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How to clean a cat litter box

Are you a new cat owner, or do you just want to know how to clean your cat's litter box and how often do you clean a cat litter box? Read on for some great advice.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

By Cleanipedia Team

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Key steps:

  1. Scoop solids and clumps of urine from the litter box daily.

  2. Every week give the litter box a deep clean.

  3. Use baking soda to help reduce odours.

A cat litter box is essential for any household with felines, whether they’re kittens or furry veterans of the litter tray, they’ve got to relieve themselves somewhere … and you’d rather it was in their litter box than on your brand new carpet!

Knowing how to clean cat litter isn’t the most glamorous of skills, but it’s crucial so that you can keep your home clean, and help keep your pets healthy. It can actually be a very simple task once you get the hang of it and find an effective strategy. So what is the best way to clean a cat litter box and how often should you do it?

Remember to clean your scooper regularly. You’ll be using it on a daily basis so it’s best to give it a squirt with a disinfectant like Domestos Bleach Spray once a week when you clean the litter box itself. This will make sure all germs are eliminated. Just remember to follow the instructions on the product’s label and follow all safety instructions.

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How often do you clean a cat litter box?

Scooping solids and clumps of urine from your cat litter box or tray daily is enough to keep it fresh but you’ll still need to have a deep clean every week. If you have more than one cat using the litter box, you may need to give it complete clean more regularly, roughly two or three times a week, depending on how often it gets used.

How to clean cat urine and faeces from litter box - daily

Before you start, be sure to put on a pair of rubber gloves and a mask to reduce the risk of toxoplasmosis, a virus that can be contracted through cat faeces. And, if you’re pregnant you should avoid cleaning the litter tray altogether – recruit someone else in your household to get the job done for you.

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To begin, all you need is a scooper:

  1. Grab your scooper and remove any faeces or clumps of urine in the litter.

  2. Pop the waste into a disposable bag and throw into the outside bin – not the one you keep in your kitchen.

  3. Top up the litter, if necessary.

Safety Warning

Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use.

How to clean a cat litter box – weekly

When that weekly deep clean comes around, be prepared with this simple seven-step method. It’s best to do this outside, or you can use the kitchen sink, just be sure to disinfect the area afterwards.

Also, remember to wear rubber gloves and a mask when cleaning a cat litter box.

  1. Open a disposable bag as wide as possible and carefully tip the contents of the litter box into the bag. Either do this outside or make sure you’ve got a dustpan and brush on hand to clean up any spillages.

  2. Use your scooper to scrape any dried litter off the box.

  3. Sweep any spillage into the bag, seal, and place in the outside bin.

  4. Spray the box with a commercial bleach, like Domestos Bleach Spray, and wipe it down using a clean sponge or cloth. Remember to follow the instructions on the product’s label and to keep your gloves on. For a milder alternative, you can try a solution of warm water and dishwashing liquid. Be sure to scrub the inside and outside of the box.

  5. Rinse the box to make sure all bleach or soap has been washed away.

  6. Leave the box to try. Air-drying is best, but if you’re short for time you can use paper towels to wipe it dry. It’s important to make sure the box is completely dry before you put in the fresh litter, as the litter will stick to the box if it’s still wet.

  7. Once the box is dry, refill with litter and place it back in its normal spot, ready for your pet to use.

Cat litter box smell hacks

Cleaning your cat litter box regularly should help to keep it smelling fresh, but there are extra measures you can take to prolong the freshness.

  • Sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda on the bottom of the tray before refilling it with litter. Baking soda is super absorbent so it can help to keep nasty smells at bay.

  • Try a different type of litter. Some cat litters are specially designed to fight odours so it could be worth trying a new brand. Wheat litter is also a good option as it naturally helps control odour. Also you may find that clumping litters are better at fighting odours than non-clumping variants.

  • Make sure the room is well-ventilated. Don’t hide the litter box away in a dark, enclosed space – this will just make the smell worse. Keep your litter box in a well-ventilated area and be sure to prop a window open regularly.

Now you know how to clean a cat litter tray in just a few simple steps you can keep your household smelling fresh and keep your pet healthy, too!

Originally published