How To Clean a Litter Box
Cleaning is probably the part about cat litter boxes that most cat owners are feared of. However, it is a job that shouldn't be neglected. You must clean and maintain the litter box.
There are multiple easy ways that will ease the job of how to clean a litter box. Probably the main reason why you want to clean the box, despite the awful smell coming from it is to stop germ and bacteria spread. It is a very serious thing. If you avoid or "hate" cleaning the litter box, it will be a great source for health danger.
You definitely don't want a sick pet. I know most of you resent cleaning the litter box.
Thankfully for you, I am here to provide you with a lot of valuable knowledge on how to clean a litter box the best way. All you have to do is read this information carefully and put it into action. After that you have to create a habit of cleaning the box without any willpower.
Maintaining and washing the litter box isn't actually a pretty complicated and nasty thing like the majority of pet owners think.
I truly believe that it is a marketing trick of modern electronic, automatic litter box companies.
They constantly fill our mind about how time consuming, nasty and hard it is to go after the cat's waste. We can't be mad at them. They are really trying to improve their business.
Let's cut up the talking and hop directly to the steps on how to clean a litter box.
Cleaning The Cat's Waste Can Be Dangerous
You always have to keep in mind that cleaning the cat's waste can be dangerous to the person cleaning it. As I said before, litter boxes are a great source for odor, bacteria and germ spread. If not cleaned, it will be even more harmful to the furry friend of yours.
Prior to cleaning the cat litter cabinet system, you have to secure yourself. All you have to do is put on rubber gloves and a simple mask. The gloves will prevent you get in touch with nasty feces directly.
The mask will stop the bad scent occupying your nostrils, and reduce the risk of toxoplasmosis. It is a dangerous virus that is contained in cat's feces. If you get contracted with this virus, there aren't any notable symptoms in adults.
However, it can be extremely dangerous to inborn children. That is why pregnant women shouldn't clean the cat's litter box at all costs. If you are a pregnant women you should simply friendly ask another person to help you with the box maintenance. People are extremely helpful to pregnant women.
You shouldn't risk your and your inborn child's health for a simple task that is litter box cleaning.
Some people just simply don't use those two helpful cleaning tools. I think that they are doing themselves disfavor.
Litter Box Cleaning Process
The first step of the how to clean a litter box process is to throw the nasty and smelly litter out of the litter box.
After that you have to carefully rub the box hard enough so all of the stains will be cleaned. Then you have to pour in fresh and new litter and you are ready to go.
If there is dried up litter on the bottom of the litter pan, you can simply use the litter box scoop and scrub it until it falls off.
If you prefer to use litter liners, all you have to do is pull each of the liner's corners out of the box and throw it into a thrash bag. When you pour the nasty litter into a thrash bag, I recommend you wear a mask. There will be a lot of dust that can cause you health issues in the long run. You want to avoid this at all costs.
If some of the litter falls on the ground, you must sweep it and throw it into the thrash bag. You can throw the used litter everywhere, except the bathroom and kitchen's trash cans.
I'd advise you throw the used litter in the thrash cans outside your house. That way there won't be any spread of bacteria and smell. It is the safest solution out there.
How To Perfectly Clean The Litter Box On The Inside and Outside
The cleaning process of the litter box is extremely easy. I recommend you clean the litter box outside. There won'be any mess caused, plus you can simply leave the box there for a certain period of time until it dries off.
Some people can't clean the box outside, so they clean it in the washing room or kitchen's sink and tub. Don't ever do this. There will be a lot of bacteria coming out of the box. You don't want that to stick to those areas.
If you live in a very small apartment and can't clean it outside, I'd recommend you to clean it in the laundry sink. After you found the right location, it is time to get dirty!
For cleaning always use dish detergent. The reason why it is perfect for cat litter box cleaning is because it doesn't contain any chemicals and smells that are dangerous for the health of humans and cats. Cats will love the pleasant smell coming out of the dish soap.
Next, put your cleaning gloves on and clean the litter box' outsides and insides with it. Carefully scrub all areas of the box. If it is an extra large (XL) litter box with lid, you should also pay attention to the enclosure. A lot of pet owners avoid cleaning the litter box hood. It is completely not clever. I cannot understand why they don't clean it.
After you rub the indoor and outdoor with dish soap and sponge, it is time to rinse it off with warm water. The reason why I prefer warm water is because it kills all the remaining bacteria.
If you are still skeptical about the cleanliness about the box, you can repeat this process over again.
After cleaning, you need to put the box outside and let it dry on it's own. You can use a towel to fasten this process. Then you can put in a new liner (if you use one), and pour in new litter (no more than 2-3 inches). This is all you have to know in order to know how to clean a litter box.
After you place the freshly cleaned box back into place, your cat will salute you and be very grateful for it!
How Often Are You Supposed To Clean a Litter Box
As a rule of thumb, I recommend you clean the litter box in detail once every week, no matter if the box is manual-scooping or completely self-cleaning.
There still isn't a litter box on the market today that completely washes on it's own, without any human maintenance. You also have to scoop the litter at least once a day (depending of the type of the litter box and how often your cat urinates and defecates).
If you make scooping and cleaning the box in detail a habit, then you won't even use a bit of your willpower to do this necessary thing. This is the beauty of habit creating.
All you have to do is constantly scoop the litter box 7 days is a row, no matter what happens during those days. You will have to sacrifice 5 minutes daily the most, so your indoors will once again shine bright like they used to.
After those 7 days of constantly scooping, you should clean the box in detail like I've explained in the text above. This will probably be the hardest week in your litter box maintenance career.
After that everything will be smooth and you won't even be bothered by the horrible smell or the dried out litter stuck to the litter box bottom. Nowadays, there are semi-sifting litter boxes that don't require a scoop. A lot of people can not simply accept this habit creation cleaning tip, and they are willing to invest hundreds of dollars in electronic self-scooping litter boxes.
If you use my method, you will save hundred of hard earned dollars in a week! I think it is worth it!
How To Clean Covered Litter Box
How to clean covered litter box? I still don't understand why cat owners are having difficulty with cleaning the litter box lid. Probably the reason why is because there is bad information overload about pet care on the internet today.
Every cat owner is hesitant about every move they make about their litter box. And you know what? They are actually right. There is a saying that reads: It is always better to prevent then to heal. I completely agree with that.
So if you want to clean the hood of the large litter box with lid, all you have to do is take it off from the box bottom, and clean it in detail. Use the same cleaning process for the lid. Use dish soap, sponge and warm water.
There is a lot of bacteria and germs stuck on the lid. Not only that, the lid is a great source of bad smell. If you don't clean the litter box lid like many other cat owners do, your cat will actually resent using the litter box. Then you will angrily search on the web about solutions on why your cat doesn't use the "freshly" bought modern round, enclosed litter box.
Funny thing is that most cat owners pay the least amount of attention to litter boxes, and at the same time litter boxes are the greatest spring for their stress and nerve breakdown. At the end of the day, the cats bear the consequences. They are given to adoption, simply because you wasn't willing to clean the litter box cover.
Remember, if you want the litter box to be in top, fresh condition it is a must to pay attention and clean the plastic cover in detail.
How Long Does It Take To Clean a Litter Box
There isn't a definite answer on how long does it take to clean a litter box. It all depends of the litter box type. If it is a complicated self-cleaning electric box that requires some work to disassemble, the cleaning process may be prolonged.
If the litter box has lots of parts, then you should pay attention to each and every part of it. It can take up to 10 minutes to take the box apart, clean each and every part of it and assemble it again.
However, this is the case with those complicated self cleaning litter boxes that don't require to be cleaned every week. You can clean them once every month because they maintain and clean on their own.
Don't fall into the marketing scheme of modern electronic litter box companies that make you believe that you won't ever need to manually clean the box. I am here to tell you that there still isn't a box that completely maintains itself without any manual disassembling and cleaning every month.
Even the greatest automatic litter box requires to be cleaned once every month.
However, most of the manual-scooping non-electronic plastic litter boxes need to be cleaned once a week. All you have to do is take the box apart, throw away the nasty litter, clean each and every part (including the hood if it has one), pour in new litter and assemble the box again.
This process doesn't take more than 10 minutes. If you don't do this every week, expect your indoors and even furniture to have a very bad scent.
How Often To Change Litter In Box
Some of the automatic litter boxes like the ScoopFree Original litter box, use blue crystals as a replacement of litter. The blue non clumping crystals usually last longer than traditional litter that is used in most litter boxes.
They are also dust free, which means you don't really have to use a mask when replacing them. They are actually more expensive than traditional litter, but last near 15 days in multiple cat households. It also depends on how frequently your cat defecates and urinates.
But, they are not recommended if your cat has frequent soft feces. Traditional clumping litter usually needs to be changed once a week. It is a rule of thumb to throw away the used litter and replace it with new one,every time you clean the litter box weekly. This way, you will refresh the box completely.
Back in the days, I used to replace the litter every 3 days or so. After a while I found that this was completely unnecessary. Not only did this cost me much more money wasted on litter, but also created a lot of dust that I hated!
After a while I found that pouring 2-3 inches of litter and replacing the used one once a week, is the way to go! Hopefully this information will answer you question about how often to change litter in box.
This way you will also save a lot of money and nerves. If you don't clean the box, your cat will stop using it.
How To Clean Litter Box With Baking Soda
I personally had a great experience by using baking soda on the bottom of the box, before pouring in some litter. I've found out that it actually absorbs lots of bad smell, and even some of the urine.
Pouring in a slim layer of baking soda will do the trick. Also, baking soda is used to kill the odors and some bacteria on the insides of the box. Some cats owners actually prefer using baking soda to dish soap. It is usually cheaper and does the trick.
Cat owners are hesitant before using baking soda, because they think it is toxic and will bother the cats. This is far from the truth. Baking soda isn't toxic and doesn't bother the cats.
It is a great replacement to dish soap. I also recommend you pre-soak the litter box for 10 minutes. The best thing about how to clean litter box with baking soda is the fact that it is very cheap. You can get it in any grocery store.
Tips To Clean Litter Box With Vinegar
Bad scent coming from the litter box is not only bad for your nose, but also for the health of your cat. I found out that white vinegar greatly counteracts the bad scent coming from the box.
But you have to use it properly, before it does the trick. Don't worry, using white vinegar to counteract the bad smell is very easy. After throwing the used, nasty litter away from the litter box, it is time to pour in half-an-inch of white vinegar inside the box.
Leave it stay there for 10 minutes, and after that fill the box with some warm water. Let it stay this way for 5 more minutes, and after that pour out the vinegar and water mixture.
Then dry out the box and you will amazed how clean and scentless it will be. Your cats will also feel amazed by how attractive the refreshed box now is.
Some people actually prefer white vinegar over baking soda and dish washer soup. It has neutralization abilities that kills bad smells better than those two other options. It is also acidic, which means that it offers some antiseptic advantages.
You must perfectly scrub off white vinegar out of the box, because it has strong smell that is bad for your cat. A study showed that vinegar sometimes can cause irritation. If you are scared that it will negatively affect the health of your cat, use some milder alternatives like baking soda and dish soap.
I hope this helps you understand how to clean a litter box with vinegar.