Cats are fun to have around. I’ve had cats for many years. At one time in my life, I had 6 of them running around my home!
In this article, we’ll delve into a few litter box cleaning hacks to help you care for your cat. I promise these tips will save you some heartache while making your kitty happy.
Even though we’ve written about ways to clean the air in your home in the past, we’re going to clear the air concerning kitty litter. More to the point, I promise to share with you tips to help you control lingering kitty litter odor, tips that will save you some money, and a tip to help you control the amount of litter that will get tracked away from the litter box and spread into other areas of your home.
But before we get started I would like to share some of the insights I’ve discovered since becoming a cat lover many years ago.
Contrary to what many folks think, cats can be extremely affectionate and they’re not sneaky as some think. They are at the top of their game when it comes to intelligence and can be taught tricks, which I’ve discovered upon asking many, most people don’t know. They make wonderful friends to have around the home and once you get to know them you’ll surely discover that every cat has its own personality.
They’re great pets because for the most part they’re independent and can take care of themselves for days. They’re perfectly content to be alone with or without another cat or for that matter people.
All they really need is a fresh supply of clean water. They can go for a day or so without any food, although they should be fed daily.
And the best part:
They don’t have to be trained to use a litter box and more often than not they will even cover their own business killing all the odor and the unpleasantness associated with their waste.
Regarding the kitty litter, they’ll do all this that is unless the litter box hasn’t been cleaned for days. Can you blame them for not wanting to step into a box loaded with days of kitty feces and urine?
At the end of the day, the most effort in having these wonderful furry friends is maintaining a clean litter box, that is clean within reason. They don’t expect or require you to scoop out the litter after each deposit although many cat owners do just this making extra work for themselves in the process.
Now that I’ve shared what I think are some of the best things about cats it’s a good time to get down and dirty concerning the cat litter.
Store Bought Litter Is Expensive – Save Money
Some store-bought litter has built-in odor control and some don’t have odor control. Litter can be quite expensive though and it’s not really necessary to buy kitty litter just for the odor control.
What’s the bottom line?
In both cases, either with or without odor control built into the litter, the treatment for odor control is the same. How? 3 quick and easy ways.
1. You can sprinkle some dried herbs, about a handful, into the litter. Stir the herbs throughout the kitty litter thoroughly for best results. Parsley works fast and quite well.
2. You can easily sprinkle 1/3 to 1/2 cup of baking soda on the litter. As before, stir the baking soda into the litter thoroughly. The Humane Society in their informative article entitled, “Preventing Litter Box Problems“, recommends spreading a thin layer of baking soda on the bottom of the box.
3. Baby powder works quickly too. Sprinkle 1/3 cup on the litter and mix it into the litter.
All 3 of these methods work fast and very well to either enhance an odor control already formulated into the litter or to make a litter effective in controlling odor when it hasn’t already been formulated into the litter by the manufacturer.
Clean Litter Box – 3 Maintenance Tips
Once the litter has been used for some time it’s time to change it. I’m not talking about after your friend has used it a few times but rather referring to the kitty litter after it has lost its ability to clump after use, for one cat this is usually about a week. Litter that doesn’t clump is caused by the left over tiny pieces of feces that will eventually linger in the box.
The question of how often should I change my cat’s litter often comes up. While we don’t recommend cleaning a litter box in a bathtub, your kitty’s litter box needs to be cleaned out at least weekly as explained by The Animal Planet in their informative article entitled, “How to Safely Clean a Cat’s Litter Box.”
Here’s the deal:
Rather than just toss out the litter and refill the box with new litter take a few extra minutes to really clean the box once you’ve disposed of the litter. This will help prevent lingering odor and make the box safer for you and your cat.
There’s no need to spend excessive amounts of money on expensive store bought litter box cleaner spray when you can have your own homemade cleaner using any one of several common household items.
Any of these 3 will work quite nicely and quickly:
A mixture of 10 parts water to 1 part household bleach
Try to never touch cat litter with your bare hands but at least on a weekly basis, after the kitty litter is emptied from the box, simply wipe the inside of the box with any of the 3 ingredients mentioned above. Rinse the box out and then dry it using paper towels or let it air dry if you prefer. This step-by-step procedure will help to control the odor.
Some recommend using ammonia as a cleaning ingredient. We don’t because your cat’s urine will turn to ammonia all on its own and we’re trying to diminish the odor instead of making it stronger.
Clean Air Around The Litter Box
Expensive cat litter has odor control built right into it. But the air around the box can sometimes smell, well less than perfect, especially just after the box was used. Without going into too much detail, I’m thinking of kitty gas.
What’s a person to do?
You can stop the odor today by simply cutting open a whole lemon and place it on a paper plate with the lemon skin resting on the plate nearby the litter box. Lemon is somewhat like baking soda, meaning that it’s an excellent odor controller.
In a matter of a minute or so, the air will become fresh again and you, your family and visiting friends will breathe a sigh of relief. For a stronger solution try several pieces of lemon halves. Or for another way to kill the smelly air, try using a combination of orange slices and lime slices along with a slice or 2 of lemon.
Clean Litter Box – Prevent Permanent Odor
Once the kitty odor has permeated the litter box it can be extremely difficult to remove it completely. You can take a few simple and easy steps to prevent this problem from ever happening if you know what to do. You’ll need to construct an easy to make odor barrier that will prevent feces and urine from reaching the bottom of the litter box.
What’s the bottom line?
To make your odor barrier you’ll only need 3 items that are easy to work with and quite common. In fact, they’re usually found in the home – cardboard, heavy-duty aluminum foil, and masking or duct tape.
The cardboard must be large enough to completely cover the bottom of the litter box and can be cut to fit the inside of the box using scissors. Wrap the cardboard with the heavy-duty aluminum foil before you tape the foil securely in place using the masking or the duct tape.
When your odor barrier is completed, place it on the bottom of the litter box and cover it with the kitty litter as usual. This will prevent any dirty business from reaching the bottom of the box and help to prevent permanent odor in the box.
Don’t toss out the barrier when it’s time to change the kitty litter. Instead, remove the barrier after you’ve dumped the litter. Carefully wipe the foil using a wet sponge soaked in 2 parts vinegar and 1 part baking soda.
If you’re careful when cleaning the barrier you can get 3 to 5 uses out of it before you’ll need to make another one.
Your Clean Home – Use A Kat Mat
When your furry feline leaves the litter box it’s time to tidy up her paws. After all, to keep from tracking dirt all through your home you wipe your feet when you come in from outside, correct? Why not wipe your friend’s paws or in reality let her friend wipe her own dusty paws herself?
How is this even possible? Are cats really that intelligent? No, not really but it’s still possible.
All you’ll need to do is to place a mat just outside of the litter box where she makes her exit when she’s done with doing her business. It’s not perfect but it does help to remove most of the litter and dust from the paws when leaving.
The best tip I can give you is to use a regular walk-off mat like what is used in an office. These mats are made to remove the dirt from shoes and work just as well to remove kitty litter and dust from cat paws.
That’s about it for this article entitled, “Kitty Litter Cleaning Made Easy.” As promised we shared with you tips to save you some money. We gave you a few tips that will help you control kitty litter odor and tips to help you keep the air around the litter box smelling fresh. Finally, we ended up with 1 tip to help you control the amount of litter that will get tracked into areas around your home that are far from the litter box.
We hope you have found this article useful and that you’ve gotten an idea or two that will help you manage the litter box and help your kitty feel loved and safe. And the last point is what matters most. After all, your cat didn’t ask to be brought into your home and ours didn’t either.
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