A couple of weeks ago I finally adopted two cats (both 2 years old, from different shelters). One of the two does not cover his poop, probably because he never learned to, and it's too late to teach him now. The other cat actually does double duty if he finds uncovered poop in the litter box, covering (so to speak) for his roommate. Anyway, the stuff stinks really badly, and the exhaust fan in my inside bathroom does not do an adequate job of clearing up the air.

I have one of those covered litter boxes (the Van Ness CP7), and it already has vents on the top (with zeolite filters that don't do anything), so I'm thinking of attaching some sort of fan that would pull the air and force it through an activated charcoal filter. Does such a thing already exist? I haven't been able to find anything on Amazon. I've looked at lots of small air purifiers, and none appear to be suitable for fitting on top of the box.

Suggestions? Pointers?

I also assume the carts won't like it if there is a whirring fan and air movement while they do their business, so a PIR sensor and a relay connected to an Arduino would take care of that. Plus, it would get me statistics for how much and how long they use the box for while I'm away :)

  • 2
    Are you asking specifically about a fan? I'd probably suggest getting something like a Litter Robot instead, unless you really want to tinker. Jun 22, 2017 at 1:45

2 Answers 2


A few things:

  1. You should be careful with covered litter boxes, some cats will decide that they don't like being in a confined space. Adding a fan to this situation could force a cat who is on the fence about the litter box into doing their business somewhere you'd prefer they not.
  2. Those vents/filters are (as you noted) totally worthless. The only thing that will help the smell is the litter itself.
  3. Old tricks are the best tricks. Baking soda is cheap, you can get big boxes, and it works about as well as anything will. Mix it in with your litter and that is likely to be the best solution.
  4. Poop smells (obviously), but if it seems outrageously bad you may want to try changing their food. Some cats will be sensitive to food (wet vs. dry, particular proteins, etc.) and really bad smells could be a warning sign of an underlying health problem.

OK, I personally see covered litter boxes as bombs, so don't expect the fan in your bathroom to do the work. Bathroom fans push away smells they can reach, not smells that are hiding in little caves. I have an uncovered litter box (two actually), and I put one of them in an unused bathroom. It doesn't stink until it's cleaning time when I scoop it, and that's normal.

I even thought that maybe my family and I didn't smell it because our bodies got used to it, but I did dare to ask guests if they smelt anything, and they said no. They also mentioned that it's weird the litter box doesn't smell. They told me about other owners who made them want to run away because of the stinky litter box they had. So, if able, keep the litter box opened and then depend on your fan.

You can also open a window to let the smells go away if available. Of course, cleaning the litter box is a major duty for people who really want to get rid of smells, as well as looks.

  • How is this answering my question? I have already said that the fan in my bathroom does not do an adequate job. Worse, how is suggesting that I open a window helpful when I have already said that it's an inside bathroom with a vent?
    – JayEye
    Jun 22, 2017 at 22:49
  • Hmm... you got a point. You actually said your fan is exhausted and doesn't do an adequate job of clearing up the air. Which can also mean that you have your fan on 24/7, and probably it won't ever clear up the air when you have a box protecting all the stink in it from your fan. So i'm sorry for not getting you right. In this case i'd suggest to fix your fan, open the litter box, or buy a new litter box that does it's work. Jun 22, 2017 at 23:28
  • Or maybe keep up with your imaginary plan :) Jun 22, 2017 at 23:29

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