One of the downfalls to having cats is that their smell can fill the whole house if you are not careful. It doesn’t matter if your cats are indoor cats or outdoor ones the house can still smell catty. Although it can be a lot worse with an indoor cat in an enclosed space.
There are lots of ways you can use to stop your house from smelling like cats. However, although it is harder the best ways are chemical free where possible as this is much better for your cat and for you. This does mean a bit more work but your cat will thank you for it in better health and purrs. Below I explore some of the basics to keeping your home free of feline smells.
Although we love our cats they do require a lot of extra work to keep things in order. Although cats are clean they do come with their own smells and while we need to respect their need for certain scents we do not want them to overpower our homes.
17 Chemical Free Ways to Keep Your House From Smelling Like Cats
If you have ever been to a cattery where there are lots of cats or they are indoors for any length of time you will know that distinct cat smell that permeates everything.
When you have cats there are times when your house will start to smell of them. It doesn’t matter if you cats are inside cats or outside ones your home can still smell of cat.
I find that when my cat Boo goes outside in the yard (normally) when he comes back in he smells lovely his fur picks up the smell of damp grass.
Of course, outside cats can pick up all sorts of smells depending on where they roam. But indoor cats that are only indoors will have that distinct catlike smell. If they go out into the garden or have a cat enclosure then they will pick up those smells on their fur.
The trouble is you might not notice, it’s only when you leave the house for a time and come back you notice or if you have visitors that they might notice.
There are essentially two ways to keep your house from smelling like cats and that is to either do something with the cat or do something with the house. Ideally, you should work on both.
The issue I have is that Boo is allergic to chemical smells, they make him (and me) sneeze. So while some people may stop the cat litter smelling by masking it with very smelly cat litter Boo and I would struggle, I know this because I had to get in emergency cat litter once as could not get his normal type and accidentally bought scented, we both sneezed for the whole time it was in the litter box and I ended up with a headache.
Also, things like joss sticks and other scented things & burners are not good for cats so I don’t like to use these either.
So in my home, if I want to stop the house from smelling like my cat I have to do it as natural or as low scented as I can. It is difficult to keep the house from smelling like your cat without using chemical cleaners. Although, in reality, these mostly just mask the smell anyway.
How to Get Rid of the Cat Smell in Your Home Without Chemicals
1. Air The House
The easiest thing you can do is to open the windows and doors to air out the house and let fresh air in. Of course, if you have your indoor cat you will have to make sure he or she can’t get out of the house or get on to the window ledge for safety sake.
For Boo I either only open with windows wide enough to let air in or I put up a safety grid to stop him going onto the ledge. Downstairs leads into an enclosed safe backyard so that isn’t an issue. I open the door at the same time and draw the air through the house. In the winter though I don’t feel so inclined to lose all the heat and freeze and neither does Boo.
2. Vacuum Up All The Cat Fur Regularly
I so hate this one. Vacuuming cripples me but it is vital to keep cat smells at bay. Also, if you are using a bag you need to replace this as it gathers smells. If you can get a bagless vacuum.
3. Removing The Cat Smells From Carpets
You can use Baking Soda/Bicarbonate of Soda on the carpets. All you have to do is to sprinkle it onto the carpet and leave it to absorb the smells for at least an hour ideally more. then you vacuum up the bicarb and it leaves the carpets smelling fresh. It is natural so shouldn’t harm your cat at all. although I do cover mine up if I am leaving it any length of time.
Note: I have read that this can damage your vacuum cleaner though so use with caution.
4. Wash Your Carpet
You can also wash your carpet with a carpet cleaner. You can either buy one or hire one. You can buy chemical free cleaners if like me you are avoiding chemicals.
I have found that vacuuming isn’t enough and that the litter does not come out of the carpet when vacuumed so I use a stiff brush as well.
5. Steam Your Carpet Clean
The occasional steam clean will also remove smells from your carpet,
6. Get Smaller Rugs
I also have smaller rugs that I can lift up and shake outside and pop into the washing machine if I need to.
7. Don’t Use A Carpet
I also have laminate flooring, but you can have wood. The only issue with this is if your cat pees for any reason it is difficult to get the smell out of wood.
8. If Your Cat Goes on The Bed
Boo does go on the bed so it does start to smell like him quite quickly. I do two things to help with the smells.
I use a top cover that he can lie on so that saves the under duvet covers a bit. I use a blanket for him to lie on which does the same. I also let him have his own pillow in a pillowcase (which does not stop him from using my one lol).
I also make sure I wash the bedding regularly. The rest of the family laugh at the number of duvet covers I have ( I have reduced them due to lack of space). Now it’s one on, one wash, one ready to go.
9. Sofas & Other Furniture
You can either get covers for the furniture or furniture that you can wash or clean easily or that doesn’t collect cat fur.
My sister’s sofa is similar to one I had once, all the materials are removable and washable in the washing machine. It’s a bit of a task but it helps to freshen the house and keep that catty smell at bay.
How to Get Rid of the Cat Smell From Your Cat
10. Let the Cat Outside
I find that when Boo goes out he collects the smells outside and it helps to remove the catty smell or stops it from increasing.
11. Wash the Cat Bedding Regularly
I use a non-Bio laundry liquid, it didn’t smell much but they changed it so now it does. I am thinking about going for those new eco balls.
As cats don’t like the strong smells or all of their own scent being removed it is recommended that you do not wash all of their things at once. Unfortunately, I have to as in the winter months I have to catch the dry days.
12. Air the Cat Bedding
If you can’t wash it for any reason you can air the cats bedding outside to let the air go through it and let the smell out that way.
13. Wash & Clean Your Cat
I’m putting this one in because I know some people do this. I don’t because Boos fur tangles too easily and I’m not convinced it is a good idea after all a cat is designed to wash itself. I would need more convincing on this. However, keeping kitty’s fur smelling fresh would work if you wash it.
I also make sure I trim his claws and clean his teeth regularly.
14. Groom Your Cat Regularly
If you brush out loose fur it is less likely to get entangled in everything around the house.
15. Cat Litter & Litter Trays
Cat litter trays can smell really quickly, even if you think they are OK they are still adding to the smell of the house.
I use a scent free litter so the smell of urine is stronger as it is not masked by false smells. I make sure I clean it out every day and empty it and wash it out at least weekly. I like to leave it outside to air after cleaning. It’s also dust free litter as well so the dust doesn’t then end up on other surfaces.
One of the other issues with litter is cats tend to drag out bits of it in their paws leaving it around the house. There are several things you can do to prevent this from getting special mats to ledged cat litter trays.
16. Cat Food & Water
Make sure you keep the cat food and water bowls clean to stop the build-up of smells and bacteria. In addition, you can get cat food that has herbs in it to help reduce the smell of cat poo.
17. Keep Your Cat Calm
If you have ever taken your cat to the vets and left it you will know that horrible smell they come back with. Not the vet smell but the odour they seem to release when they are stressed or poorly. This skinks the house out immediately. The best thing to do is remove and wash all the bedding from the cat carrier and calm your cat down.
Do You Have Any Other Ways You Use?
Do you have any other ways that you use to keep your house smelling cat free? Or have any other issues that you might need help with regarding cat smells? Please comment below if you do.