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Best Vacuums for Cat Litter in 2022

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Updated August 24, 2022

What are the features that make for the best vacuum for cat litter? If you’ve already purchased the best vacuum cleaner for cleaning your home, you may want to use something different specifically for cleaning up the kitty litter. This way, cat owners can keep their everyday household cleaning vacuum free from both the perfumed scent of clean litter and the foul odor of soiled litter.

The top vacuums for cat litter offer plenty of strong suction that can easily handle larger debris like the granules found in cat litter. You’ll also want a vacuum that offers enough canister capacity to handle both small and large messes.

A handheld and portable vacuum can be one of the best options for homes with pets. These are easily stored next to the litter so you can quickly clean up in the event of a spill. If you choose a handheld vacuum for cat litter and cat hair, then you should get a model with a long battery life that doesn’t constantly need recharging.

Finally, consider the specific design features you may need when cleaning up cat litter. Even though it’s not necessary, consider a vacuum with a bypass flow motor. These vacuums use cyclonic action to keep dust and other debris from lodging into the filter. Also, consider the attachments your vacuum includes. For example, accessories like the crevice tool can enhance your vacuum’s cleaning performance in tight spaces. And, the top vacuums for long hair also make a difference.

Read on to learn more about the best vacuums for cat litter and the specific features you should consider getting on the option you purchase.

Top Vacuums for Cat Litter

 #1  Kenmore BU1017 Vacuum Cleaner

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: This vacuum has a freestanding design and comes with useful attachments for removing cat dander. It has an ultra-long 35-foot power cord and 10-foot telescoping wand, offering extended reach.

Pros
  • Ultra-long power cord
  • Impressive Pet Handimate brush
  • HEPA filtration system.
Cons
  • Maintenance-intensive bagged design

The Kenmore BU1017 vacuum cleaner is an upright model that will appeal to people who clean large properties regularly. It has a remarkably wide sweeping path cleaning fast and effectively. Equipped with a Pet Handimate roller brush, this device removes pet hair and other debris from furniture, car seats, and stairs. The vacuum is powered by a 3D Inducer Motor that provides superior and consistent suction power. However, the bagged design is costly to maintain.

Nevertheless, great suction power is perfect for cleaning hard floor types, like concrete. In that case, you’ll need the best vacuums for concrete floors. Although make sure to get one with a canister, so you can avoid the bags.

For the Kenmore, you’ll find three included attachments that enable reaching hard-to-clean spots in the home. This vacuum comes with a flexible hose that provides extended reach and a telescoping aluminum wand with a maximum reach of 10 feet. A cleaning brush comes in handy for removing dust from furniture, while a crevice tool reaches between small spaces in the ceiling fans. This vacuum cleaner comes with an ultra-long 35-foot power cord ideal for large rooms and commercial premises. A HEPA filtration system removes allergens.

 #2  VacLife VL722-N Vacuum Cleaner

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: This vacuum has a lightweight, self-standing design with a detachable head, facilitating intuitive operation. It has a motorized floor head that picks up cat litter easily.

Pros
  • Convenient wireless design
  • LED headlights
  • Motorized floor head
Cons
  • Low battery life
  • Long charging time

This VacLife VL722-N vacuum cleaner uses a 180W motor that provides adequate suction for cleaning up small particles. It is equipped with a motorized head that is especially useful on carpets and area rugs. A dusting brush removes dirt from furniture, while a crevice nozzle comes in handy when cleaning in vehicles and other spots with narrow openings. This model comes with a rechargeable battery that provides up to 15-30 minutes of runtime. However, its charging time of about 4.5 hours is a bit high.

Fingertip controls enable changing this vacuum’s motor speed easily, choosing between the normal and max suction levels. Built-in headlights on the floor brush illuminate the room, simplifying cleaning under furniture. This vacuum cleaner has a HEPA filtration system that removes pet hair, dander, and minute dust particles. It has a self-standing design for convenience and the brush head rotates 90 degrees in the vertical plane and 160 degrees horizontally for convenience.

 #3  Hoover Pet Max Complete Vacuum Cleaner

Award: BEST FILTRATION SYSTEM

WHY WE LIKE IT: A Turbo tool on this device makes easy work of cat and dog hair. This model has an extra large 2.5L dust cub that allows hassle-free maintenance. We like the AllergenBlock filtration system that prevents captured particles from leaking back into the air.

Pros
  • Extra-large 2.5L dust cup
  • Impressive Maxlife filtration system
  • Comes with a pet turbo tool
Cons
  • Bulky

Designed for homes with pets, the Hoover Pet Max Complete vacuum cleaner has a number of tools for dealing with cat litter. This vacuum features AllergenBlock technology, preventing 97% of pet dander, dust, and pollen particles from leaking back into the air. With a multi-floor brush head, this vacuum is suitable for hard floors and carpets. It has an extra-large 2.5L dirt cup that holds plenty of debris before needing emptying. However, this model weighs a whopping 17.1 pounds, so it’s heavy.

This vacuum cleaner delivers consistent suction for effective and efficient performance. Iet comes with a Pet Turbo tool for removing pet hair from sofas and stairs. An included crevice tool on this device reaches through cracks and small spaces in vehicles for effective cleaning. This model also comes with a flexible dusting brush and pivoting dusting brush for cleaning various surfaces. A 27-foot power cord offers extended reach. This device has a 13.75-inch cleaning path for fast cleaning.

 #4  Bissell CleanView Swivel Rewind Pet 2254 Vacuum Cleaner

Award: BEST CAT HAIR TOOLS

WHY WE LIKE IT: This vacuum cleaner comes with two cat and dog dander tools that remove ingrained litter from carpets and upholstery. It has a user-friendly standing design and features a swiveling head for easy maneuvering.

Pros
  • Automatic cord rewind
  • Specialized pet tools
  • Edge-to-edge brush with a 13.5-inch cleaning path
Cons
  • Filtration system is not sealed

The Bissell CleanView Swivel Rewind Pet 2254 vacuum cleaner impresses with its swiveling head that maneuvers flawlessly around furniture. This model has a very long 27-foot power cord that offers mobility and is suitable for cleaning large rooms. With a 13.5-inch cleaning path, this device provides a large surface area for picking up dirt fast. It offers edge-to-edge cleaning, which is suitable for picking up dirt in corners. However, its filtration system is not sealed.

Thanks to the included specialized pet tools, this vacuum makes easy work of cat litter. It comes with a pet hair corner tool and turbo eraser tool for removing pet hair. We love its upright design, which enables users to take a break without the need to put the vacuum down on the floor. A triple-action brush roll on this device loosen, lifts, and removes pet hair and dirt in one go. This device has an automatic cord rewind system, simplifying cord storage.

 #5  Iris USA IC-H50 Vacuum Cleaner

Award: BEST FOR VEHICLES

WHY WE LIKE IT: This vacuum cleaner comes with handy attachments for cleaning floors and various surfaces. It has a rechargeable, cable-free design and easy-empty dirt chamber.

Pros
  • Incredibly compact design
  • Comes with a selection of attachments
  • Washable dust cup
Cons
  • So-so suction

Weighing just 1.1 lbs, the Iris USA IC-H50 vacuum cleaner is extremely easy to carry. This handheld vacuum cleaner has a cordless design, which suits people with physical limitations. The vacuum runs on a brushless DC motor, offering durability and has a rechargeable battery that runs for 15 to 20 minutes before requiring recharging. It offers two different suction levels, although it doesn’t have as much suction power as some bigger vacuums.

This vacuum cleaner is especially suited to cleaning cars, bathrooms, and kitchens. The vacuum boasts decent suction power, picking up dirt and dust quickly. A handy charging station powers and provides safe storage space for this vacuum cleaner. The vacuum cleaner has a washable 0.1L dust cup that offers hassle-free maintenance. With battery life indicators, this model alerts users of the battery status. We like this model’s sleek appearance that will stand out.

 #6  Airsee GV02 Vacuum Cleaner

Award: BEST COMPACT VACUUM

WHY WE LIKE IT: This dustbuster has a mini design that is easy to move around. It has a number of attachments, including a crevice tool and tube for wide ranging use. The vacuum has an LED light to improve visibility.

Pros
  • Useful LED light
  • Comes with attachments
  • Wet and dry design
Cons
  • Battery is not replaceable
  • Low battery life

Featuring a versatile brush head, the Airsee GV02 vacuum cleaner is suited to a variety of floor types, including ceramic, tiled, and carpeted. This vacuum cleaner features a dustbuster design that offers outstanding portability. Equipped with a suction switch, this device allows toggling between high-power and low-power modes. It has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that offers cordless operation. However, this device’s battery life of about 13 minutes is a bit low.

An included brush comes in handy when cleaning carpets, lampshades, computer accessories, and air vents. It has an LED light to illuminate dark areas, enhancing visibility. This model charges fully in 3 to 4 hours and it features a number of certifications, including CE and RoHS. A washable filter enables simple maintenance. This vacuum cleaner has a wet and dry design, cleaning up wet pet and kitchen messes easily and it offers up to 14kPa of suction, picking up pet hair and crumbs easily.

Beginner’s Guide to Vacuums for Cat Litter

What Are Vacuums for Cat Litter?

A vacuum for cleaning cat litter is an electric household cleaning tool that features suction powerful enough to pick up the large pellets typically found in and around your cat’s litter box. These vacuum cleaners can also pick up other messes around the house, although you may want to keep them specifically to clean up the cat litter so you aren’t spreading the litter around the house.

Vacuums for Cat Litter vs Traditional Vacuums

Vacuums for cat litter don’t differ too much from traditional vacuums, at least not when you look at core operational functionality. Both types of vacuums produce suction power to pull in all kinds of debris, including pet hair, clay dust from cat litter, dust bunnies, and other household messes.

The key differences between cat litter vacuums and standard household vacuums come into play when you consider the specific features that make cleaning up litter messes easier on you. In general, the best vacuums for cat litter feature more powerful suction than standard vacuums. The best options also offer a bypass flow motor to keep cat litter and other debris from clogging up the vacuum’s filter and other internal components.

We also recommend purchasing a vacuum with a compact design, whether it be a stick vacuum or a handheld vacuum cleaner. This way, you can more easily store it close to your cat’s litter box.

How Vacuums for Cat Litter Work

In the simplest terms, a vacuum for cat litter works much the same as standard vacuum cleaners. Using an electric motor, the vacuum spins a fan and pushes air out of an exhaust port. The air’s movement creates the vacuum effect that sucks up the litter pellets and other debris. Upon moving through the vacuum, the debris drops into the vacuum’s bag or canister and remains there.

Do You Really Need a Vacuum for Cat Litter?

Are you tired of manually sweeping up the kitty litter your cat spreads around the box while it comes and goes? Maybe you simply want to keep more sanitary when cleaning the litter box. If these situations apply to you, then you can’t go wrong with the best vacuum for cat litter.

Whether your litter box is on a bare surface or on a litter mat, these powerful vacuums make cleaning up your cat’s messes a breeze. Plus, with strong power and additional pet hair attachments, you can also clean up your cat’s other messes without a problem.

Is a Vacuum for Cat Litter Worth Buying?

  • You Own a Cat: The best reason to purchase a vacuum to clean up kitty litter is if you own a cat and have a litter box inside your home. Since the pellets in cat litter are larger and heavier than the typical household messes, you’ll need a vacuum powerful enough to take care of it.
  • You Want to Separate Household Messes: Many vacuum cleaners, including the best vacuum for cleaning business, are powerful enough to take care of all kinds of different messes on any type of flooring, including both carpeted floors and hardwood floors. However, you may want to purchase a separate unit specifically for cleaning up your cat’s litter box. This way, you won’t contaminate your regular vacuum with your cat’s messes.
  • You Need Powerful, Portable Cleaning: The most popular cat litter vacuums are often either handheld vacuums or stick vacuums. If your cat tends to spread their messes around, then having a powerful and portable cleaning performance is a must. You can take lightweight vacuums to wherever the mess is, and then easily store them afterward.

Why a Vacuum for Cat Litter May Not Be For You

  • You Don’t Own a Cat: If you don’t own a cat, then you won’t have any cat litter boxes in your home. As such, you likely don’t need to make any special considerations when purchasing a new vacuum cleaner.
  • You Want to Vacuum Carpet: Vacuums for cleaning carpet, like the best vacuum for Berber carpet, give you enough powerful suction to clean up cat litter messes, but they also typically feature a beater bar to agitate debris out of the carpet fibers. Beater bars can break up the pellets in kitty litter and spread them around more. If you need a vacuum for cleaning high-pile carpets, you may not want to purchase a vacuum for cat litter.

How Long Will a Vacuum for Cat Litter Last?

According to the pros at professional cleaning companies like Classic Cleaners, most vacuum cleaners should last an average of five to seven years. However, cat litter can have a tendency to clog up the internal mechanical components of vacuums over the years. This is why we recommend doing more research to find the right vacuum for cleaning up after your cat.

Of course, you should always perform the appropriate maintenance for your vacuum on a regular basis. We recommend cleaning your vacuum and emptying its canister more often when using it for litter box maintenance. This way, you’ll prevent cat litter dust from making its way deeper into your vacuum and causing problems, like dust mites. In this case, it’s ideal to get a great vacuum for dust mites.

How to Choose the Best Vacuum for Cat Litter

To find and purchase the best vacuum for cat litter, we recommend first identifying the key factors you should consider and then finding the vacuum that fits those considerations. Keep reading to learn more about the key factors you can’t overlook.

Vacuum for Cat Litter Key Factors to Consider

1. Is your litter box tucked away in an out-of-sight location?

Many households keep their litter box in a location that’s tucked away, out of sight, and away from the guests. If this is the case for your home and litter box, then you should consider these different types of cat litter and pet hair vacuums:

  • Handheld Vacuum: This is the best vacuum type for cleaning litter boxes that are tucked away. Since handheld vacuums can reach tight spaces much more easily than other types of vacuums, you can use them to get all the pellets, even if they fall behind the box or into a tight corner. Cordless handheld vacuums are also easier to take with you than a corded vacuum, making them even handier for getting all the litter no matter where it has spilled.
  • Stick Vacuum: If you want a vacuum similar to handheld vacuums, but with more powerful suction, then you’ll want to consider a cordless stick vacuum. These are technically upright vacuums, but they offer a compact design that’s easier to carry around and store. Most stick vacuums feature bagless canisters, which means you’ll need to clean them more often. If alongside kitty litter, you need to vacuum up a lot of fur, a model like the best cordless pet vacuum can be a perfect fit for you.

2. Do you want to use your vacuum for cleaning other messes?

If you want to use your vacuum for cleaning more than just kitty litter messes, then you may want something a little larger than a handheld vacuum or stick vacuum. Consider these other types if you need something to use in the entire house:

  • Upright Vacuum: This vacuum type is the most common one available today. They stand upright, balancing on a base that contains the intake nozzle and brush rolls. An upright vacuum is an incredibly versatile cleaning tool thanks to its adjustability and a wide variety of attachments.
  • Canister Vacuum: This vacuum type offers a similar overall performance level and experience as upright vacuums. However, a canister vacuum features an entirely different design. Typically, they are large canisters on wheels with a long intake hose. This design can make canister vacuums a little more cumbersome in terms of portability, but the extended reach hose can make it easier to clean hard-to-reach spaces.
  • Robot Vacuum: A robot vacuum offers a completely hands-off cleaning experience, which is nice when you’re essentially cleaning up your cat’s toilet. Some of the leading robot vacuums for pet hair can also pick up cat litter, but not all of them offer enough suction power. Plus, the dust container on a robot vacuum isn’t nearly as large as other types of vacuums, so it will need to be emptied often when cleaning up soiled litter messes.

3. What level of suction power do you need?

Since cat litter pellets are heavier and larger than many other types of household debris, like dust particles, you’ll need to purchase a pet vacuum cleaner with excellent suction power. Different manufacturers list suction power in a wide range of ways, including CFM, Air Watts, and horsepower. In general, the bigger the number you see here, the more suction power the vacuum will give you.

4. Should you buy a vacuum with a high degree of adjustability?

Most vacuum cleaners offer some adjustable settings, but do you really need all of that customization for cleaning up litter messes? Let’s take a look at some of the areas you should consider when it comes to adjustability:

  • Beater bar and brush rolls: If you purchase an upright vacuum or a stick vacuum, it will likely feature some kind of beater bar or brush roll. It’s essential for you to have the ability to turn this function off when cleaning up cat litter. A brush roll will break apart the pellets and cause more debris to fly into the air.
  • Suction power: Some vacuums offer the ability to increase and decrease overall suction power. This can be helpful when cleaning cat litter, as you’ll need all the power you can get.
  • Height adjustment: This adjustable setting isn’t as important for cleaning cat litter specifically. However, if you’re planning on using your vacuum for other messes, it can be helpful.

5. What vacuum attachments and accessories do you need?

Many cat litter and pet hair vacuums include attachments and accessories with your purchase, and you can always buy additional add-ons. Depending on the location of your litter box and the size of the typical mess, you may want to consider a few different accessories, including:

  • Crevice tool for tight spaces
  • Extension hose for greater reach
  • Rechargeable batteries for cordless vacuum cleaners

You’ll want to avoid tools like the upholstery tool and brush tool for cleaning the clay dust of cat litter since they often have bristles that can hold on to the litter. However, these are handy tools for other applications if you use your vacuum for more than just cleaning the litter box.

Vacuum for Cat Litter FAQs

Are bagless handheld vacuums better for cleaning cat litter than bagged vacuums?

Both bagged and bagless handheld vacuums offer their own pros and cons. With a bagless vacuum, you’ll need to be sure you’re emptying and cleaning the canister regularly. However, when you’re vacuuming cat litter and pet hair, simply having a bagless vacuum can be enough to remind you to clean the dirt canister often. With bagged vacuums, you’ll have a greater maintenance cost when it comes to replacement bags.

Are pet vacuums worth it?

Yes, pet vacuums are absolutely worth it for pet owners. Their strong suction power alone is enough to clean up pet hair, cat litter, and other pet-related messes. Many pet vacuums can also clean up stains, which only increases their overall usefulness.

Do you need a special vacuum to clean up cat litter?

No, you don’t necessarily need a special vacuum to clean up cat litter. However, purchasing a vacuum with a certain set of features and functionalities can make for a sanctuary and quick cleanup process. The vacuums with features we listed in this guide are the best for cleaning cat litter.

Can you vacuum cat litter with a Dyson vacuum?

Yes, there are plenty of Dyson vacuums that are well-suited for cleaning cat litter. Look for Dyson vacuums branded as pet vacuums for the best results.
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