Skip to content

How to Clean Up Wet and Dry Cat Litter From Your Carpet

cleaning up cat litter from carpet

Every time your feline friend uses the litter box, they trail little cat litter shaped footprints all over the house until it all comes off their feet. This can lead you to wonder how to clean up cat litter from carpet because it can be a time-consuming project to take on. 

We’re going to give you a step by step tutorial that will help you get both wet and dry cat litter out of your carpet before we give you several quick tips to prevent this from happening again. Our goal is to give you clean carpets, a happy cat, and release you from the worry of stepping on any unpleasant cat litter. 

Removing the Cat Litter – One Step at a Time

Removing cat litter from your carpet is a process, and it’s essential that you don’t rush any portion of it. If you do, you can end up with an even bigger mess than you started with originally. 

Step One – Allow the Litter to Dry

Go get a paper towel and gently lift up as much of the stray cat litter as you possibly can from your carpet. If you uncover a wet layer when you pick up the top layer, you want to wait for this area to dry before repeating the pickup process with your paper towels. You use paper towels because you can toss them when you finish. 

If you don’t have a paper towel, you can use your sponges or wipes from your kitchen. However, it’s important to note that these things do tend to trap and carry odors, and you don’t want this hanging around any area of your home that you frequent until you really wash or bleach them out.

Step Two – Clean the Surface Layer

If your cat has already used the litter for a bathroom prior to your finding it, let it completely dry before you try to do anything with it. If you add more moisture to it, all you’re going to do is turn it into a cement-quality adhesive that sticks to your carpet and is impossible to get out.

As the litter dries, it’ll start to harden and form clumps that are easier to pick up from your carpeting. This can take several hours, and you do want to make sure that it doesn’t get wet again because this can start the entire process all over again. 

Step Three – Loosen the Litter from the Carpet

Once you get most of the loose litter out of your carpet and let it dry, you can start working on gently loosening any stuck-in cat litter from your carpet fibers by using a stiff bristled scrub brush. Give the area in question a light rub to loosen the litter and start to lift it away from the carpet strands. 

You want to brush a few times in both directions to make sure that the entire area starts to lift from the carpet, so you don’t make a bigger mess by having some of the litter pull away while half sticks. Again, don’t introduce any moisture at this stage because it’ll cause it to stick harder into your carpet. 

Step Four – Vacuum the Area

A pet vacuum will pull the majority of the loose litter out of your carpet, and you want to make several small passes directly over the area to lift out as much litter as possible. If you still have litter that won’t come out, check that it’s dry before repeating steps three and four again. 

If the litter is dry and loose, it should easily pull out of the carpet fibers and go into your vacuum. You’re now ready to dispose of the litter by emptying your canister. Also, make sure that the litter doesn’t stick in your vacuum and cause you to drag it around your home when you vacuum it. 

Step Five – Deodorize the Area

Once the litter is out of the carpet and you can’t see or feel anymore, it’s time to deodorize the area because there’s a good chance that you could have cat urine traces in the fibers. This can start to smell over time if you don’t take steps to get rid of it. 

You want to get an enzymatic cleaner and soak the area before you scrub it because this type of cleaner is specially formulated to break down any bacteria that may cause that unpleasant ammonia odor. Once you clean the area, you should allow it to dry completely before you put the litter box anywhere near it. 

How to Prevent a Litter Mess

Now that you can see all of the steps involved in cleaning the litter out of your carpet, wouldn’t you rather take steps to prevent it from happening in the first place? Although it may be impossible to completely prevent it because accidents happen, you can use the following tips to help minimize your risk. They include: 

Keep the Litter Box on Hard Flooring

If you have tile or hardwood flooring in your home along with carpet, consider keeping the litter box on the hard floors and as far away from the carpeted areas as possible. Tile and hardwood flooring are much easier to clean the litter out of, and this will also give your cat plenty of space to get rid of any clinging litter before they hit the carpeted areas. 

Buy a Litter Box Lid

You can purchase a top entry litter box to help reduce the amount of litter that spills out when your cat uses their litter. The litter will hit the cover and fall back into the box instead of on the floor, and it can also work to make your cat feel more secure when they go about their business. 

Get a Litter Box Mat

There are ridged cat litter mats that come specially designed to help remove any stray litter off of your cat’s paws when they exit the litter box and contain it away from your carpet. You can even get litter box mats that allow you to place your litter box in the corner of it and branch out, so your cat lands on it no matter how they exit their litter box. 

Try Different Litters

Some cat litter comes designed to be non-tracking, and this can lower the amount of litter that you find sticking to your cat’s paws. It may be worth it to invest in a few different types of non-tracking litter until you find one that works best for your cat and your carpets. 

Clean Your Litter Box

You should scoop out the waste products out of your litter box every day or two in order to ensure that the litter box is clean enough for your cat to use. If it isn’t, your cat may start going to the bathroom else wear, and this can cause a big problem if they decide that your carpet is the perfect spot. You should also do a complete litter clean every three to four weeks. 

Bottom Line

We’ve outlined ways how to clean up cat litter from carpet, and you can now take these several easy steps and try them in your own home to help save your carpets. As long as you follow our guide on how to clean litter out of your carpets, you should be able to keep your carpets looking neat for years. 

Additionally, it’ll be healthier for everyone involved because there won’t be stray cat litter around your home. Both you and your cats can be happy and healthy, and you’ll have a clean environment to do so.