How do I clean out my cat’s litter tray?

Our expert step by step guide to cleaning your cat’s litter tray...

How to clean a cat litter tray

by Joe Brothwell |
Updated on

Keeping your cat’s litter tray clean is vital for their well-being and how often you should clean your cat's tray and replace their litter depends on factors including the number of cats you have, whether they're an indoor cat, and your kitty's preferences.

It also depends on the type of litter used, for example, when your cat is younger you might opt for a specialist litter for kittens.

Below we look at how to stop your cat's litter from smelling and how to clean a cat litter tray and replace their litter with ease.

How do I stop cat litter from smelling?

Firstly, it may be worth getting a litter that is especially designed for odour control.

A general guideline on how to stop cat litter from smelling, is to remove poops and pee using a scoop at least once a day. Ideally, you should do it once in the morning and once in the evening.

In addition to this, you should completely change the litter and clean the tray on a regular basis. For most households, this means completely emptying and cleaning the tray every one to two weeks.

But, if you have multiple cats using the same tray, or if your cat is particularly picky about cleanliness, you may need to change it more frequently, possibly every few days.

Generally, non-clumping litter will need to be changed more regularly than clumping types.

Kitten in litter box

How to clean a cat litter tray

Gather supplies: You will need gloves, a scooper, mild unscented soap, a sponge or brush and a bin bag.

Prepare the area: Choose a well-ventilated area to clean the litter tray. If possible, do it outside or in a bathroom with good ventilation. Lay down some old newspapers or a disposable mat to catch any spills.

Empty the tray: Start by emptying the contents of the litter tray into a bin bag. Use the scooper to remove any solid waste and clumps, disposing of them properly.

Clean the tray: Once empty, wash the tray thoroughly with warm water and mild, unscented soap. Use a sponge or brush to scrub any stubborn areas. Rinse the tray thoroughly to remove all soap residue.

Dry the tray: After washing and rinsing, dry the litter tray completely with a clean towel or allow it to air dry. Ensure there is no moisture left before adding fresh litter.

Refill with fresh litter: Once the tray is dry, add a layer of fresh litter according to the manufacturer's recommendations.

Dispose of waste properly: Tie up the bin bag containing the used litter securely and dispose of it in an outdoor bin.

Wash your hands: Remove your gloves and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Woman cleaning litter tray

Whether you’ve got a regular litter tray – or an eco-friendly one – these top tips should ensure your kitty’s toilet is never whiffy!

Joe Brothwell is editor of Take a Break Pets and adores all creatures great and small. Despite being a doting cat dad to Winnie, she continues to be aloof!

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