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With more than 24 hours of research, we have compiled the best list of equipment available along with step-by-step instructions on how to clean cat litter box.
Feline pets avoid dirty places to hang out. They like to have their surroundings clean, be it the sofa or the litter box. Also, a cat’s smelling sense is more than 10 times that of a human’s sense of smell. So, we need to be extra cautious when it comes to cleaning the litter box. Otherwise, our friendly kitty would prefer using carpet, sofa, or laundry basket in place of a litter box.
Managing a cat litter box is much easier than you think when you plan perfectly right from the first step of purchase till disposing of the cat litter out of the litter box.
In this article, we are going to cover four main sections:
What Equipments are needed
- Litter box
- Cat Litter
- Litter box liner (optional)
- Litter scoop
- Litter mat (optional)
- Unscented dish soap
- Paper towels
- Air neutralizer or odor eliminator
- Anti-stick spray
- Baking Soda
Now let’s look at each of them in detail so that you can purchase the right one for your kitty.
Your cat must feel comfortable using the litter box. So, you must go for a big and sturdy one, roughly 1.5 times the length of your kitty. Also, we prefer recommending an open litter box because generally, cats feel comfortable to go in open areas. Also, closed areas induce fear emotion in cats. In addition, if your cat is a bit old, then you might need a litter box that has low entry and exit points. There are certain special types of litter boxes as well such as automatic litter box which cleans cat litter automatically; sifting litter box which we need to lift and sift to clean the cat litter.
There are broadly two types of litter available. They are clumping and non-clumping litter. We prefer using clumping litter. Clumping litter forms clumps around cat waste and it is easier to clean. Non-clumping litter allows urine to pool at the bottom and odor grows stronger than clumping litter. Also, you need to clean more often with non-clumping litter.
Litter box liner (optional)
You can use this to separate cat litter from the bottom of the litter box. Cat urine doesn’t stick to the bottom of the litter box because of the liner. You will find it easy to replace cat litter by just removing the liner.
Scoops help you to remove wet areas and clumps from the litter box. You can use non-slotted scoops for non-clumping litter to scrape out wet areas from the cat litter box, usually twice a day. If you use clumping litter for your cat, use slotted scoop to remove solid clumps from the litter box.
Litter mat (optional)
This might be an optional one but very useful if you plan to invest in it. Use it under your litter box so that your cat doesn’t spread her litter all over your home.
Unscented dish soap
Your kitty might find it unattractive if you use scented soap to clean the litter box. So, stick with unscented dish soap and always wash the litter box with hot water.
Use it to clean your cat litter box while washing it with unscented soap. The shortest point for you in this list and go to the next point, please.
Air neutralizer or odor eliminator
Air neutralizer will help you to stay comfortable in your home as it removes unpleasant odor from atmosphere. The odor eliminator can be sprayed on top of the litter box for the same purpose.
Use this spray on the bottom of cat litter box before filling cat litter especially the automatic litter box if you purchase one. This will prevent urine or clumps to stick to the litter box bottom and will make cleaning easy for you.
You can use it in multiple ways. Before filling cat litter into your litter box, sprinkle baking soda and this will prevent odor from cat excreta and urine will stick to it. Also, spray it on wet areas while cleaning as it functions as an abrasive.
How To Setup Cat Litter Box
Always choose the right location which is comfortable for your cat. Don’t keep it in a far-off place difficult to find for your cat. Keep it in bright areas and avoid dark areas. Cats don’t like to do in noisy areas where washing machines are kept. So, select a quiet area. Also, if your house has multiple floors, have one litter box on every floor and this will prevent your cat from using your sofa as the litter box. Introduce the litter box to the cat and let it use a few times. Once used, now let’s see how to clean the cat litter box.
How Often To Clean Cat Litter Box
You need to do both daily regular cleaning as well as occasional deep cleaning of cat litter box done once or twice a week. Let’s look at both of them. Always use hand gloves before starting to clean the cat litter box.
Daily Regular Cleaning
- Daily scoop twice on regular basis for clumping litter. In the case of non-clumping litter, remove wet areas twice or more on regular daily basis. Have garbage bin nearby so that it will be easy for you to transfer the lumps to the bin.
- While scooping, the best procedure is to tilt the cat litter box by 45 degrees and then to give a gentle tap at one of its side. Then scoop in the cat litter and also ensure to scoop deeply since cats like to leave its treasure hidden deep inside!
- If there are some wet sticky areas at the sides of cat litter box, use wipes and clean it.
- Once scooping is done, fill cat litter so that a height of 2 to 4 inches is maintained.
Occasional Deep cleaning
- Other than daily scooping mentioned above, for non-clumping litter, wash the cat litter box once a week. Wash the litter box once in 2 to 3 weeks for clumping litter. If cat litter is flushable, flush solid clumps into toilet and then empty the cat litter into garbage bin.
- Once cat litter box is empty of cat litter, use wipes and clean the insides thoroughly. Then wash it with hot water and use unscented dish soap and scrub it. First rinse it with dilute bleach (which is 1 part bleach in 9 parts of water) and then rinse it second time with hot water completely. Dry it with paper towels followed by sunlight. If anti-stick spray is applied, dry it again for 5 min till it is is placed back in its place for your kitty to use it.
- While you wash the cat litter box, remove the litter mat, dust it with broom, wash it with mild dish soap and water and dry it. Mop the floor area where litter box was present. After that, put the cleaned cat litter mat in the place and then put litter box over it.
- Now fill the cat litter box with cat litter for a height of 2 to 4 inches. Also use baking soda or activated carbon at the top and bottom of cat litter box to prevent odors.
Precautions To Take While Cleaning and How To Make Cleaning Fun
- If you are a pregnant woman, it is best to handover cleaning activity of cat litter to someone else because of a parasite Toxoplasma gondii which stays in cat feces and spreads to humans or other cats. It is more dangerous to pregnant women since it can cause birth defects to fetus when exposed. However, if there are no alternatives, pregnant women must clean the litter box more often because spores take a few days to incubate and frequent cleaning can avoid it. Also, change cat litter everyday in that case.
- Not many might tell you but sneeze your nose as soon as you finish cat litter box cleaning as this will prevent dust from entering your nose. Also, as already mentioned wear hand gloves, face mask while cleaning.
- Cleaning will not be monotonous if you make it a habit. Do it daily as a practice after brushing or after feeding cats. Reward yourself while doing it.
Still Have Questions…
If your feline doesn’t use the litter box even after you have thoroughly cleaned it, it is better to talk to your vet to rule out any health issues.