How to Clean Cat Litter Box?

Poor litter box maintenance is often to blame for a cat‘s mishaps. Cats hate dirty litter boxes and may be driven to search for substitutes, whether that’s a corner of the carpet or a basket of clean laundry in the closet. Your cat‘s sense of smell is 14 times stronger than yours, so a litter box that smells reasonably clean to you may outright stink to your cat.

Which litter box and cleaning products to use are very personal choices, and the “one size fits all” rule rarely applies. Make sure the box is large enough that your cat can move around in it comfortably, with no overhang.

You may want to use three to four inches if your cats are deep scratchers who will dig to the bottom of the litter box if you use less. You may need to add fresh litter after scooping to replace the amount that was lost. The Spruce / Candace Madonna No matter how you do it, you’re going to need to dispose of your cat‘s waste properly, and odor can be an issue.

Turn the handle again, and the waste is safely hidden at the bottom of the Litter Locker to keep all of the odors confined inside. Non-clumping litter must be emptied and washed much more often, primarily because the urine collects at the bottom of the box, and the odor becomes very strong very quickly. Empty the used litter into a sturdy plastic bag and tie securely before discarding it in the trash.

What is the best way to clean a cat litter box?

The best way to clean a litter box is to dump the entire box and soak it in hot water for a few minutes at least once a week. It is not necessary to use detergents or cleaning chemicals, as hot water will generally do the trick.

How often should a cat litter box be cleaned?

If you clean the litter box daily, you might only need to change clumping litter every two to three weeks. If you notice an odor or if much of the litter is wet or clumped, it’s time for a change. Scrub the box every time you change the litter.

Do cats get mad when you clean their litter box?

1. They Are Territorial. The most likely reason your cat is unhappy when you clean out their litter box is that they are territorial. Your cat considers the litter box as part of their territory and it is important for them to properly bury their faeces and ensure they are covered.

What happens if you don't clean your cat's litter box?

Cats and parasites in dirty litter boxes. Aside from bacteria, cat waste is also home to parasites, which can cause hookworms, roundworms, and ring worms in your cat. When you have a dirty litter box, it’s even easier for a parasite to enter your cat’s body and land in its gastrointestinal tract.

Cats can be finicky about their bathroom habits, so unless you want to be dealing with a regular mess at home, keeping your cat‘s litter box up to their standards is very important. The following suggestions should keep your cat from “thinking outside the box.”

A thin layer of baking soda placed on the bottom of the box will help absorb odors without repelling your cat. Sign up to receive our exclusive e-book full of training techniques, problem-solving and important information about caring for your pet.

But if the litter box ends up in the basement next to a creepy appliance or on a cold cement floor, your cat may be less than pleased, so you may have to compromise. Avoid placing litter boxes next to noisy or heat-radiating appliances, like the furnace or the washing machine. That way your cat has options if access to their primary box is blocked (the basement door is closed or your dinner party has them holed up in the bedroom.)

If you keep the litter box in a closet or a bathroom, be sure the door is wedged open from both sides to prevent your cat from being trapped inside or locked out. To meet the needs of the most discriminating cat, you should scoop feces out of the litter box daily. Box liners are strictly a convenience for the owner; supposedly, the liner can be gathered together and tied just like a garbage bag, but the truth is that most cats shred it to bits while scratching in the box.

In fact, some long-haired cats actually prefer less litter and a smooth, slick surface, such as the bottom of the box.

If you can count yourself as one of the lucky cat owners who has never had the misfortune of walking into a room and smelling cat, then you very likely have a cat that is fastidious about going in the litter box every time, and you are indeed fortunate.

Some cats will stop using the box if the litter is changed abruptly. It is not necessary to use detergents or cleaning chemicals, as hot water will generally do the trick.

A small amount of liquid dish soap added to the hot water will help loosen any dirt on the interior sides and bottom, and will refresh the box without leaving a toxic residue behind. Avoid products that have ammonia, bleach, or any type of caustic ingredient. If you want to go a little further, you can mix a small amount of hydrogen peroxide or vinegar in the hot water to remove any bacteria or smells.

Some scented products can be toxic for cats just through inhaling them in the indoor environment, so the best method is to neutralize and remove the odors rather than try to cover them up.

Preparing to Clean Your Litter Box

The rule of thumb is that a household should provide one litter box for each cat resident plus one extra. Any variance should be on the plus side. For example, seven boxes for four cats.If you have more than three litter boxes, you’ll probably find yourself running out of logical places for them. A “Litter Station” with two or three boxes side-by-side will accommodate more than one cat at a time (as long as the cats tolerate it), and will also make scooping and clean up a bit more convenient.Which litter box and cleaning products to use are very personal choices, and the “one size fits all” rule rarely applies. Most important is to let your cats be the guide. If they are not happy with your litter boxes and accessory products, they’ll let you know.

How many?

The general rule of paw is one litter box for each cat in the home, plus one more. That way none of them will ever be prevented from eliminating in the litter box because it’s already occupied.Litter Box Items on Amazon.comIt’s not possible to designate a personal litter box for each cat in your household, as cats may use any litter box that’s available. That means a cat may occasionally refuse to use a litter box after another cat has been in it. In this case, you’ll need to keep all of the litter boxes extremely clean, and you might even need to add additional boxes. However, it’s best not to place all the boxes in one location because your cats will think of them as one big box and ambushing another cat will still be possible.

Covered boxes

Some people prefer to provide their cats with a covered litter box. While covered boxes can increase privacy and decrease the amount of litter that flies from the box when your cat buries their business, there are some potential downsides. An “out of sight, out of mind” little box is easy to forget about, which may lead to a dirty box with odors trapped inside (which is even less likely to be appealing to your cat). Covered boxes can also be difficult for larger cats to turn around and position themselves in, and may lead to easier ambushes upon exit.Ultimately, if your cat doesn’t like a covered box, they won’t use it. To find out which type your cat prefers, you may want to experiment by offering both types at first.

Self-cleaning boxes

There are a wide variety of litter boxes available that offer convenience and automation in cleaning your cat’s litter. Buyers beware: some of these features may prevent a cat from wanting to use their litter box, so if your cat is used to a traditional box, it’s best to stick to what they know.

Pick of the litter

There are several different types of cat litter on the market. The most popular ones are traditional clay litter, scooping/clumping litter, crystal-based/silica gel litter and plant-derived/biodegradable litter.Most cats prefer fine-grained litters, presumably because they have a softer feel. Newer scoopable and “clumping” litter have finer grains than typical clay litter and are very popular because they keep down the odor. But high-quality, dust-free clay litters are fairly small-grained and may be perfectly acceptable to your cat.If your cat has previously been an outdoor cat and prefers dirt, you can keep them out of your houseplants by placing medium-sized rocks on top of the soil in the pots. You can also mix some soil with their regular litter to lure them in. A cat who rejects all types of commercial litters may be quite happy with sand.Many people use scented litter or air freshener to mask litter box odors, but often times, these odors can be offputting to cats. A thin layer of baking soda placed on the bottom of the box will help absorb odors without repelling your cat.Sign up to receive our exclusive e-book full of training techniques, problem-solving and important information about caring for your pet.

Cleaning

Most people tend to place the litter box in an out-of-the-way spot to minimize odor and prevent cat litter from being tracked throughout the house. But if the litter box ends up in the basement next to a creepy appliance or on a cold cement floor, your cat may be less than pleased, so you may have to compromise.

Liner notes

Box liners are strictly a convenience for the owner; supposedly, the liner can be gathered together and tied just like a garbage bag, but the truth is that most cats shred it to bits while scratching in the box. However, it might work if your cat doesn’t work too hard to bury their waste.

Depth of litter

Most cats won’t use litter that’s more than about two inches deep. In fact, some long-haired cats actually prefer less litter and a smooth, slick surface, such as the bottom of the box. Adding extra litter won’t reduce the amount of cleaning necessary for a litter box.

Training

There’s really no such thing as “litter training” a cat in the same way one would housetrain a dog. You actually don’t need to teach your cat what to do with a litter box; instinct will generally take over. You do need to provide an acceptable, accessible litter box, using the suggestions above.It’s not necessary to take your cat to the litter box and move their paws back and forth in the litter. If you move to a new place, however, you will need to show your cat where the box is.

Scoop the Litter Box Frequently

Using a litter scoop with small and closely set holes, clean the clumps out of the litter at least once daily—more often if you have more than one cat.To keep the smell to a minimum after cleaning, add some litter to replace what you removed while cleaning. Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda into the cat litter before using the litter scoop to turn the freshened litter.

How to Clean a Cat Litter Box

While scooping the litter box daily is essential, you should also be regularly cleaning out the entire litter box.

Washing a Litter Box

The best way to clean a litter box is to dump the entire box and soak it in hot water for a few minutes at least once a week. It is not necessary to use detergents or cleaning chemicals, as hot water will generally do the trick. A small amount of liquid dish soap added to the hot water will help loosen any “dirt” on the interior sides and bottom, and will refresh the box without leaving a toxic residue behind.