Can You Vacuum Cat Litter?

Vacuuming cat litter
Written by Clair Chesterman

You might be wondering if you can vacuum the cat litter using whichever regular vacuum cleaner you have at home, however, you might not want to do that as it may or most probably will ruin your existing one. 

Does Cat Litter Ruin Vacuums?

The short and simplest answer to this is yes, it can ruin the regular vacuum cleaners that you use at home and some of the reasons to not use your regular vacuum to vacuum cat litter are listed below: 

  • Some cat litters are sharp which can ruin the hose and especially the filters of your vacuum. 
  • The urine and feces of your cats will form their litter into clumps which may jam into the vacuum hose. 
  • The clumped litter may also stick to the canister walls and hoses whenever it mixes with any type of liquid. 
  • It acts much like concrete whenever it gets mixed with liquid and it will be like vacuuming tiny rocks which may damage your regular vacuum cleaners. 
  • The dust from the cat litter can clog the filters as well. 
  • The accumulated cat litter dust particles and leftover clumps may cause your vacuum then your house to smell. 

Can You Vacuum Cat Litter With A Dyson?

Now that we already know the reasons how cat litter ruins vacuum cleaners, you may now be thinking about what type of vacuum you should use to clean up cat litter. 

Most of the models of vacuums, including Dyson, that you can see or that you have are not recommended to vacuum cat litters as it may ruin your vacuums. However, there are few models that are specifically designed for that. 

If you really want to use a vacuum for cat litter, it is best to get a handheld vacuum cleaner for cat litter purposes as it is cheaper, more effective, and the filters are specifically designed to deal with cat litter, therefore, it would not break all the while saving the efficiency of your main vacuum cleaner. 

I personally use the one from Dyson. It is the premium option but it is extremely effective and I have been using it for 4 years. 

Ways To Clean The Cat Litter Using Regular Vacuums

Showcasing different way to vacuum cat litter

Now after all the reasons why using regular vacuum cleaners to clean up the cat litter may destroy them and you would still prefer or would still want to try using your regular vacuum, check out some tips below to use them without destroying them. 

  • Transfer the litter box away so there will be no clutter while you clean. 
  • Remove the filter from the vacuum to avoid the clumped urine or feces from getting stuck into it. 
  • Avoid using attachments while vacuuming the cat litter that may just brush them away from the nozzle hole. 
  • It is best to attach the crevice tool especially when vacuuming the corners and areas that are narrow and difficult to reach. 

My Top Choices For Cat Litter Vacuum

Dyson V7 Trigger Cord-Free Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

Dyson V7 handheld vacuum cleaner for cat litter

The Dyson V7 brand of Cord-Free Handheld vacuum cleaner is just one of the best there is to handle cat litter. It can be very expensive however it is the most powerful and durable tool you can have that can help you in cleaning up the cat litter. I would rather buy a high-quality device that I can use for many years rather than constantly buying cheaper options.


  • Huge capacity –  up to 15 gallons, does not break if you vacuum cat litter
  • Cordless means less hassle in unwinding and storing the cord, and nothing is going to prevent you from reaching out farther from the socket. 
  • Crevice tool attachment already included and more such as a combination tool and a mini-motorized tool. 
  • Powered by Dyson V7 that can last up to a 30-minute non-fading suction
  • Uses lithium ion batteries

BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Lithium-Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum

BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser and cat litter hand vacuum

The Bissell Cordless Hand Vacuum Cleaner is in the mid-range prize between the two and I have heard that this is also a good brand of vacuum to use for cleaning up cat litters as it can also be powerful and reliable when used for vacuuming the cat litter. However, Dyson V7 has more sucking power. 


  • Uses 14V lithium ion battery which is good enough to vacuum cat litter but not ideal
  • Capacity is up to 0.7 litres or around 24 ounces
  • Cordless makes it lightweight and convenient to use
  • Triple level filtration system

BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum ION Hand

BLACK+DECKER Handheld Vacuum for cleaning cat litter

The Black Decker Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum ION Hand is the cheapest among our top three picks. Apparently, it’s slightly worse than Bissel and way worse than Dyson V7 when it comes to vacuuming cat litter. However, cheap as it may be, we still believe that this is a reliable brand hence the recommendation. 


  • Capacity is up to 31.8 ounces
  • Also uses lithium tech for stronger suction and longer usage (good enough to suck cat litter)
  • Washable filter and dust bowl
  • Crevice tool attachment included
  • Cordless therefore it is portable and lightweight
  • Can last up to 10 hours

Alternatives To Cat Litter Vacuum Cleaner

You may also want to consider using other alternatives to vacuuming as well, such as special litter carpet, auto litters, etc. 

  • Litter Carpet Or Litter Mat

Cat litter mat that help to avoid cat litter mess

Litter Carpets can help you with maintaining the cleanliness of the cat litter box and its surrounding area as it traps the cat litter scatter lying around on the floor like a mess. These litter scatters are the ones that can be easily sucked by the vacuum cleaner. This type of carpet or mat is more comfortable for your cats to tread on than other regular ones. There are so many of them (check here for example) and no need to recommend a specific one but make sure to check that dimensions fit your room.

  • Self-Cleaning Or Automatic Litter Boxes

self cleaning and scoop free cat litter boxes

This may be something you want to have especially if you are busy as a bee type of cat owner as by its name, it self cleans the litter boxes automatically and therefore will surely be a great help for you in maintaining the cleanliness of the litter boxes. It also helps in odor-control as it traps them better than your regular litter boxes. Another advantage of auto litter boxes is that it is easier to dispose of the waste materials. 


Using your regular home vacuum cleaner to clean the cat litter is not advisable as it can just destroy your existing vacuum and it is highly recommended to use a more specialized powerful tool for this particular case and the best vacuum cleaner for sucking up those cat litter is the Dyson V7 brand (check the latest price here) as it is the most powerful, durable, and reliable model there is. 

About the author

Clair Chesterman

Clair is a professional cat breeder having her own cageless CFA and CCA Registered cattery & fostering company FluffyMeowPaws in Eugene, Oregon. Clair knows everything about multiple cat breeds and how to use the latest technologies to make the cat's life better.

1 Comment

  • Sorry but you are terribly way off base if you think using a DYSON for cat litter is a good idea!! I have one cat and he is not a pig…some litter comes off from his paws and that is what I was vacuuming with one of my 3 Dysons UNTIL I noticed a disgusting smell of cat urine coming from the Dyson….I found out that when the cat walks and drags the litter everywhere especially on my area rugs he leaves the stink of urine from walking in the litter box EVERYWHERE on the rugs. I discovered this the hard way after years of using one of my Dysons for just picking up the scattered litter and vacuuming the area rugs. I had to take the entire DYSON apart and soak it in vinegar for 2 days to get rid of the stench! I SUGGEST YOU DON’T TELL PEOPLE TO USE THEIR EXPENSIVE DYSON TO CLEAN UP CAT LITTER!! I am not a professional cat breeder but I have owned many cats since the age of 18 and I am now 73 and have years of experience but this is the first time my cat has disgusting paws from walking through his own urine in his litter box. SO NO BUY A CHEAP HANDHELD VACUUM TO PICK UP LOOSE LITTER AND SAVE YOUR VERY EXPENSIVE DYSON!

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