Cleaning and Maintaining a Cat Litter Box

Cats make great pets but keeping your house from smelling like a cat box can be a challenge. With regular cleaning and proper maintenance, your cat box can go unnoticed by you and your friends. This guide is about cleaning and maintaining a cat litter box.
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August 2, 2015 Flag

We don't have any pets of our own and I'm having the pleasure of keeping my 2 grandcats for a couple of weeks.

When Max does his business, he loves to dig deep into the litter box and sometimes the urine sticks to the side and bottom of the box. When trying to remove it, no matter how hard I bang the box on the floor, it does not turn loose. If I try to scoop it out, the wet litter sticks to the scoop and makes a big mess.

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This morning I came up with the idea of using the sharp top of the cat food can to lift it up. I put some duct tape around the part I hold so I won't cut myself. It worked great.

Although the litter is deep, I'll add a little more to it and that should also help.

August 9, 20152 found this helpful

Having only one cat makes my litter-issues easy to handle. I put a layer of folder newspaper in the bottom of my litter pan. Then, I add about a soup-can size amount of litter-that's all! After a cat-poop appears, I dump the whole thing in a garbage-bag lined, covered container, outside (on my balcony, since I live in a second floor apt.). I then replace the newspaper and small amount of litter, so my cat always has a fresh litter box. About once every two weeks, I take the trash bag litter to the dumpster. A 20 lb bag of (cheap!) litter lasts about a month-or more. Occasionally, I give the litter pan a good "bath" and spray it with disinfectant.

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May 16, 2008 Flag
3 found this helpful

I have 10 cat litter boxes for our "always full" cat shelter. Over the years we have learned several things to keep the litter costs down, keep things clean, and we make our own litter boxes for some of our big cats.

First, we use large, high sided, plastic totes as litter boxes. We cut a hole in either the front or the side of the tote with a box cutter. (Be careful when using the cutter please.) These litter boxes fit our Maine Coon mixes (20 lbs. of big cat). The high sides of the boxes allow for any spraying incidents to stay within the box and keeps the litter inside the box as some cats love to really dig.



Second, we have a roll of paper towels and a cleaned, reused dishwashing soap bottle (with a hand-written label on it) filled with a mixture of bleach and water in every room of the house. The mixture is 1/8 part bleach and the rest water. The paper towels and bleach mixture take care of any accidents right away. Having these cleaning supplies within easy reach helps us keep on top of things and is very cost effective.

Third, we use cedar shavings as litter. This is the same type of litter used in small animal cages but we buy it at Wal-mart in very large, compressed bags. Cedar shavings smell wonderful, are very absorbent, have little to no dust, do not track all over the place as badly as most litter and it is bio-degradable. (A word to the wise, do not change your cats litter from one type to another all at once or you are doomed to failure. Go slow. It can take weeks or months, slowly mixing in some of the new litter to the old.) Cedar shavings are inexpensive and you'll feel how light weight the box is when compared to higher priced litter. But, you must change the box out completely about every 3-4 days. Unlike scoopable litters, shavings do not clump. On the plus side, cleaning and refilling the box is fairly easy. A trash can on wheels helps. Empty the litter box, use your handy bottle of bleach mix to clean it, wipe out with a paper towel and refill the box. Soon, you'll have this chore down to a science.


By Marie from Rosenberg, TX

April 22, 20100 found this helpful
Top Comment

To clean litter boxes I took a hint from the Cleaning ladies from BBC. I cover the bottom with baking soda, and when I change it I pour vinegar in the bottom. This foams up the pan, and cleans and deodorizes. I pour out the 'sluge' and recoat with baking soda, put in litter, and replace.

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February 6, 20120 found this helpful
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January 29, 2005 Flag
11 found this helpful

There is nothing I despise more than cleaning the litter box. Even when you dump it, there is still litter stuck to the bottom that you have to scrape out, and it stinks to all high heaven. Well, here's a way to keep the stink off and save yourself the trouble.

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December 27, 2011 Flag

If you're like me and have multiple indoor cats, you need several litter boxes. It's often hard to find a spot to keep them where they're not too much of an eyesore and the litter that gets kicked out doesn't cause an issue.

Litterbox in the basement inside a dog crate.

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November 12, 2014 Flag
3 found this helpful

Get 4 or 5 litter boxes of the same size. Fill each one with a few inches of litter. Stack one on top of another. When it's time to change the litter just remove the top most box.

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May 27, 2005 Flag
5 found this helpful

To keep clumping kitty litter from sticking to the bottom of the pan, spray it with non-stick cooking spray before adding the litter. It works like a charm!!

Mya and Max, two housecats.

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January 15, 2014 Flag

I use an ice cream bucket to put the litter clumps in. The top fits tightly so I don't have to worry about odor, and they are disposable.

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May 28, 2015 Flag
4 found this helpful

I love my cats, but I don't love stinky litter boxes so I have two litter boxes. One is in use and the other is away. When one box gets dirty I replace it with the other box to give me time to empty the first one and thoroughly clean and sanitize it with vinegar, water, a bit of dish detergent and baking soda.

Fuzzy and Lil Orphan Annie

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October 25, 2007 Flag
2 found this helpful

Having had cats, and litter boxes, all my life I've tried every combination of things to make cleaning out the litter box quick, clean and easy.

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April 8, 2008 Flag
2 found this helpful

You can recycle even when cleaning up after your kitties! I was scooping the cat litter into plastic bags each day, thinking I was recycling the bags, but duh! They still sit in the landfill, not breaking down.

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December 27, 2007 Flag
4 found this helpful

Save the can that coffee came in and the lid. When empty, use the can to put dirty cat litter in, the kind that lumps and put the lid on top. This will keep the odor at bay and can be used several times.

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October 17, 2011 Flag
3 found this helpful

With this system you use clumping litter and every other day lift out the layer on top and it sifts the good litter down for the next day. Then just throw away the layer with the soiled litter.

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March 8, 2011 Flag
6 found this helpful

When cleaning cat boxes, the ammonia smell lingers. Although ammonia is a weak base, it can also be a weak acid. My solution was to reduce the acidity by putting a small layer of wood ash from my fireplace in the bottom of the cat box, then add the litter.

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January 22, 2012 Flag
4 found this helpful

Check the litterbox for solids every time you use the bathroom. You were going to wash your hands anyway.

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August 11, 2011 Flag
3 found this helpful

Litter boxes can get smelly and dirty very quickly, especially if you have multiple cats. Here are a few tips to keep your litter box clean and smelling fresh:

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October 18, 2011 Flag

I have found that Scoop Away is by far the best clumping litter. Sometimes my cats get lazy and don't cover their "product," and Scoop Away leeches the odor very well; likewise, for the urine.

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October 25, 2011 Flag
1 found this helpful

Hard clumping litter makes it easier to notice when you need to fork out the clumps. Plus having an automatic battery operated air spray freshener nearby helps.

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July 13, 2015 Flag

Can anyone recommend a kitty litter product that doesn't stick to your cat's feet and track all over the place?

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