How to Keep Litter From Sticking to Box

(Last Updated On: November 14, 2020)

Nobody really likes being on ‘litter duty.’ When it comes down to it, cleaning the litter box is definitely the most dreaded part of cleaning up after your cat. The fact is though, it has to be done. If you want to keep your cat from making messes elsewhere, you have to make sure the litter box isn’t full of stuck on litter. Scooping the litter is one thing, and trying to scrape off stuck on clumps of litter is another.

Of course, a lot of cat owners have their favorite clumping litter close at hand. It does keep odors from seeping out of the litter box area. It also makes the job easier when you’re actually scooping the litter. Unfortunately, sometimes it clumps right to the box, your cats paws, or your carpet. If you’re losing the battle with a sticky litter box, don’t worry. Here’s what you need to know, and how to keep litter from sticking to the box. 

How to Keep Litter from Sticking to Box

Switch up Your Litter

Most cat owners have their favorite brand of litter. A lot of times that just so happens to be a clumping litter. Let’s be honest, clumping litter can make scooping easier sometimes. On the other hand, sometimes that litter makes clumps a little too well. Because clumping litter makes clods that stick together, those clumps of litter can also stick to the box.

Try a litter that doesn’t clump so much, and litter won’t stick to the box as much either. There are plenty of litters that control odors just as well as those that create fast, hard clumps, but without needing the same amount of elbow grease when you’re cleaning the box. 

You can also try to scoop the litter more often. While it won’t solve everything, it’ll help keep clumps from hardening on the sides of the box too much. If you can clean the litter box daily, you’ll notice very few problems with litter sticking to the litter box. In reality, scooping the litter every day can be a real challenge. If you scoop the litter weekly and notice a lot gets stuck on the box, try to scoop the litter every two or three days. Even increasing your cleaning to a couple times a week can make a big difference. 

Another thing that helps is using more litter. With more litter in the box, fewer clumps stick to the sides. One reason litter often sticks to the box is that the cat urine or feces seeps through the litter and reaches the sides or bottom of the box. If you add more litter, you’re creating a larger barrier between your cat’s messes and the inner surfaces of the box. The deeper the litter, the less urine can soak through to the bottom and sides of your litter box. 

Naturally, too much litter can be a problem too. In fact, if it’s too deep, most cats won’t feel comfortable using the litter box (nor will they have as much room). Try to keep your litter at about three or four inches deep. Most cats are perfectly comfortable with this level, and you still get the benefit of having less litter stick to your litter box. 

Spray and Sprinkle

After non-stick spray apply some baking soda

How about a less conventional method of keeping litter from sticking to the box? You don’t even need to order special supplies. Chances are, the things you need are right in your kitchen. All you need is a little baking soda and some non stick cooking spray.

Any non stick cooking spray will do, whether you prefer vegetable oil, olive oil, canola, or anything else. Before you start, empty out your litter box. Starting with a clean litter box is absolutely essential. Once your litter box is clean and empty, lightly spray the non stick cooking spray inside the litter box. 

After you spray the cooking spray in the litter box, it’s time to add baking soda. As an added bonus, baking soda also helps reduce odors. Lightly sprinkle the baking soda over the coat of non stick spray. Try to cover all the surfaces, and especially anywhere the non stick spray is coating.

You don’t want any piles, so feel free to shake out the excess if you need to. If you’re having trouble getting the baking soda to cover all the surfaces, you can put a little pile in the litter box and lightly shake it around to get the power dusted over the whole thing. 

Then, go ahead and fill the box with litter as usual. You may need to repeat this process once or twice a week, but it definitely keeps litter from sticking to the box.

Wax On, Stuck Litter Off

Wax with anti-stick property

If you need something that lasts longer than a few days, a good wax paste can do the trick. While you may not have wax paste in your cupboard, it’s an ideal solution for people that don’t want to reapply it frequently. While cooking spray and baking soda may be in your pantry, wax paste lasts much longer, so it’s a relatively low maintenance application. Just make sure it’s a non toxic wax paste, so you can keep your cat healthy and safe.

If you apply the wax paste well, it can keep litter from sticking to the box for a month or two. Use a cleaning cloth that you don’t mind getting messy. Use a small spot of wax paste, and apply it to your cloth. Alternately, you can place a small amount of the wax paste on the bottom inside of the box. Just make sure it gets evenly distributed around the box when you’re applying it.

Spread the wax paste in a thin layer over the inside surfaces of the litter box. Some people only do one coat, but it lasts longer if you do a double coat. Make sure the first layer of wax paste is fully dried before applying the next coat. If you’re worried about the dry time taking too long, put the box in a room with a fan to speed it up. Of course, you should also make sure the second coat is dry before you add litter back into the box.

How to stop cat urine from sticking to the litter box?

Deep cat litter box

Nobody likes trying to clean stuck cat urine from a litter box. It’s not just harder, it’s also much messier. One of the first things you can do is switching your current litter box. Not all litter boxes are designed alike, and not all get litter stuck as badly as others.

If you don’t mind investing some money to make litter duty easier, an automatic or self cleaning litter box just might be the way to go. Not only do self cleaning litter boxes make short work of stuck on cat urine, they also take care of pretty much the entire litter cleaning process. However, because of the expense, many people choose to use this as a last resort. 

A more affordable option comes in the way of non stick litter boxes. You know those pans you love because they’re so easy to clean (and nothing gets stuck on)? Non stick litter boxes work very much the same. Though they don’t always use the same materials as your cookware, they are designed with materials that repel sticking clumps.

Most of the non stick litter boxes you’ll see are made of some type of metal (stainless steel is most common). The litter boxes are then coated with a special non stick spray. The nice thing about these is that you really never need to worry about reapplying non stick spray.

One other thing to try is using liners. These are plastic sheets that you put in the bottom of your litter box before you fill it with kitty litter. When it’s time to clean the litter, you simply throw out the liner and all its contents. While using liners will make you go through litter faster, it’ll also ensure that anything stuck on the box comes off with one easy process. 

Stop cat litter from sticking to paws with non-clumping cat litter?

non-clumping cat litter close up

Litter box aside, there are plenty of other things to clean that come alongside a cat. Even if you have a pristine litter box and never have to deal with stuck litter and scraping clumps, you still have some mess. Unfortunately, cats often get litter stuck to their paws.

That makes it harder to clean up litter that makes it out of the box. Most cat owners see some form of litter tracking (where litter sticks to paws and gets kicked out of the box). When the litter is actually stuck to the paws, it can travel much further than a few feet outside of the litter box area.

Cats can really struggle to get the kitty litter off of their paws. They instinctively try to clean it off by themselves. Sometimes this means rubbing their paws on carpets and rugs, where it can eventually get ground into the fibers. Other times, the cats try to clean the litter off their paws just like they clean the rest of themselves. Since they use their mouth to do it, they can end up accidentally eating some of the litter too. 

Clumping cat litter is made to stick together. As a result, it also sticks on your cat’s paws if they come in contact with it while they bury their mess in the litter. Much like when litter keeps getting stuck to the box, a less clumping litter will help keep it from sticking to paws. If it’s a big problem for your cat, consider switching to an entirely non clumping cat litter.

Set a special mat or rug outside of the litter box too. This gives your cat the chance to wipe off any extra litter before they go throughout the house. If you’ve been using clumping litters because they offer better odor control, look for a non clumping litter with added odor control granules. Likewise, you can also add some baking soda to the litter to help contain odors. 

How to stop urine clumps sticking to the litter box?

If you really can’t bring yourself to switch to a non clumping litter, you’re not alone. Sometimes, our cats and their bathroom habits are best controlled with a clumping litter, and the same can be said for the litter box odors. If that’s the situation you find yourself in, you’ll need to make some other concessions and adjustments to make your job easier. Adding another inch or two of litter can help, provided your cat isn’t one that needs to dig deep to do their business. 

Liners are another solution that work for most homes. There are a couple of drawbacks that go with the benefits, however. First, liners are super convenient. Just pull up the plastic and you’re done cleaning. Liners can get expensive though, and you’ll use more litter than if you were scooping it.

Use liners or trash bags

However, if you don’t mind spending a little extra on litter, you can substitute expensive litter box liners for more affordable trash bags. Just make sure the trash bags are big enough. You want them to cover the inside of the box so that urine clumps don’t stick to the box where there’s a gap. Another thing to think about is how much your cat digs when they use the litter box. If they’re a big digger, then just like adding more litter, using a liner won’t do you much good. 

Before you scoop the litter, you can try a little prep work to make the job easier. Use a thin, plastic tool like a (designated) plastic knife, spatula, or putty knife to work the clumps off the surfaces of the litter box. Just try to keep the clumps together, or you’ll have more to clean up for your efforts. 

Getting a litter box designed to make clean up easier is another option. While you will have to buy a new box, you have a couple choices depending on your budget. The more affordable option is the non stick litter box. Just like some pots and pans are designed to resist sticking, some litter boxes are too. The majority of these are metal, which is nice because they don’t scratch and they last much longer. However, there are also non stick plastic litter boxes available.

advance cat litter box

 

If you don’t mind investing more for a litter box, you can look into getting a robotic model. These clean the litter box with virtually no effort on your part. All you have to do is empty the litter it’s scooped once in a while, and add in new litter as directed. Of course, these are a pricier option, so it depends on your budget.

Another thing to remember is that some cats are uncomfortable using a self cleaning litter box. You may need to put some time, training, and patience into your efforts at first if you want it to work. 

If you’re pretty attached to your current litter box (or more likely, your cat is), then you can try working with the box you have now. The best option to keep urine clumps from sticking to your litter box is to coat the insides of it. While non stick litter boxes are made with more ‘slippery’ material, you can mimic these properties with the litter box you have now. A coat or two of non toxic wax paste can do wonders.

Even better, it can keep urine clumps from sticking to the box for a month or longer. If you don’t have wax paste on hand, check out your pantry. If you have cooking spray and baking soda, you can create a more temporary non stick solution. Use the cooking spray to coat the insides of the litter box. Then, coat the inside of the litter box with baking soda. You don’t need a lot, but it’s better if you cover all of the inner surfaces. 

Conclusion

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a litter box that requires little more maintenance than the occasional scooping. If you’re a cat parent that can’t keep litter from sticking to the box, now you know you’re not alone. That said, you’re not going to be stuck trying to work with litter clumping on the box forever either. There are so many options for keeping litter from sticking to the litter box, and your cat’s paws.

You can choose to buy a new box that prevents litter sticking, cleans up for you, or even add a liner for a one step clean up solution. Or, choose a solution that you can make work with things you have around the house. We’ve gone over the ways to keep litter from sticking for every style and budget, so there’s no reason you can’t make litter duty easier on yourself (and your cat). What’s there to lose except litter that keeps sticking to the box?

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