Gray tabby using a freshly cleaned litter box

Cleaning Your Cat’s Litter Box Without Making Them Mad

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If your cat has been using other spots in your home instead of the litter box, it can sometimes mean they detected a smell they don’t like. You know, besides all the other smells coming out of the litter box.

So, brush up on the steps involved in keeping your cat’s litter box clean and odor free. They might even thank you by throwing up on tile instead of the carpet next time.

Scoop the Litter Box Daily

Scooping your cat’s litter box daily is an absolute must for their health and to keep that cat pee smell from stinking up your home. If you have more than one cat, you might need to do it a few times each day. Then top it up so they’ve got stable footing—two or three inches will do.

Pro Tip

When you scoop, be sure to you throw out the clumps. Cat litter is one of those things you shouldn’t flush, even if it’s the natural kind.

Change Cat Litter on Schedule

With daily scooping and fresh litter top-ups, you may only need to replace the cat litter every two to four weeks if you use the hard clumping kind. Non-clumping litters and plant-based alternatives usually require weekly changes, so you’ll need to dump and refill it after washing.

Wash Routinely

If you use litter box liners, you may only need to wash the box once a month or immediately after discovering a hole in the liner. Otherwise, wash it once a week outside, in a utility sink, or in a shower using mild soap and water. Rinse thoroughly so your cat does not get put off by the smell of soap and start peeing elsewhere.

Disinfect After Cleaning

Disinfect your litter box monthly after washing it. Saturate the box on all sides with hydrogen peroxide or a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar. Let this soak for 30 minutes then rinse and dry the box before refilling it.

Don’t use bleach or other cleaning products: cats are sensitive to smells and these can be harmful to their health. Guess how they’ll give you a piece of their mind over it?

Deodorize As Needed

Baking soda is an all-natural, simple way to deodorize your litter box without harming or off-putting your cat. Sprinkle it on the bottom of the liner or box before adding litter, and mix more in after scooping each day.

An Annual Gift

Litter boxes should be replaced every year so they remain easy to clean and deodorize. Since they’re made from hard plastic, stray bits of litter and your cat’s claws can leave scratches which let odors collect.

So, even with routine maintenance, it’s a good idea to give your cat a clean, new litter box for their birthday. You know, plus treats.

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2 Comments

  1. NorCalGal says:

    Katie, Very helpful kitty tips. I found a stainless steel litter box for my kitty girl. So far, so good and it cleans up nicely. (8 months use)

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Oh wow, a stainless steel one sounds fantastic!

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