5 ways to keep your house from smelling like pets

If you’re an animal lover then at some point in time your house is probably going to smell like it. We’ve all been to that house (or owned that house) where you know a hundred cats live even if you never see one.I was watching the newest Jim Gaffigan special and he said this thing about going into his neighbor’s apartment and she asked him “Does it smell like cats in here?” and he said “No, but is smells like you have a box of poop in your house. Is that the same question?” I couldn’t help but laugh… a lot… because I’ve been that neighbor. On the other hand there’s that person with five dogs and her house smells like roses and fresh cookies. I envy those people. I didn’t notice the smell so much when I was in college and younger, but now that I’m grown and have other moms who bring their kids over I’m a little more self conscious about it. So I figured out some ways to alleviate this problem.

Clean the litter boxes and bedding

This may sound straigtfoward, but it’s really one of the most effective things you can do to cut down on the smell. Litter boxes and bedding (I’m talking about reptile and small mammal bedding: hay, woodchips, shredded wood, ect) hold in odors. These things are meant to absorb waste, dirt, and moisture so it’s really no surprise. Keeping these things cleaned out is not only good for the smell, it’s good for your pet. Clean out the litter box at least once daily, but twice if you can manage it. Make sure to do a sweep of your pets bedding every day, and change it out 90% once a week.


Brush your pet

Brushing your pets daily will cut down on shedding and will remove some of the dirt and other debris that get stuck in their fur throughout the day. By brushing your pet you’re keeping that loose fur from accumulating on your furniture, clothes, and in dark corners, and therefore eliminating hiding places for smells and germs.


Bathe your pet regularly

Almost every type of pet can benefit from a bath now and again. Baths remove all the dirt and waste that sticks to your pet, as well as oils, dandruff, and natural body odor that mammals have. Washing your pets will not only make them smell better, but will keep them from rubbing that smell onto the things in your house




Even with regular baths and brushings, your pets are still going to shed some. Keep a vacuum handy for regular sweeps under the furniture and for your pet’s favorite resting places. In my house it’s the couch.


Spot Clean

Pets are like children, they leave little messes everywhere all the time. Trying to keep up with all of them is not easy, but keeping up with the ones you see when you see them is doable. If you have a drooler, keep a damp rag on the sink ready for a wall wipe down at any moment. Max tends to shed sand, I don’t even know where it comes from, but I sweep up small piles of sand about five times a day. Instead of trying to conquer all the mess once a day (because you will miss some, and it will scatter) just tackle bits as you come across it. You’ll be amazed at what a difference this makes when guests come over unexpectedly.


Bonus – Get a air freshener sprayer

If you don’t already have one of these you should get one. They are subtle and do a great job at creating a uniform smell. Unlike the plug-ins which are a fire hazard and cause concentrated scent areas. The sprayers work off of batteries and let out a mist every so often that dissipates through the entire room. I use this glade one and absolutely love it (affiliate link). Glade Automatic Spray Air Freshener Starter Kit, Hawaiian Breeze (6.2 oz) The sent is not too strong and the design blends in perfectly, plus there are lots of scents to choose from.


Give these tips a try and let me know if it improved the smell of your house. Maybe you can even get another cat without anyone noticing 🙂

Have any other tips for keeping your house smelling clean, even with pets? I’d love to hear them!


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