Successfully Cleaning Your Cat’s Litter Box

The cleaner your cat’s litter box is, the more likely she’ll be to use it regularly. The more she uses it, the less chance there is of urine marking or spraying and accidents outside of the box. Follow these tips from an Indianapolis’ Southside veterinarian to keep kitty’s litter box clean and your house smelling fresh.

Daily Scooping

Once a day, take your litter scoop and clean out the clumped litter. A scoop with small, close-set holes works best to get the clumps without taking a lot of unused litter with it. After you’re done cleaning out the clumps, put some fresh litter in to replace what you removed. You can try sprinkling a small amount of baking soda on the litter to keep it even fresher.

Weekly Deep-Clean

Once a week, dump the litter box completely and soak it in hot water for 10 minutes. For some boxes, a simple hot water treatment will clean it just fine—for particularly smelly or dirty boxes, you might want to add a small drop of dish soap to help remove dirt, or a bit of vinegar or hydrogen peroxide to remove smells and bacteria. Avoid using detergents, chemicals, ammonia, bleach, or other possibly harmful materials that could leave a dangerous residue behind. Scrub the box with a sponge, brush, or cloth.


Once you’ve cleaned the litter box, let it completely air dry, or speed up the process with a paper towel or cloth. Sprinkle some baking soda in the bottom before refilling with fresh litter. It’s best not to use scented products or perfumes on the box in an attempt to make it smell better—for one, they may simply repel your cat and discourage her from using the box, and they may even be toxic to your cat when inhaled.

A daily refresher and a weekly thorough cleaning should do the trick to keep your cat’s litter box clean and fresh, and have your house smelling just fine! Ask your Indianapolis’ Southside veterinarian for more helpful tips.


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