How to Clean a Litter Box

  • By:

    Vicki Smirnova
    Vicki Smirnova

    Author: Vicki Smirnova

    Vicki S. is a professional writer and editor who adores animals and helps readers get along well with their pets. Vicki has been working in digital media for more than 5 years and has great experience writing content about lifestyle, including pets. Vicki specializes in dog health and nutrition, cat feeding, dog training. She is an aquarium lover and is passionate to write about fish care at home. Also, Vicki headed several websites and worked as a news editor.

    View all 78 articles Learn about our editorial process and veterinary review board.
  • Vet reviewed by:

    Dr. Linda Simon
    Dr. Linda Simon

    Veterinary review
    by Dr. Linda Simon

    Dr. Linda Simon is a veterinary surgeon working with seven years of experience. She is a fellow of the British Veterinary Association and specializing in animal medicine. Also, she has been the Woman magazine resident vet for the past two years and writes a regular column for them, focusing on pets and their health.

    View all 18 articles Learn about our veterinary review board
  • Viewed: 69

  • Updated on: 10/27/2020

Cats are great friends who will always please you. These animals have still been considered clean, neat, and picky about cleanliness. For the owner of a pet, it is essential to provide the cat with a toilet that it wants to use, and it will be comfortable to meet its needs.

The problem is that even if you regularly clean the cat’s toilet, you still get a characteristic smell. Keeping cat toilets clean and odorless is extremely important to ensure perfect hygiene in the home and specifically for your cat. Cats are squeamish, and the slightest unpleasant smell will scare them away, and the pet may begin to leave traces of its life on furniture, carpets, and other coverings. Your cat’s sense of smell is 14 times stronger than yours, so a litter box that you think is clean can stink quite a lot to your cat.

READ MORE: How to get rid of Cat Urine Smell?

keep cat litter box clean@sviatlanka.yanka / FreePik

READ MORE: Where to put cat litter box?

What happens if you don’t wash the cat’s toilet?

If you do not keep the cat’s toilet clean, the cat may start to refuse it. This refusal will manifest in the fact that your pet will begin to gnaw and scratch furniture, spoil carpets and other fabric surfaces and start openly pooing in your shoes. Important! Clean out the cat’s toilet every day, and thoroughly wash it 1-2 times a week. Lumps of litter and excrement left by your cat should be removed every day so that your furry friend can continue to use the toilet without replacing the bedding in full.

The ideal way to keep a toilet clean is to completely replace its contents once a week. In scorching weather, when odors spread faster, you should perform general cleaning more often. Do not skimp on the cat litter. The litter’s ideal amount is about 3-4 inches deep – this amount of litter will allow your cat to bury and hide all the waste quickly. For those who scratch and bury less, 2 inches is often sufficient.

Preparing to clean the cat’s toilet

For quick and effective cleaning of the cat’s toilet, you will need several things:

  • Trash can. Prepare and place a trash can or bag next to the cat’s toilet. This will reduce the likelihood of contamination of the floor covering during cleaning.
  • A cat toilet cleaning scoop. In order not to buy a large number of disposable medical gloves, you can buy a plastic scoop for cleaning cat toilets. The scoop will allow you to perform the procedure of extracting feces from the filler less unpleasant than in gloves.
  • Cleaners. Try to use unscented soap or an enzymatic cleaner. Avoid any ammonia containing products that smell like urine to the cat and prevent them from using the tray. Importantly, ensure the filter is non-toxic and safe for pets, to avoid gastrointestinal upset or scalded paws. Use a brush with bristles to wash the cat’s toilet. You can use an old toothbrush for this.
  • Cat litter. There are many different types of bedding for cat toilets. Whether you opt for a clumping or non-clumping option is up to you. Crystal litter made from silica gel is a current favorite among many pet owners. For significant savings, you can use ordinary sand.

READ MORE: Best Cat Litter Box Furniture

cleaning cat litter boxImage by Pexels from Pixabay

Daily cleaning of the cat’s toilet

To reduce the characteristic odors of the cat’s toilet and maintain the hygiene of your home, you should clean out the cat’s bathroom every day.

It is best to buy an exclusive scoop for cleaning cat toilets in a pet store for cleaning reliable waste products of your cat. The scoop will facilitate your cleaning and remove only unwanted components, and thanks to the holes in the scoop, unused litter will remain in the cat’s toilet. You can also use disposable gloves to protect you from zoonotic diseases such as Toxoplasmosis and intestinal worms. Always wash your hands after. Pregnant women or those that are immune-suppressed should not clean litter trays if at all possible.

There is an exceptional litter in the form of absorbable crystals. When cat urine gets on them, the crystals absorb moisture and stick together with the edges. You can also use a scoop to clean up the urinary lumps if you use this type of litter.

General cleaning of the cat’s toilet

Despite the daily cleaning, the cat’s toilet needs general cleaning and. The frequency of general cleaning of the cat’s toilet is at least one time per week.

  • The first step is to throw all the contents of the cat’s toilet in the trash or bag.
  • The next step involves washing the cat’s toilet under running water. This will allow you to wash off small remnants of filler, fecal matter, and urine residues.
  • Next, you need to thoroughly wash the cat’s toilet with a brush with bristles and unscented soap.
  • After cleaning the cat toilet with soap, it is essential to thoroughly wash off the solvent or other chemicals used for washing.
  • After washing, you should dry the cat’s toilet thoroughly or wipe it with a paper towel.
  • This is followed by the standard procedure for filling a cat’s toilet with a particular litter.
how to keep cat litter box clean@magryt / FreePik


  • It is necessary to clean the cat’s toilet every day from feces; otherwise, your cat may refuse to use this cat’s toilet and may relieve itself in other places that are not designated for this purpose.
  • If you decide to change all the litter in the cat’s toilet completely, do not rush to fill the fresh pellets in the container. Before this, pour a little food-grade sodium carbonate on the bottom of the cat’s toilet and then pour a particular litter. Sodium carbonate will hide the unpleasant smell of cat urine. Only use a skinny layer at the base of the tray and monitor your cat to ensure they do not ingest it.
  • Before general cleaning of the cat’s toilet, buy disposable gloves and a protective medical mask. They need to be used every time the litter is completely changed.
  • Do not use detergents with the smell of citrus and ammonia — they will repel the cat so that it can refuse to use its toilet altogether.

ThePets is an informational website that features articles written by qualified veterinarians and professional writers. You can learn more about our editorial process. When selecting food for your pet, use Pet Food Finder, and search for the clinic to treat your pet using Vet Clinics Locator.

4 people found this helpful.

helpful not helpful