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Stinky cat litter

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#1 Riotproof

Posted 20 January 2020 - 06:56 AM

So, for the last couple of weeks, the cat litter is really quite stinky. It’s not just poo, though for a few days that was awful, but also urine with quite an astringent. I have refreshed the whole thing and it seems to make no difference.

I wonder if it’s because he’s not drinking enough water? Food has not changed. We have had lots of issues with ants getting in his food and water, but I think the baits have finally sorted that out.

Thoughts, tia?

#2 Bono25

Posted 20 January 2020 - 07:30 AM

Maybe try a different litter? I found this awesome one that's made of walnut shells.  Doesn't smell and lasts forever. Not cheap though.  Or, a vet visit to check to see if there's anything else going on.  Is he weeing more than normal? Could be a UTI?

#3 Riotproof

Posted 20 January 2020 - 07:38 AM

I don’t think he is weeing more frequently.

I’m using the same litter too, the crystal ones. I liked how it seemed to absorb the odours.

#4 Romeo Void

Posted 20 January 2020 - 08:30 AM

Is your pet older? My cat had kidney problems and his pee started smelling way worse.

#5 Riotproof

Posted 20 January 2020 - 08:35 AM

No, he’s only 18 months or so.

#6 cardamom

Posted 20 January 2020 - 08:42 AM

Has the weather been hot?

I find that in warmer weather the smell of urine in the litter box is very strong.

I'm not sure whether it's because the cats are a little dehydrated so their urine is stronger-smelling, or if the hot weather evaporates off the water and makes the smell more concentrated, but it's definitely a thing for us here.

We use paper litter but the same was true when we used crystals.

#7 *Spikey*

Posted 20 January 2020 - 08:42 AM

Do you wash the litter tray with soap and water when you change the litter?

If it's plastic, you might need a new one if the smell has been absorbed into the plastic.

But, if this is recent there are two possible causes.

1. He has stopped covering up his business, so more of it is exposed and therefore, it smells 'more'. This would be a 'change the litter' arrangement response.

2. The composition of his wee has changed. This is something worth consulting a vet about. It could be a UTI, it could be crystals in the Urinary tract, it could be a different kind of infection altogether.

If it were that bad, I'd be doing a vet check JIC.

#8 #notallcats

Posted 20 January 2020 - 08:44 AM

Is he fixed?  Have there been other cats hanging around?  He might be letting off a 'keep away' urine smell.


Are you removing it straight away?  I find it gets stronger the longer it's left.

Not enough water would make a difference too though.

#9 Riotproof

Posted 20 January 2020 - 09:00 AM

It has been hot.

Spikey, no I haven’t been using soap. I generally rinse it out and leave it out in the sun to dry for a bit then wipe it out, but there hasn’t been sun the last couple of times. I’ll try that.

He is covering it up and I do remove solid straight away. He actually bangs on the laundry cupboard to let me know he’s done his business, so if I’m home it’s pretty much instantly. Haha.

#10 *Spikey*

Posted 20 January 2020 - 10:00 AM

Oh that is cute - instant service, lol.

Oh, also a thin layer of bicarb on the bottom before you add the litter might help - it absorbs smells.

#11 Kreme

Posted 20 January 2020 - 10:12 AM

I usually stick some disinfectant into the litter trays, fill them up with water and leave for an hour or so to soak, then wipe out with paper towels.

I find the wee smell much more obnoxious than the poo. If it’s dehydration what about trying one of those cat drinking fountains I’ve seen advertised. Apparently they prefer drinking from running water.  One of mine loves drinking from the tap while I’m filling up their water bowl.

We’ve had problems with ants too. I keep the water in a separate place to the food (nearby but not right next to) to minimise the chance of any food ending up in there because they won’t drink if the water isn’t clean.

ETA: on advice from a vet friend I switched to OzPet litter. So much better at absorbing smells than anything else I’ve used!

Edited by Kreme, 20 January 2020 - 10:16 AM.

#12 Jingleflea

Posted 20 January 2020 - 10:41 AM

I use the wood pellet litter they used at the RSPCA where I got my kitten.

The stuff is amazing at not smelling! Even better than the paper pellets I used for 20  years.
One 5l bag lasts 3 weeks if I scoop each poo.

#13 More cheese Gromit

Posted 20 January 2020 - 11:43 AM

I use the pine pellets too, with a sifting litter tray.

Just scoop out solids, lift the tray up and shake and any used litter his disintegrated and falls through to the bottom tray which is then emptied

I’ve had cats all my life and this system is brilliant

I got my sifting litter tray from Kmart for $15

Edited by More cheese Gromit, 20 January 2020 - 11:44 AM.

#14 jovana

Posted 20 January 2020 - 12:01 PM

They do get more smelly in summer.
I empty ours completely every 10 days or so and give it a good scrub with White king, air out and refill with new litter.

#15 Jingleflea

Posted 20 January 2020 - 01:38 PM

I do mine weekly, on bin night.

I used to put it on the garden but I read it actually attracts cats to the yard and I'd rather not have random cats visiting.

#16 *holdontight*

Posted 20 January 2020 - 05:54 PM

Our cat was disgusting through the hot period! now that it's cooled off it's settled down again.

#17 imme

Posted 20 January 2020 - 06:33 PM

Not sure about the recent change thing, other than perhaps dehydration... but as an aside we changed our trays and litter to the OzPet system and it's brilliant.  With 4 indoor cats it's just so, so much better than anything else we've used... well worth the initial cost of set up!

#18 Riotproof

Posted 12 March 2020 - 03:46 PM

I’ve decided that the crystal cat litter isn’t as good as it used to be at containing odours and frankly absorption, so decided to try some recycled and compostable stuff. My question is, do I need to ease him into it, or can I just go with it? Will he let me know? And do people just add to it their compost when it needs changing? I will not be composting the poo, though I know you can get dedicated compost bins for that.

#19 Jingleflea

Posted 12 March 2020 - 04:46 PM

Cats need to be eased into it usually.
It's rare they'll just accept an all new type without any issues(and by issues I mean poo where you REALLY don't want it, or puddles next to the box).

Add a qtr of the new stuff, then a half next week then it should be ok to replace if he's accepted it so far.

#20 *Spikey*

Posted 12 March 2020 - 08:09 PM

Try the old, two litter boxes trick. If the box has been around for a while, and exposed to really strong urine, you probably want to replace it as well. Use the old one as is, and pop the new one, with the nice new litter, nearby....

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