By Ariane Benefit
Is there anything worse that having a guest come into your home and instantly say “Oh, you have a cat?” And the cat is nowhere to be seen? Oops. That’s a good sign you may not be keeping the litter box as clean as possible.
In my work as a professional organizer, organizing the litter box is usually the first thing to be done for my dear cat loving clients. In my 25 years of owning cats, I’ve tried everything to make the job of keeping the litter box clean smelling easier. I’m proud to say that today I have 3 gorgeous Maine Coone cats (you can see pictures on my blog) and guests in my home are always SURPRISED when they see the cats. That’s because they can’t smell them!
Here are seven organizing tips to keep your cat’s litter box neat, clean & fresh.
1) NEVER put the litter box in your own bathroom unless you absolutely have to! The litter gets everywhere and it stinks. If you have to keep it there, get a fully enclosed litter box with an opening for the cat to walk through. They will track litter outside the box though. So that leads to my next tip.
2) The best place place to keep the litter box is in a small closet with cleaning supplies. Just make sure to keep the door cracked open. I recommend keeping a long item such as shelf paper on one of the shelves so the door can’t be accidentally closed. If the area is carpeted, line it with plastic or vinyl carpet liner. Or better yet, remove the carpet if you can. Be sure to get a litter box that has high walls and a dome or cover. The Booda
3) Clean Step Dome Litter Box works great and really does help cut down on the litter tracking.
Every time you scoop the litter, use a handheld vacuum to clean the area around the box. Store the vacuum cleaner on a shelf or hang it on a wall in the closet. My favorite vacuums are the Black and Decker ones that use the same rechargeable batteries as all the other B&D tools. We keep an extra set of batteries and charger by each vacuum so we never run out of power.
4) Use a great litter. The best litter I’ve found in 26 years of living with cats is Tidy Cats with Crystal Blend Scoopable litter and now I use the new Tidy Cats “Small Spaces” litter mixed in. Even with 3 cats, it keeps odors under control. Make sure to fill your box half full with litter. One of the most common mistakes I see is too little litter in the box. Cat’s like a very clean box, if there isn’t enough litter, they may go outside the box. And if they use the box without enough litter, it will stink horribly!
5) Remember to scoop often. Make that job easier by keeping a large scooper hanging near the box, and plastic grocery bag holder attached to the inside door. Keep it stuffed with lots of grocery bags. Every day, scoop the pet waste into a bag, double bag it, tie it up airtight and put it in the trash.
6) Keep a roll of paper towels near wherever the litter box is. If it’s in a closet, use a paper towel holder that screws into the door and hang the paper towels on the inside of the door. Also keep a spray cleaner handy.
7) Empty the box completely once a month. Dump the litter into one of your handy grocery bags. Use your paper towels or a disposable pop-up cleaning product such as Clorox Wipes handy to clean the litter box and the surrounding floor. When you are done, throw the towels or wipes in with the litter, tie the bag up tight and dump it in the trash!
There you have it. A nicely organized litter box area. So what’s keeping you? Go and organize that litter box today so you’ll never again have a guest smell the cat before they even meet the dear furbaby!
Â© 2006 Ariane Benefit, Neat Living
Ariane Benefit, M.S.Ed., is a professional organizer, consultant, speaker, and author of the Neat Living Blog at www.neatliving.net which provides expert organizing tips, home makeover photos and much more. Her mission is to help people simplify, clear clutter, and get organized enough to live a life they love! She provides practical creative solutions for people who want a neater, simpler, less stressful life. Ariane can be found on the web at www.neatliving.org