How to keep litter box clean

  • By:

    Victoria Smirnova

    Victoria Smirnova is a writer and editor who adores animals and helps readers get along well with their pets. While studying at the University, Victoria became interested in writing articles on different themes. Before The Pets, Viki headed several websites and worked as a news editor. Victoria has been working in digital media for more than 5 years and has great experience writing content about lifestyle, including pets.

    View all 27 articles Learn about our editorial process
  • 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 14 articles Learn about our veterinary review board
  • Viewed: 21

  • Updated on: 06/05/2020

Cats are great friends who will always please you. These animals have always been considered clean, neat, and picky about cleanliness. For the owner of a pet, it is important to provide the cat with a toilet that it wants to use, and in which 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 very 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.

@sviatlanka.yanka / FreePik

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 itself in the fact that your pet will begin to gnaw and scratch furniture, spoil carpets and other fabric surfaces and may start openly pooing in your shoes. Important! Clean out the cat’s toilet every day, and completely 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 litter in full.

The ideal way to keep a toilet clean is to completely replace its contents once a week. In especially hot weather, when odors spread faster, you should perform general cleaning more often. Do not skimp on the cat litter. The ideal amount of litter is about 3-4 inches deep – this amount of litter will allow your cat to bury and hide all the waste easily. 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 odorless soap or an enzymatic cleaner. Avoid any ammonia containing products, which smell like urine to the cat and may prevent them from using the tray. Importantly, ensure the cleaner is non-toxic and safe for pets, in order to prevent 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 litter 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 favourite among many pet owners. For significant savings, you can use ordinary sand.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Daily cleaning of the cat’s toilet

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

For cleaning solid waste products of your cat, it is best to buy a special scoop for cleaning cat toilets in a pet store. The scoop will facilitate your cleaning and allow you to 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 a special litter in the form of absorbable crystals. When cat urine gets on them, the crystals absorb moisture and stick together with the edges. If you use this type of litter, you can also use a scoop to clean up the urinary lumps.

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 odorless soap.
  • After you have washed the cat toilet with soap, it is important to thoroughly wash off the soap or other chemicals that you used for washing.
  • After washing, you should dry the cat’s toilet well or wipe it with a paper towel.
  • This is followed by the standard procedure for filling a cat’s toilet with a special litter.
@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 special litter. Sodium carbonate will hide the unpleasant smell of cat urine. Only use a very thin 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.

4 people found this helpful.

helpful not helpful