Every pet owner has to learn how to clean up after their furry friend. This is where litter boxes come in.
However, litter boxes can be complicated to clean if you live in an apartment. You usually don’t have access to an outdoor area or a backyard.
In this case, avoid dumping the litter box in a sink or a bathtub. That’s just not safe from a health point of view.
7 Ways to Clean a Litter Box in an Apartment?
So what’s the most efficient way to clean a litter box in an apartment?
Use Pet Wipes
Use pet wipes to quickly and conveniently keep the litter box clean every day. High-quality wipes are specially designed for your cat and only use natural ingredients. This ensures that the pet wipe is kind and gentle to your pet.
Try not to cut any corners with pet wipes to get something cheaper. If it contains harsh chemicals or citrus scents, don’t use it. Cats hate citrus!
The main drawback of ‘organic’ pet wipes is cost and scarcity in stores. However, they are worth considering if you prefer the added convenience.
If you can’t find organic pet wipes in your local pet store, try looking online. Most online shops contain wipes with natural ingredients, eliminating the need to visit the store.
Use a Wet Soapy Sponge
You can use a general-purpose sponge with mild non-scented detergent to get the job done. Simply wet the sponge just enough to create suds.
Once you’re done emptying the litter box, scrub the entire surface with the sponge. It is very important to wipe the wet litter box with a towel.
The litter box should be thoroughly dried before refilling with clean litter. You don’t want soap residue on the litter box.
Now discard the sponge – it’s too contaminated for later use. Just throw it away and find a clean one for next time. Try to use as little water as possible when cleaning. The last thing you want is waste diluting in the water.
The soap and sponge solution is meant as a temporary solution. It is recommended to buy specially designed cat wipes for cleaning the litter box.
Disinfectant Wipes – Close Alternative to Pet Wipes
If your pet isn’t fond of scents traditionally found in commercial wipes, use disinfectant wipes instead. There are several advantages of using disinfectant wipes.
For starters, it’s easier to keep the litter box chemically sanitized and smelling fresh. Secondly, disinfectant wipes generally do not contain scents that may be annoying to pets.
Are disinfectant wipes safe for use in litter boxes?
It’s considered safe to use disinfectant wipes because they kill harmful viruses and bacteria. However, you must rinse the litter box with water to remove the residue left behind.
Disinfectant wipes contain chemicals that could be hazardous to pets in case of direct contact. After emptying the litter box and disinfecting it, wipe it with wet paper towels.
Before allowing your pet to reoccupy the litter box, refill it with fresh litter.
Note: Try not to use scented wipes because they may cause discomfort to your pet.
Use a Flushable Wood-Pellet Litter
This is a nice little hack that simplifies pet husbandry. Instead of using traditional litter made of clay, use wood pellets. Your pet probably won’t like it, but it’s a convenient alternative.
When you see that your pet has relieved itself, simply give it a fresh flush. Use a toilet paper to grab the poo-poo and flush it. To clean the litter box area, simply spray it with unscented bio-based cleaners.
Note: This does not apply if the litter box gives off foul odors or contains sawdust. In this case, you should discard the pellets in a dumpster instead of flushing it.
One common disadvantage with wood pellets is that they’re prone to collapsing into sawdust. The last thing you want is cross-contamination with the litter dust and on your skin.
Remember to use a mask and a pair of gloves when handling the sawdust litter. Why use a mask? Because cats emit ammonia that could be harmful to you.
Use Biodegradable Litter
Biodegradable litter is made from sustainable resources such as recycled newspaper, sawdust, wood, and more. Not only is it kinder to your pet but it’s also easy to clean after.
However, this form of litter is more expensive than traditional clay litter.
It may be worth considering because eco-friendly litter is often fully biodegradable and compostable. If you’re eco-conscious and frugal, you may want to make your own cat litter.
This is done by repurposing everyday materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
There are several online tutorials that teach you how to do it. You can also derive healthy compost from the cat litter.
Use a Disposable Litter Box
Disposable litter boxes are made from recycled plastic or paper. They’re especially useful because they come with litter. These boxes are easy to purchase from any pet store near you.
The best part is the affordability of these boxes, which is especially useful for bulk-buying. They generally last for about 30 days (or as per the manufacturer’s designated time frame).
To use the disposable box, pour 2-3 inches of litter to keep the waste afloat.
You want the bottom to be free of waste. Scoop the feces and urine away with a shovel and waste bag once a day. This will keep any odors and hygiene issues in check.
For chunks of pee, use a shovel to scoop them away in an air-tight container. Alternatively, you can use a biodegradable trash bag to toss them into garbage dumps.
For fecal matter, flush them down the toilet. Place a tissue underneath to prevent the fecal matter from leaking out.
Once the 30 days are over, simply discard them afterward.
There’s no need to clean the litter afterward. These disposable litter boxes are especially useful if you’re on a budget or traveling.
Use a Self-Sanitizing Litter Box
These intricate devices are generally expensive and often very difficult to install. While the convenience is unmatchable, you’ll have to prepare for a potentially big expense.
The best self-cleaning litter boxes will cost several hundred dollars.
Additionally, the self-sanitizing litter box needs access to a cold-water line, electrical outlet, and toilet. You may have to hire a professional plumber and electrician for installation purposes.
This will enable the self-sanitizing litter box to dispose of the waste without intervention.
When you think about it, self-washing litter boxes are feats of technology. They automatically dispose of solids and often use washable dust-free litter.
These models tend to be a little more costly though. When installed correctly, the machine should be able to wash the entire litter box. This is done by using a cleaning solution and water.
The self-sanitizing box then flushes the waste through the toilet drain.
This completely eliminates the need for manual labor or to clean the box. If you want to automate this process, consider giving the self-sanitizing litter box a shot.
Recommended Supplies for Litter Box Cleaning
You probably already have all the tools you need to clean the litter box.
If you don’t have the essentials, we’ve rounded up some must-have tools you’ll need.
Buy a Larger Litter Box
The size of the litter box matters because it keeps the waste from spilling out. Try to buy the largest possible size (or one that’s compatible with your apartment).
As a general rule, you should have at least two boxes for one cat. Having more litter boxes minimizes the risk of accidents, which aren’t easy to clean up.
You could just as easily use slotted spoons, but they’re not nearly as convenient.
You can pick up clumped-up refuse with a slotted scoop without affecting the litter.
A slotted scoop makes it easier to leave unused litter behind after cleaning.
Use Clumping Litter
Clumping litter is attracted to moisture and can attract all kinds of waste.
This makes it easier to remove waste with minimal effort. Many clumping litters are odor-free to protect your pet and home.
You’ll have to get used to trash bags. Sooner than later, all that waste will begin to smell if not removed immediately.
This is where trash bags (or container bags) come in. Bonus points if you use compostable bags.
Frequency of Changing the Litter
If you have a pet in your apartment, then you’re probably asking yourself this question.
Cats prefer to live in relatively clean places and won’t appreciate unclean litter. When it’s time to clean the litter, there are a few things to consider.
- Odors near the litter box
- The type of litter found in the litter box
- How often the cat uses the litter box
Experts recommend changing the litter every 3 to 4 weeks. Finding the time to do this may be difficult, but you can’t ignore it.
An unclean litter is an open invitation to viral infections and diseases.
Not to mention the fact that your pet probably loves a clean environment. If the litter is not clean, your cat will pee or poop outside.
Worse still, they may refuse to use the litter box entirely. This is not a healthy habit for the pet.
Where to Put the Litter Box in an Apartment?
The best course is to find an area that is easy to check upon.
Do not put water and food next to the litter bowl. If you have dogs, they should not have easy access to a cat’s litter box.
Additionally, the litter box should prioritize your pet’s privacy and be concealed from visitors. It’s simply not advisable to have litter boxes out in the living space.
You do not want to allow waste to intermingle with your home. Make sure to find a spot that is away from the living room. Ideal places include a guest bedroom and a laundry room.
Baking Soda in Pet Litter
Many brands now use baking soda to neutralize odor. Baking soda is a natural means of counteracting odors. This applies to laundry loads, counters, and even the litter.
Some of these brands may be a little expensive because of the baking soda. However, you can achieve similar results by purchasing baking soda separately.
How to Reduce Litter Box Smell in an Apartment?
The smell of cat and feces can quickly permeate throughout the apartment. This is unhygienic and unhealthy.
In addition to being gross, cat urine contains creatinine, sodium, urea, and other electrolytes. These chemical components give off a recognizable ammonia smell.
When allowed to circulate within ambient air, it will taint the indoor air quality.
The best way to tame the smell is to use an air purifier. In addition to fighting off odors, air purifiers can help with pet dander problems.
The best air purifiers are highly effective at combating airborne pollutants. Most air purifiers use proprietary technology to mitigate noxious odors and toxic chemicals.
Another safe and effective method is to ventilate your apartment. Yet most people tuck their cat in small, confined spaces.
This is a bad idea because it leads to the buildup of toxic smells. Not only will you avoid this space – but your cat will, too. This could lead to all kinds of mess that you would rather want to avoid.
Some cats are so picky they won’t visit a place that contains their waste.
So make sure your cat lives in a well-ventilated space.
Another simple hack is to clean the litter waste quickly and thoroughly. An enzymatic cleaner should easily handle any incidents if your cat misses the litter box.
A good, thorough cleaning should eliminate prevent cat odors from developing.
Learn Your Cat’s Preferences
There are products, types of litter, litter boxes, and cleaning solutions in the market. Your cat will have unique preferences that you should do well to learn.
Try using a litter box that your cat likes using. If your cat doesn’t like the litter box or the litter, they’ll get frustrated quickly.
At the end of the day, try to keep your cat happy when they go about their daily business. Learn more about their perspectives and empathize with them.
Before long, they’ll learn to follow your instructions.
Other articles you may also like: