Can You Vacuum Cat Litter?
It’s best you don’t vacuum cat litter using your regular vacuum cleaner. Here’s a list of why you don’t want to vacuum up cat litter with a regular vacuum.
- Cat litter is sharp and can destroy hoses and filters.
- Cat urine and cat poop transform the litter into large clumps that can clog hoses. When litter is combined with a liquid (urine) it acts like cement and attaches to hoses and canister walls.
- The cat litter dust can clog vacuum filters.
- Cat urine and feces attached to the cat litter can get trapped in the vacuums brushes or hoses and spread the smell around your home.
- The brushes on vacuums more often fling the cat litter away from the litter box. If there was urine or anything else attached to the clumps who knows where they end up.
Cat litter can do some serious damage to a regular vacuum cleaner. You see, most people will use their regular vacuum cleaner to vacuum up the spilled kitty litter, but really all they’re doing is spreading it around and killing the machine slowly.
Then the kitty litter gets stuck because it acts like concrete when it gets wet, and at that point, you’re just sucking up rocks —- tiny dangerous rocks that slowly damage a regular carpet vacuum cleaner.
Best Way To Pick Up Cat Litter
There do exist vacuum cleaners that can handle cat litter. The best vacuum for cat litter will be a shop vacuum and not the regular vacuum you use around your home.
The great thing about having a shop vacuum around the home is that it can clean up all the other messes you don’t want your nice vacuum to touch. Things like sucking up water and all the other messes around your home.
How to Clean up Cat Litter With a Shop Vacuum
- I personally like removing the filter from the shop vacuum so that I don’t get cat pee or poop stuck to it. This is the natural state of my shop vacuum as I never know what liquid I’ll need to pick up.
- Move the litter box somewhere else so you can clean.
- Without any attachments suck up the litter with the shop vacuum.
- Then use the Crevice Tool attachment of the shop vacuum to get into the tight corners and hard to reach areas. Tip: you can buy Long Crevice Tool Attachments* for the super hard to reach areas.
A Shop Vacuum Cleaner is great and if you ask me the best way to clean up cat litter. These vacuums are made to handle everything you throw at it even kitty messes.
How to Get Cat Litter out of the Carpet
If you need to get the cat litter out of the carpet you should use a carpet rake.
If you don’t have a carpet rake then the shop vacuum will work if you go at it in many different directions.
Using a Shop Vacuum for these types of messes will help save your good vacuum from sudden death by cat litter. I’ve seen people suck up pens, rocks, and so many odd things into a shop vacuum and it still runs. One useful feature of a Shop Vacuum is that it can suck up liquids, so those messes are a breeze to clean too.
Tip: Some Shop Vacuums will come with a floor attachment which is nice, but I like to just use the hose only for cleaning up the cat litter mess. Make sure not to use the floor attachments that have the spinning brush as that would fling the litter everywhere.
The Real Problem
If you’re asking this question, then you have a cat that spills cat litter around the litter box. Cleaning up the cat litter is super annoying especially when you have to dig out the vacuum cleaner.
To help solve this problem, there are two things you should consider, a litter mat or an automatic litter box.
Litter Mat – You can buy litter mats that will help to stop the spread of litter around the litter box. But trust me on this one, you need a particular mat. What you need is a litter mat like the Blackhole Cat Litter Mat*, this mat allows the litter to fall through the holes, and it makes it super easy to dump it out in the trash.
Automatic Litter Box – The litter mat is a must-have no matter what, but I’ve seen cats throw litter out the side when looking for a place to go. Cats throwing litter around is common for a house that has multiple cats; they don’t want to go in the same spot that the other cat went, so they make their own by throwing litter around. Unless you’re going to clean up the litter box after each cat, you will need a solution. The best answer to this is to get an automatic litter box like this one here*. These things continually help keep the litter box clean and will get rid of the waste from the other cats. The biggest perk is that it’s easy to dispose of the waste with these automatic litter boxes.
One more option – I will say this might not be the best choice, but it was the least worrying way to deal with the litter. I bought a robot vacuum cleaner to use to clean up the mess. I program the vacuum to vacuum once a day, and I have it start in the area where I keep the litter box. This way I don’t have to get the vacuum out and bend down to clean up the litter sprinkles everywhere. Let’s be honest; we can have all the litter mats in the world but the cats will find a way to track litter. A robot vacuum will go to work to clean up at the time you set so it’s one less thing for you to worry about.
Those wondering if a robot vacuum can work as well as a regular vacuum I have a post that answers that question here.