You’re Doing It All Wrong: This Is How to Clean a Litter Box Properly
It’s the one thing about our cats that we’re not really keen on discussing. Yes, we’re talking about the dirty litter box. As much as you might want to forget the box and focus on your cat’s adorable antics, it’s important you understand the importance of cleaning the cat litter box and the right way to do it. Here's what you need to know.
It’s the one thing about our cats that we’re not really keen on discussing. Yes, we’re talking about the dirty litter box. Serving as a refuge of sorts, it’s where cats do their bathroom business and where we can actually get information regarding their health—this is especially helpful when kitty suddenly acts out of character. As much as we want to ignore the box and focus on our cat’s adorable antics, however, it’s important that we commit to cleaning the litter box.
How to Clean a Litter Box in 5 Easy Steps
Before we get into cleaning the box itself you may find that there will be less work for you in the long run. When you use a kitty litter mat under your cat's litter box you'll find that you'll have a smaller mess to clean up. Make sure every few days to shake out the mat to get loose bits out.
To ensure that your cat litter box is cleaned properly and thoroughly, you have to observe this simple process:
Step 1: Wear Gloves and a Mask
We’ve told you this in our post about how your dirty litter box is putting you and your cat at risk, but we’ll say it again to remind you: a horde of bacteria and parasites is calling your cat’s litter box their home. They aren’t just snuggly staying there, but they’re using it to get to you and your family!
Protect yourself against these invisible enemies by wearing gloves and a mask. The gloves will help keep the dirty litter and its microscopic tenants from directly touching your skin. On the other hand, the mask will prevent you from breathing in excessive ammonia, which cat litter tends to produce.
Step 2: Scoop Cat Litter Daily
This is the easy part. Well, it’s easy unless you have ten cats and eleven litter boxes to maintain. Anyway, all you have to do is religiously scoop poop and, if you’re using clumping litter, clumped pee.
You will be forgiven if you missed a day of cleaning, but do remember that cats are clean freaks and finicky. Depending on your cat’s unique personality and preferences, he may or may not try to hold it in until you get around to cleaning.
This isn’t really a threat, but you should think twice before avoiding the litter box cleaning duty because kitty’s health rests in your hand.
Step 3: Add Litter Every Two or Three Days
After several days of scooping dirty litter, the sand in the litter box will be running low. Once you notice that it’s getting close to around one centimeter in height, it’s time to add more.
Actually, you don’t really have time to consider whether more litter is needed or not because soon enough, your cat will stop covering his poop completely to will you into cleaning it and pouring extra cat litter. Believe me, if a pile of poop sausages doesn’t get you cleaning and adding more litter, I don’t know what will.
Step 4: Empty and Wash the Litter Box Every Week
During the weekends, you shouldn’t only think of playing and resting but also cleaning—cleaning the cat litter box completely, that is.
For this weekly task, it’s essential that you empty the whole box into a trash bin. Don’t forget to wear that pair of gloves and a mask before doing so. Once all the litter has been dumped, you can start the actual cleaning process using mild, non-scented detergent. Scrub all sides of the box with a sponge or rag and rinse it with warm water. You can actually add a drop or two of vinegar to the detergent to help kill harmful microorganisms lurking on the box.
Step 5: Sprinkle Baking Soda, Use Charcoal, or Line the Cat Litter Box with a Filter
After thoroughly washing and drying the cat litter box, the last thing to do is to deodorize it. A deodorizer will keep the box smelling fresh and clean longer, which your cat will no doubt appreciate.
You have three basic options when it comes to litter box deodorizers: baking soda, charcoal briquettes, and filters. For baking soda, you just have to sprinkle a tablespoon or two on the box before adding litter.
The same goes for both the charcoal briquettes and filters; just place them on the bottom of the box before putting cat litter to help reduce odor. Alternatively, you can hang them near the box, making sure they’re covered enough to prevent kitty from toying and accidentally ingesting bits of them.
Bathroom cleaning is certainly the one chore that people unanimously avoid. However, it’s a job that needs to be done, especially for our cute little furry friends who can’t do it themselves. Make sure you clean the litter box properly by following the steps we shared with you above.
Do you have other tips for keeping the litter box sparkly clean? Make sure to share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below!
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