10 Litter Box Tips I Wish I Had Known About

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As a cat owner, we all are more than familiar with the joy of cleaning the litter box. It is a responsibility that we take on for the love of our cat, but we would almost do anything else. I can think of at least a hundred things I would rather be doing than cleaning the cat litter box.

So it only makes sense to share with you 10 litter box tips I wish I had known about to help you make your litter box experience as painless as possible!

Litter Box Tips

Choose the right litter box – For many of us, the trip to the local retail store is as far as we get to litter box diversity. However, the world of litter boxes is immense and you really do have so many endless choices to choose from. You need to take your cat into account. Things such as size, age and privacy preference all need to be determined before snagging the ideal litter box.

If you own only one cat who enjoys his privacy, a large hooded litter box may be in order. However, if you own multiple cats, you will find that a hooded box isn’t ideal as they don’t like to be sneaked up on as they do their kitty business. Utilize the beauty of Google to help you find the perfect box at the perfect price! Also, consider useful solutions for hiding your cat’s litter box.

Choose the right litter – As litter box choices are abundant, so are the types of litter. To narrow down the choices, start with choosing clumping or non-clumping.  I find clumping litter to be more cost efficient as well as a time saver. Next, consider scented or non-scented. This is usually a preference of the owner as many find scented helps to hide odours, but it can just as easily cause a sensitivity.

Most litters come in small box or bag choices, so maybe try something for a month and see how it works out with your cat. I can say from experience that the most expensive litter doesn’t always make the best choice.

Choose a metal litter scoop – Most often you will find plastic litter scoops. These are usually what I see stocked at local retail or grocery store. However, these are not ideal at all. For years I had plastic litter scoops and I could never get a firm grip on a large amount of litter at a time.

I would find myself scooping and scooping the same spot more than once to get it cleaned. Thankfully, my husband went to a pet store and found a metal scoop. Let me tell you, this WILL change your life. Get into the kitty scooping big leagues and treat yourself to a metal scoop!

Choose the best location for the litter box – Now this has as lot to do with your house size as well as your cat’s preference. Putting the litter box in a private area away from heavy traffic is your cat’s first choice. Kitty doesn’t want an audience to share his kitty business with. Many find that the laundry room or a spare bathroom works well for some kitty privacy, but also take into account how many cats you have.

You don’t want to have multiple cats and only one litter box. My 10 cats each have their own litter box that is located downstairs. It is easily accessible and away from foot traffic. Having litter boxes on each level of the home is also recommended if possible. Should your cat need to get to a box fast, one close by is preferred.

Keep the litter box clean – This really goes without saying. You wouldn’t want to use a dirty toilet and neither does your cat. Scooping the litter box daily or at least every 2 days usually does the job.

If you find your cat starts to go outside the box, one reason could be the cleanliness factor. Make sure the litter  box sides are free from urine and feces every time you scoop. Listen to your cat. Bathroom issues really are their way of telling you something important.10 Litter Box Tips I Wish I Had Known About

No More Litter Box Tears

Check cat waste for problems – Most people want to do the cat litter as fast as possible, which is understandable. However, I find that one of the first signs a cat is having issues, whether emotional or physical, can be noticed in the litter box.

Make sure that your cat is both urinating and defecating daily. If you start to notice a strange odour, excessive urine, or blood, you will want to get your cat seen immediately by your vet.

Add the power of baking soda – Most people are familiar with the magical power of baking soda. It can be used in cooking as well as for countless cleaning applications.

Just like the baking soda box you put in the fridge, you will find that putting one near the litter helps with unwanted odours. You can also sprinkle baking soda into the litter every time you scoop it for a little extra magic!

Blow your nose – Now this is a tip I have never read anywhere, but it is everything if you are the lucky one who cleans the litter box. It is ridiculously important that once you are finished cleaning the cat litter, that you blow your nose and run a tissue around inside the nose. Most of us don’t realize how much litter dust gets into our nose just from the few minutes it takes to clean the litter box.

Try this once and I promise, you will be surprised what a big difference it makes. No one wants to walk around spending the day casually getting a whiff of cat litter because the dust is still in their nose!

Do a complete litter change once a month – This goes beyond just scooping out the clumps. You will want to change out your litter often enough that your cat can continue to enjoy the fresh litter feeling. Changing out the cat litter also allows you to clean the litter box thoroughly. Trust me, your cat will thank you!

Reassess 1-9 often – Sometimes what worked once upon a time, doesn’t work for the here and now. It is important to reassess all nine of these fabulous tips to make sure you and your cat are getting the best litter box experience!

Looking to add more MEOW to your life? Check out these ridiculously fabulous cat posts!

Veterinary Care on a Budget – Because even your cat wants you to save money!

Can Your Cat Sense Illness? – Your cat may know more than you think!

Maintaining Cat Furniture – Your kitty wants to keep playtime safe!

A Beginner’s Guide to Cat Photography – Great photos mean one happy cat!


  1. I’m looking at buying the luuup box, it has great reviews! Litter is my enemy!

  2. I tried that newish featherlite litter and it was awful, normally I only find pieces of litter close to the litter box but the new stuff got all over the house, it was so light it stuck to our cats fur, horrible stuff!

  3. Good tips. I’ve never heard the blow your nose tip before. Which pet store did your hubby find the metal scoop at? Our stores all carry plastic.

    • Metal Scoops can be found at Petland or PetSmart. Easiest way is to google it and order online. Amazon would definitely have one!

      • Had to laugh a bit about the metal scoop, only because it was so familiar. I too was using plastic scoops, the bane of my existence as a cat mom. Sent hubby to pet smart for something, can’t remember, he came back with this wonderful large metal scoop. Never loved that man so much.

        • Debbie kelsey says

          I couldn’t find a metal one at the pet store but did find a purrfect metal scoop in the kitchen utensils Dept at Target that has worked very well and was quite a bit cheaper.

          • Katie Murphy says

            I bought a metal ‘fish and chip’ scoop here in the UK and it works a treat!

      • I love the metal scoops that have the blades set like a potato fry cutter and not flat. Not sure that’s clear. It stops clogging of the scoop

    • Catsonthebed says

      We bought ours on line, it’s a scoop for restaurants frying foods. Have had it 6+ years now and it’s still perfect!

    • I found mine at Petsmart. Even Walmart has them. They’re pricey. Close to $15-

  4. Okay, I need to go out and get a metal scoop…I didn’t even know they existed! And…I will now be blowing my nose after cleaning the box. Great tips, thanks for sharing them with us.

    • Laura Crabtree says

      The best metal litter scoop I found is a Martha steward one I got it at pet smart & it is totally awesome. We use to own a very large pet store so I was familiar with & tried most everything out there. & I raised rag dolls & had over 100 cats. But that litter scoop is worth every penny I paid for it. I use swheat scoop premium plus litter also.

    • I loved the advice to blow your nose. I always wondered why i kept smelling the litter after i cleaned it. Duh!

  5. Jo-Anne Pfoh says

    I use a plastic milk container, the ones that hold the bags for my scoop. With 7 litters and arthritic hands I can get a better hold. Great tips ty

  6. Great post, thank you! You are so right about what might work now may not later. I loved our Breeze system and for a year, so did our cat. Or so I thought. She began defecating outside of the box and I couldn’t figure out why. Bought her a new pan with regular clumping litter, and no issues anymore! I suppose those big pellets weren’t comfy for her and she had simply been tolerating them. Also, the plastic scoop that came with the Breeze is the only plastic scoop I have ever liked. I use doggie bags to eliminate the waste and it’s the perfect size to get everything into those bags.

    • Love hearing this Heather! So glad you were able to resolve the kitty litter issues so your kitty can be happy again!!!! Meowy Hugs!

  7. During the monthly litter change it helps to rinse the pan with white vinegar a couple of times prior to refilling it.

    • Thank you for sharing this tip Kristy. It is really fantastic!

    • Katie Murphy says

      MONTHLY?! With only 3 Kitkababes, weekly. Vinegar great, but will rinse super well or cats decline!

      • Totally agree once a month is not hygenic. I am a cat breeder, and I use silica gel and even removing the poo daily for my cats, I still replace weekly. Also bleach your litter trays and leave for at least 10 minutes before thoroughly rinsing.

  8. Of course, you could use silicate litter and get rid of most of your problems. No other tricks needed.

  9. Some great tips in your post, thanks. I didn’t know about the “blowing your nose” tip until now.

  10. kathy downey says

    Great tips,i love removing everything from the little box and giving it a good cleaning and adding new litter at the end of the month.Great tip about the nose.

  11. Dolores Miranda says

    These are great tips!I have 2 cats and Im forever cleaning the box!!

  12. Kathy Moxley says

    I hated scooping cat litter too! After several attempts of using different cat litter I came up with the idea to use the crystallized litter on top of a large P pad for dogs. I place the pad down and about three large scoops of the litter the P goes through it to the bottom no scooping the pad soaks it in the poops it’s on top I clean that out daily at the end of the week I change the whole box out. It might be a little more expensive but if you buy the largest bag of crystallize litter and the cheapest pads it’s worth not having to scoop the p out!

  13. Calvin F. says

    Useful tips. I always have to clean the litterbox a couple times a day.

  14. I do not own any cats because of allergies but I have a friend that has three. She has some health issues so I think I’m going to tell her about blowing her nose after cleaning out the litter. I would’ve never thought about that myself.

  15. I did not know about the nose blowing. I wish I knew these great tips when my cat was alive.

  16. These are excellent tips. We don’t have a cat, but we’ve been thinking about it. I’m bookmarking this just in case we do.

  17. I’m a huge fan of clumping litter. I’ve never understood why anyone would want litter that didn’t clump. It makes things so much easier.

  18. I agree with everything on this list. Choosing the right litter box was the key when we had two cats…one loved the electronic litter box that we bought that was self cleaning, the other hated it and constantly tried to sabotage it deliberately. Cats are so finicky when they are comfortable, they make sure that no one is comfortable.

  19. Amy Desrosiers says

    I had no idea that litter boxes needed to be changed once a month. When I had a cat for a brief amount of time, I changed her litter completely like every week.

  20. TColeman says

    I had no idea about the metal litter scoop. Most of the ones that you see at the store are plastic. Good to know!

  21. We can’t have a cat due to my husband being allergic, but i have a friend who loves hers. I will make sure i tell her the tip about blowing her nose when she is done cleaning out the box!

  22. These are all great tips. I didn’t know about blowing your nose. I will have to remember that.

  23. I will have to pass these tips on to my daughter since she is in charge of doing the cat litter. I will have to get her a metal scoop though, make it a little easier for her.

  24. Lisa Bristol says

    These are great littler box tips I will have to look for a metal scoop to try. I have two cats and they can get stinky.

  25. Wow, this is good advice! I never really considered how much dust I’ve probably been inhaling.

  26. These are great tips! I haven’t owned a cat since I was a kid, but in the case I ever do get a kitty again I will remember these.

  27. These are all great tips. I have three cats, so these will come in handy. Cleaning the litter box is never fun to do, so thanks for the tips.

  28. These are excellent tips for cats. The litter box can be tough sometimes to get out odors!

  29. I don’t have a cat so I really don’t know anything about them! I will share this with my brother who has cats.

  30. People might be surprised to learn that some cats really don’t like a dirty litter box. I prefer a scented, clumping litter.

    • Jane Eckert-Bonus says

      So do I. Hi Im Jane, I love cats dogs and ALL animals. Ive had many cats and my house was their palace. The litter box cleaned daily and yes dump the litter once a month and I clean the litter box in the bath tub. It works great. My last cat Jazzy knew when I was cleaning her litter box tboughouly every month. She would follow me and get really happy and start running around. They know alot, cats are very smart. Love to read all everyones replys about our Kittys/ Cats. Thank u Jane.

  31. Wow, I didn’t know any of these. I’ll have to share this with my best friend, she has two cats.

  32. Cat boxes are always a chore! This is a great checklist for the new and old cat momma!

  33. These are really awesome tips! I don’t have a cat but this will be helpful to my friends who have. Thanks for sharing!

  34. Alicia Gonzalez says

    The blowing your nose tip is genius! I’d never heard of that before, but it makes so much sense. I can’t believe I’d never thought of that back when I had kittens.

  35. Great tips! So many things to consider when getting a cat that litter box care gets easily missed! I think my followers would find this really helpful. Great blog!

  36. We have 6 cats, all with their own bathroom habits. Thanks for tips. As for allergies to cats, only one of our 6 cats affects me. His dander may be different im not sure. I do recommend meeting different cats to adopt before dismissing the idea of having one. Cats are such a joy to live with and occasionally sneezing beats not having one.

  37. Jo Kubes says

    I have no need to blow my nose. Because of dust bothering me, I wear a disposible face mask when i do my litter scooping I use a heavy plastic scoop that I drilled bigger holes in it that I got at the dollar store. Best thing I did was place litter box on shower chair ( it is in extra shower stall), No more bending over when cleaning the box.

  38. I don’t use clumping litter after reading an article written by a veterinarian about the potential problems it could cause in a cat’s respiratory tract and lungs. Moisture causes it to clump, sometimes very hard, so when a cat is digging in his/her litter they’re inhaling all the dust created right into their respiratory tract and lungs, which are moist. It’s going to clump just like when urine hits that litter. I’m not willing to take the chance of causing any harm to my kitties, or, for that matter, to myself because I change their litter and would probably inhale some of that myself. I would guess most litter causes a certain amount of dust, but the clumping stuff causes me a lot of concern for my cats. I use pine pellets, scoop and change it frequently.

    • My daughter suggested World’s Best litter. It made such a difference. Cat litter box smell left the house! You don’t have to use a lot of it either. Chewy has the best deals on it too!

  39. The tips on the litter box is great. I have such a large cat, I have gone through 6 little boxes before I finally found one with sides tall enough to contain the spray – it is a plastic storage bin I got out of the storage area at Target, threw the lid away, but a ‘walk through’ in the side, and no more spraying off the side of the box!

  40. These are all great tips, but blowing your nose afterwards is something I’ve not heard of before – that’s a really good idea!

  41. Thanks for the nose tip.
    I hope it’s ok to name a specific brand. I use Dr Elsey Precious Cat litter. Awesome! It’s unscented so when in the laundry room I don’t smell the littter.
    I have a tip too! You know how clumps of litter stick to the sides of the box? Just lift the box a few inches and give it a kick. Voila!
    Kisses to all the kitties. ❣️

  42. I was not aware of metal scoops! I’ve always used plastic and have had the handle break off while scooping with a cheap plastic scoop.

    We are currently switching to Boxie Cat as have one cat that is quite picky and doesn’t always use the litter box 🙁

  43. Judith Bloom says

    We use World’s Best cat litter and find it to be wonderful. One of our cats is diabetic and pees a lot. This litter clumps beautifully and can be flushed down the toilet. It also is very low dust. We clean our boxes weekly and use bleach and water. The cats love a clean box!

  44. Great tips! I can definitely agree that a metal scoop is a GOD SEND!

  45. Elizabeth Matthiesen says

    I don’t have a cat but these tips will be very useful to those who do 🙂

  46. I raised two kittens from a couple days old. They used the litter box very early. . They are seven years old now. One of them stopped using the litter box.and goes on the floor. Looking for help, any suggestions?

    • Whenever you have litter habit changes, they are trying to tell you something. It could be cleanliness of the litter or even the litter you are using. Health concerns also come up, so it may be time for a vet visit for your kitty!

    • I just saw this article, but wanted to tell you I had a CAT that did the same thing–peeling on the floor, even in front of me. I took him to the vet and he had a blockage. He had surgery and was back to normal after that.

  47. Erica Seelig says

    In California and I trust elsewhere, is a litter called Worlds Best Cat Litter, and it is. It is light weight, FLUSHABLE, and does a pretty good job of keeping odor down. I scoop daily, of course, and that is necessary if your cat(s) is to be happy and you also.

  48. This is a fantastic read especially about the metal scoops. Once I went metal, I didn’t want to go back. Hehe. Anyways, thank you for writing this out! This is a great article for any first-time cat parent or someone else who’s considering adopting more than one cat. 🙂

  49. My lifesaving tip is to choose the right litter. I’ve used them all and hated them all until I found “WORLDS BEST LITTER”. It’s flushable !!! I keep the litter box in the bathroom, scoop into the toilet and flush !! That’s all. Truly amazing.

  50. These are all great tips. I liked the ones about using baking soda and blowing your nose after cleaning the litter box.

  51. I will be looking for a metal scoop soon! My 13 year old cat travelled with me from California to Alabama, and every night of the trip, I was so glad I use a “bin” with a lid for her. She got to use her familiar litter box and I didn’t have to haul an open bin in & out of hotel rooms! I clean twice daily, with clumping litter and I have a Litter Genie, which helps control odor, but I hate that plastic scoop! Thanks for your hint list!

  52. You will do your cat a favour by choosing clumping, non-scented litter filling. They don’t like the fresh smell.

  53. Also: use the 1+1 rule… 1 cat = 2 litter boxes , 2 cats = 3 litter boxes, 3 cats= 4 litter boxes etc. And spread them around the house on various places.

  54. Love the metal scoop, bought one when I rescued my cat. One of the best investments was a litter genie. Makes scooping and disposing of waste so much easier and it doesn’t make your house smell. The liners last up to 8 weeks for one cat. I change mine every 2 weeks and clean the litter box weekly, plus I scoop 2xs a day, my girl is fussy. I found that mixing the non clumping litter and clumping litter cuts back tremendously on matting as well as finding less litter around the house.

  55. Melanie Shearman says

    I recently read— and was surprised you didn’t mention— that litter boxes should be replaced once a year as they absorb the smells and such even while using a liner. I don’t have the space to wash out a litter box monthly, so I use liners. Another great hint for those of us unable to get out daily but are scooping into a trash can: cut down odor by dumping your used coffee grounds into your trash can.

  56. Robin Tuttleby says

    If you live in a house with a garden but want to keep your cat enclosed this may be an option. The sideway of my house was only used to store rubbish. I netted it, installed a cat door and put about 10cm (4 inches) of mulch on the ground. (Available at no cost from our council.) Threw out the litter box!! Once I was sure the cats would use it I added plants, a ramp to high shelves and a door at one end so I can get in and garden. I wish I had done it decades before. The sideway is 1 metre by 5 metres and as high as the roof. Plenty for 2 cats.

  57. I check the litter morning and night and when I go past during the day. If it has been used I scoop
    Much nicer for the cats and us