Cat owners are fiercely devoted to their fur babies. It's all about the purrs and cuddles, the cute play time and the long naps. Unfortunately, it's also about the poop. A cat's toilet, a.k.a. their littler box, is right there, all the time. It's up to you to deal with it on a regular basis, which can be pretty often if you live in a small space. Knowing how to clean a litter box in an apartment without making more of a mess — or a stink — is essential.
The good news, most cats only use their littler box to go "No. 2" once a day. The bad news, it doesn't smell like roses. To keep things in check, here are some ideal ways on to easily clean out a litter box regularly without it become inconvenient.
Before you even begin contemplating how to clean a litter box in an apartment, consider not having to do it at all. There are self-cleaning litter boxes for the right price, ready to make your life infinitely easier.
The biggest hiccup to this modern convenience, though, is the price tag. Owning a pet in an apartment is costly enough. You may not want to spend a few hundred dollars for a littler box and the special litter it requires.
Installation is actually also tricky. A basic litter box doesn't have a lot of requirements as far as where you put it. (It's a box, it can go anywhere.) A self-cleaning litter box, however needs a plug, a cold-water line and a toilet or washing machine drain. Without all these components, the box can't wash and clean itself. Not all apartments will have enough space to allow you to give you litter box this type of access.
If you can get beyond the speed bumps of cost and installation, though, this is without a doubt a modern marvel when it comes to litter box cleaning. It's all automatic. The litter box scoops its own waste and washes itself. Special litter is dust-free and washable, too. No more manual scooping, hunched over your cat's dirty clumps of waste. It's an attractive thought.
For those of us who can't afford to automate every aspect of our lives, another way to make cleaning your litter box easier is to make it disposable. Either with an actual disposable box or litter liner, you can save yourself a lot of time cleaning the litter box by not having to scoop it every time.
With these options, when you're ready to do a deep clean, you just throw everything out, or transform the liner into its own garbage bag. Then, you're ready to start over with a totally clean litter box that you didn't have to scrub.
Many disposable littler boxes are made from biodegradable materials, so even though there's an extra cost involved — and more waste — what you're throwing out regularly isn't bad for the environment.
If you want a less expensive option that works the same, skip the fancy litter box liners and go with a simple trash bag. Large kitchen bags will fit over a standard box easily. You can double-bag your box to make sure there are no unwanted rips when you remove the litter, as well. Just make sure to put the trash bags on your littler box inside out for proper removal.
Probably the easiest way to keep your litter box area cleaner, and make it less of a chore to deal with, is to watch your litter levels. Cats don't like a lot of litter in their box — two to three inches is an ideal amount.
You'll know when you have too much litter in the litter box from your cat's behavior. They'll begin to slip and slide while in the box. It's because they're having a hard time getting their footing, so they'll appear shaky and off balance.
Cats are also more likely to fling litter out of the box when there's too much there. Sometimes they won't walk all the way into the box either, which means they could have an accident.
If you notice any of these behaviors, make sure to take some litter out. It will spare you having a bigger mess to clean up than what's getting deposited into the box itself.
Flushable litter is a great way to avoid having used litter going from box to trash bag to trash. Each step is another opportunity for excess litter to spill all over the floor, after all. Flushable litter is great if you aren't living in an apartment that's on septic. Only certain types are septic-safe. It's also important to remember to flush small amounts at a time to avoid clogs.
Even with these stipulations, there are a variety of flushable litters out there, made from all types of ingredients. You can find flushable litter made from:
It's a pretty extensive list for something like cat litter, but it makes cleaning a litter box in an apartment much easier. For this set-up to work, the box should go in the bathroom. Keeping your litter box as close to the toilet as possible means the scoop will travel the shortest distance to dispose of your cat's waste; all without the need for garbage bags and trails of used litter.
Cleaning a litter box is about more than scooping every day. You also need to include a cleaning of the actual box in your regular routine. Once a week is best to help with lingering pet odors. It also ensures your fur baby has fresh litter on a regular basis.
To clean your litter box:
Making it a priority to keep the entire litter box clean is something your cat will appreciate. Think about how much time they spend bathing themselves.
Bringing a sweet, new kitty home is one of the best things ever and you're probably not thinking about a litter box in that moment. However, once they're settled, it becomes something you deal with daily. Take the hassle out of keeping your apartment smelling good and your kitty happy with any of these helpful methods to clean a litter box in an apartment.