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9 Ways to Make Your Cat Smell Good

9 Ways to Make Your Cat Smell Good

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1. Provide a well-ventilated living space for your cat.

First, consider the layout of your home. Make sure that there are enough windows and doors, as well as sufficient space between furniture, to allow for proper airflow. When possible, open windows to let in fresh air and remove lingering smells. This will not only benefit your cat’s scent but also their overall well-being.

Invest in an air purifier with a HEPA filter, which can help remove pet dander, allergens, and odor-causing particles from the air. Regularly clean and replace the filters in your air purifier to ensure it is operating at peak performance.

Controlling humidity levels in your home can also help prevent mold and mildew growth, which contribute to bad odors. Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to keep humidity levels between 40% and 60%. Regularly cleaning surfaces and fabrics in your home, such as carpets, curtains, and upholstery, can also help reduce unpleasant smells.

Lastly, pay attention to your cat’s favorite spots in the house. Place a small air purifier or odor-absorbing materials, like activated charcoal or baking soda, near these areas to combat any lingering smells.

2. Brush your cat’s fur regularly.

This helps to remove dirt, debris, and loose hair, reducing the likelihood of odors forming on their coat. Furthermore, brushing distributes the natural oils produced by your cat’s skin, which not only keeps their fur healthy and shiny but also minimizes unpleasant smells.

The frequency of brushing depends on your cat’s fur type. Short-haired cats typically require brushing once or twice a week, while long-haired cats may need daily grooming. Begin by selecting a high-quality brush designed for your cat’s specific fur type. For example, a slicker brush is suitable for removing tangles and mats from long-haired cats, while a bristle brush is more appropriate for short-haired cats.

When brushing your cat, make sure to be gentle and work slowly, paying close attention to their reaction. Start with their head and work your way towards the tail, following the direction of hair growth. Be cautious around sensitive areas like the belly, ears, and under the tail.

You may also consider using a grooming glove or a deshedding tool to further remove loose hair, especially during shedding seasons. This additional grooming step can significantly decrease the amount of hair your cat may ingest.

3. Bathe your cat with pet-safe shampoo.

Although cats are known for their self-grooming habits, occasionally bathing your cat with a pet-safe shampoo can help to eliminate unpleasant odors. It’s generally recommended to bathe them every 4 to 6 weeks.

Begin by selecting a high-quality, cat-specific shampoo that is free of harsh chemicals and fragrances. Look for mild, hypoallergenic formulations that contain natural ingredients known to be gentle on your cat’s skin and fur.

Before the bath, brush your cat’s fur to remove any tangles or loose hair. This will make the bathing process easier and more effective. Fill a tub or sink with lukewarm water, ensuring the water level is shallow enough to keep your cat comfortable. Gently wet your cat’s fur using a cup or handheld showerhead, avoiding their face, ears, and eyes.

Next, apply a small amount of shampoo to your hands and massage it into your cat’s fur, working from the head towards the tail. Be thorough but gentle, and avoid scrubbing their skin aggressively. After lathering the shampoo, rinse your cat’s fur thoroughly with lukewarm water, making sure to remove all soap residue.

Gently dry your cat with a soft, absorbent towel, and keep them in a warm, draft-free area until their fur is completely dry. Avoid using hair dryers, as the heat and noise can be stressful for your cat.

4. Clean your cat’s ears gently.

Keeping your cat’s ears clean is an essential aspect of maintaining good hygiene. Cats’ ears can accumulate dirt, debris, and wax, which may lead to foul smells and potential infections if not addressed properly.

Before you begin, inspect your cat’s ears for any signs of redness, swelling, or discharge, which could indicate an infection or other issues that may require veterinary attention. If your cat’s ears appear healthy, proceed with the cleaning process.

To clean your cat’s ears, you’ll need a few supplies:

  • a high-quality ear cleaning solution specifically formulated for cats.
  • some cotton balls or gauze.
  • a pair of tweezers if necessary.

Avoid using cotton swabs, as they can push debris further into the ear canal or damage the delicate structures within the ear.

Start by holding your cat securely but gently, either on your lap or on a flat surface. Carefully lift the ear flap (pinna) to expose the ear canal. Apply a few drops of the ear cleaning solution into the ear canal, massaging the base of the ear gently to help distribute the solution and loosen any debris.

After massaging the ear for a few seconds, allow your cat to shake its head, which will help to bring any debris to the surface. Next, use a cotton ball or gauze to gently wipe away the debris from the outer part of the ear canal. Avoid inserting the cotton ball or gauze too deeply into the ear, as this can cause injury or discomfort.

Clean your cat’s ears as needed, typically every few weeks or as recommended by your veterinarian.

5. Wipe your cat’s eyes with a damp cloth.

Regularly wiping your cat’s eyes with a damp cloth can aid in keeping this delicate area clean and odor-free.

To clean your cat’s eyes, prepare a clean, soft cloth or cotton pad moistened with lukewarm water. Hold your cat gently but securely in your lap or on a flat surface, making sure they feel comfortable and safe. Gently lift your cat’s head and slightly tilt it back to expose the eyes.

Using the damp cloth or cotton pad, gently wipe the area around the eyes, starting from the inner corner and moving outward. Be careful not to touch the surface of the eye itself, as this can cause injury or discomfort. Use a clean part of the cloth or a new cotton pad for each eye to prevent the potential spread of bacteria or debris.

Pay close attention to any signs of redness, swelling, excessive discharge, or cloudiness in the eyes, as these may indicate an infection or other issues that require veterinary attention.

6. Maintain proper dental hygiene for your cat.

Poor dental health can lead to plaque and tartar buildup, gum disease, and even more severe issues, such as tooth loss and systemic infections.

One of the most effective ways to maintain your cat’s dental health is by brushing their teeth regularly. Use a cat-specific toothbrush with soft bristles and a pet-safe toothpaste formulated for felines. Human toothpaste can be harmful to cats, so be sure to select a product specifically designed for them. Gradually introduce your cat to the toothbrush and toothpaste by allowing them to sniff and taste the toothpaste before you begin brushing.

You can follow our detailed guide to brush your cat’s teeth.

In addition to brushing, consider providing your cat with dental chews, toys, or treats specifically designed to help reduce plaque and tartar buildup. These products can supplement your cat’s dental care routine, but they should not replace regular brushing.

Lastly, schedule annual dental checkups with your veterinarian to ensure your cat’s teeth and gums remain in good condition.

7. Keep your cat’s litter box clean and fresh.

Cats are fastidious creatures and may avoid using a dirty litter box, which could lead to accidents and even more odors.

Start by selecting a high-quality litter that effectively absorbs odors and clumps well. There are various types of litter available, including clay-based, silica gel, biodegradable, and natural alternatives. Choose the one that best suits your cat’s preferences and your personal requirements in terms of odor control and environmental impact.

Scoop the litter box at least once a day to remove any waste. Dispose of the clumps in a sealed bag or container to prevent odors from spreading. Regularly check for any signs of urine or feces on the sides or bottom of the litter box and clean them promptly.

Completely change the litter and clean the litter box at least once a week, or more frequently if you have multiple cats or if your cat has been ill. When cleaning the litter box, empty it entirely and use mild soap and warm water to scrub the surfaces. Avoid using strong chemicals or fragrances, as these may be irritating to your cat and discourage them from using the litter box. Allow the litter box to dry completely before refilling it with fresh litter.

Consider placing a litter mat beneath the litter box to help capture any tracked litter, reducing the spread of odors throughout your home. Regularly clean the mat to prevent buildup and maintain a fresh-smelling environment.

8. Wash your cat’s bedding regularly.

Cats spend a significant portion of their day sleeping and lounging in their bedding. Regularly washing your cat’s bedding can help eliminate unpleasant smells and prevent the buildup of allergens.

First, remove any loose hair, debris, or dirt by shaking it out or using a lint roller. Check the care label on the bedding for any specific washing instructions. In most cases, washing the bedding in a washing machine on a gentle cycle with warm water and a mild, fragrance-free detergent will be sufficient. Avoid using fabric softeners or dryer sheets, as the chemicals and fragrances in these products may irritate your cat’s skin or cause allergies.

If the bedding is not machine-washable or requires special care, hand-washing may be necessary. In this case, fill a tub or basin with warm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Gently agitate the bedding in the water to remove dirt and odors, then rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.

After washing, air-dry the bedding if possible, as this can help maintain its shape and prevent shrinkage. If using a dryer, select a low heat setting and ensure the bedding is completely dry before returning it to your cat’s sleeping area. Damp bedding can harbor mold and mildew, which can lead to unpleasant odors and pose health risks to your cat.

Aim to wash your cat’s bedding at least once every two weeks or more frequently if your cat has been ill, has allergies, or if there are noticeable odors.

9. Use an enzymatic cleaner for urine or feces accidents.

Accidents can happen, even with well-trained cats. Enzymatic cleaners contain enzymes that target and break down proteins, ammonia, and other odor-causing compounds.

To properly use an enzymatic cleaner, first choose a product that is specifically formulated for pet stains and odors. Ensure the cleaner is safe for use on the particular surface where the accident occurred, such as carpets, upholstery, hardwood floors, or tiles. Carefully read the label and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Before applying the cleaner, it is essential to test for colorfastness. Use the cleaner on a small, inconspicuous spot to ensure it does not cause discoloration or damage to the material. If the cleaner is safe to use, proceed with the application.

Typically, you will need to saturate the stained area with the cleaner and allow it to sit for a specified period to let the enzymes work on breaking down the odor-causing compounds. After the recommended time has passed, blot or wipe the area to remove the residue. For stubborn stains or strong odors, consider pre-treating the area with a pet stain remover or pre-treatment solution to loosen the stain and enhance the enzymatic cleaner’s effectiveness.