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We love our pets dearly. I'm pretty sure this blog has made that very clear. But one thing I don't love? The smell that comes with pets. Even if they're behaving themselves and utilizing the appropriate potty places, houses with pets still have a certain smell to them. Between toys, beds, food, and everything else they touch or slobber on – how could it not?!
So we work pretty hard to keep our house smelling fresh. I'm always excited when someone stops by and comments on how nice our house smells. It makes me feel like my efforts paid off, especially during the Winter when it's not so easy to just open up the windows to get some fresh air in! And while our dogs tend to stay pretty fresh smelling with baths and lots of fresh air, our cat doesn't always help us keep our house smelling nice and clean. In fact, I'm pretty sure he's happier hindering our efforts.
Since I'm sure I'm not the only one that works to keep a decent smelling house, I wanted to give you some ideas on how to keep your house smelling with cats! It's pretty simple to clean up messes as they happen to make sure that animal waste odors don't stick around – but there's so much more you can do!
Choose a quality cat litter
Quality cat litter is pretty much the first step in the line of defense against cat odors! We've tried a lot of different brands of cat litter over the years, only to find that whenever we try out a bargain one – nobody is happy. He doesn't seem to care for the feel and it doesn't little to nothing in terms of masking the odors.
So now, the only cat litter we use is Fresh Step Total Control with the Power of Febreze. The lemongrass citrus scent gives it a fresher aroma and the power of Febreze helps control the odors. It also includes Borate Technology which is fantastic for ammonia control as it works as an antimicrobial agent that prevents the growth of odor-causing bacteria. We LOVE shopping at Sam's Club, which is the only place you'll find the Fresh Step Total Control with the Power of Febreze is only available at Sam’s Club, too. And, as a bonus, you can get $3.50 off at Sam’s Club (between 5/11-6/5) with the May Instant Savings Book! If you're already a member, then it's already loaded onto your card (yay for ease!)
And, it's not just for the litter box. Cat litter can be used in so many places to in the house! Use it in old shoes, closets, or even in the bottom of trashcans to help absorb odors. Clean up oil leaks from your car. Add to the bottom of your grill to help prevent grease fires or flare-ups. Or even mix the cat litter with soil to help keep plants moist with less watering.
wash anything you can
Pet toys and beds hold smell. So that lovely dog and cat scent that they have? It sticks to it like cling wrap and just builds. And builds. And builds. Until you now have toy and bed pet air defresheners. (I'm sure that's a word.) Throw bedding or blankets in the washing machine along with any toys that seem like they're suitable for a washing machine. Anything that isn't washing machine safe, wash with mild dish soap and water.
Also, be sure to wash water and food bowls on a regular basis. Sanitize the dishes the same way you would your own dishes and make sure they constantly have fresh water.
Use pet friendly filters
You can find furnace filters or filters that are geared towards allergy protection that work great for those with pets. Regardless of the type of filter you have, make sure to clean or change it regularly. Pet odors will cling to furnace filters as well and then you'll just be recirculating pet-odor infused air. No thanks!
make a cat coat spray
Our pups aren't huge fans of baths, but they tolerate them. Our cat? I'm pretty sure armageddon is happening every time we turn the water on and he figures out it's for him. It's not fun for anyone! So we try to minimize bath time for him. Instead, we opt for a simple cat coat spray to freshen up his coat! He's a pretty bag fan of it since it means it's brush time and I'm pretty sure he could spend hours being brushed.
- 3oz Water
- 1oz Dr. Bronner's Unscented Soap
- 5-10 Drops Cat-Friendly Essential Oil (Optional)
- 4oz Spray Bottle
- Combine the water and soap in the spray bottle. Cap and shake to combine.
- Add in the drops of essential oil if using. Be sure to double check that the essential oil is cat-friendly as cats are VERY sensitive to essential oils. If you're unsure, skip this ingredient.
- Cap and shake to combine again.
- Use 1-2 spritzes on your cat and then brush through their coat when it's time to freshen up. Repeat as necessary until their coat is fresh and clean!
As we've talked about before, all of our pets are rescues and I fully believe in continuing to support rescues – even if we're not ready to add another pet to the family! One of my favorite shelters around here is Happily Ever After – a no kill shelter that provides temporary and lifetime care to animals. There goal is to help all companion animals find quality of life in a loving home and this is exactly why we always opt for rescue shelters for our animals. Especially no kill ones!
how do you keep your house smelling fresh with cats? What's your go-to cat litter?