How to Clean a Litter Box in an Apartment?

How to Clean a Litter Box in an Apartment

Apart from removing clumps of feces and urine from the litter box and topping off the litter, you need to clean the litter box at least once a week. That task can be particularly challenging in light of certain limitations that you need to deal with if you live in an apartment.

Cleaning a litter box in an apartment

If you want to clean a litter box in an apartment, there are three options that you can explore:

  • Cleaning the litter box with a sponge
  • Cleaning the litter box with pet-specific wipes
  • Cleaning the litter box with disinfectant wipes

If you and your cat live in an apartment it is highly likely that there are limits to what you can do inside it, whether due to space constraints or the regulations laid down by your landlord.

Apart from the limited space, you need to work around the fact that your home may have little to no outdoor space where you can wash the litter box thoroughly. Cleaning the litter box in the sink or bathing area is not feasible because of sanitary concerns.

As such, you only have three viable options for cleaning your pet’s litter box.

Cleaning the litter box with a sponge

One quick workaround to cleaning a litter box when you are living in an apartment is to use a sponge.

Start by mixing a solution made out of water and unscented detergent. Next, soak your sponge to absorb the soapy water. And after that, start scrubbing the litter box, paying special attention to the accumulated dirt and stains.

Once you are done, use a paper towel to dry the litter box and to remove soap residue. After the litter box is dry, you can now put in a fresh batch of litter.

As for the sponge, you can throw it away and use a new one the next time you clean the litter box.

Cleaning the litter box with pet-specific wipes

Instead of using a sponge and a soap solution to clean the litter box, you can just wipe it using pet-specific wipes.

These wipes are ideal for cleaning litter boxes because they do not contain harsh chemical ingredients that may be harmful to kitty. Plus, it is convenient to use. Once you are done, you can throw out the pieces of wipes that you have used and you do not have to deal with the soap solution you need when using a sponge.

However, these wipes can be hard to come by, especially if you shop at a physical store. Plus, you will need to stock up on these from time to time.

Cleaning the litter box with disinfectant wipes

If you cannot find pet-specific wipes at the local pet store or if your online retailer has run out of supplies, you can use disinfectant wipes.

Generally, these wipes are safe to use in cleaning litter boxes. However, these wipes can leave chemical residue on a litter box that can be harmful to cats.

This is why it is critical to rinse the litter box with water after wiping it with disinfectant wipes. After rinsing with water, wipe the litter box with a paper towel and air dry it for a few minutes.

Another caveat that you need to be aware of is that some disinfectant wipes use scents like lavender or citrus that cats dislike. Pay close attention to this when buying these wipes. Otherwise, you will have a cat who will not go potty on his litter box.

Alternatives to wiping a litter box

Although cleaning a litter box will only take a few minutes, sometimes, you just want to take it easy on the weekends and play with your cat.

If you want to take litter box cleaning off your to-do list, there are three alternatives that you can consider.

Use litter box liners

One trick that you can use to forego the hassles associated with cleaning a litter box is to line the box with a litter box liner.

Before pouring a fresh batch of litter into the box, put a liner or two beneath. You can use a drawstring to put the liner firmly into place.

Once the litter begins to stink, you can throw the litter along with the liner. And then you can use another liner immediately without cleaning and sanitizing the litter box.

But be aware that your cat may scratch the liner or put it out of place.

Buy disposable litter boxes

If you are going on a vacation with your cat or if you are planning to have someone to pet-sit for you, disposable litter boxes are one good option to consider.

A disposable litter box can last up to a month and comes with litter. Once the litter becomes dirty, you can throw away the box and open a new one.

As a long term solution, disposable litter boxes can be a bit expensive. Fortunately, you can buy these in bulk, saving you more money over the long term.

Invest in a self-sanitizing litter box

If money is not an issue and you have plenty to spare, you should strongly consider investing in a self-sanitizing litter box for your beloved pet.

This technological marvel eliminates all the tasks associated with cleaning and maintaining a litter box. Once fully set up, it will do all the hard work for you.

But apart from the considerable price tag, you will also need to find a suitable location for it, preferably one with access to a cold water line, an electrical outlet, and a water drain.

Litter box cleaning tips

Cleaning the litter box is not exactly the most glamorous job. Nonetheless, it is an essential task that you need to do regularly to ensure the health of your cat and prevent issues related to sanitation. 

To make the job a bit easier for you, here are a few tips that you might want to follow.

1. Keep yourself safe

The litter box is filled with bacteria and other unseen parasites, lurking and waiting for the chance to wreak havoc on your and your cat’s health.

Whether you are replacing the litter or cleaning the litter box, make sure that you protect yourself at all times.

Use rubber gloves to prevent harmful microorganisms from latching on to your skin. A mask is your first and most important defense against ammonia that has accumulated in the litter box.

2. Scoop your cat’s poop daily

Cats are fastidious creatures and will not use their litter boxes if they smell and look dirty. They will even go to the point of holding their poop and pee until the litter box is clean enough to their liking.

You can easily prevent this situation by scooping your cat’s poop and removing clumps of urine at least once daily.

Make sure that you dispose of the litter properly.

3. Replenish the litter regularly

Most cats will tell their owners if their litter needs topping off: they will not cover their feces with litter.

Before reaching that point, it is a good idea to replenish the litter. You can replenish every two or three days or once the litter is around one centimeter deep.

4. Deodorize the litter box

Once you are done cleaning and sanitizing the litter box, the last order of business is deodorizing it. Deodorizing the litter box helps keep it smelling fresh for a long time. You can use baking soda, charcoal briquettes, or filters to prevent bad odor from circulating inside your apartment.

Image: istockphoto.com / belchonock

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