Having a little feline by your side can be magical until it’s time to clean up the mess behind her. But don’t worry, I’m bringing you some litter box cleaning hacks that will change your life forever. Some of them are not as revolutionary, but I’m sure that they’ll all be useful.
Perhaps you have years of experience as you’ve had a cat for a couple of years now, and you think that this is not an article for you. I dare you to read it, you’ll find something new, too! What if you’ve been scooping your cat’s litter box wrong the whole time?
Or, do you think that there’s a perfect hack to get rid of that horrible odor that appears with time, even though you’re changing litter regularly? Well, look no further, because I’ll explain everything. Welcome back, my dear reader!
Litter box cleaning hacks that will change your life forever
We both know how cleaning your cat’s litter box can be tiring and that some help would be appreciated. You probably googled it one too many times, but nothing seemed like a good choice. Been there, done that.
For that reason, I’ve decided to make my own collection of litter box cleaning hacks to make your life easier and your fluff happier.
Cats, as the cleanest animals in the hood, don’t like when their living (and pooping) space is dirty. Therefore, they’ll make sure to embarrass you in front of your family in case you missed cleaning this week or if you forgot to change the litter.
You have no other choice than to grab the essentials and dig in (no pun intended). Let’s go!
1. Don’t shake the scoop
I think that this is the mistake all first-time pet owners do. How can you get the litter out of your scoop if you don’t shake it a bit, right? Well, don’t do that. Shaking the scoop that already has some feces in it can be pretty tricky.
The poop may fall apart into smaller pieces, and it could end up everywhere around the house, and that’s something you don’t want to happen. Naturally, some smaller parts will also fall back into the litter box, and it will be hard to clean them since they can easily pass through those holes on the scoop now.
It doesn’t matter if you’re using clumping or non-clumping litter, the same thing will surely happen. And, instead of changing litter less because you’re taking the feces out, you’ll have to do it more often.
2. Choose a metal scoop over the plastic one
Even though you’ve probably thought that the material of the scoop doesn’t have to do anything with cleaning, you got it wrong. Surely, both do the job, and maybe the plastic one is cheaper, but it’s going to be way easier for you to clean the metal one.
Also, bonus points go for the metal scoop because it won’t keep the smell of your cat’s poo and you won’t have to fight with cleaning another part of the equipment. Definitely deserves to be on the list of litter box cleaning hacks, right?
3. Standing scoop can make things a bit easier
I know that sometimes you’re not in the mood to bend your back and clean that litter box, it’s okay. However, your fluff deserves to have a clean living space, so you have to try a bit harder. If it’s not convenient for you to clean the litter box very often because you have a short scoop, what would you say about the standing one?
Perhaps owning something like that would make cleaning easier and you’d do it more often? I think so, too! Standing scoop sounds like a great deal. You don’t have to squat down and you can clean your feline’s litter box a couple of times a day as you’re passing by. Perfect, isn’t it?
4. Use a sifting screen
This is going to be a bit easier than the scooping since you’ll sift the litter and dispose of whatever’s left on the top. You don’t have to spend money on a sifting litter box, rather choose the budget-friendly window screen that you can find in any hardware store in your neighborhood.
Once you decide to clean the litter, take a clean bucket and put the screen over it. As soon as you throw the litter on top, it will pass down into the bucket. All the clumps and poop should be prevented to go through, and you have clean litter again.
5. Opt for litter box liners
This is maybe not the greatest choice for all cat owners, but it’s surely one of the best hacks when cleaning the litter box. Litter box liners are helping you to clean the poopy tray pretty fast, but you have to make sure that you’ve placed them correctly.
Cats dig and scratch when they’re done with their business and since these pretty much resemble those regular plastic bags, your fluff may destroy it and cause more mess than it normally would. However, I still think this is one of those good litter box cleaning hacks, and it works with my Nora (happy-dance-moment).
6. Use lemon juice or vinegar to clean the litter box
We all know that lemon juice and vinegar are excellent when it comes to cleaning the house and getting rid of bad smells. It’s no wonder that they’ve made it to this list as well. But, when it comes to cleaning litter boxes with these solutions, you have to pay attention to one thing.
These smells are also deterring for cats, so if you don’t wash them out properly, it’s quite possible that your fluff never approaches that litter box again. Her smell sense is way more powerful than yours, so if you can still smell vinegar or lemon juice after you’ve washed the box, your cat can sniff it, too!
So, before putting the litter back in, make sure you’ve got rid of that horrible fragrance properly. Diffuse either vinegar or lemon juice in water, spray the litter box with the liquid and leave it for about 15ish minutes.
Afterward, wash it and dry it well with paper towels or cloth. You can do this on a weekly basis and your fluff will be grateful to you.
7. Try cleaning wipes
This is not something that will help in the long run, but it’s definitely useful. Cleaning wipes can be bought in convenience stores or regular pet shops with other pet supplies and they are pretty easy to use. Once you take all the litter outside, clean the box thoroughly.
Maybe cleaning wipes won’t be useful in keeping the bad smell away, but until you find a better solution, they are a really good substitution.
8. Cleaning products can help, too
Don’t shy away from regular cleaning products, they can help, too! Since you’re using some of them to keep your living space odor free and squeaky clean, some of those can actually be used to clean your cat’s litter box.
However, you have to pay attention that neither of those products that you’re using is toxic to your feline since she’ll spend quite some time around the object that you’ve cleaned with it. It’s really important that they don’t have any negative effect on pets in general, especially if you have more of them in the household.
9. Enzyme cleaners
These cleaners are available almost in every shop that sells chemical supplies for keeping your home hygiene on point. Enzymes, which are the main part of these products, are breaking down cats’ urine, making it easier to clean.
Because of this characteristic, you can use them to clean the litter box thoroughly in case some of her pee is stuck in corners, and you can also remove the odor and stains from the places where your feline (un)intentionally damaged.
10. Dilute hydrogen peroxide with water
Another thing that greatly helps both with stains and odors is hydrogen peroxide. The thing is, it has to be diluted in water. That’s, in fact, the only way you can use it for cleaning your fluff’s litter box. So, once you prepare the mixture, spray it on the area and let it soak for a couple of minutes.
11. Anti-stick spray
Have you heard about this life-saving hack? I hope you have! If you don’t want the feces to form clumps and make it more difficult for you to clean it, anti-stick spray is the solution you need.
Once you’ve deep cleaned your cat’s litter box, spray a greater amount of it on the surface of it. When it dries out, fill it with litter again and I assure you, you’ll remember this article next time when you’ll be cleaning it. Oh, and spray your metal scoop, too!
It’s important that you add a bit more than you think it’s enough, just for the first time, and then apply a lighter coat every time you’re cleaning the litter box. This spray is truly convenient if you have a non-scooping litter box, or the automatic one, since they may be a bit tricky for cleaning.
12. Learn how to deep clean your cat’s litter box
It would be a complete failure if I wouldn’t explain how to deep clean your cat’s litter box since I’ve been mentioning it a couple of times already. The thing is, when you take some time and properly clean it, you’ll be able to prevent the bad smell and the litter box will serve your feline longer.
Perhaps you don’t see this as one of the litter box cleaning hacks, but it had to be here. So, what’s the catch?
Once you’ve emptied the litter box, all you’ll need is hot water, rubber gloves, unscented soap, and a brush for scrubbing. This equipment is something you’d regularly use to clean your cat’s litter, so you probably have it laying somewhere around.
Your first step should be scraping off anything that’s stuck inside the litter box. After that, add some soap and thoroughly scrub inside and outside with a brush. It’s really important that you don’t use soaps that have strong smells because your feline won’t like them and she may refuse to use the litter box again.
The next step is to rinse the box a couple of times with hot water, just to make sure that all the soap is out. If you need it dried quickly use a clean towel, otherwise, let it dry naturally in sunlight.
Now, in case you’re using a non-stick spray, you’ll use it after the litter box is completely dry, and leave it for five to ten minutes. The last step in deep cleaning your cat’s litter box is to refill it with litter and place it where it was before. Ta-da, you did it!
13. Use the power of ventilation
Well, the best thing you can do if you want that odor out of your fluff’s litter box is to use the power of ventilation. I know that you wanted to give your feline some privacy when she’s doing her business, but if the air doesn’t circulate much there, you’ll have to relocate her litter box.
The point is, bacteria is feeding on decaying matter and oxygen can reduce this. So, either try one of those DIY ideas on how to “hide” her toilet and maintain good ventilation, or change its location and look away when she needs to use it to give her that privacy she needs.
14. Baking soda can save the day
The best and I dare say the cheapest deodorizer that is completely safe for your feline is baking soda. The best part of it is that it’s non-toxic and scent-free, so there won’t be any problems for your cat. Also, you probably already have it in your kitchen!
If you want to clean her litter box properly and keep it fresh, remember to put some baking soda on the bottom of it before you replace the litter. Or, if you want a quick refreshment before your guests, just sprinkle some of it inside the box after scooping.
15. Charcoal filters
When it comes to charcoal in general, it’s really good at absorbing weird smells and bacteria. At the same time, it’s non-toxic for your fluff, so it’s completely safe for use. You can line the vents of her litter box with it, or put some pieces of charcoal around her toilet.
Keep in mind that some of those fancy litter boxes have charcoal filters built in, so maybe you won’t need to spend extra money on it. Anyway, you can buy it in pet shops or in a regular shop, so finding it shouldn’t be a problem if you opt for this solution.
16. Air fresheners
Air fresheners are not actually going to help you with cleaning your fluff’s litter box, but they can surely make the air in the living room more pleasant. Make sure that you buy those that are pet friendly and not too scented.
I mean, you know that cats’ smell is way more powerful than ours, so if your fluff doesn’t like it, she may avoid the whole room, not just her litter box.
17. Choose litter sprinkles that are not highly scented
Don’t worry, litter sprinkles are not something from another universe, and we’ve mentioned something before that can be used in this way. Yes, baking soda is one of the litter sprinkles. Basically, they are gel balls, powder, or granules that you sprinkle in the litter box.
They are specially formulated to keep the freshness of the litter box while being non-toxic for felines as well. Choose litter sprinkles with a neutral smell, because you don’t want your house to smell like flowery poop, do you?
If you want to use something that you already have in your home, well, baby powder and baking soda (as we’ve already mentioned) can help, at least for some time.
18. Green tea can do the trick
Whether you opt for green tea leaves or tea bags, both can do the trick. If you’re going to reduce waste and use those bags for the second time, let them dry and lose those leaves into the litter box.
Green tea is a powerful anti-bacterial deodorizer, so it’s good in many ways. If you’re afraid that your fluff may eat some green tea leaves, keep in mind that the caffeine is out after you’ve prepared and drank it.
19. Plastic tote bag hack can be helpful
This may sound a bit crazy, but trust me, it works. You can use a plastic tote bag to make some kind of fence around your feline’s litter box. This is not going to prevent it from smelling bad, but at least you’ll have less work cleaning around the box.
All you have to do is to cut a hole through which your fluff can freely go in and out of the litter box. The plastic tote bag around will prevent sprinkling of litter all over the place, making cleaning so much easier.
20. The litter genie for litter waste
This is one of those DIY projects since you really don’t have to buy a specific trash can. The diaper genie is a technique parents use to minimize the odors from baby diapers. They seal the diapers in different bags and dispose of them. This litter genie is the same, and honestly, one of the best litter box cleaning hacks ever.
When you’re scooping or cleaning the litter box, you put it directly in one bag and trap it inside. You can use a jar, put a small garbage bag inside, and put the poop and clumps directly in it, just make sure the opening is wide enough for the scoop you’re using.
21. Naturally clumping cat litter can make cleaning your cat’s litter box easier
For some felines this is not the best choice, so you have to make sure that your cat likes this kind of litter. This cat litter needs changing every two to three weeks and it literally holds in the feces, so you can easily remove clumps from the litter box when you’re cleaning it.
In case your fluff is a fan of this kind of litter, make sure that you opt for a non-scented one and make sure it’s natural, since there are a lot of those artificial ones on the market, too.
22. Self-cleaning litter box, maybe?
Well, if you didn’t know by now, there’s something called a self-cleaning litter box and it’s a real deal, I promise. You can forget about scooping, rubber gloves, plastic bags, and bad smells (most of them have filters).
Cleaning litter boxes has never been easier with these since they sift out clumps on their own and you just have to remove them. However, self-cleaning litter boxes can be pretty noisy and the sound may scare your fluff, so keep that in mind before getting one.
Things to keep in mind beside these litter box cleaning hacks
Now that you know a couple of hacks when it comes to cleaning litter boxes, I have to share something else with you. Except for suiting up before doing the dirty job, here are some other things that you have to pay attention to.
Always have one extra litter box placed in the house. If you live in a household where there are more cats, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to buy two litter boxes per cat. However, you have to place at least one that they can use in cases of emergency.
Also, you have to pay attention to the location of the litter box because that can greatly influence your feline’s habit of using it regularly. She needs to have privacy when she’s doing her business, but you need to have easy access to it in order to clean it more often.
Another thing that’s really important and that we’ve mentioned shortly before – you have to choose the right litter. Whether you want to get her clumping, non-clumping, or some sustainable alternatives, make sure your feline likes it.
There are no ifs and buts on this one, you have to clean your cat’s litter regularly and replace the litter weekly. It would be best if you could replace the litter box yearly and always opt for the top entry litter box since it won’t contain the smell inside, unlike those with lids.
Always put the right amount of litter, and if you can, buy an anti-tracking litter mat that will prevent litter from spreading around the house. Finally, if you want to make cleaning extra easy, what do you think about stainless steel litter boxes?
Will you give some of these litter box cleaning hacks a shot and become a purrfect cat owner?! Good luck!