Scooping cat litter isn’t something cat owners love to do. But we owe it to our cats to give them a clean spot to do their business every day. Don’t forget to regularly clean the litter box and litter box accessories (e.g. scoop, disposal container, etc.).
Imagine if we had to rely on someone to flush our toilets and they constantly forgot to do it. We wouldn’t be happy campers and may eventually find somewhere less smelly and dirty to go.
Although scooping cat litter may not be your favorite task, there are ways to make it easier, so it doesn’t feel like such a chore. If it only takes you a few minutes each day, you’re more likely to stay on top of the task.
How Do You Make Scooping Cat Litter Easier?
Each of the following may not make a huge difference on its own, but the more suggestions you apply, the faster and easier it will be to scoop.
1) Use a Bigger Litter Scoop
Some litter boxes or litter waste disposal systems come with a litter scoop, which is convenient, however, they’re usually pretty small.
When you purchase a bigger litter scoop, you’re able to lift more waste out of the litter box with one scoop.
Most large litter scoopers are also made with more solid material. This is beneficial because it helps you scrape litter that’s stuck to the pan, which makes it easier when it’s time to change the litter and clean the box (here’s when and how to give the litter box a deep clean and how to properly clean it with vinegar to disinfect).
2) Use a Waste Disposal System
I used to keep plastic grocery bags and scoop dirty litter into one each time I cleaned the litter box. They were small enough that it wasn’t too wasteful to use a new bag each time, and it was inexpensive.
However, because I never wanted to leave a bag full of dirty litter in my small apartment, I’d tie the bag closed and take it to the outside garbage bin.
This added an extra 5 minutes to scooping.
When I purchased a litter disposal system, it saved me so much time. I could scoop the dirty litter into a bag and no longer had to take that bag outside each day.
A container with a tight-fitting lid works in a similar way, but one that’s designed for kitty litter is more ergonomic and more effective at trapping odors.
In general, it’s more effective at trapping odors because of an interior lever that temporarily seals the bag. This means odors don’t waft out each time you open the lid to deposit waste. Once you close the lid, you pull the lever back so the waste drops into the bag and then let the lever go so it seals the bag again.
There are a few versions of the Litter Genie, view a side-by-side comparison of each here.
View a side-by-side comparison of Litter Champ vs. Litter Genie to determine which is right for you.
3) Try A More Convenient Location
Most cat owners place the litter box out of sight. This may be in a dark, damp basement, or in the corner of the house you don’t typically visit.
Not only does your cat not appreciate having their litter box in locations like these, they also cause you to go out of your way to scoop litter.
I never enjoyed walking down a flight of stairs and walking on cold concrete floors to scoop the litter box each day. Not to mention, I had to carry heavy bags of new and dirty litter up and down those stairs.
When you place the litter box along a path you take several times a day, it makes it easier to quickly scoop as you walk by.
It takes some time to get used to the litter box being less hidden, but it really does help you keep it cleaner and keep your home smelling fresh.
4) Switch to an Uncovered Litter Box
Covered litter boxes require extra steps to scoop the litter. Depending on the design of the litter box, you must unclip the lid, remove it, scoop, place the lid back on, then clip it in place. Seems simple enough but having to repeat these steps once or twice a day, every day, really adds to your scooping time.
Not to mention, covered and top-entry litter boxes add more parts for you to clean each month and may not be ideal for your cat’s health. Here’s why you may want to avoid top-entry litter boxes.
5) Increase Frequency
When the litter box is placed in a spot you walk past several times a day, you can easily scoop multiple times a day.
You’ll only be scooping one or two clumps, so it will take you a matter of seconds to do so and the task won’t feel like such a big deal.
6) Smooth Out Litter
Try using the scoop to quickly smooth out the top of the litter. Then you’ll be able to tell, at a glance, if your cat has used the litter box since you last scooped.
This ensures you won’t be unnecessarily spending time scooping the litter box when it’s already clean and will also help you immediately see which part of the litter has been disturbed/kicked into a mound, so you know exactly where to scoop.
Instead of sifting through the entire box to check for waste, you can clean the litter box with one scoop.
7) Try a Non-Clumping and/or Low-Dust Litter
Litter dust is one of the factors that makes scooping the litter box so unpleasant. You feel like you inhale it as you scoop and the dust goes everywhere, adding more to wipe down and clean regularly.
Consider changing litters to something low-dust and even more natural. Such as Sustainably Yours, which is made from corn & cassava.
Alternatively, you may consider a non-clumping, non-clay litter. The idea behind non-clumping litters is that you scoop the poop but the urine is absorbed by the litter particles.
Instead of scooping poop and urine clumps, you’re only scooping poop. Depending how many cats you have, this may mean you only have one or two clumps to scoop per day.
It does mean that you’ll have to change the litter more frequently, typically once per week.
But this may end up being more convenient for you as you’ll cut back on how much you scoop per day and then once a week, dump the entire contents and pour in fresh litter.
8) Try Non-Stick
Inevitably, you’ll deal with litter sticking to the litter pan and scoop. This can add to scooping time because you’ll have to scrape down the sides when scooping and then clean off the scoop before putting it back in its holder.
Try investing in a non-stick litter pan and/or litter scoop.
PETFUSION NON-STICK LARGE LITTER BOX
IPRIMIO NON-STICK LITTER SCOOP
9) Elevate the Litter Box
Bending down to scoop a litter box on the floor can be hard for some cat owners who have back or knee problems. And let’s be honest, we prefer to place everyday items at a level that doesn’t require bending or stretching.
If your cat doesn’t have mobility issues, you may find it beneficial to place the litter box on a surface that’s 1 – 4 feet above the ground.
If you’re handy, you could build a platform to house the litter box, scoop, and waste disposal container.
You may also add a ramp to make it easy for your cat to walk up and access the litter box. You don’t want to make it difficult for them to use the box each day or they may find someplace else to go.
Alternatively, you could try a litter scoop with a longer handle:
10) Add a Litter Mat & High Pile Carpet
Keeping the litter box area clean is another aspect to stay on top of. Having to sweep litter off the floor or stepping on it each time doesn’t make scooping cat litter any easier.
I purchased this litter mat, which helped trap more litter. But it also helped to place a larger piece of scrap carpet in the area. This caught any litter the mat didn’t, and the litter would remain trapped within the carpet until I vacuumed it.
It also made it softer on my feet so I didn’t even notice I was stepping on litter and I was able to cover a much larger area with a scrap of carpet.
I hope these tips make scooping litter easier 🙂
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