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How To Clean A Litter Box In An Apartment

Do you live in an apartment and have a cat? This means that you have to figure out how to clean the litter box in a not so easy place. In a larger living space, there may be access to a washroom to give the box a good cleaning, but most apartments usually don’t have this kind.

litter box in the bedroom of a small apartment

While living in an apartment, follow these tips to keep your litter box clean.

Key Takeaways

  • In small apartments, cleaning the litter box can be managed by using disposable trays and liners, or opting for a non-stick litter box to minimize mess, with a thorough washing in the bathtub as needed.
  • Regular litter box upkeep should involve daily scooping, regular litter replacement, and cleaning with soap, water, and pet-safe disinfectants to keep sanitary conditions for your cat.
  • To efficiently clean and sanitize the litter box, scrub with hot water and pet-safe cleaner, disinfect, allow it to dry completely, and consider having two boxes to rotate use while one is being cleaned.

How to clean a litter box while living in an apartment

Use disposable litter trays

disposable litter boxIf you are having issues keeping your cat’s litter box clean, you can use disposable litter boxes.  Instead of cleaning the litter box, you would toss the old litter box and get a new one.  These are usually made up of cardboard or other recyclable material that is safe for the environment.

Disposable litter boxes can get expensive, having to always buy new litter trays, some people will look for other options such as cardboard cat food containers to use as litter boxes.  Repurposing things that are already going to be put in the trash will help cut down on the expense of having to buy disposable cat litter trays.

Use liners

One way to quickly and easily clean your cat’s litter box is to use a disposable litter box liner.  These liners are like trash bags that line the litter box. You would put the liner in the box then put litter in the liner.  When the litter box is dirty and needs to be cleaned, you would just remove the liner with the litter and waste inside of the liner and place it in your trash.

Usually, the liners can easily collect all the litter and waste and tie off. The downside to using these liners is if your cat is digging excessively in their litter box, they may tear the liner with their claws.  This could allow litter and waste to get under the liner and make a mess in the box.

Wash the litter box in the tub

One issue that many people face is where to wash their litter boxes.  If you live in a house, you have access to water outside where you can easily wash your cat’s litter box.

If you live in a small apartment, one good place to wash your cat’s litter box is in your bathtub.  This is one place where you have access to water and a big enough place to wash the box out.  Some apartment complexes do have outside water access.  You can ask your apartment manager where a good place for outside washing is located. Here is a video about washing a litter box in the bath tub.

Use a Litter Box Robot

While they may be a large investment, you can look into investing in a litter box Robot.  These litter boxes will clean themselves when your cat gets out.  This can make clean up a breeze.

Usually, these boxes will have a small area where your cat’s waste goes to after the litter box cleans itself.  This makes the area that you need to clean much smaller. Many of these litter boxes have small trash bags that you put in the waste area, and all you have to do is change the bag out once a week.

Use a non-stick litter box

Many clumping litters can easily get stuck to the litter box, causing you to have to scrub the sides of the box.  A non-stick litter box helps prevent cat litter and waste from sticking to the box.

Use non-clumping litter

Clumping litter gets sticky when wet.  This is how it makes balls when your cat pees.  This type of litter can also stick to the sides of the litter box, making it harder for you to clean.  Look for non-clumping or paper pellets cat litter, such as yesterday’s news.  This litter will absorb your cat’s urine and not stick to the litter box.  This will make it easier for you to clean. It can be harder to scoop but you just have to change your technique.

Use pet-safe wipes

After emptying your cat’s litter box, you will need to wipe down the bottom of the box to remove any left-over urine or fecal material.  Use pet-specific wipes to clean the bottom of the litter box if you can’t clean it with soap and water.  These wipes are okay for your cat to come in contact with, and the smell is not toxic to them.


How often should I clean out the litter box?

You should clean a litter box and replace the old cat litter with new cat litter at least once every week.  You will need to scoop out poop once to twice a day. When you scoop out the old cat litter, replenish what you took out with new litter.  Each week you should empty all the litter from their box and fully clean the box and replace it with new cat litter.

Depending on your cat’s needs and wants, you may have to do this more often. If you have more than one cat, you will have to clean the litter box even more often as more cats are making more waste to keep clean.  With multiple cats, you should also have multiple boxes.

Where should I keep my litter box in a small apartment?

It is best to keep your cat’s litter box in a quiet area.  In small apartments, many people consider furniture that has a hidden litter box that is located in a low traffic area of their apartment. Cats do not like to be disrupted while they are trying to use the bathroom.  Make sure the location is easily accessible for you and your cat so you can scoop and clean it when you need to.

Other popular locations are in the bathroom or the laundry room. These locations are also out of the way but may not be big enough to also store a litter box.

How do you deep clean a litter box in an apartment?

It is best to deep clean your cat’s litter box every time you add new cat litter.  Your cat’s urine can dry and crystalize on the bottom of your cat’s litter box.  This can cause bacteria and other things to grow in your cat’s box.

When you empty the old cat litter and add new, you should also clean the litter box.  This may be fully cleaning the box with soap and water or may just be using a cleaner to wipe down the box and let it dry before adding litter. For odor control, you can sprinkle some baking soda in with the new litter.

How do you disinfect a cat litter box?

Cat’s urine can contain normal bacteria. This can easily grow in your cat’s litter box.  When you clean your cat’s litter box, you should use some type of pet-safe cleaner to disinfect your cat’s litter box.

You can use hot water in your sink or tub to fully clean a litter box. After cleaning, you can use a disinfectant spray to wipe down the inside of the box. After you have fully cleaned your cat’s litter box, it is best to fully let this box dry before replacing the cat litter.

Since this cleaning process can take some time, it is best to have two litter boxes. You can have a clean litter box out for your cat to use while cleaning the other one. After it is clean and dry, you can put it away to use as the clean box next time your cat’s litter box needs to be cleaned.

Rotating boxes like this will decrease the wear on one box and make sure that your cat has a fresh litter box at all times.


Even though you live in a small apartment, litter box maintenance should not be an overwhelming chore.  Following these tips and tricks will help make sure that your cat’s litter box is properly cleaned in your apartment.  Your cat will greatly appreciate a litter box that is always clean.

This is a task that should not take you very long if you have the proper tools and litter box.  Once you get a routine for when and how to clean your cat’s litter box, this chore will be much easier.