Sometimes, our cats think that kicking litter out of the box is fun. This will cause a big mess on the carpet, god forbid there’s poop present. If you’re dealing with the same problem, you should know how to get cat litter out of carpet efficiently. You just need some towels, a brush, a vacuum cleaner, and an enzyme cleaner. Below, I discussed the easy steps for you to follow.
Why does my cat throw litter everywhere?
Before we talk about the removal steps, I think it’s important to discuss why some cats make a mess out of their litter.
The most common culprit here is cat litter tracking. When your cat steps on the litter box, the litter particles will get stuck on their paws. And for long-haired cats like my Watson, the litter will also stick to their fur. When the kitty steps out and lies down on the carpet, the litter will be transferred. Learn here how to tell if a kitten will have long hair
Another possible scenario is your cat kicking the litter out of the box. If you happen to place the litter box beside a carpeted area, don’t be surprised if you’ll go home to a litter mess.
This happens when you’re using an open litter box. As your cat tries to cover its excrement, some litter may fly off the borders. This is also the case if the litter box is too small for your cat.
But if the litter box is large enough for your kitty, you should consider changing the litter. Your cat probably finds the smell or texture unappealing. Since your cat can’t talk, kicking the litter outside the litter box is its way of expressing dislike.
Contrary to what other pet owners think, cats don’t kick litter into the carpet out of spite. While your pet may appear cheeky, it’s not really capable of processing complicated emotions such as spite.
How do you get cat litter out of carpet?
Unlike other substances, cat litter is challenging to remove from carpeted surfaces. This is much so if you’re dealing with clumping litter. The more you add water to it, the more it hardens and turns into a cement-like adhesive. To prevent this from happening, you should follow these steps instead.
Materials you need:
- Paper towel
- Scrubbing brush
- Vacuum cleaner
- Enzyme cleaner
Step 1. Let the litter dry
Never try to pour water or use a wet rug to wipe off the cat litter on the carpet. This will only make it stick to the fibers even more.
Instead, grab some paper towels and remove as much wet litter as you can get. Also, try to dab the excess moisture out of the litter left on the carpet.
After that, let the cat litter dry on its own before doing the next step. Trust me, it would be much easier to remove once the litter is fully dry. It will also prevent it from sticking to other fibers.
Step 2. Scrub a little
Using a brush, scrub the litter to loosen it up. Be gentle to prevent damaging the fibers of the carpet. After scrubbing a little, stop to collect the dislodged litter. Repeat this until you’ve removed most of the clumps.
Step 3. Vacuum the area
Once you’ve removed a substantial amount of cat litter, vacuum the carpet to remove all the debris. Keep scrubbing if you can still see traces of cat litter on the surface.
Whether the cat litter has excrement or not, I suggest treating the carpet with an enzyme cleaner. This solution will eat up the remaining proteins that cause odor and contamination. Concentrate the solution on the affected area only.
Also, you should spot-test on a hidden portion of the carpet first. This will let you know if the enzyme cleaner will affect the color of the fabric.
The good thing about enzyme cleaners is you don’t have to do anything else after applying them. The live enzymes will disintegrate on their own once there are no food sources available.
Tips to prevent a litter mess at home
Once you’ve cleaned up the litter on your carpet, the next step is to prevent it from happening. To keep it from happening, here are some of the four tips that we also apply at home:
- Move the litter box. If your cat’s litter box is beside a carpeted area, consider moving it away. You may need to train your cat to the new spot(learn here how to litter train a stray kitten), but it’s much better than having to clean messed litter all the time.
- Use a tracking mat. A tracking mat is a rubber litter mat that you place right at the entrance of the litter box. It’s like a doormat for your cat, which will catch the litter that got stuck on its paws. You can get a cat litter mat for a very low cost.
- Switch to a bigger litter box. You should also consider the possibility that your cat has outgrown its litter box. It might be time to get a bigger and taller replacement. Also, consider getting an enclosed litter box that will prevent the litter from spilling.
- Reconsider the litter type. Lightweight litter like clumping powders tends to track more. If your cat doesn’t mind, crystal litter might be a smarter choice.
Does kitty litter stain carpets?
Some kitty litter that has been dyed artificially will definitely stain your carpet. However, if it’s made of bentonite clay, it’s unlikely to leave a major mark on your rug.
In case there’s a cat litter stain on your carpet, you can use an equal solution of vinegar, water, and baking soda. Let this solution sit on the carpet for 10 minutes before blotting the moisture. If the stain didn’t go away, you might need to hire professional carpet cleaning.
Will a Roomba pick up cat litter?
Yes, a Roomba vacuum can pick up cat litter. Just make sure that you get the newer model since it has a higher suction power than the lower models.
However, I don’t recommend vacuuming a large pile of cat litter, especially if it’s clumping. It may cause blockage on the vacuum canister.
Can you vacuum up cat litter?
Yes, you can use a vacuum cleaner to clean up spilled litter. This will come in handy if your cat keeps tracking on the carpet after eliminating.
If you’re dealing with damp or wet litter, you should only use a vacuum rated for wet/dry use. Also, look for a model with a bypass flow motor that separates air and dirt. Such a mechanism will prevent the litter clay from getting lodged in the vacuum filter.
How do I get the smell of cat urine out of my carpet?
If there’s a nasty litter box smell on your carpet, the best solution is an enzyme cleaner. The live enzymes on the solution will eat the proteins and cat pee smell that lingers. (please read here how to find cat pee)
However, if the urine odor is extensive and found on multiple spots of your carpet, you should consider professional carpet cleaning. This will remove the cat urine smell for good.
Where do you put cat litter after scooping?
You should always place scooped litter inside double bags before putting it in the trash can. Cat poop contains nasty parasites that can be infectious to humans. Don’t just dump it in the bin and hope for the best. Also, never flush cat litter, especially clumping types, because it will create a severe blockage on your sewerage system.
You can also use a cat litter disposal system if you don’t want to use a lot of plastic. Basically, this system lets you collect cat litter for a week before having to throw it away. This reduces plastic use, and it’s very convenient for busy households. learn more here how to dispose of cat litter without a plastic bag
Knowing how to get cat litter out of carpet will save you from a lot of hassle. The steps are easy, and you only need some household items. But whatever happens, never punish your cat for spreading litter over the house. Instead, you should consider the preventive tips I discussed above.
Marco Vasquez is a passionate animal lover and writer with extensive experience in the pet care industry. He has worked with various pets, including dogs, cats, birds, and fish, and deeply understand their unique needs and behaviors. Marco’s love for animals has driven him to become an expert in pet health, nutrition, and behavior, and he is always eager to share his knowledge and insights with others. As a member of the Petcosset team, Marco brings his expertise to help pet owners make informed decisions about the well-being of their little friends. He enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors with his pets in his free time.