A helpful hint for cat owners

Now that we have two cats, we’ve had to double our litter boxes, too, and deal with competition between our feline masters for possession of the most desirable one.  (What it is that makes one better than the other, we haven’t quite figured out yet, but clearly it’s important to them!)

We’ve also had to deal with increased odor from our cats’ digestive detritus.  We use non-scented Precious Cat kitty litter, which we find is very absorbent and minimizes the dust problem;  but, being non-scented, it can get odoriferous after a while.  We tried adding NonScents deodorizer from time to time, which helped, but didn’t last long under heavy use – and that got expensive.

Fortunately, in reading reviews of our kitty litter on Amazon.com, several reviewers mentioned adding a fish tank odor-neutralizing product, Marineland’s Diamond Blend.

Reviewers claimed that when added to kitty litter, it neutralized the ammonia scent of cat urine very well.  I tried it, and was instantly impressed.  What’s more, it’s very affordable.  Where NonScents cost us $10.99 for 16 ounces (or 69c per ounce), Diamond Blend costs only $7.29 for 50 ounces (or 15c per ounce).  We’re still working out how much to use, but it looks as if one 50-ounce jar will cater for at least one 40 pound bag of kitty litter, and perhaps more.  We’ll be able to be more specific after a bit more experience.

I now have a cat litter box in my study (albeit only because Kili, our adult female, became insistent on peeing in the corner of my office, and wouldn’t be persuaded otherwise;  so we made a virtue out of a necessity).  By adding Diamond Blend to it, the odor is almost unnoticeable, even just after it’s been used, so I can carry on working without problems.  The other litter box is in our bathroom, where the same applies.

We’re very glad to have found a solution to the smell problem.  I thought readers who own cats might like to try it for themselves.  It seems pretty effective.



  1. I've always used a few Tablespoons of baking soda in the pan, and frequent airings, but I'm a single-cat household.


  2. General rule for multi-cat households is one pan per cat plus one.

    I liked the compressed pine litter when we had cats, but that's a no-go if you don't like or are allergic to pine.

  3. Always bear in mind that you're not the only sentient beings in the house, and that their preferences will not always line up with yours.

    All that said, we're a two cat household and use one litter box. They're a male and female both around nine years old, adopted as adults from animal rescue when they were both three. We did have a little issue getting them to use the same box for a week or two when we first adopted them (her then him a week later), but they adapted to it. We've gone to disposable litter boxes, jumbo size, that last about a month if they're scooped promptly. We use Purina Tidy Cats Clumping Litter. Remove detritus and flush quickly, especially "number one" because once the clumping litter binds moisture it increases surface area and will allow some moisture to evaporate and the clump to break-up. Keep clean litter handy to add a cup now and then to compensate for what you flush. We ordinarily order it from Walmart, 34 pound buckets, and the UPS guy brings it to the door. I load it on a cart and roll it to the storage in the garage.

    I won't need to tell you to remove "number two" quickly. It will tell you that itself. It doesn't deplete the litter as quickly as urine does, though.

    I love cats as much as anyone, but I've got to say the guy that invented chemical weapons had a litter box in his house. He thought, "how can I put some of this in the bad guy's foxhole?" and chemical warfare was born.

  4. Peter,
    If you aren't using a biological "eraser" for locations like your office corner, you have not completely addressed the problem. With normal cleaning methods, YOU may no longer smell it, but THEY can, which is why they tend to return to the same spot.

    "Simple Solution-Stain and odor Remover". Pet supply stores carry it. There may be other brands. Even works on concrete, which is like a sponge for biological residue. This stuff works on almost every surface.

  5. Sooner or later some commenter will offer this solution, so I'll do it now and get it over with: Trade them both in on a dog. (There will be much arguing over breeds, but the one from Honda will prove most adaptable…..)

  6. Begin feeding your cats raw food and you'll discover that their stool becomes much whiter and dryer and odorless. I'd bet this reaction may have a great deal to do with their need that their presence in the wild to be mostly undetectable by their prey which they naturally eat raw.

    You can grind your own beef, chicken, fish, whatever, and then add some basic essential vitamins and minerals. Or you can purchase commercial available ones like Natural Instinct that are found in freezer compartments at pet supply places. They are pricier than common pet food, but our cats have never been healthier.

    Everyone I know who switched to raw food quickly discovered this delightful odorless catbox bonus. I'm sure you'll let me know when you find it works.

  7. We've got 3 cats and 2 cat pans. It works, though for some reason, one is the favorite while the other is used only if the first one is too icky. Scoop at least once a day. We use Tidy Cat, too, and have hardly any odor problem unless one of the cats has a particularly bad BM. No, our problem with cat stink is our big 17-lb black panther's anal glands. They seem to get blocked up and then suddenly release. Talk about chemical warfare! If it gets on you because you're holding him, clothes must go straight into the washer and you straight into the shower. After getting after the little fiend's hind end with a wet wipe. It doesn't really clean him up, but it does provoke into immediately cleaning himself up. Thank goodness that's a fairly rare event, or he might be made into a muff. He's the only cat we've ever had with that problem, too.

  8. Why do cats decide one litter box is better than another? Because they can!

    I had a friend (who, alas, has passed away) who had…a lot of cats (the number tended to fluctuate). At feeding time she would put down a bunch of identical bowls and fill them from the same bag. A cat would come in, choose a bowl at random, and start eating. The other cats would come in, see the first cat eating from a particular bowl, and decide that it must have something better in it; it ended up with a bunch of cats trying to eat out of one bowl, pushing and hissing and swatting. Then the dogs would come in, see the cats squabbling, and think, "Wow, if those finicky cats are fighting over that bowl, it must have something really good in it!" All the while a half-dozen identical bowls with identical food in them were ignored.

  9. Larry:

    Try different types of wipes. Unfortunately, the original type wipes, from the 80's, are not on the market, it appears. They would clean most anything.

    Also, I have a vague recollection that what is needed is manual expression of those glands on a regular basis.

  10. Two cats, both fixed, one male, one female, one litter pan(large plastic dish pan. Use clumping litter and daily put clumps into plastic grocery bags(doubled) and throw away bag on garbage pick-up day.
    What's really funny is sometimes when the female cats is outside, she will come into the house to pee.
    And the male cat has a bladder that's probably bigger than mine – based on the size of the clump he leaves, heh, heh.

  11. 3 cats, one box. Occasionally one will use the toilet and one prefers the bathtub. The Blue Buffalo brand clumping litter is awesome.

  12. Five cats now, down from six. Five litter pans.

    My solution is to use cat pan liners (for some sizes of pans regular garbage pail liners can be less expensive and work just as well) and, instead of scooping, go total-loss.
    Once every three days* I tie off the top of the liner, toss the whole shebang, and replace it with a new liner and fresh litter. Yes it's more expensive in the long run than scooping, but it's plenty less annoying to do.

    Whatever you do, don't forget to pop a piece of tarp or some old newspaper under the pan to catch leaks or 'short rounds' especially if you have a male cat.

    *period between changes depends on number of cats.

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