Our feline friends are always finding new ways to show us who’s the boss. Owning a cat can be a lot of fun, but sometimes you need to throw in the towel (literally) and clean up after them when they’ve made a bit of a mess.
A common mishap that you may need to look after is cat litter on the carpet. Cats frequently collect a bit of cat litter on their paws, and quite often it has a bit of soiling attached too. It is then easy for them to track it all over your floors and carpets, which does not take long to cause an unwanted smell.
Thankfully this doesn’t have to be a problem for long. It is easy to clean cat litter out of carpet if you act fast and know what you’re doing.
Here are some tips to keep your carpet litter-free and remind your cat that you’re not messing around!
Step 1: Collect with a Paper Towel
The first step is to clean up what you can of the mess with a paper towel. Try to get as much of the wet litter and soiling as possible here to make your life easier later.
A kitchen sponge or wipe can also be used, but it does carry smells which might be hard to clean out later. For this reason, we recommend paper towels or tissues which can be disposed of quickly.
Step 2: Allow Litter to Dry
Wet litter can be hard to pick up from carpet, although many new cat owners try to catch it all at once. This actually makes the job a lot more difficult than it needs to be.
Unless the litter is completely dry already, the best thing to do is wait for a short time for it to air out. This will harden it and make it easier to clean later.
Step 3: Loosen with a Brush
Next step to clean cat litter out of your carpet is to loosen the fibres with a scrubbing brush. Give it a light rub, just enough to separate the litter out a bit. Then, grab your vacuum cleaner and go over the spot to pick up any loose parts.
The vacuum will do a good job of picking most, if not all, of the litter up in a matter of seconds. If anything is still catching on, repeat the step with the scrubbing brush to roughen the area once again and use the vacuum to finish it off.
Step 4: Give the Area a Wash
The step you should use next to complete the clean is to wash the area using an odour neutraliser. There’s a very good reason for this and it’s one that can come back to bite you later if you forget it!
Wet litter often has urine in it, and it can be difficult for your vacuum cleaner to pick up all of it. Often the urine is left in. Over time, this sinks into the carpet further and creates a highly unpleasant smell. It can be a real challenge to overcome this later so it’s best to take care of this now.
Make sure you use a high-quality odour neutraliser for this. Don’t use a typical household cleaner, as they often kill bacteria in the area and mask the smell temporarily. A proper odour neutralising spray will rid your carpet of leftover urine for good, so you can relax knowing you won’t get hit with a nasty whiff later.
How to Prevent Cat Litter from Damaging Your Carpet
The best approach to cleaning your cat litter off the carpet is simple – be proactive to prevent it reaching there in the first place.
The first step is to place your cat litter box as far away from the carpet as possible. This gives your cat plenty of space to track it off before reaching it. Tiles are more durable for scratching and are easier to clean wet litter from, so kitchens and laundries (or even outdoors, if it’s undercover and easy access) are ideal choices. Avoid hardwood floors if you can.
Another option is cat litter box lids. You can buy these separately, and they can be handy to keep litter from spreading all over the place. However, they may not fit your box and you still need to be cautious.
If you need to put your cat litter box on top of carpet, cut some plastic or cardboard out in a large square for it to sit on. Make sure it’s bigger than the shape of the litter box to give your cat space to get the litter off their paws. Some pet stores offer cat litter mats specifically for this purpose too.
Follow these easy steps and you will become a pro at cleaning cat litter out of carpet in no time. However, we hope it’s not something you have to deal with too often – otherwise, your cat may think they are king or queen of your castle!