This Routine Will Make Managing Cat Litter So Much Easier

Ahh, cats. Cute, playful and cuddly, they make wonderful pets. But — my goodness — isn’t cleaning the litter box a chore we could all do without? Handling another animals smelly poop isn’t the cheeriest of chores, but it’s a necessary one. Here’s a litter box cleaning routine that will make it all a bit simpler.

1. Wear reusable gloves and a mask

Cat poop is no joke! Wearing a mask and protective gloves will help reduce risk of getting toxoplasmosis, a dangerous virus that can be contracted through cat feces. Keep both handy for daily cleaning of your litter box.

2. Set up a sealed “collection station”

There’s a reason sealed diaper pails are so popular: they mean less trips to the dumpster! Use a similar strategy for your litter box and set up a convenient litter disposal system in your home. If you want to buy something made expressly for this purpose, I recommend the Litter Genie Pail. Otherwise, a metal coffee can (or other sealed container) lined with a disposable bag will do perfectly. Simply scoop directly into the container and wait to empty till it fills completely.

3. Make sure you have the right tools

Having the right tools in your litter-box-cleaning arsenal will majorly help with the convenience factor. Here are a few specific tools I recommend:

  1. A great litter - Select a litter that is biodegradable (yay!) and has built-in odor control (just make sure it’s also fragrance-free). I’m a big fan of the Healthy Pet ococat natural wood cat litter, but there are lots of options out there.
  2. A sturdy scoop - Don’t fumble around with something flimsy and plastic. Get yourself a heavy-duty metal scoop instead.
  3. Disinfecting wipes - Grab a pack of disinfecting wipes to clean around the box whenever you scoop it. Not supporting disposables? Here’s a recipe for how to make your own.
  4. A handheld vacuum - Everyone loves a great mini appliance! Small cordless handheld vacuums like this one make cleaning up litter that’s been tracked outside the box a breeze. Doing this here and there throughout the day helps with tidiness and smell management.
  5. A litter-catching mat - Keep litter and spray from damaging floors and baseboards by laying a strong mat underneath your litter box, wherever it’s placed. You’ll be grateful you did!

4. Scoop cat litter daily

Yes, this is a hassle, but give it a little time and you’ll soon have a habit in place. Find a time in your day when adding one extra task isn’t much of a burden. I always scoop our cat box nightly before getting ready for bed. Brush your teeth, scoop the litter box. It’s easy! Doing this is the single best thing you can do to manage the smell, so stick with it.

5. Add fresh litter every three days

As clumped litter gets scooped out day by day, you’ll soon start to notice the box is running a little low. Once the sand (or other material) gets below an inch, it’s time to add more litter. In my experience, this happens every three days or so.

6. Empty and wash the litter box once a week

Once a week is about the limit of any cat litter. Wait any longer and you’ll have a smelly mess on your hands. Once a week, whenever you’re doing your other routine cleaning, take mats, trays, garbage can and boxes outside for a good deep clean. Pressure wash if you have the option, then sanitize with good ‘ol fashioned white distilled vinegar; otherwise, just grab an old mop and scrub away. Dry fully, then reset the system in your house.

7. Freshen things up

There are a million tips and tricks out there for how to keep a litter box from smelling. Here are a few tips that have science on their side and are totally cat-safe:

  1. Baking soda - Sprinkle half a cup of baking soda over your litter each time you replace it fully. Mix in and let it do its work!
  2. Fresh coffee - Few deodorizers work better than coffee. Seriously! Simply add half a cup of fresh coffee grounds (not used) to your box once a week.
  3. Charcoal filters - Charcoal air purifying bags are an inexpensive, natural and eco-friendly way to capture odor. Place by your litter box and “recharge” when instructions direct.

114 comments

Ruth S
Ruth S2 months ago

Thanks.

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Ruth S
Ruth S2 months ago

Thanks.

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Colin Clauscen
Colin C2 months ago

Yes keep it clean

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Diane E
Diane E2 months ago

I use wood pellets for the cats and paper based litter for the rabbit.Change the litter frequently and we have happy creatures and a healthy family.

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Carole R
Carole R2 months ago

I rarely use them.

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Carole R
Carole R2 months ago

So many rules. I've been changing litter for over 50 years without a problem.

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Ellie L
Past Member 2 months ago

tyfs

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O2 months ago

Fewer trips to the dumpster, not less trips. Learn English

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O2 months ago

Newspapers do fine under the tray, change as often as needed.

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hELEN hEARFIELD
hELEN h2 months ago

tyfs

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