nothing is going to overcome that nasty smell.

Quote:
I also liberally sprinkle Tidy Cat litter deodorizer in the boxes - smells good and it has baking soda in it as well. Wet food will generally make their feces smell worse, but honestly, it smells bad even with dry stuff. You may try one of the premium foods (we use IAMS in the orange bag) and see if that helps - it may reduce the amount of waste produced (I can't tell - too many cats!!).
Has IAMS removed all the grain fillers from their foods? The last time I looked it was more fit for herbivores than obligate carnivores.

Quote:
Good luck to you.....
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:50 PM
 
5,703 posts, read 15,489,422 times
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I find that keeping a litter box too long increases the smell. Its like the smell gets imbedded into the plastic. I buy new ones. We have our boxes in the furnace room. As much as I change the litter and put in air fresheners it always smells in there. The joys of owning cats.
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
7,201 posts, read 11,329,811 times
Reputation: 5357
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacificFlights View Post
Another unknow fact is those clumping litters absorb waste and smells, but scopping only removes the big clumps and leaves behind many smaller pieces or saturated materail that didn't clump. After a while, those can't absorb anymore and start stinking up the place. Many litter pans themself can retain urine and fecal smells. When doing a complete change, look in the pan and see if its starting to get a coating which is almost pure urine & fecal moisture hardened with the litter dust.
and to add I agree with the above about too many cats in one litter box and the possible that one isn;t using it.
The better clumping litters leave very little of those bits you mention. When I see them I scoop them out also. The cheaper brands are great for bits falling off the large clumps. We've had brands that hardly stuck together.

We rotate the large litter "totes" so each gets a good scrubbing on a regular basis. There are no cat smells in our home. For 24 cats, they would need, according to cat experts, 25 litter boxes. That's not practical so 12 large litter boxes such as those large totes or cememnt mixing pans would work for them. But a non clumping litter will always stink after a few days because the urine becomes bacteria ridden and foul. One of the reasons some cats stop using their litter pans and who can blame them?
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Old 10-14-2011, 04:38 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 19,688,069 times
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Boxes here don't smell like anything but the cat litter scent (not always the most pleasing but better than the alternative). I have one cat and two boxes, but she really only uses the one except on rare occasion. I do get an odor sometimes because she's getting lazy about burying the feces, but it's not that pervasive, lingering odor of "cat" that I'm thinking of when you describe the original situation. I know what that smells like, and I've never had that in this house.

The cat litter I use is Tidy Cats Small Spaces. They changed the scent recently too to a less appealing one, and it's kinda dusty, but I've been using this now for several years after various other tries, and it's the best I've ever used at keeping down the odor. The upstairs box is in a really conspicuous place (no better place to put it) and doesn't smell.

I've never used an automatic box though. Not sure if that is part of the problem. Also with 3 cats in there now I'm sure at least 2 boxes would make a difference.
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