4 Best Vacuum Cleaners For Cat Litter

Cats can be some of the most unique and entertaining animals ever. They can also be incredibly loving or distant. Cats have been domesticated for a very long time now, so there’s no surprise that cats can be some of the best pets possible.

With all of the wonderful benefits of pet ownership, there’s also plenty of downsides: mainly, maintenance, and trying to keep your home clean despite housing them and caring for them.

When you’re looking around for a handheld vacuum cleaner that’s powerful enough to pick up cat litter, there are a few aspects that you might want to consider before purchasing.

Carpeted Floors?

If you have carpeted floors, cat litter is notoriously difficult to get rid of, especially if you’re using a unit with a brush roller. Some of them simply suck up and launch the cat litter across your carpets, creating an additional mess for you to clean up.

The type of carpet also plays a part in how stubborn the litter is for removal.

Handheld units will typically do a better job at picking up cat litter considering that handheld units, while they might lack suction compared to a dedicated unit, won’t have the same issues that you have when normally using a vacuum that spreads litter, rather than sucks it up.

Hard Floors?

When you’re using your main vacuum cleaner, the issue that most people have with vacuuming cat litter off of hard floors is that many of them simply miss the majority or at least enough litter to cause frustration. The head height of the vacuum might be partially to blame, as well as the suction strength and overall design.

Because handheld units force the user to make contact with the floor, as long as the suction strength in the handheld unit is adequate enough to pick up cat litter, you should have very little to no issues picking up cat litter on hard floors with a handheld vacuum cleaner.

Corded or Cordless Unit?

One aspect that many people might overlook when they are searching for a vacuum cleaner for cat litter is the location of the litter box and/or the litter.

If you have no outlet near where the litter is, you pretty much need to consider going with a cordless option. Cordless cleaners offer tons of convenience, and some even come with charging stations so everything is kept nice and tidy.

Corded units, while certainly not as convenient as cordless ones, will typically be able to offer more power in comparison to cordless units.

They also bypass any potential issues regarding the battery life or function. You won’t have to worry about the battery dying or going bad over time with a handheld unit, but even those are still prone to mechanical failures.

If you have an outlet near your cat’s litter box, then you might want to consider a corded option.

Regardless of your choice or preference, there are still plenty of cordless handheld cleaners that still offer tons of convenience and are still powerful enough to suck up all of that cat litter with ease.

Best Vacuum Cleaners For Cat Litter:

Best Corded Handheld Vacuum For Cat Litter: Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum (47R51)

Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum, 47R51If you’re specifically looking for a corded handheld vacuum dedicated for picking up cat litter, and you can’t go wrong with the Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum Cleaner. This highly reviewed and well trusted handheld vacuum cleaner is great for getting rid of cat litter, pet hair, and more. While it’s certainly less convenient than a cordless option, always consider that you won’t have to worry about the battery potentially going bad over time. You also won’t have to worry about recharging or making sure that it has enough power. Still, cordless options are nice to consider, but each has its own ups and downs.

To start off with, the cord length on this particular unit is actually very impressive for a handheld vacuum. It’s about 18 feet long, which should actually be pretty long enough for most of you to find a nearby outlet. So even if your cat’s litter box isn’t near an outlet, the very generous length of this power cord will still allow you to use it and plug it in, even if you aren’t directly close to a power outlet.

The capacity of the dirt cup is roughly 0.78 L, which, although isn’t too impressive in general, it’s still above average for a handheld vacuum cleaner. You should have no issue with filling this dustbin if you’re only trying to clean up cat litter.

Because each and every person with cats will typically not have the same exact set up, seeing as each person’s home will be different, it’s always great to be prepared to have several options for attachments when you’re cleaning up cat litter. Some people might have a majority of cat litter scattered away in corners, while others might have cat litter embedded deep in their carpets. Regardless of your unique situation, having attachments and tools will always be very helpful. You’ll be happy to know that this Bissell comes with several different cleaning attachments including a hose, crevice tool, and a wide mouth tool.

Another great aspect about handheld vacuum cleaners is the fact that the majority of them are designed to be lightweight and easy to use. Even this corded handheld unit is still lightweight, at just 5 pounds. Additionally, all you need to do to use it is simply plug it in and press the power button located on the top of the handle. It’s a very straightforward vacuum cleaner that pretty much anyone could easily use.

At a rating of 4 Amps, this handheld should have little to no issues at all getting rid of clumped up cat litter, stubborn pet hair, and other debris that you might find in your home. It also includes a HEPA filter, which is extremely handy when you’re dealing with cat litter, pet fur, and other allergens or debris that might pose a risk to your health.

The only real downside to this particular handheld is the fact that its vents aren’t designed particularly well. Sometimes, if you’re trying to vacuum in a specific area, depending on how you aim the vacuum, it might blow pet hair away. This could definitely be frustrating. However, it comes with plenty of attachments to not only bypass this issue entirely, but many users report no issue at all, despite the vents blowing outward. Besides, cat litter is much more dense and is less likely to be moved around by air in comparison to pet hair or fur.

Overall, this is an affordable and powerful handheld unit that can truly surprise you once you use it, and is certainly worth your consideration, especially if you’re looking for something powerful enough that will easily handle cat litter without getting clogged or having to worry about it not picking up some of it.


  • Lightweight and compact, only 5 lbs
  • Powerful 4 Amp motor
  • Simple on off switch, no trigger
  • HEPA filter included
  • Very long 18 foot power cord included with cord wrap system
  • Comes with 3 attachments
  • Dependable – has a better chance of lasting longer due to no battery
  • Powerful enough to even pick up clumps of cat litter


  • Only has 1 year warranty
  • Much less convenient than cordless alternatives
  • Filter isn’t washable


This isn’t the first time that we’ve recommended this particular handheld unit and there are plenty of reasons why. The first being that it’s a very dependable unit that is much less prone to failure than other handheld vacuums. Another is simply due to its value. Not only do you get a handheld vacuum cleaner that’s probably much more powerful than cordless alternatives in this price range, but you get attachments, a HEPA filter, a very long power cord, and much more.

If you’re searching for a handheld vacuum cleaner that will be more than powerful enough to handle tons of cat litter, then there aren’t many better options that exist out there. Of course, there are tons of other cordless options, some of which we recommend to you below, but there’s always something very satisfactory about clogging a device in and getting on with your day. You won’t have to worry about clogged cat litter not making it with this unit.

It’s a very dependable Bissell product that is still absolutely worth considering, even if it isn’t as convenient as using a corded handheld vacuum.

Because of the attachments, power, and overall design, it doesn’t matter if the cat litter is in corners, embedded in your carpets, or on hard surfaces, you’ll be able to clean it all with this vacuum!


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Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum For Cat Litter: BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster 16V Cordless Handheld Vacuum (CHV1410L)

BLACK+DECKER dustbuster Handheld Vacuum, Cordless, 16V (CHV1410L) If you’re looking specifically for a cordless handheld vacuum for cat litter, there aren’t many better options in this price range than this BLACK & DECKER Dustbuster 16V Cordless Handheld Vacuum. Black & Decker makes plenty of other tools and equipment that you’ve probably used at some point in your life, and they aren’t new to making quality vacuum cleaners either.

It’s not just easy to use, but also incredibly simple. It comes with a .6 L dustbin capacity, which is just around the standard for many other handheld vacuum cleaners. It isn’t the biggest, but isn’t the smallest. Because we’re considering cat litter mostly, sucking up more than half a liter of cat litter is unlikely for a majority of people, even for those who have tons of cat litter on their floors.

Although this particular handheld does not have a HEPA filter, it does have both a washable filter and dirt bowl, which still saves you money in the long run. Those who are very sensitive to allergies should consider the above corded Bissell instead, because that unit uses a HEPA filter.

Emptying the dustbin is very simple and requires just a simple squeeze on the two release indentations. Just squeeze and twist the bottom and you can pour the contents of the unit in the trash bin.

This Dustbuster is especially convenient though. It features a charging base which allows for an effortless and quick way to charge the unit. You won’t have to waste time reaching for the power adapter and plugging it in anymore. Simply place it on the charger and the unit will charge. It it’s completely dead, it will take a very long time charge, potentially greater than 7 hours, so definitely be aware that. However, as long as you keep it on the charging base after every use, you shouldn’t have to worry about the battery life too much. Always be aware of the potential downsides of a degraded battery, as this unit is no exception to the rule.

Another strength of this vacuum is its lightweight nature and design. It only weighs a little over 2 pounds, which is light enough for even elderly folks to comfortably use. It also features a very straightforward on/off switch, which, in our personal opinion is better than holding down a trigger like some other vacuums are designed with.

It features 15.2 air Watts, which is impressive given the compact size and lightweight nature this handheld vacuum. It’s powerful to pick up chunks of dog and cat food, so it should be more than capable of picking up some cat litter.

You’ll be happy to know that this handheld vacuum also comes with attachments and nozzles that can be very helpful in your day-to-day cleaning. You’ll get a Flip Up Brush which is great for cleaning upholstery and general dusting, as well as a Pull-Out Crevice Tool which is great for corners or other difficult to reach areas where you might find cat litter hidden away.

This handheld vacuum is particularly great for hard surfaces, so if you’re one of the many cat owners who has a litter box on a mat or other hard surface, you should have no problem with picking up just about every speck of cat litter that you can see! It may struggle on carpets, especially sticker carpets, though.


  • Cordless convenience
  • Washable dirt bowl
  • Easy and effortless to charge – just place it on the charging base and get on with your day
  • Very lightweight – just a little over 2 lbs, which is incredibly light for a handheld vacuum
  • Especially great on hard surfaces
  • 2 year warranty on parts (minus battery)
  • Still powerful enough for cat litter, pet hair, and more
  • Simple on/off switch – no trigger


  • Battery will eventually lose charge over time – not replaceable
  • Battery warranty only 18 months
  • Not as durable as corded units due to battery deterioration and potential loss of performance over time


If you’re buying a cordless handheld vacuum cleaner and want a rechargeable one, always consider the issue of battery performance. Surprisingly, there aren’t many handheld cordless vacuum cleaners that are powerful enough to easily handle cat litter without their own faults. If it’s not the battery, it’s the motor, or it’s a pain to empty. Surprisingly, this particular Black & Decker Dustbuster handheld vacuum cleaner is still reviewed highly, despite many people complaining particularly about battery performance past warranty.

Many of the previous complaints about a defective charger seem to have been mostly rectified. The battery will not degrade in the same fashion as someone else who uses it considerably less. Factors such as how frequently you use it, how long it’s kept on the charger, and the overall maintenance on the unit will play a huge part in the longevity of the vacuum. These battery issues are not just specifically tied to this particular handheld vacuum either. Even Dysons will run into battery issues if given enough time, and this vacuum is no exception either.

Some people will simply not ever run into a problem and will enjoy using their vacuum for many years, while others may experience problems after a few months.

Still, it’s worth mentioning that the warranty is fairly long for the price point, so even if the battery starts to go fairly early on, as long as you are in your 18 month purchase window, Black & Decker should be able to help you sort out the replacement.

P.S. – I thought it might be worth mentioning that according to the user manual, it actually states that you should not keep the battery discharged for more than a week. It specifically says “battery life will be greatly diminished if stored in a discharge state.” It is intended for you to constantly keep on the charger and also states that there is no need to worry about overcharging the battery. Still, with all that said, a majority of the one star reviews may include people who did not follow these instructions. If you are concerned about battery life being an issue or that this unit may not be a long term option, you might want to consider another option from this list.

The pros far outweigh the cons, especially if you’re on the lookout for convenience and a portable and powerful handheld package, which this vacuum absolutely offers!


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Best Shop Vacuum For Cat Litter: Stanley SL18910P-3 Wet/Dry 3 Gallon, 3 Horsepower Portable Car Vacuum

Stanley SL18910P-3 Wet/Dry, 3 Gallon, 3 Horsepower, Portable Car Vacuum, 3.0 HP AC, Black+YellowYou might be wondering why you’re looking at a shop vac recommendation for cat litter. That’s a perfectly reasonable question to ponder about. The main answer to that question involves power and suction strength. Learn why this particular little unit is very much worth a few seconds of your consideration.

If you’re looking for something cheap, durable, and powerful enough to not only pick up your cat litter but also just about any other small mess you can think of, either dry or wet, this Stanley SL18910P Portable Shop Vac is an awesome choice.

To start with, you will never have to worry about clogging or filling up the dustbin on this vacuum. You could honestly probably vacuum half of your cat’s actual litter box contents with ease thanks to the huge 3 gallon capacity. Despite how this shop vac may seem on the rather large side, it’s actually surprisingly compact, especially for a shop vac.

It features a 3 HP motor, so you won’t have to worry about it potentially not being powerful enough to suck up your cat’s litter. You should easily be able to get even wet clumps with this powerful vac. This is where this unit shines. You’ll never get anywhere near this amount of suction strength or power in a rechargeable vacuum cleaner.

This is also another perfect option for anyone who has multiple pets in their home and constantly deals with pet for or other messes around their home, or even outside. This unit can suck up pet hair, cat litter, pet food, nails, and just about anything else that can fit. It’s impossible to say the same for any other regular handheld vacuum cleaner.

Because of its durable nature and design, this unit can potentially last you years and years to come. There are no batteries to replace, and it’s made to last.

Regardless if you have carpets or hard floors, you’ll be able to clear away any cat litter easily. Because it comes with several different attachments, including a Crevice Nozzle and a Gulper Nozzle, you can easily reach in the corners and other crevices around your home to suck up any cat litter you might find. Because you have different attachments at your disposal, including one with a very large head, you can suck up even large quantities of cat litter very easily and quickly. Other handheld standard cordless vacuums will typically have a much smaller head size, so you have to make more passes with those, which is another strength of this unit.

The power cord is a little on the short side, so you’ll need to be at least within roughly 8 feet of the cat litter to reach. You do have a total of 10 feet (6 ft from the cord, and 4 ft from the hose length) so you aren’t too limited, but it’s something that you should be aware of if you aren’t nearby an outlet.

Overall, you get a durable and powerful vacuum cleaner that can be used not only in your home, but also your car, garage, and more. Surprisingly, this shop vac is actually even more affordable than most handheld vacuum cleaners are in general. Not only is it cheaper, but it has way more power behind it, which is something that you don’t typically often see at all!


  • Far more powerful than most handheld vacuums – you shouldn’t have to worry about it not picking up cat litter ever
  • Surprisingly convenient and compact
  • Capable of cleaning much more than just cat litter, including pet hair, messes, and more
  • Can clean wet messes too
  • Very affordable
  • Comes with several attachments – great for cat litter in particular
  • Perfect for someone who’s looking to clean tougher messes than cat litter
  • Durable and will probably last longer than a rechargeable vacuum


  • Not as lightweight – a bit over 8 pounds
  • Form factor is much bigger than a typical handheld vacuum
  • 1 year warranty


You might think that this recommendation is silly and a waste of time. Hear me out here, though. This portable shop vac is still compact and lightweight enough to still be considered a handheld unit. Although the form factor is certainly different than what you’re used to, especially if you’re looking specifically for a handheld vacuum, it’s still a tremendous choice for picking up cat litter.

It won’t clog like other weaker rechargeable handheld vacuums would, and additionally, it has much more suction strength and durability than a standard handheld vacuum cleaner, regardless if it’s corded or cordless.

Believe it or not, but the performance of this shop vac will likely out rival most other recommendations that you read on other sites that will typically only recommend standard handheld vacuums. We truly tried to think of something for every type of consumer, and this is no exception.

Maybe you’re already considering getting a shop vac, but you are also considering buying a handheld unit to handle your cat’s litter. Why not combine the best of both worlds and simply buy this vacuum instead?

If you stop and consider all things, you’ll realize that you’ll have no issues sucking up cat litter, and you’ll have a dependable vacuum from a dependable brand that you won’t have to worry about replacing down the line. You’ll also be able to use it for tons of other uses – not just for cat litter, so you’ll definitely be getting your money’s worth with this choice, despite the non-conventional nature surrounding it.


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Best Handheld + Stick Vacuum For Cat Litter: ORFELD Cordless Stick Vacuum – 4 in 1 Lightweight Upright Vacuum Cleaner, Handheld, Portable

ORFELD Cordless Vacuum, Stick Vacuum 4 in 1, Lightweight Upright Vacuum Cleaner, Handheld, Portable, Rechargeable Li-ion Battery for Hardwood Floor Carpet Pet Hair Car, up to 40 Min.Runtime,Small

For someone who’s considering purchasing another dedicated vacuum cleaner for their home or apartment, this Orfeld 4-in-1 Vacuum Cleaner is a potential option to ponder about. Even if you already have another more powerful or dedicated vacuum cleaner already, this can still be a great secondary option, especially if you’re searching for something that’s versatile, can be used specifically for one area of your home, or are simply looking for a new vacuum cleaner that can be versatile enough to transform into a handheld unit to tackle every speck of cat litter that you can see.

It’s still worth considering this vacuum cleaner for the price point alone. You get an all-in-one unit that is not only a stick vacuum, but is also upright, a handheld, and is rechargeable and portable. This is something that you can consider leaving in a certain portion of your home, especially near your pet’s litter box or in an area where litter might be tracked out of often.

It’s portable, lightweight, and compact enough to be frequently moved around your home which is something that just about every one of us looks for in a vacuum cleaner. The more portable and versatile, the better.

It features a 0.5 L dustbin, which is a little on the small side, especially if you’re dealing with tons of pet fur. For cat litter, this should still be plenty before you’ll have to worry about emptying it.

This particular vacuum has LED lights which will help you see any missed debris or pet hair while you’re vacuuming.

Something that many other reviewers fail to mention is how loud a vacuum is. This particular vacuum cleaner is actually very quiet, coming in at just about 65 dB, which is much more quiet than most vacuum cleaners are. Many tend to be over 70 dB, which is quite a difference from 65 dB. Not only is a more quiet vacuum cleaner something that just about anyone can appreciate, but it’s also quiet enough to where it may not disturb your pets. In the event that your cat tends to hang around their litter box or somewhere close to it, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a good chance that you won’t even scare them off when you’re using this vacuum, which is definitely something worth mentioning.

Switching between different modes is very simple and quick to do so. If you’re looking to vacuum corners in handheld mode, simply press the button located on the side portion of the handheld vacuum. Pressing it will allow the handheld vacuum portion to release instantly. Simply place it back on the latch and you’ll hear a click once it’s secured.

It features different suction strengths, so that you can save battery when you need to, or really get things going when you know you have a tough area or object to vacuum up. You’ll get around 25 minutes of battery life on max suction, and you’ll get roughly 40 on the lowest power mode.

This vacuum was designed for cleaning under and around furniture thanks to its 180° folding handle design, which is actually much more useful than you might think. Not even more premium and expensive vacuum cleaners can reach as low and far under furniture as this one can.

It also includes a HEPA filter which is fairly surprising given its price, but we’re more than happy about it. The filter is also fully washable as another added bonus!

On the product page, you can see that it’s made to suck up not only cereal, but also hair, dust, beans, dog food, and you named it, cat litter!

However, it won’t have as much suction as more premium units will, as it isn’t made with premium materials, so even though it won’t feel as expensive or nice as a Dyson or Miele would, it’s to be expected given its price point. You can’t win them all and you have to compromise somewhere, even on more expensive vacuum cleaners. However, what you do get for the price is very impressive all things considered, as you get a handheld unit that’s more than capable of sucking up cat litter, as well as a main or secondary unit that you can use for any other use you might think of.


  • Lightweight at just roughly 5 lbs, which is impressive given the versatile nature
  • Exceptionally quiet – just 65 dB
  • Long battery life
  • All-In-One unit
  • Can easily be stored upright
  • Perfect for quick messes and cleanups
  • Comes with a HEPA filter, making it a desirable option for pet owners
  • Performs well on several different types of floors
  • Very affordable
  • Excellent at getting under and around furniture, great if you have cat litter located throughout your home


  • Annoying to connect to charging cradle
  • 1 year warranty
  • Small dust bin capacity


This vacuum is a great option for those who are considering replacing their main unit, or at least considering a cheaper or secondary unit dedicated to a small area of their home or for a specific cleaning purpose, such as cleaning up small spills when need be. Because this vacuum cleaner in particular is so versatile despite the cheap price, it can actually accomplish much more than you might think it can. It’s actually cheaper than some strictly handheld only units are! Unable to vacuum a certain piece of furniture or area of your home due to the design of your other vacuum? Simply whip this one out for a quick cleaning, instead!

Between a flexible handle, very reasonable runtime, variable suction strength, and other well thought out design decisions, this 4-in-1 vacuum is actually something that many people would probably use more than they might originally think.

If not for cat litter, which this product specifically states that it’s for, it can be used for so many other uses so that you the consumer will be happy that you spent your money on something that actually has much more use than you might’ve originally thought.


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Final Thoughts:

Having a pet can be not only stressful, but unhygienic in many different circumstances. It’s not that the actual pets themselves are unhygienic, but more so their upkeep and the messes that they create.

However, we aren’t living in the dark ages anymore and there’s plenty of options out there to help make your life much, much more simple and hygienic. Vacuum cleaners are just one of the many tools that we’re lucky to have in our arsenal against germs and nasty environments.

Even though cats themselves can be very hygienic and almost too clean sometimes, even cats are prone to creating messes that simply require a vacuum cleaner.

Vacuum cleaners are fantastic options for cleaning up cat litter scattered throughout your floors or carpets.

If you’re a cat owner, then you know just how ridiculous and annoying it is to clean up cat litter, so we provided several different vacuum options for you so that you can quickly dispose of that nasty cat litter in one quick, fell swoop! You’ll be happier that you don’t have to lug out your dedicated unit just to clean up cat litter, too!

You’ll save time, effort, and you won’t have to worry about cleaning cat litter from your main vacuum once you’ve used a reliable vacuum cleaner from this list for picking up cat litter.


Laura Smith is an author and philanthropist; runs several trust funds and teaches people in different forums the importance of developing actionable solutions, to help in the conservation of energy while limiting environmental degradation. She is passionate about everything tech and has written different reviews on a myriad of electrical gadgets. Technology and environmental degradation are a major challenge around the globe today, and many companies produce gadgets without a guideline on how to dispose of, after they have served their purpose. Laura has thus dedicated her life to finding eco-friendly solutions in the disposition of electrical gadgets in the middle of technological advancements.

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