Hi, my name’s Irena and I live on the beautiful island Crete with 4 dogs and 3 cats.
My cats are called Macbeth who’s aged 13, Hammie, who’s 6 and Dimitris who’s 2.
They are all indoor cats so they need litter boxes and yes, litter boxes can be a problem because they can smell and the odor can permeate the whole house.
Not much fun when you have guests. You don’t want them rushing away because of the smell.
There are solutions to this problem and there are indoor cat litters which can significantly reduce the odor from your litter trays.
In this article we will look at the different types of cat litter out there and where to put your litter trays to create the least offence.
Where to Position Your Indoor Cat Litters
If you have multiple cats you will need more than one litter tray and it’s good to put them in different locations if you can.
I have one in my office and another in the bathroom. It is best to keep them in the same place as cats like to have a fixed environment.
It is also best to put the litter trays in quiet spots. Your cats want peace and quiet when using their trays and a busy corridor won’t be the best place.
It is a good idea to put the litter trays in cupboards and secure a cat flap for them to go in and out. Then they’ll have all the privacy they need.
Unfortunately I don’t have suitable cupboards, but I think they get enough privacy where I have put their trays.
Wherever you place the trays, make sure that your cats can get in. Don’t shut the bathroom door if the tray is in there.
If they can’t get in they will make a mess elsewhere and you don’t want to be picking up this from the floor or carpet.
It is a good idea to make sure that the tray is secure and is not on an uneven surface or a slippery floor.
Cats need to feel secure while they are doing their business. My concrete floors seem to do the trick.
There are other considerations to be taken when deciding here to put the litter trays.
I have said that cats need peace and quiet so putting their trays next to a washing machine or drier is not a good idea.
Also don’t put the trays near to where they eat. After all you wouldn’t want to eat your dinner in the bathroom would you?
Finally, don’t use strong smelling cleaners in the rooms you have the cat litter boxes.
Your cats are very sensitive to smell and will keep away from their litter boxes if they smell something which is unpleasant to them.
How to Stop Indoor Cat Litters from Smelling
The first thing to do is to make sure that you have enough cat litter boxes. I have 2 for 3 cats, but I am thinking of getting another one.
They all use both trays but I think that having an extra one would help to reduce the odor.
The next most important thing to do is to clean the litter box on a daily basis. I have made this part of my routine and when I get up this is the first thing that I do.
I occasionally clean the boxes at other times of the day if I feel that they are getting unsanitary. Put the dirty litter in a plastic or paper bag.
You should have a separate trashcan for your cat litter. You don’t want to put it in your normal trashcan as it will smell.
This should be emptied weekly or more often if you wish. I tend to get rid of my used cat litter every couple of days.
When you are cleaning your litter boxes, pour on a little baking soda as it acts as a deodorizer. There are special deodorizers on the market, but these can smell unpleasant to your cats.
Baking soda has little or no scent. It’s also cheap. Cat litter is expensive enough as it is especially if you have multiple cats so I think any saving is good.
To keep the smell down it is also a good idea to change the whole litter tray once a week. Empty the box and clean with unscented soap and water so as not to put your cats off.
Strong smelling scents can stop your cats using their litter trays. When you refill it with litter just fill it up to 2 – 3 inches deep as it will make it easier for you to clean.
Litter boxes don’t last forever. Your cats will scratch them which will make them more difficult to sanitize.
I try and change my litter boxes once a year and this seems to help prevent too many unpleasant smells.
I must admit however, that I do also use incense sticks when I have guests, just in case there is an unpleasant odor.
If you are living with litter trays you probably won’t notice the smell as much as your guests might.
You do also need to consider what material your litter box is. I prefer plastic as it is easy to clean and therefore smells less. A covered box may be good for you, but not so much for your cats.
They trap smells inside, so while you are oblivious to the smells, your cats won’t be and it might lead them to making a mess elsewhere.
Types of Indoor Cat Litters
When we come to which cat litter you should pick you might get overwhelmed.
There are so many out there, so which is the best to use? It is difficult and I think you need to try different sorts to see which suits your cats the best.
First of all there is clay litter which absorbs urine well and allows your cats to bury their feces. However the clay can get stuck on paws and make cleaning difficult.
Advantages are that it is cheap and also that it is good for kittens that might eat granules.
Another litter option is clumping litter. As the name suggests it clumps together when wet. This makes it easier to pick up the urine as well as the feces.
However, I find that I get through this litter much quicker than any others. The clumps always seem large.
On the other hand it is easy to remove the odor causing urine. Urine always causes the most lingering smells.
Some indoor cat litters have a deodorizer in them and give out a pleasant smell, although I have found one that really isn’t pleasant.
However, my cats haven’t been put off by the sweet smell. That could be a worry as they might refuse to use the cat litter. Some contain baking soda which neutralizes smells well.
Crystal litter is an excellent choice, but it is usually more expensive than other kinds. However, it is very absorbent so you don’t need to use as much.
It absorbs urine, the moisture in feces and odors so you are in a win win situation.
You will know when it is time to change the litter completely as urine will start to pool. You can get litters that combine crystals with clumping and deodorizing.
There are some biodegradable choices on offer. Unfortunately they don’t have these on Crete so I can’t speak from experience.
Natural biodegradable choices include pine pellets as well as wheat and corn. These pellets fall apart when they come into contact with urine and the smell is absorbed.
Another biodegradable option is recycled paper. The paper is made into pellets which absorb urine smells well.
Now I’m going to give you my top 10 choices of cat litter. I don’t think you’ll go far wrong choosing any of these.
Top 10 Best Indoor Cat Litters
1) Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Clumping Cat Litter
It’s not difficult to scoop out clumps of cat litter and is more economical than scooping out cat litter which is drenched in moisture.
Here the moisture is prevented from reaching the bottom of the tray which means that you save on the amount of litter used. This litter is good if you have a sifting litter box.
The litter is 99.9% hypo-allergenic so is great if you suffer from allergies. It doesn’t contain any plant proteins, deodorants or perfumes so you can clean the box without fear of having an allergic reaction.
It is also good for your cats if they have allergies.Best of all, the litter has excellent odor control so you can rest easy that your house will smell fresh.
As an indoor cat owner, I do worry that the smells of the litter box will permeate the house so this product puts me at ease.
2) Arm and Hammer Litter Platinum Cloud Control Clumping Cat Litter
It is 100% dust free which is good for both allergic humans and allergic cats.
Technology has been used to reduce airborne dander. It has a hypoallergenic light scent and odor eliminators which eliminate odors for 7 days.
It has baking soda as one of the ingredients which is great for odor control. Your cats will also be pleased to see that fine micro-particles have been used in this litter which makes it all the softer for them.
3) Purina Yesterday’s News Non Clumping Paper Cat Litter
It does have one very important advantage over clay-based litter in that it absorbs three times as much moisture. The paper is recycled so you will know that you are helping the environment.
It is 99.9% dust free so there will be very few dust clouds, making it easier for you to breathe if you have allergies.
There are no small particles so it’s unlikely that your cats will drag the litter with them all around the room.
There are no chemicals used in this litter so it is completely safe and it is odor-free.
4) Feline Pine Original Cat Litter
It doesn’t contain chemicals, additives or synthetic perfumes so shouldn’t irritate your cats or you yourself.
This is a clay-free litter and instead is made from highly absorbent pine fibers.
These take away the smell of ammonia and your house will smell sweetly and will be ready for you to entertain guests.
In addition, when you pour it, it doesn’t leave behind a cloud of dust which can irritate.
5) Petsafe Scoop Free Premium Crystal Non-Clumping Cat Litter
It is made to be used in the Petsafe Scoopfree Reusable Litter Tray, but they can also be used in an ordinary litter tray.
It comes in 2 pre-portioned bags and each bag can last for up to 30 days with one cat using it. That’s pretty impressive isn’t it? It has a fresh, but light scent, which help to eliminate litter box odors.
It is also low-tracking which means that the litter won’t get stuck to your kitties paws. Nothing is worse than having litter dragged all over the room.
6) Catspot Litter, Non-Clumping Formula: Coconut Cat Litter
It’s very simple to use though a little different to other indoor cat litters. Put the cat litter into a box to the depth of 2 inches.
Every day remove the solids while stirring the litter so that the coconut absorbs the moisture. After you have used the litter for 2 weeks, empty the whole tray into a flower bed or a compost bin.
The great thing about this litter is that it comes from the earth and goes right back in again without putting extra waste into our bins.
In addition one bag weighing 5 pounds has the same absorbency as 20 pounds of clumping clay litter.
7) Cat’s Pride Fresh Lightweight Unscented Hypoallergenic Multi-Cat Litter
I have to carry my cat litter upstairs so this would be ideal. In addition a bag lasts for around 10 days and 140 clumps. It is odor-free for this period of time so you can invite guests over happily.
This litter is also 99% dust free and gets rid of the dust clouds that some litters produce. It also stops tracking and who wants litter spread out all over the room?
8) Tidy Cats Non-Clumping 24/7 Long Lasting Odor Control Cat Litter
It also has a deodorizing system which stops the unpleasant odors which you can get when you are close to your litter tray.
It is formulated for multi-cat households and absorbs plenty of moisture so if you forget to clean the tray one day, it won’t be a serious problem.
9) Frisco Tropical Breeze Scent Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter
It fights off ammonia smells with ease and the clumps are easy to scoop out.
It is made with a no-dust formula so you won’t get confronted by a cloud of dust, nor will there be trails of litter when your cats leave the box. It’s good for multi-cat households as it is so absorbent.
10) sWheatScoop Multi-Cat Natural Wheat Cat Litter
It is made from 100% wheat with no added dyes or perfumes. This cat litter absorbs moisture well, leaving the rest of the litter clean. It also clumps fast and these are easy to remove.
Swheatscoop cat litter can last longer between litter box changes which is all for the good as it will save you money. It doesn’t contain any chemicals and is 100% biodegradable.
As can be seen, there are plenty of options to choose from when you are looking for suitable indoor cat litters.
Most have dust control so you don’t have to worry about dust clouds. Crystal litter absorbs moisture well so you don’t have to change the litter too often.
Clumping litter is good as you can see exactly what you need to remove, but I like the idea of the biodegradable litters as you can put them back into the soil to recycle.
It’s a pity that they don’t sell it over here on Crete as I would buy it. Perhaps one day…..