We tend to think of cats as low maintenance pets – after all, they don’t need walks and regular baths. However, cat owners tend to spend around 30 minutes every day cleaning up after their cat. These clean up sessions can be quite annoying, especially if you procrastinate and leave the kitty litter cleanup for after dinner. Here are a few easy cat cleaning hacks that will help you cut down on the time you spend cleaning up after your cat.
- Buy a handheld vacuum
For about a year I did not want to invest in a handheld vacuum. I used a small broom instead. Do not make the same mistake! A few months ago, I finally switched to a handheld vacuum and there is no way I’ll ever go back to the scout-and-sweep routine! It takes me less than 5 minutes to vacuum two of the bathrooms where we keep the litter boxes. It is a piece of cake! Think of the handheld vacuum as an investment. Do not be tempted to go for the cheap vacuums you can find at Walmart or TJ Maxx – they are less powerful and will not be able to clean up the cat litter thoroughly. If you’ve ever tried using one of these $30 alternatives in your car, you know they barely clean up the car seats! I spent a bit more on a light handheld Dyson vacuum cleaner and I have been so happy with it! Even though it was pricier, my cats are only 2 years old. This still leaves me with (hopefully) at least 10 more years of cat litter cleanup. Even if the handheld vacuum costs $300, this will translate to only $30 per year, or to less than a penny a day!
Depending on the budget you're working with, you might be able to treat yourself to a robot vacuum cleaner, which will make the clean up process even easier. The variety of robot vacuum cleaners can be overwhelming and you want to make sure you get the most value for your money. Before you buy, it's a good idea to read up on the best robot vacuums on the market and see which one will work best for you.
- Use a stain remover spray
Cats are known for puking fur balls every once in a while, especially if they have grass to munch on. Limit the puking incidents by brushing your cat regularly. Also, have a stain remover spray handy, so you can clean up any vomit quickly, before it stains your rugs. I use Nature’s Miracle stain and odor remover, and, so far, our carpets have remained stain free even though the cats always seem to aim for them when throwing up!
- Use a food bowl mat
If your cat is a messy eater, I can totally empathize! Do yourself a favor and buy a machine washable mat. Place it under the food bowl to protect your floor from getting stained with wet food. In addition, use the handheld vacuum to clean up the dry food pieces that the cat spreads around.
- Enclose the litter box
I can’t emphasize enough what a timesaver the enclosed litter box is! There are a bunch of different options out there that will work. Some of them can be more expensive, whereas others are completely DIY and very affordable (we are talking less than $10 here)! By enclosing the litter box, you will greatly reduce the amount of cat litter in the room. This will save you a lot of time cleaning up after your cat. Another cleaning hack is using litter box liners and clumping cat litter. If possible, get your kitty cat used to these two early on and enjoy an easier cleanup process. The clumping litter is way easier to scoop, whereas the disposable plastic liner can be immediately thrown away if there is a mess in the litter box.
- Carefully choose the location of the litter box and the food bowl
Two tips for the location of the litter box and the food bowl can make your life easier – place the food bowl away from the outside door and keep the litter box in a room without a carpet.
The food bowl should not be near your patio or entrance door because it can attract ants. These can be a pain to get rid of, so the easiest way is just to keep the cat’s food away from outdoor facing doors.
The ideal location for a litter box is a smaller room with tile. The smaller room means that the cat litter doesn’t get spread all over the house. Tile, on the other hand, allows you to easily vacuum and clean up after your cat. Also, using a litter mat is a must – it is gentle on your cat’s paws and helps contain the litter.
- Use a lint roller or tape to clean cat fur
Once a week I run a lint roller over the couch to collect the cat fur. If your cat’s fur is too fine and your lint roller does not seem to catch it, just use tape – works like a charm!