The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-13-2001, 12:19 AM
KV KV is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Are there any additives I can combine with my cat's food to lessen the smell?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 09-13-2001, 05:52 AM
BingoBurringo BingoBurringo is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 162
uh, what's wrong with cleaning the litterbox?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-13-2001, 07:46 AM
Una Persson Una Persson is offline
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: On the dance floor.
Posts: 14,950
Is it really the feces that is the main culprit of the catbox smell in your case, or is it the urine?

If you are talking feces, then the real thing to do is to simply change food. Cat foods have an incredibly diverse makeup (even moreso than hotdogs ) and it is likely that a brand next to yours on the shelf may make their feces smell lemony fresh. Give it a try.

Hill's Science Diet and others all claim that they are much easier to digest, and are supposed to reduce problems. It all smells the same to me, even at $30 a 20-pound bag.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-13-2001, 08:10 AM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
Creature of the Night
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 20,803
Change the litter box frequently. You can try sprinkling some baking soda in the bottom of the box (about a quarter of a box per change) and sometimes that helps. But shit is gonna stink.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-13-2001, 08:12 AM
Zumba The Cat Zumba The Cat is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
I know of nothing you can put in the food that would reduce the smell. Many people claim that feeding the cat only high quality cat food will make it better. I have no first hand knowledge of that.

One thing you can do is buy good kitty litter and a litter box with a cover. Scoop the litter frequently and add a little bit of baking soda to the litter.

I never notice a smell from my litter box and my cat eats nothing but Purena Cat Chow.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-13-2001, 08:16 AM
Fenris Fenris is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Quote:
Originally posted by Anthracite
Hill's Science Diet and others all claim that they are much easier to digest, and are supposed to reduce problems. It all smells the same to me, even at $30 a 20-pound bag.
Hmmmm....datapoint. I've got two variables: A brand new cat and I'm using IAMs not Hill's for the first time ever (my first cat needed Hill's Perscription Diet and I just kept buying the regular Hill's from inertia). And this guy's poop smells far worse than any other cat I've ever had. We're talking biohazard, eyes watering, blistering-paint bad. Well, maybe not that bad, but Lord it ain't good!

Clearly a rigorous experiment must be conducted. Once I've finished this bag of IAMs, maybe I'll try feeding my new cat Hills and see what happens. D'ya think I could get a government grant to conduct this important experiment?

Fenris
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-13-2001, 09:36 AM
divemaster divemaster is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Gainesville, VA
Posts: 3,036
Well, my cat gets Iams exclusively and there is no smell at all from the feces. The cat box is in the bedroom and I don't add anything special to it.

My father's cat (as well as previous cats I have had) got the store brands (Purina, Meow Mix) and boy was that bad! Also, a cat on Iams (or Hill's I would assume) will only defecate once every day or so. It seems to me that cats eating the store brands (which have more filler and require larger serving sizes) visit the litter box quite a bit more often.

Also, my cat's turds are compact "tootsie roll" type. The other cats produced looser stools (sometimes steaming piles; sometimes just squishy) that were not nice at all.

Maybe I just have a considerate cat.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-13-2001, 06:15 PM
gwar gwar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
A little rat poison, such as D-Con, mixed with in Fluffy's 9-Lives does the trick.
That cat crap smell will be gone in no time.

Seriously, though, as soon as we made our indoor cat into an outdoor cat, the smell was gone, as was the cat piss smell, the allergies, and the her fur on everything. Plus, she still kept the mice away. It was the smartest thing we ever did.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-13-2001, 06:54 PM
JillGat JillGat is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Posts: 3,861
Some cat lovers here will be offended by your attempted joke about giving cats rat poison, gwar. Might I also add that there are many good reasons for cats to be kept indoors all the time. We could use fewer predators on natural species of song birds and reptiles.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-13-2001, 08:39 PM
BiblioCat BiblioCat is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
We feed our cats Iams Adult formula and their poop doesn't smell much (unless you're right there when Fluffy takes a poop...I mean, you know she's pooped, but it really doesn't smell too bad.)
It's the PEE that smells.

(thread-stealing question...don't wanna use that H-word)
My two-year-old fixed male cat has suddenly started marking things. It stinks! Why would he start that and how do I get him to stop?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09-13-2001, 09:44 PM
Una Persson Una Persson is offline
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: On the dance floor.
Posts: 14,950
Quote:
Originally posted by Kinsey
(thread-stealing question...don't wanna use that H-word)
My two-year-old fixed male cat has suddenly started marking things. It stinks! Why would he start that and how do I get him to stop?
Ooohhh...I feel for you. You need to stop this immediately, or you are going to face potentially 12 more years of it. I did.

Look for anything that is a significant change in his environment. Think like he does. Have you blocked a favorite window? Has furniture been moved? New baby, or new pet? Sometimes changing cat food can even cause this.

Getting them to stop is a crapshoot (no pun intended). It is a topic that has been covered here a few times before, and lots of people have had good suggestions. Try searching for it, and I think you will find all that anyone knows about it.

Good luck.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-14-2001, 02:00 AM
mapsmith mapsmith is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Quote:
Originally posted by Kinsey
We feed our cats Iams Adult formula and their poop doesn't smell much (unless you're right there when Fluffy takes a poop...I mean, you know she's pooped, but it really doesn't smell too bad.)
It's the PEE that smells.

(thread-stealing question...don't wanna use that H-word)
My two-year-old fixed male cat has suddenly started marking things. It stinks! Why would he start that and how do I get him to stop?
You could always try to become the alpha cat in the household by marking things yourself (like the catbox)

That would probably confuse the heck out of the cat!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-14-2001, 02:11 AM
RAWisSYDNEY RAWisSYDNEY is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 203
i dunno if anyone has said this but..

we use this kitty litter that reduces the smell and is reusable..

It is little gel crystals, when the cat poops or urinates on ir it soaks up in the gel stuff.
It lasts longer than regular litter but costs more.

To re-use it you need to remove the chunks and set the tray out in the sun for a while, after a while the yellowness disappears and there is some ready to use litter.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-14-2001, 02:38 AM
catmandu42 catmandu42 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
I've been using this litter that has those crystals and clumping litter mixed together, and it works great! I also have a covered litter box with a small electric fan on top that runs the air through a charcoal filter. You might think that it sounds a bit elaborate, but with 3 cats it's a necessity.
__________________
Thane of the outdoor toilet
Lord and master of Clutch packs
Supreme underling of the evil cats
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-22-2001, 04:46 PM
Cat and I Cat and I is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 36
We have a cheap contact switch under the box, which turns on a fan. The box is in the garage and the fan vents into the alley. Cheap, low-tech, and effective.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 09-22-2001, 05:37 PM
bernse bernse is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Quote:
Originally posted by Kinsey
(thread-stealing question...don't wanna use that H-word)
My two-year-old fixed male cat has suddenly started marking things. It stinks! Why would he start that and how do I get him to stop?
Another idea is if you can catch him in the act, push his tail down while he's doing it. They really, really hate that. My MIL claims she got her cat (a 24lb...yes 24lbs! fluffball) to stop spraying that way.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 09-22-2001, 06:06 PM
rsa rsa is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
FTR, I feed my cat Science Diet and there is no poop odor. Pretty much like rabbit pellets.

KV, are you feeding the cat canned food? I don't know, but I suspect that "wet" food makes the odor problem much worse. Of course, my cat has never had canned food so she doesn't know what she's missing. I can imagine that it'd be hell taking canned food away from a cat that was used to it.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09-22-2001, 06:24 PM
Baker Baker is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Tottering-on-the-Brink
Posts: 14,816
I had a problem for a while with my cats urine smell(and one started peeing outside the box!) I asked about it in this forum and took several of the suggestions. The one that seemed to help the most was getting a second litterbox. The two of them had lived together for a while, so I don't know WHY it worked, but it did. I cleaned the carpet spot really well, kept their food the same, cleaned the box twice a day instead of once, and got that second box.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-23-2001, 12:41 AM
coosa coosa is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Eukanuba is another premium food that will reduce stool amount/odor.

As someone who has, at any one time, 30-50 cats (I breed, plus am a sort of 'unofficial' cat shelter), I cannot speak highly enough of the new 'crystal' litters. Not only do they stop the urine smell dead in its tracks, they dry up the feces so that the smell is reduced from that, too. Wonderful, wonderful stuff! Hallelujah!
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09-23-2001, 03:25 AM
dwyr dwyr is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Just outside the group
Posts: 2,620
I use a litter called Feline Pine which helps quite a bit. It's made of compressed sawdust pellets which expand as they absorb the liquid. It also dries up the solids pretty well and lowers the odor quite a lot. I found it to be cheaper than the crystals which is why I use it.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 09-23-2001, 09:56 AM
Patty O'Furniture Patty O'Furniture is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Before: Cat ate wet food & pooped into Hartz (big orange bag) litter. Stank.

Now: Cat eats only dry food and poops into Fresh Step clumping litter (huge 25 pound box from PetSmart for $10). No stink at all, even during a cat diarrhea crisis.

Oh, and divemaster, used to like tootsie rolls.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 09-23-2001, 10:09 AM
postcards postcards is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: The other Long Beach.
Posts: 3,061
Has your cat got worms?

We took in a stray last year (much to the chagrin of our triplets) with a bad case of worms. His shit stank to high heaven till those little buggers worked their way through his system.

And a quick hijack: A friend of mine thinks its cruel to have all four of my kids using the same box. It's huge (holds 28+ pounds) and I clean it twice a day. The cats don't seem to mind, in fact, on the occasions when I have to put them all in the cellar (when company comes for the day) there are two or three boxes down there for them; they all use the same one.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 09-23-2001, 08:40 PM
coosa coosa is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Re: Has your cat got worms?

Quote:
Originally posted by postcards
And a quick hijack: A friend of mine thinks its cruel to have all four of my kids using the same box. It's huge (holds 28+ pounds) and I clean it twice a day. The cats don't seem to mind, in fact, on the occasions when I have to put them all in the cellar (when company comes for the day) there are two or three boxes down there for them; they all use the same one.
I would stick with whatever the cats are happy with. Well, you can hardly force them to use an extra litter box if they don't want to, can you?

If it's any help to you, most cat-care books and the inspection forms for cattery approval from various registries recommend 1 litter box for every 2 cats. That may be where your friend is getting his information. But individual cats have different preferences - your cats may feel more secure when using a litter box that already smells like their 'friends'.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 09-23-2001, 11:25 PM
bwk bwk is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Don't feed tuna flavored food, it isn't good for them anyway, and it makes some majorly stinkoid poo.

Some cats are just stinkier than others, in my experiences. But if you notice a change from not too bad to unbelievably stinky, you might want to take kitty to the vet.

If a cat has worms its doody will stink worse than anything. When I first got one kitty she needed several dewormings to get rid of all of hers. You might want to check this out.

Oh, and if you don't want cat hair on anything, and you don't want to deal with litterboxes, or allergies, and all you want is a mouse killer, you don't really want a cat. My advice to you is not to put your cat outdoors only -- it is to find a new home for your cat with someone who does actually want a cat.

Then call someone in pest control management.
__________________
bwk

Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.