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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Check the litterbox for solids every time you use the bathroom. You were going to wash your hands anyway.
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:
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.
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.
Can anyone recommend a kitty litter product that doesn't stick to your cat's feet and track all over the place?
We have two cats and used to have two litter boxes. We used to keep one of the litter boxes in the kid's bathroom, but even after putting it in a large storage container with high sides and using one of those no-track mats, the litter would stick to the cat's feet and end up all over the bathroom floor when they jumped out of the storage container. I was sweeping in there almost daily and it would still stick to the kids damp feet when they got out of the shower - disgusting!
I tried removing that litter box and keeping just the one downstairs, which I clean daily. One cat has no problem with this. The other cat will poop in the downstairs litter box, but will not pee in it. He now pees on the bathroom floor where the old litter box used to be and if someone is in that bathroom when he needs to use it, he will scratch on the door twice and if it doesn't open, he proceeds to go to a room where there is a person and pee on the carpet along the edge of the room, even if the closest person is nowhere near that bathroom - jerk! It's driving me crazy.
So it looks like I have to put the litter-box back in the bathroom and might even need to put in a cat door in case someone has the gall to actually use the bathroom. I a little concerned about this as it is right at the top of the stairs. This means I'm back to my original problem - how to keep the cat litter from tracking all over the bathroom floor? Any ideas? He is very set on this particular location and I have three kids using this rather small bathroom including a teenage daughter that likes to take long baths with the door shut.
If you have a long-haired cat chances are the litter is sticking to the fur around and between his toes (that's what the problem is with our male cat).
We improved the "tracking situation" by placing an old bath mat under the front of the litter box (the kind with rubber backing so it doesn't bunch up) and carefully trimming the long tufts of fur on the bottoms of his feet. This has helped a lot, but now while cleaning, we have the added step of taking the mat outside and shaking the litter out of it, and washing it every couple of weeks.
Just a suggestion - I know it's frustrating but our pets add so much to our lives, aren't they worth it?