How to Clean a Cat Litter Box the Right Way
Have you always wondered how to clean a cat litter box in the fastest and most hygienic way possible?
We love cats for many reasons. They’re cute and adorable. They’re easier to take care of compared to dogs. And they’re not demanding, as they’re pretty much happy even if you give them the essentials like food, water, and a warm sleeping area.
If there’s one cat-related chore that you may likely detest, then it should be cleaning a litter box of your cat. Yes, There are self cleaning cat litter box, but you still need to clean them. After all, the smell of your cat’s litter box can be so awful you would likely lose appetite to have dinner afterward. And it’s pretty embarrassing when your guests comment that there’s something smelly in your house.
It's something you can’t skip. Aside from making your home smelling sweet, regularly cleaning your cat’s litter box can prevent him from getting sick.
Cleaning your cat’s litter box can also mean that he will usually use his litter box, and going back to peeing or defecating on your carpet or hardwood floor.
So how do you clean your cat’s litter box in the most efficient way possible? Read on and find out.
What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial
Here’s a list of the things that you need to have if you are to clean your cat’s litter box:
- Two large trash bag— this is where you will be disposing your cat waste. Simply put, the larger the trash bag is, the more litter that you can dispose of. You will also need to use two trash bags in disposing of your cat’s waste.
- Rubber gloves—obviously, litter boxes are teeming with bacteria that can cause several health complications like toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease due to infection with the toxoplasmagondii parasite
- Mask—like rubber gloves, a mask can protect you. It can prevent you from inhaling litter particles, especially if you use litter that is extremely fine.
- Dish soap/detergent--- choose a mild dish soap or detergent as cats are notorious for disliking strong odors. Avoid using soap or detergent that has a strong citrus scent in particular, if you don’t want your cat to urinate outside the litter box.
- Warm water
- Litter—you can choose between clumping or non-clumping litter.
- Dedicated sponge—this means a sponge that is only used for cleaning your cat’s litter box. You don’t want a sponge that was used for your cat’s litter box and then re-used for cleaning your kitchen countertop, right?
- Scooper—look for a special scooper that is available in most pet stores. These scoopers are designed with a grated bottom that would let you collect solid waste. The surrounding litter, meanwhile, would fall through and go back into the litter box.
- Cat box liner--- this can facilitate quick and hygienic disposal of used litter. It comes in handy when using a non-scooping litter as it can contain the excess urine that appears to pool. But fecal matter may get stuck to the liner, which can just complicate the scooping process.
- Old towel--- for drying a cleaned litter box
You can also try another method, popularized online by veterinarian Lisa Pierson. Called Pierson’s method, this litter box cleaning method requires the following:
- Lots of clumping litter
- Bleach solution
- Paper towel
Step By Step Instructions On How To Clea A Cat Litter Box
Here’s how to clean your cat’s litter box:
1. Make it a habit
Check the litter box for any solid waste at least once or twice a day. Scoop solid waste as soon as you see one. You can do this in the morning before feeding them, and at night just before you go to bed.
While this may appear time-consuming, it means there’s a little likelihood of collapsed clumps and litter getting stuck to the bottom of the litter box (which can make your work a lot tougher).
2. Scooping the waste
Using the special scooper, collect the solid waste in the litter box. Scoop out urine clumps as well, which should clump if you use a clumping litter. If you are using a non-clumping litter, you can sprinkle a layer of baking soda before pouring in the litter. This should help in controlling the urine odor.
3. Removing urine clumps
ou can also remove the urine clumps that get trapped in the corners of the litter box by tipping the box onto its side. This will reveal those clumps. You can then remove those urine clumps by tapping or scraping them out.
4. Disposing of the litter
Bring out the two trash bags. Scoop the litter into one bag, tie it up and then place it into the other bag. Tie up the second bag tightly. His should prevent the odor and bacteria from leaking out of the bag and causing a bad stench in your house of apartment.
Dispose the dual bags outside or in a sealed trash receptacle.
5. Using the cat box liner
If you decide to use a cat box liner, then you don’t have to scoop each solid waste in the litter box. You only have to lift the cat box liner by the corners. Then place it in the trash bag. Other cat box liners require you to grab a drawstring, pull, and dispose the liner into a bag.
6. Replacing the litter
Emptying the litter box and replacing the litter doesn’t have to be done daily. Most cat parents change the litter at least once a week. Others do so once or twice a month, depending on the usage of the litter box.
7. Cleaning the litter box
When you change the litter, you must also take time to clean the litter box. You can use a sudsy mixture of dish soap and warm water to give the litter box a thorough cleansing. You can do this in the laundry sink, or outside your house using a bucket. Don’t do it in your kitchen sink, unless you want those bacteria getting into your plates and spoons.
You must also wash your litter box’s cover or hood. Rinse the litter box thoroughly with clean water, preferably using a garden hose. Dry it using an old towel. If it’s sunny, let it dry outside.
If you’re using a cat box liner, make sure that the litter box is dry before placing it. If you aren’t using one, simply pour the new litter into the litter box with a depth of around 2-3 inches for an adult cat.
Here Is A Video Tutorial Of A Person Cleaning A Cat Litter Box
Dr. Pierson’s Method
As mentioned earlier, Dr. Pierson’s method is an excellent alternative to the traditional way of cleaning the litter box. Here’s how to do it:
1. Put plenty of clumping litter
This will make urine and feces clump and intact, which should make it easier for you to scoop your cat’s waste. Pour a lot of clumping litter into the box so that your cat’s waste will be suspended in the box.
This way, the litter won’t stick to the bottom of the litter box, and make it difficult for you to scrape it off.If you are using a hooded litter box, Dr. Pierson recommends pouring litter that is up to 4 inches high from the bottom of the box. At that level, your cats would not be able to dig in or reach the bottom of the litter box.
2. Using the tilt method
Instead of scooping the clumps of urine, Dr. Pierson recommends the “tilt” method. Hold the trash bag open, and then tilt the litter box so that all litter would fall inside it.When properly executed, this can ensure that you will be able to get rid of the whole clump. Moreover, there won’t be any chance of breaking the clumps into pieces, and making your clean-up even harder.
3. Use diluting bleach with water
In cleaning the litter box, Dr. Pierson recommends diluting bleach with water and then pouring it into a spray bottle. Spray the sides of the litter box as needed.
4. Use diluted vinegar with water solution
When it is time to change the litter, you can use a diluted vinegar and water solution in washing the floor area. Dr. Pierson recommends not using any commercially available cleaning solution as cats are very finicky.
So Which One Is The Better Way Of Cleaning Your Cat’s Litter Box?
While Dr. Piersons’ method looks very quick and efficient, the truth is that it can be very costly. Pouring a lot of clumping litter into a litter box isn’t economical at all. And clumping litter isn’t cheap, to begin with.
Cleaning the litter box of your cat is one of those chores that we don’t like, but it just has to be done. Fortunately, cleaning the cat litter doesn’t have to be that hard. As long as you make it a habit to scoop your pet’s litter regularly, change the litter every week or so, and clean the litter box, then your feline friend should be able to defecate and urinate in his litter box on a consistent basis.
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