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How to keep your cat’s litter box clean

Whisker Fabulous Cat in Litter Box

How to keep your cat’s litter box clean is a question I love to answer. As a cat, I have strong opinions about this topic. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a dirty litter box. Smelly, disgusting boxes are awful!

I’m lucky because my human has obsessive compulsive disorder. She has to make sure the house is spic and span before she leaves, whether it’s to work, the gym or leaving town for the weekend. She cleans my litter box religiously first thing in the morning and when she gets home from work.

Living with cats means you have to clean the litter box

I feel grateful she does that, because I’ve seen and heard about some pretty dirty litter boxes. One family she knows complains their cat doesn’t use the litter box and poops and pees all over the house. But upon visiting the home it was pretty obvious why. The box was only cleaned once per week. In my opinion, the cat had the right to go anywhere but the box. It was disgusting! Contrary to what some people believe, cats are extremely clean animals. Just like you flush the toilet every time you go, the least you can do is clean your kitty’s litter box at least once every day.

Dirty litter boxes are a life or death matter

This topic is near and dear to my heart because I’m a former rescue cat. It pains me to see so many felines turned into animal rescue groups or shelters for litter box issues. It’s amazing that many of these surrendered animals end up not having litter box issues in shelter, simply because they now have a clean box to use on a daily basis. In many cases where the cat goes to a new home, the litter box problems stop because the new owners understand the necessity of a clean litter box.

Dirty litter boxes can make your cat sick

A dirty litter box also causes a wide array of health issues, including bladder infections, urinary tract infections, bacterial infections and salmonellosis and parasite issues.  If a cat doesn’t want to use a dirty litter box, it will often try to hold going to the bathroom as long as possible, which creates these health problems over time.

My favorite litter boxes

So what’s the best way to clean your litter box? Mom has tried many products over the years, and has finally come down with a system that works. She can clean my litter box in less than five minutes. First, she always has two litter boxes that she alternates. While one is being used, the other is clean. Every month, she changes out the litter boxes for a deep cleaning. That simply involves getting some bleach and scrubbing out the box with hot water. If you really want to save time and energy with heavy duty cleaning, you can use disposable litter boxes. They come in a variety of sizes but you still have to scoop the stuff out, unless you’re going to use it once and toss it, which can get expensive.

Kitty Sift Disposable Litter Box
Available on

I generally use disposable litter boxes when I’m traveling to cat conferences with my mom. Otherwise, she uses regular plastic litter boxes. The Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan is awesome because it’s huge and fits my long body perfectly. The hood helps contain the litter from scattering. This is also a great litter box for obese cats, who can have trouble getting in and out of a box. If your kitty is really large, consider not putting on the hood to make it as easy as possible for the cat to get in and out.

Catit Jumbo Litter Box
Available on

Litter Box Sprays

With the Catit litter box, she uses a spray called Litter Care. It’s a product that helps keep the box clean. It’s an anti-stick spray that helps litter just slide off the bottom and sides of the plastic box and onto your scoop or rake. There are litters out there that have this kind of spray incorporated into it but mom found those litters spread and track much worse than regular litter. This spray combined with regular litter works great. Once you add in your litter of choice, the litter should just slide into your scoop after your cat does its business.

Litter for your cat’s paws

You may be wondering which litter is better… scoopable litter or non-scoopable (usually clay) litter? It’s really up to you and your cat. Just remember with non-scoopable litter, while cheaper, you need to completely dump out the litter daily or every other day. Those of you with declawed cats should think about using litter that’s not made of clay. Clay is really hard on paws with no claws. I really like World’s Best Cat Litter.

A litter mat to stop the scatter

I mentioned earlier that I scatter litter a lot. In addition to my hooded litter box, mom puts a litter mat underneath the box. I personally use the Pioneer Pets SmartCat Ultimate Litter Mat. Mom has tried at least ten different litter mats over the years and most aren’t that great. This litter mat has two layers, with the top layer being a rubber mesh so the litter falls in between and completely in the mat. To clean it, she just shakes it out outside. It’s also machine washable. 

Available on

Vacuuming that litter

My litter scatter is pretty much contained within the mat, but there’s always a little bit of litter around the box. Mom usually just takes a broom and sweeps it up quick, but she recently bought a new cordless, Dyson Animal Stick Vacuum and it’s been amazing. It hangs on the wall next to my litter box so she just grabs it and does a quick sweep.(It’s also amazing for pet hair and vacuuming stairs.) I consider this a product that should also go on my favorite thing’s list.

Available on

Living with cats and owning them is a responsibility. It’s your job to make sure you keep your cat’s litter box clean even though it’s a horrible, smelly job. Do you find yourself lazy about this daily chore? It’s time to think about your cat’s health and make their litter box a cleaning priority. There’s no better time than now. Your cat is depending on you.

This post contains affiliate links for which I earn income if you click through and make a purchase.


  1. Barbara Cairo

    Someone essentially assist to make critically posts I’d state. This is the very first time I frequented your website page and to this point? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this actual submit incredible. Wonderful process!

  2. Ivy Baker

    I really want to get a kitten this Christmas. I liked your suggestion about getting a litter mat for underneath my box. That does seem like it would help me control the mess. Also, it might be smart for me to get litter that will help control the odor.

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