How To Get Cat Litter Out Of Carpeting (Wet, Dry, or Even Dirty)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Pet ownership has a miraculous way of turning people into cleaning gurus, even with a pet as “self-sustaining” as a cat. Let’s face it. Cats clean up after themselves for the most part, but even the daintiest of kittens can still have gross byproducts. A good example of this is dealing with cat litter that’s gotten stuck to carpeting after Fluffy uses the litter box. So, how do you fix this issue?

Allow the litter to dry, then knock it loose from the carpet with a brush so it comes out easily. Spray pet stain remover over the stain, allow it to dry and vacuum the area. Scoop the litter back into the bag and vacuum the area if you spill fresh cat litter on the carpet.

As far as pet-related messes go, getting rid of litter from your carpet is one of the least worrisome. This article will teach you how to get rid of it and prevent it from happening.

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How To Get Cat Litter Out Of Your Carpeting

Cat litter is awesome at being clean and absorbent, which means that you kinda lucked out with this. It could be worse. The good news is that there’s no soaking and scrubbing involved here if your cat litter is dry. All you need to do is brush the carpet to get the stuff loosened up and vacuum it all away. It’s easy, peasy.

What Should You Do If The Cat Litter Is Wet And Clumped On Your Carpeting?

If you have a cat that might’ve tracked wet litter onto your carpet, then you probably feel pretty defeated already. The same could be said if you had the misfortune of spilling a bag of used litter onto the floor. Thankfully, this is a relatively quick fix. Just follow these steps below:

  • If there is a lot of litter, use a scoop to pick up as much of it as you can. Place the litter in a garbage bag.
  • Using a paper towel, try to pick up as much litter as you can. You want to move fast, since wet litter can stink up a house if it’s not removed ASAP. At this point, most of the litter should be gone and in the garbage.
  • Wait for the litter to dry. Theoretically, you could make it dry faster with a hairdryer, but we don’t suggest it since it can cause odors to arise from the used litter.
  • Use a brush to loosen the cat litter from the fiber. Just like with dry litter, a little brushing will be enough to get the cat litter to stop clinging to your carpet. A quick, brisk brushing is all you need.
  • Use your vacuum to suck up the dirt. Repeat steps two and three, if you need to.
  • From here, you can use a pet stain remover of your choice to remove any discoloration or odor that is left. If your cat’s litter had a distinct smell of urine or poop, then this is a must. It’s a sanitation issue.
  • Let the carpet dry. This should be more than enough to take care of any pet stain related to cat litter. If you want to further curb the smell of pet mess, I’d suggest spraying a room refresher now.

What Should You Do If A Bag Of Fresh Litter Spilled On Your Carpet?

If it’s fresh litter that got on your carpet, then you can breathe a sigh of relief. A lot of the issues that other pet owners might be facing won’t happen to you. To clean this up, grab a large, sturdy bag and scoop the litter into it. When you can no longer scoop the litter into the bag, use a brush and a vacuum to clean up the remnants.

Preventing Cat Litter From Ending Up On Your Carpet

When it comes to stains relating to pets, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The question, of course, is how you can prevent your cat from tracking litter everywhere. Thankfully, there are a couple of tools that you can use to curb this behavior…

Train Your Cat

Believe it or not, there are some cat owners who have trained their cats to go to the bathroom using a toilet. This will obviously cut down on your cat’s tracking habits. If that seems a bit outlandish, it’s good to remember that you can also train your cat to go outside, where litter tracking just won’t happen.

Get A Track-Proofed Litter Box

The best way to prevent a cat from tracking litter everywhere is to get the right litter box. You want to get a covered litter box to prevent smells and also keep litter inside the box. You also should look for litter boxes that have grates that allow cats to scrape away litter from their paws. This one from Modcat is a good place to start.

Get A Litter Pad

Sometimes, even the best of litter boxes won’t be enough to prevent litter tracking. It happens, but there’s another line of defense that you could be employing. A good way to curb litter ending up on expensive carpets is to buy a litter mat that’s designed to catch stray litter crumbles. You can get one on Amazon for cheap.

Go To The Vet

Do you notice your cat kicking litter outside of its box, even though you make an effort to curb it? Is your cat going so far as to topple the box, or do his business outside of the box? Sometimes, cats that are struggling with anxiety choose to act out in destructive ways. Sometimes, this includes things like spraying litter everywhere. A talk with the vet can help.

While vets won’t be able to sit down and talk to your cat about his bathroom habits, they can use their knowledge regarding feline instincts to help you learn what you can do to curb his behavior. While it’s not the most obvious approach, it is an approach that will work and relies on science to do it.

Store Litter Carefully

Anyone who’s ever ripped a large bag of cat litter in the middle of a home will tell you that cats aren’t always to blame for litter messes. If you want to prevent bags from ripping open, the best thing you can do is keep your pet litter in a large, screwcap plastic container. Many pet litter brands already do this, including Fresh Step.

Of course, fresh litter isn’t the only issue. Used litter needs to be stored, too. To prevent spills, have a separate garbage can (or just a lidded can) near the cat box. To prevent spillage outside, empty out the garbage can outside and dispose of it as soon as you can.

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Related Questions

What should I use to properly clean my cat’s litter box?

A litter box that isn’t clean is a health hazard to both you and your cat. You will need to clean it out once in a while. The best way to do it is to rinse it with warm water, and then scrub it down with some dish soap. Once you’re done scrubbing, make sure that you rinse it out so that no soap will remain in the litter box.

How often should you change out all the litter in the cat’s litter box?

On average, a typical cat box will need to be changed weekly if you use clay litter. If you have multiple cats, you might need to change it twice a week. Cats that rarely leave large loads might only need a bi-weekly changing session. A good rule of thumb is that you should change the litter whenever you can feel the smell from Fluffy’s “presents” from outside the box.

Can my cat’s litter box make me sick?

While we might love our cats, we don’t always love what their litter boxes are capable of doing. Cleaning the litter box can expose you to low levels of ammonia as well as a number of parasites and bacteria. To make sure you stay safe, wear a mask while you change the litter. Oh, and wash your hands, too.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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