Tips for combating cat odour (and one you should avoid)

It’s a given thing that living with a pet means living with their smells. 

Whilst cats are one of the cleanest creatures that can share your home, odours can sometimes build up, especially in flats where air cannot circulate as well. 

If you’ve ever had guests wrinkle their noses upon entering your home, then this blog post is for you.

Natusan litter is proven to perform 40% better on odour control than the average natural litter. The tight-clumping nature of our litter, coupled with it's absorptive power means that stinky litter trays are a thing of the past.

In this blog we will explain why cat urine smells, and share some suggestions to get rid of cat urine smell in your home. 

These tips include making sure your litter box is correct for your cat, keeping an eye on their diet, cleaning out your litter tray properly, the correct location for your litter tray, why you should never use baking soda, and using the correct type of litter for odour control. 

But first, a bit about the science behind the stink…


Why does cat urine smell?

The main reason for that pungent aroma we know so well is the formation of odorant molecules such as ammonia being released as urine decomposes.


Big Bang Theory Kaley Cuoco Molecules


When urea, the main component of urine, decomposes, the highly volatile ammonia is released, and as cats have higher levels of urea than dogs, or even humans, this is multiplied in the litter tray. 

Humans can detect ammonia at very small concentrations, and it has a particularly fishy smell. Anything above 500ppm will be picked up by the human nose. A cat’s nose will smell it much earlier!


Cat Sniffing Smelling 



Another factor to take into account are pheromones such as felinine, which are produced by cats (more so in boys), when felinine degrades, it generates sulphur compounds called thiols, which carry their own unfortunate odour.

The main culprit however when it comes to that “catty smell”, is ammonia.


The Rock Dwayne Johnson Smell What Is Cooking


When you forget to tell someone you have a cat
and they drop by unannounced...


How To Get Rid Of Cat Urine Smell

Get the right litter box for your cat


Natusan Cat Litter Box Tray


If your litter box is too small, your cat will be unable to bury their business as well as they would prefer. This will result in the urine and faeces being exposed to the air, where bacterial breakdown will release unpleasant odours. 

Always make sure that your cat has enough room to move around when they are done. A good rule of thumb is to buy a box that is at least twice as long as your cat and as wide as the cat is long.


Fat Cat Catflap Stuck

Remember, some cats are “bigger” than others...


A lot of cats dislike plastic liners, which can get caught on claws when cats are digging, leading to leakage. The best option is to use a clumping litter, such as Natusan, which will absorb the liquid, so there’s no need for a liner (and one more thing is saved from landfill). 


Cat Yay Happy



We recommend a two-inch layer of litter covering the entire tray. This will give your cat enough room to dig with adequate covering afterwards. 

All cats are different, so it’s important to pay attention to your cat's litter tray habits to see whether you need to adjust this level up or down.


Keep an eye on their diet


Cat Eating Cat Food


Some cat’s diets can result in extremely smelly poop. A particular ingredient cats can’t digest very well is wheat or grains, and this can cause particularly pongy poops...


Cat Pooping

“Note to self: cancel taco night”


Bacteria and even parasites from contaminated or spoiled food can also cause an increase in odour, so make sure to take your cat to the vet if you notice a sudden change to get them checked out.

There are some elements in a cat's diet that can make their poop smell worse, some of these issues will naturally resolve themselves, whilst others may need an expert eye (or nose…) 

When a cat switches to a new type of food, their tummy may need a bit of time to catch up, whereas an allergy in their food will show as not fully digested and extra smelly. Vets recommend an elimination diet to get to the bottom of this particular problem.

Why not try hypoallergenic Insect based food Lovebug on It is well known that the majority of dietary allergies in cats are caused by beef, dairy or fish. Lovebug is free from such ingredients and relies on a novel insect protein source which considerably reduces the risk of intolerances being triggered. Try you first order with 50% off using code LOVEBUG50


Keep it clean


Cat Licking Cleaning Grooming

Cats can clean themselves, the rest is up to you


The best thing you can do to combat odour is stay on top of cleaning. 

Ideally, you should remove the clumps from your cat's litter tray as and when they appear, however we know that’s not always possible. At the very minimum, the clumps should be removed daily.

With Natusan, weekly litter tray changes are a thing of the past.

High absorbency means less spreading around, simply remove the clumps as you go and clean out the tray once a month. 


To clean out a litter tray: 

  1. First remove all the litter (and whatever else is in there) 
  2. Use a cat friendly, mild and unscented detergent and water to scrub the insides of the tray. 
  3. Rinse well. 
  4. Don’t forget the scoop!


Cat washing up sink 



Location, Location, Location


Cat Litter Tray Box

“Nobody puts baby in the corner…”


Make sure that your cat’s litter box is in the right place for them (not just for feng shui), a litter box in an enclosed area, such as a small bathroom, will mean concentrated odours. 

If you have more than one cat, you’ll most likely need more than one tray, and if bullying is a problem with your furry friends, an “out of the way” litter box could mean one more secluded place for a showdown (a bit like behind the bike sheds at school).



Cat Gang

“You’ve come to the wrong neighbourhood buddy…”


If possible, place your litter box in a larger, more well ventilated area, but make sure it is a quiet spot away from your cat’s food that doesn’t see too much foot traffic, no-one likes an interruption...


Cat Toilet Door

"Terribly sorry, didn't realise it was occupied..."


Don't use baking soda


Baking Soda


Sprinkling a little baking soda in your cat’s litter tray to freshen it up is an old tip, but not a very good one. It could even have the opposite effect and could lead to potential hazards for your cat.

There are a few schools of thought on the matter, and a quick Google search will show multiple arguments for either side, but best to play it safe as adding baking soda to your cats litter may cause side effects for your feline friend.


Cat Baking



Odour-wise, baking soda isn’t much better either. To prevent the ammonia gas from being released, the pH level needs to stay below 8.0, as baking soda (and most clay litters) have a pH level higher than this, the overall pH level is increased, which encourages the ammonia to be released into the air, leading to that eye-watering smell.

This same ammonia gas can be harmful to living beings, leading to sinus problems, eye irritation and upper airway irritation, amongst others. 


Provide the correct type of litter for odour control


Natusan Premium Clumping Cat Litter

Natusan clumping litter performs 40% better on odour control
than the average natural litter


Some cat litters have added fragrances or other additives which claim to help mask odour. These perfumes serve to merely carry the smell around, and due to a cat’s enhanced sensitivity to smell this can be overwhelming, which is one of the reasons this type of litter is discouraged.

Clumping litter, which allows for the simple removal of both liquid and solid waste, keeps your cat’s litter tray smelling fresher for longer.

As mentioned earlier odour control in cat litter is mainly about avoiding the formation of ammonia. Natusan clumping litter performs better on odour control than the average natural clumping litter brand.

In a recent test scientists performed on our litter, two measurements were taken: after one day, representing a normal cleaning routine, and after three days, representing a weekend without cleaning (not that we’d recommend ever doing that!)


Cat Litter Yuck


Natusan performs on average 1.4 x better on odour control (measured by ammonia concentration) compared to other natural clumping litters.

If you didn't remove clumps daily then:

On day 3 (say if you go away for the weekend), the ammonia levels in Natusan litter are an estimated 25% less on average *compared to other natural litters

On day 1 (say if you forget to remove clumps one day), the ammonia levels in Natusan litter are an estimated 29% less on average* compared to other natural litters

Standard mineral clumping products (containing bentonite) vary hugely regarding odour control properties and can have an ammonia concentration of up to almost double Natusan after day 1 and up to over 3 times the ammonia concentration on day 3!

Natusan forms very small, stable and well shaped clumps. Their texture is slightly elastic, but easy to remove from the litter tray. Due to the low clump volume compared to other litter, Natusan can absorb the urine very efficiently and keep the odour trapped.


Don't just take our word for it, try Natusan today to discover it's odour-combatting properties for yourself! Use code TABBY50 for 50% off your first 10L bag.


Natusan Cat litter

Buy Natusan odour-trapping litter here


With these tips, and Natusan cat litter, you can keep your cat’s litter box as fresh as day one, meaning a happier cat, a fresher smelling home, and fewer little surprises in your slippers…



Guilty cat

26/10/2020 by NatuTeam

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