Cats are considered low-maintenance pets, especially when you compare them to dogs who need to be walked and taken outside multiple times a day.
Your cat can be left alone for a few day if needed, and it doesn’t need constant attention. The best part, however, is that your cat does all its business in a tidy little box that only needs to be scooped once or twice a week.
Though cats are typically less work to care for than dogs, they come with their own challenges and cleaning up cat litter is one of them.
On hardwood floors, you can sweep it away, but carpeted areas are tougher to clean, and you have to wonder whether sucking up cat litter will ruin your vacuum.
If you’re tired of struggling to clean up your cat’s litter, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve assembled a list of our top 5 picks for the best vacuum for cat litter as well as some tips for shopping for a vacuum.
Vacuum cleaners are simply not designed to handle cat litter. Even the best pet vacuum is designed more to deal with cat hair than cat litter. Depending what type of cat litter you use, the granules have the potential to damage the mechanical components inside the vacuum and, if the litter is wet, the damage could be much worse. If you plan to use a vacuum to clean up cat litter, you should purchase a vacuum designed for that purpose.
Here are some important things to look for in a vacuum for cat litter:
Canister vs. Bag – No matter what type of vacuum you choose, you’ll have to empty the collection unit eventually. Bags are easy to remove and throw away, but canisters are more eco-friendly since they are reusable. Bagless vacuums are usually best for odor control.
Handheld vs. Upright – If you’re looking for a vacuum to use solely to clean the litter box area, a small handheld vacuum might be the way to go. For larger areas, however, upright vacuums are more versatile, have a larger capacity, and offer additional features.
Wet vs. Dry – Also known as a shop vac, wet/dry vacuums are great because they can handle both dry and wet litter. The material doesn’t have to pass through an internal components, so the risk of damaging the unit is much lower.
Bypass Motor – Cat litter can be dusty, so you need a vacuum that separates dirt from air. A bypass motor is designed to keep dirt and air separated which not only keeps dust from lodging in the filter but keeps the suction strong for many years.
Now that you have a better idea what you should be looking for in a vacuum for cat litter, you’re ready to start shopping! If you’re still not quite sure where to start, check out our top 5 picks below.
The best vacuum for cat litter will depend on your needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a vacuum that can do more than just clean up litter, an upright vacuum might be preferable to a handheld. You should also consider factors such as your flooring type, your preferences for bags or canisters, and additional features like hoses and upholstery cleaning attachments.
Here are our top 5 picks for the best vacuum for cat litter:
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E Vacuum
Powerful vacuum with several pet-specific accessories
Strong suction to handle cat litter and pet hair
Comes with 25-foot cord with automatic retraction
Not the best choice for hardwood flooring
Corded model, may not be as convenient as cordless
Some vacuums are designed specifically for use on hardwood, but the Hoover T-Series WindTunnel Pet Rewind Corded Upright Vacuum is made for carpet.
It features five carpet height adjustment options so you can clean on all flooring types and it comes with a hose and crevice tool to reach into tough areas.
This vacuum features a folding handle for compact storage and a 25-foot cord that quickly rewinds at the tap of a foot pedal.
It comes with a number of useful accessories as well, including an air-powered pet hand tool, an upholstery tool, and a 12-inch extension wand. Simply put, if you’re looking for a versatile vacuum designed specifically for pet owners, this is it.
Bissell BOLT Lithium Pet Lightweight 2-in-1 Cordless Vacuum
Comes with detachable handheld vacuum, 2 vacuums in 1
Rechargeable battery for cordless operation (lasts up to 25 minutes)
Not as strong as some corded vacuums, may not be ideal for large homes
Battery life may not be enough to clean the entire home
If you’re looking for a lightweight vacuum that offers excellent suction without having to drag a cord around, the Bissell BOLT Lithium Pet Lightweight 2-in-1 Cordless Vacuum might be the perfect fit.
This is a powerful stick vacuum that comes with a removable handheld vacuum, so you truly get the power of 2 vacuums in 1. It features a two-way folding handle which enables you to reach under furniture, and it has an advanced pet hair brush roll that tackles pet hair and cat litter on carpeted areas.
This vacuum comes with a 14.4V rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts for up to 25 minutes and comes with a convenient charging base for quick recharge and storage.
This vacuum also features a cyclonic cleaning system to prevent clogs and to ensure long-lasting suction.
Handheld size for convenience, weighs only 5 pounds
Comes with two nozzles for pet hair and dry material
Cyclonic cleaning system for strong suction with HEPA filter
Corded design, needs to be plugged in
Not designed to clean large areas
Uniquely designed for convenient handheld use, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Corded Handheld Vacuum is a great option for dog and cat owners alike. This handheld vacuum features a cyclonic cleaning system, so you never have to worry about losing suction, and it includes a HEPA filter to trap allergens.
The vacuum weighs just 5 pounds, making it perfect for cleaning small spaces such as around the litter box, and it has two different cleaning nozzles.
One nozzle is made with rubber comb-like bristles to pick up stubborn pet hair while the other is made from hard plastic, designed to clean up litter and other dry material. Overall, it is an affordable and convenient option for cleaning up cat litter.
Cyclone technology offers powerful suction for a cordless vacuum
Up to 60 minutes continuous run time, rechargeable battery
Versatile and lightweight, great for the entire home
Small canister may need to be emptied frequently
Cordless design means battery must be recharged
Though it comes at a high price tag, the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Cord-Free Stick Vacuum is one of the best vacuums out there. This vacuum features a lightweight upright design that is completely cordless for your convenience.
It offers powerful suction thanks to Dyson Cyclone technology with a torque driver cleaner that picks up 25% more dirt than the typical vacuum. It even handles large debris like cat litter with ease.
Another excellent feature of this vacuum is that the cordless design makes it extremely versatile – you can use it not only in your home, but also in your car or wherever you like.
Tips for Keeping the Litter Box Area Clean
As a cat owner, there are certain things you just can’t avoid. Cat hair all over your clothing and furniture is one thing, and cat litter scattered throughout the house is another.
Here are some simple tips for keeping the litter box area clean:
Try switching to a hooded or top-entry litter box to keep the litter where it belongs.
Avoid over-filling the litter box – if there’s too much litter, your cat may kick it out of the box.
Switch to a litter that comes in slightly larger or heavier granules that are more difficult to track.
Place your litter box on a cat litter mat designed to reduce tracking.
Try as you might, these tips will only get you so far in keeping your home clean and free from cat litter. Scooping the box on a regular basis is essential, as is refreshing the litter for odor control.
On top of these simple tasks, you’ll also want to vacuum the litter box area once in a while to pick up spilled litter, and the five vacuums we’ve reviewed here are perfect for the job.
When it comes to choosing the best vacuum for cat litter, you need to consider your personal needs and preferences. Some vacuums work better on hardwood than carpet, and some are made with accessories designed to reach into tough areas. Decide what features are important before you start shopping.
If you’re still not sure where to start in looking for a vacuum for cat litter, try out one of the top 5 best vacuums we’ve reviewed above. Best of luck!