Set it and (Almost) Forget It: 3 Ways to Make Your Litter Box So Fresh, You Might Forget It’s There

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tidy cats, cat litter, litter box tips, litter box tricks

Cats have always been a part of my life. Throughout my childhood and into my married life there has always been at least one cat purring its way into my heart. Until last year, we had 4 lovable felines – “our girls”. Sadly, Lilo, our almost 14-year-old suffered an unexpected stroke. She was our second feline friend of married life; it’s still hard to believe she’s gone. Needless to say, I’ve been around a lot of cats and their cat litter.

People often say litter boxes smell up your whole house. It’s true that cat urine is unbelievably strong, but that doesn’t mean your whole house has to smell like a litter box. If you think it’s impossible, check out how I keep my litter box and house fresh with three cats:

Use the Right Cat Litter

tidy cats, cat litter, litter box tips, litter box tricks

Using the right cat litter is key to keeping things fresh. To be a superb cat litter, it needs to contain your cat’s waste, reduce tracking, and most importantly control odor. Personally, I always go for a clumping litter like the New TIDY CATS® Free & Clean™ Unscented Clumping Litter I buy at Target.

tidy cats, cat litter, litter box tips, litter box tricks

TIDY CATS Free and Clean uses only activated charcoal plus TidyLock® Protection to lock away odors. Yes, that means it is completely unscented and free of fragrances and dyes. It doesn’t just mask the odor with a fresh or flowery smell, it absorbs it – eliminating odors permanently!

Try new Tidy Cats Free & Clean Unscented litter at Target and harness the odor-absorbing power of activated charcoal to lock away cat litter odors today! All without masking fragrances or dyes!!

Available in both Traditional Clump and Lightweight Cat Litter

  • Traditional Clumping: 20lb, 35lb
  • Lightweight: 8.5lb, 17lb

Don’t worry, Target makes this whole shopping experience quick and easy. I love that I can just run in and get anything I need. Since Target is the closest “real” store to my house, I am always there buying something for my “girls” – And you should too. Don’t you want your house to smell fresher than ever?

Put it Behind a Door

tidy cats, cat litter, litter box tips, litter box tricks

You can’t just put a litter box anywhere and expect your house to smell fresh. We’ve lived and learned. In early days of our marriage, we lived in several apartments. This meant limited litter box location options. One time we placed it in the “dining room” hiding underneath a corner table (fail) and other times it was in a laundry room (not too bad).

It is much harder to have a nice smelling apartment and a litter box due to the close proximity of everything.

Once we owned our first house, we quickly put the litter box behind a door. We made what we call “cat rooms” using a cat hole. A cat hole is like a cartoon mouse hole but only meant for cats. They get installed at the bottom of any interior door and allow the cats to exit and enter whenever they please. YET help keep any lingering or recent potty odors contained so they don’t escape to the rest of the house.

We’ve placed cat holes in unused rooms or closets and LOVE them. People are always surprised at how many cats we have when they come in our house.


Because you don’t get that lovely whiff of litter box smell when you enter my house!

Go Robotic

tidy cats, cat litter, litter box tips, litter box tricks

Besides having a 99.9% dust free cat litter like TIDY CATS Free and Clean, how often you clean your litter box also plays a role in how much odor will linger in your house. You should preferably clean the litter box every time your cat goes to the bathroom, but minimally twice a day. Having four cats meant that we were always having to scoop the litter box. That gets old – fast!

We decided to go the automatic self-cleaning litter box route. This means any time one of our cats goes to the bathroom, it automatically scoops it clean! This has been a life saver, but remember you have to use a cat litter that provides strong clumps like TIDY CATS Free and Clean does for it to work properly.

Whether it’s scoop, non-clumping, LightWeight or alternative cat litter, Tidy knows how to make a nose happy – and you can too with these tips!

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Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.


  1. Good tips to know! I don’t have a cat but I can certainly pass this info on to my cat-owing friends!

  2. Mama Ash {Erica} says:

    Oh my gosh, my kitty looked so much like yours. When we had our little Leo I always looked for little that was flushable. IF we ever get a new kitty I like the idea of a self-cleaning litter box!

    • Which one of my cats did your look like? The litter box works great! It’s the dome kind so it doesn’t have a rake that can get stuck 🙂

  3. The cat box is always a problem. I would place the box outside and have a doggie door.

  4. These are some great tips.I know I have a very sensitive nose and if I had I cat I would want a litter like this. I have never heard of having “cat doors” before, lol. That’s pretty interesting!

    • It is a great cat litter! A lot of people use doggie doors for cats so they can go outside. I use cat holes since they are meant for interior doors. All my cats are indoor only cats 🙂

  5. I like the idea of the cat holes. That combined with the best litter will definitely keep the air fresher.

  6. What Corinne Did says:

    You know what?! This post has the perfect timing! I am getting a kitten in july and i live in a flat so really, i need the litter to be discrete and things! does this exist in the uk?

    • That’s awesome, Corinne! You will love having a kitten!! Are you talking about the litter box I use or the cat litter?

  7. I miss having kittens around. We had an allergy in the household and up until then I had cats all my life! We always used tidy cats also! I also liked reusing the totes 🙂

    • I’m sorry you can’t have cats around anymore. Often taking a daily allergy pill can allow people still have cats even with an allergy. Tidy CATS’ totes are amazing for reusing!

  8. Conscious Health Writer says:

    I have to look for this new litter by TIDY CATS! I usually buy one that has a strong scent… or clumps well but I can’t take the scent of “strong freshness mixed with ammonia”. Lol. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Blair Villanueva says:

    Thanks for giving us tips! Cat litter sometimes an issue, and it is awesome to know that we have solutions for it.

  10. Good tips for anyone, even if you don’t have a cat! Will keep this in mind in case I choose to adopt a furry family member.

  11. This are great tips, although I don’t own a cat, I am open to owning one in the future, Tidy cats free and clean unscented litter, certainly sounds live a very viable option. Thank you for sharing.

    • I hope you get a kitten in the future! You will love owning one and they will love Tidy cats free and clean unscented litter 🙂

  12. Gloria Bell says:

    I love cats very much. Cat litter sometimes an issue, and it is awesome to know that we have solutions for it.

  13. Ashley Roberts says:

    We just got a new kitty this week! I would love to try charcoal litter! I had no idea they had even came out with it. Totally makes since! Thanks!

  14. Gemille Sleweon says:

    I don’t have a cat, but a friend of mine does. I’ll be sure to share this article with her. Thank you!

  15. We have to change our litter boxes so often. Thanks for the tips! These will be a big help.

  16. Sara Welch says:

    I absolutely love Tidy Cats’ litter. It is so easy to scoop and smells great for a long time.

  17. Wendy Polisi says:

    They have the best litter. I have yet to find a litter that is even close to this stuff.

  18. KC Puentespina says:

    I’m not really a cat person but a friend of mine is and she will surely benefit from this article. I’m sharing this with her. Thank you. ☺️

    • I’m sorry you aren’t a cat person. Please share the article with your friend. Her and her cats will thank you.

  19. Becca Wilson says:

    When we had our kitten, it always seemed like that litter box was looming. I absolutely hated it but these are some great ways to make it seem like it doesnt even exist.

  20. These are great tip. I do not have a cat, but some friends do and you notice the smell the moment you walk into their home.I will pass this on .

  21. Thanks for sharing the great tips, I don’t have cat, my kids are asking for pet, I may go with cat . Then I can use all these tips.

  22. I don’t have a cat – but if I did, I would definitely want to fix it and forget it! I have four horses – would love a similar concept for them!

  23. I wouldn’t mind trying an automatic cleaner. Will our cat stop burying if we use one though? And will it scare her? My two questions that always come to mind.

    • My cats had no trouble taking to the litter robot. My cats still bury except the one who never did. She thinks she’s queen LOL. The robot has a timer you set to allow a delay after so many minutes after they exit before scooping. The robot doesn’t even bother our scaredy cat. It’s great!

  24. LiveLoveAndAdventure says:

    Thanks for sharing these tips, I will definitely have to try the “behind the door” trick. I have two older cats and every time I come home, I can smell them and hate it. I’m constantly cleaning and changing litter boxes.

  25. Looks like some really useful tips! My grandma has two cats, going to show her this one. Maybe she can try them out

  26. David Allen Elliott says:

    Tidy cat does really work with cats. I used to have them and it was definitely what we went with. You do look like you have quite the cute cat there. 🙂

  27. Tidy Cat is a must! We have to keep our furry friends happy AND our houses smelling fresh!

  28. I never had a cat so I dont know how nasty liter boxes can be. This is good advice for people who are cat owners.

  29. Jayne Townsley says:

    The first thing I do to keep my home smelling nice with a cat is to keep up with the litter box every day.

    The second thing I do is use Wallflowers from Bath & Body Works throughout the house.

    • I haven’t bought Wallflowers from there in forever. I love air fresheners but have just been buying the ones at Sam’s Club.

  30. Christina Gould says:

    I keep the house smelling fresh by using pet odor remover powder when I vacuum. Thanks for posting!

  31. Christa Sloan says:

    The lightweight cat littler is really important. You could potentially throw out your back trying the other stuff. I keep my house smelling fresh by using glade plug it ins.

    • Yes, that does become more important as we age. For now I still use the heavy stuff and make my husband move it LOL

  32. When I had pets, I admit that cat litter was SO important. But now that I’m pet free, it helps to not have carpets and to use oils but I want to get a febreeze air freshener for the apartment.

    • I do think the type of flooring you have helps a lot with pets. My home is mostly tile and wood so smells aren’t absorbed like with carpeting.

  33. I do not have a cat. I also do not like smelly kitty litter boxes.

  34. Derek Miller says:

    We have two cats. One litter box is in the laundry room kind of away from everything and there is a nice exhaust fan there plus we clean it religiously. The other cat is a new addition. We are keeping the kitten in my sons room to acclimate it to our house slowly and that litter box I clean pretty much all the time until we move it to the laundry room too.

  35. Shannon Ireland says:

    I keep my household fresh by regularly cleaning the kitty litter box daily (although I will try the 3-day method!). I’m also a stickler for a clean kitchen. Wiping counters and NO dirty dishes in the sink.

  36. Patty Wright says:

    I use this cat litter.

  37. Buddy Garrett says:

    Presently we don’t have any indoor cats. In the past we had a hole cut in the door for the cats to go outside. However sometimes strange male cats would come in to mate. Having dogs requires a lot of vacuuming and disinfecting. I wish there was Tidy Dog.

    • You needed one of the cat dogs that only let in pets with a coded collar so strays can’t get in. Haha Tidy Dog. I know what you mean. My puppy is messy, but my Neato helps with that!

  38. Crystal Rose says:

    I use baking soda on the carpet before I vacuum. We also light candles every evening.

  39. (Set it and (Almost) Forget It: 3 Ways to Make Your Litter Box So Fresh, You Might Forget It’s There) This Tidy Cat cat little sounds amazing to me. I wish that my youngest brother would use this kind of litter for his two cats. He keeps their litter box in his bedroom and every time that you use the upstairs bathroom, the first thing that greets you at the top of the stairway is the smell of that nasty litter box. (yuck)

  40. gloria patterson says:

    When my last cat passed I just could not replace her. The following year I moved from my home to a apartment in a senior building. I just go visit friend and family when i want my cat fix with out a litter box. I don’t miss the litter box at all. I use my oil diffuser a lot so I think that keeps my home smelling fresh

  41. kathy pease says:

    I keep my house smelling good by burning candles. Burning candles relaxes me also.

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