Litter box cleaning hacks for the cat owner who’s tired of a smelly home

Posted: May 10, 2019 by Anita

litter box cleaning hacks

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Cleaning the cat litter box is one of those horrendous chores that cat owners don’t like talking about. But secretly we’re obsessed with our cat’s litter box.  It keeps us up at night with nightmares of smelly nasty clumps of gross litter balls that you can never seem to get rid of.  It’s like something out of a demented fairy tale of horror with you waking up in cold sweat, screaming out, “stop little litter box, stop“!

Passive-aggressively, we resent our cat every time we go near that damn litter box.

Well, no need to fear.  In this article, I discuss litter box cleaning hacks for the cat owner who’s tired of a smelly home.

litter box cleaning hacks

Start off with a good litter box

Before we get to the litter box cleaning hacks, it’s very important that you have a litter box that is perfect for both you and your cat.  I recommend a large covered litter box; in other words, a litter box with a removable lid or top.  Since cats love tossing cat litter everywhere having a covered litter box will help with keeping the litter inside.

I absolutely love the Catit Jumbo Cat litter panCheck out the price from by clicking here.


I’ve purchased about 4 of them for my cats and my daughter’s cats.  I have not been disappointed at all with this choice.  Here’s what is awesome about the Catit Jumbo cat litter pan:

  • large enough that a cat can make a full 360 turn and be comfortable with pooping/peeing unobstructed
  • no need to take off the lid to scoop out used litter
  • leave your hands free to scoop litter by anchoring bag to the litter box
  • comes with a filter for added odor-control
  • easy clean cat litter box
  • because it is so roomy, it is the best cat litter box for multiple cats


To read more about cat litter boxes, click here

Start off with the best cat litter for odor

Choosing the best cat litter along with choosing the best cat litter box will make life so much easier for you when it comes to litter box hygiene.  There’s so much to consider when choosing the best litter for your furball. Honestly, I switch back and forth between 2 cat litters because I can’t decide which one I like best.

Currently, I’m using Arm & Hammer Platinum Easy Clean-up Clumping Cat Litter.

Here are my reasons for liking Arm & Hammer Platinum litter:

  • creates instant hard clumps that don’t break apart
  • low to almost no dust when pouring – low to no dust produced when cats are kicking litter around in litterbox
  • non-tracking – less litter being tracked through out the home

What I don’t like about Arm & Hammer Platinum:

  • there’s a weird smell upon pouring or stirring/sifting of litter

But I also like Fresh Step Multi-cat Clumping Litter with Febreze.

Here are my reasons for liking Fresh Step with Febreze:

  • love that fresh Febreze scent – no weird smell
  • hard clumping action

Here’s what I don’t like about Fresh Step:

  • sometimes the clumps break apart
  • creates too much dust
  • litter tracks everywhere

I suspect that Fresh Step is still tinkering with this formula.  Every other bag or so with be totally amazing (except for the dust) and so I’m not willing to totally give up on them yet. Keep at it Fresh Step!

Read more about choosing the right cat litter by clicking here


How to clean a litter box

Cleaning a litter box can be messy and a total time suck.  But a clean litter box means a happy cat and a nice clean smelling home to boot. You should clean your cat’s litter box every time you change out the litter.

Here’s what supplies you’ll need:

  • rubber gloves
  • 30-gallon heavy-duty trash bag – I recommend Hefty Strong Multipurpose.  Click here to buy from Amazon.
  • bucket
  • sponge
  • palmolive or any mild smelling liquid dishwashing liquid

All of the supplies I mentioned above are optional…okay all of them are optional.  However, using a 30-gallon heavy duty trash bag will allow you to place the whole litter box inside of the trash bag and dump it without getting litter on you, on the floor, on the cat, etc, and most importantly the bag won’t rip.

First, you want to dump the used litter into your heavy duty trash bag.  With a little maneuvering, you should be able to partially insert the litter box so that half of the litter box is inside the bag.

Next, tilt litter box and dump litter into a bag.  Lastly, with soapy water clean out litter box; inside and out. Wipe completely dry with paper towels.

How often should you change cat litter?

I suggest you clean the litter box and change the cat litter out at least once a month to maintain a sanitary litter box and a no-smell zone for your home. Fill the litter box with cat litter – I recommend filling it to about 4 inches from the bottom.  Be sure you always have at least 4 inches of litter in the litter box at all times.

10 litter box cleaning hacks

No one should suspect that you have a cat by the way it smells.  The smell of used cat litter has the habit of getting into everything, furniture, clothing and yes, you.  To stop that smell from becoming your signature perfume (or cologne) here are 10 litter box cleaning hacks you can implement right away:

  • every time you are tempted to skip scooping out used litter, think about how your home will stink if you don’t make daily scooping a priority.


  • Scoop out clumps and other waste in the litter box at least twice a day.  Should only take 5 minutes each  – tops.



  • store litter and litter scoop not too far from the cat litter box.





  • Use a cat litter scoop that has rounded edges at the scoop end rather than one with “spiky” edges that can break up clumps leaving little bits of used litter behind.  I recommend DuraScoop Jumbo Cat Litter Scoop


  • Be sure to replace used litter that have been scooped out with new litter.  Keep the level of litter at 4 inches in order keep clumps from sinking and sticking to the bottom of cat litter box.  This will keep the cat litter box from smelling.


  • Sprinkle baking soda on litter after scooping out used litter to keep litter box from smelling ghastly.


For more information on the importance of using the right amount of litter read “How Much Litter Should you Put in the Litter Box” by Pam Johnson-Bennett