How To Clean Up Cat Litter On The Carpet? (Tried And Tested Ways)

Many cat owners would agree with me that cats are pretty neat pets and tend to require little upkeep.

However, there is one aspect of keeping a cat that has still baffled all cat owners.

And that is keeping cat litter off the carpet at home.

As neat as our feline friends can be, they can get real messy when using the litter box. They can send cat litter flying all over when covering up their waste and leave a happy trail of kitty litter all over your home.

To clean up cat litter on your carpet properly, you will need a vacuum cleaner, a hard brush, enzyme cleaner and paper towels.

We will be showing you how you can reduce cat litter from being stuck on your carpet and how you can effectively clean it up.

How Does Cat Litter Cat All Over The Carpet?

In order to keep cat litter off the carpet, we need to understand how it even got there in the first place when the litter box is not even close to the carpet.

Your cat leaves cat litter all over the house through the process of tracking. Tracking is when your cat has cat litter stuck in its paws and on its fur.

I have even found cat litter stuck on my cat’s long whiskers!

How is that even possible.

Anyways, when your cat starts wandering all over the house and on your carpet, the cat litter will begin to dislodge and get stuck in your carpet fibers.

If your carpet is near your cat litter box, your cat can send cat litter flying all over the place when digging up the litter to cover their pee or poo.

And some cats can be aggressive diggers.

How To Clean Up Cat Litter From The Carpet?

Cleaning up cat litter from your carpet or carpets can be a tedious affair. It can be time-consuming and frustrating (depending on how much you love your carpet).

Follow the below steps and it should keep your headache to a minimum.

Access The Mess

Before you dive into cleaning mode, take a minute to assess the mess your cat has created.

  • How much tracking litter is on the carpet?
  • Is the cat litter wet or dry?
  • Is there pee or poo in or on the cat litter?
  • Is your cat looking at you with a smirk on its face?

By assessing the mess before you start, it will give you a better idea of the cleaning items and time needed to clean up the cat litter.

Don’t Fool Around With Wet Litter

This is going to be the most important step that you don’t want to mess up. If you notice any cat litter that is still wet with pee, DO NOT try and clean up the wet litter yet.

By trying to pick up the wet cat litter from the carpet, you will break it down into smaller pieces that will be harder to remove from the carpet fibers.

Let the wet cat litter dry up first before attempting to remove it.

And don’t use a heat source like a hairdryer to quicken the process. It will only cause the cat’s urine to break down faster and stink up the whole place.

Clear Up The Dry Litter

While waiting for the wet cat litter to dry or if there isn’t any, remove the dry cat litter with a dry paper towel.

If the cat litter has already been there for a few days, it might be harder to remove it. Use a hard brush and gently brush the carpet surface to dislodge as much as possible.

For carpets that are really delicate, you might want to consult with your local carpet dealer on the type of brush best suited for this to prevent any damage to your carpet.

Use The Vacuum Cleaner

Most vacuum cleaners will do a good job of picking up the loose cat litter on the carpet.

However, from my experience, I found that a powerful handheld vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment gets the job done best.

I have more control of the vacuum cleaner and can really get into the carpet fibers to remove any small bits and pieces.

Deodorize And Sanitize

I would strongly recommend that you carry out this step even though there is no residual odor after cleaning up the litter from the carpet.

This is important especially if you have kids that play on the carpeted areas. We want to ensure that the area is clean enough for them.

You can get an enzyme cleaner from your local pet store and spray it on the carpeted areas that you just cleaned.

What an enzyme cleaner does is that it will help to break down the chemical compounds in your cat’s pee or poo that can cause a bad odor.

Spray it on the affected areas and leave it on for 10-15 minutes before wiping it away with a damp paper towel or wet wipes.

Get an enzyme cleaner that is pet friendly and biodegradable.

Another alternative is to use a mixture of one part vinegar and two/three parts water. Vinegar is also a good deodorizer and disinfectant.

You don’t really have to be concerned about the smell as it goes away once the vinegar evaporates.

How To Keep Cat Litter Off The Carpet?

There are some ways that you can employ at home to keep your cat’s litter off your carpets. Some might work better than others but your mileage will vary depending on your cat.

Use A Bigger Litter Box

If you have been using the same litter box for your adult cat when it was still a kitten, it is time to get it changed to a bigger one.

It is like asking a full-grown adult to use a potty trainer instead.

Ideally, your cat’s litter box should be 1.5x its size to make going to the toilet comfortable for your cat. And don’t fill up your cat’s litter box with as much litter as possible.

About an inch or two deep is more than enough litter.

Isolate The Litter Box

If you don’t wish to make cleaning your carpets a daily affair, then it would be best to move your cat’s litter box to a spot far away from your carpets.

It can be in another room or an area without any carpets. If this isn’t possible, you can try putting up wall protectors around the litter box to prevent spillage when your cat starts digging around.

Use A Covered Litter Box

If your cat likes digging his litter as if his life depends on it, using a covered litter box might be the best to prevent cat litter from getting out of the box.

A point to note is that cats are very sensitive to changes especially when it comes to their food and litter boxes.

If your cat has been using an open lid litter try and has to adjust to using a covered version now, it might dissuade your cat from using its litter box altogether.

It will now find more suitable spots at home to pee and poo.

You have now moved from cleaning cat litter from your carpets to cleaning up cat pee and poo from your laundry basket.

All is not lost as you can train your cat to use its new litter box over time.

Use A Different Cat Litter

The type of cat litter used can strongly affect the amount of tracking that your cat leaves about the house.

Litters that are good for clumping tend to get stuck more easily to your cat’s paws compared to pellets.

This is because clumping litter tend to break into much smaller prices when wet. This helps to absorb your cat’s pee better but doesn’t help with clumping.

Furthermore, clumping cat litter can cause your cat’s urine to feel more sticky when it dries up.

Like the litter box, many cats are also very picky when it comes to the type of cat litter.

If you wish to change to one that is non-clumping, don’t make the change completely in one go. Slowly add in the new litter with the old and let your cat get used to it.

Keep increasing the portion of the new litter over time and your cat will be fine with it.

Use A Cat Litter Mat

A cat litter mat is a tracking mat that is supposed to help remove the stuck litter from your cat’s paws once it is done.

You can place it at the entrance of the litter box or get a few and place them around the litter tray.

I’ve not had much success with tracking mats and my cat will just jump over them instead. I’m guessing the mat feels uncomfortable to my cat’s paws.

These mats aren’t very expensive and they might work better for you than they did for me.

How To Keep Cat Litter Off The Floor?

How to keep cat litter off the floor is pretty much the same way how you keep cat litter off your carpet.

The only difference if that cleaning cat litter off the floor is a lot easier than trying to get it off the carpet.

Here are some ways that can help:

  • Use a bigger litter box
  • Use a non-clumping litter type
  • Use wall guards
  • Add a tracking mat
  • Clean up regularly


Even with the best preventive methods, it won’t be completely possible to eliminate tracking of cat litter at home.

You will bound to find some stuck to your carpet every now and then. It comes with the territory of owning a cat so try not to be too upset with your cat.

At least you are now armed with the right way of getting rid of cat litter from your carpet.

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