How to clean a cat carrier?

How to clean a cat carrier?

When you complete your vacations with your cat and return back, chances are that the cat carrier you took the cat in will get dirty. Even if you are not on vacation, there are times when a cat carrier will need to get tend to. In such a scenario, we need the proper cleaning routine and method to clean the cat carrier completely. We are going to provide a comprehensive guide to clean a cat carrier today along with the tips that will save you some time. This is the best way to clean a cat carrier. This guide can get pretty long so, stick with us.

Why is cleaning a cat carrier important?

There are a number of reasons why you should clean your cat carrier. Some of these reasons are explained here so, let us get into it.

  • Over a period of time, cat carriers will get dirty. They get filled with germs, your cat could also poop and urinate inside the carrier. There will be stains, all sorts of bacteria and the carrier could smell unpleasant. Also, if you do not clean your pet carrier in a thorough way, your cat could get sick.
  • Cats are generally lazy but they are clean. They prefer to stay at a clean location so, if your cat carrier is dirty, good luck getting them inside the carrier. Your trip can be pretty hard for your cat if you do not clean the carrier.
  • Most carriers require frequent cleaning. When you clean the carrier in a good manner, it will last longer.
  • A dirty carrier can cause flu and other diseases to your cat and even to you.
  • An uncleaned carrier also speaks volume about you as a person. So, if you don't want to get judged by your friends, just clean the carrier.

Are there different ways to clean different types of carrier?

While the core process of cleaning remains the same there are a few differences when it comes to cleaning different types of carriers. Some of them are given below:

Hard Carriers

If you have a carrier with hard plastic, you need to clean it with warm water and perhaps use detergent. Make sure to clean it thoroughly, there are some debris and dirt left in the corners of hard plastic. You can use disinfectants if the carrier wasn't cleaned in a long time. Bleach solution, which we will explain later, will definitely work as a disinfectant replacement. Also, dry the carrier in bright sunlight to get rid of all the germs and bacteria.

Soft Carriers

You can definitely clean a soft carrier or a carrier with a soft kind of plastic with lukewarm or even cold water. But do use detergents. You can also use body wipe to properly clean all the areas of the carriers. Here too, either disinfectant or bleach solution works perfectly fine. After cleaning with soap and disinfectant, just rinse it with lukewarm water and dry it in proper sunlight.

Fabric Carriers

If you own stylish carriers made out of materials such as denim, the ones that Apetwithpaws is famous for then you might want to follow a slightly different approach. Denim cat carriers require a different cleaning process. Since it is a fabric you need to treat it like clothes and remove all the stains from it. If the carrier is machine washable then you can follow the simple laundry process. Else, you can manually clean it with disinfectants and detergent. You should choose the detergent that doesn't harm your cat's skin. After washing it with detergent, scrub the stains with a brush and then rinse it with clean water.

7 steps to clean a cat carrier?

There is not a universal standard when it comes to cleaning a cat carrier. Different people have different methods and we have explained our method that we feel will get the job done in an effective and efficient way. The method is given below in a stepwise manner so, it can be helpful for you.

Step 1: The first step is to wash your hand properly with disinfectants or soap and wear a clean pair of gloves. The disposable plastic gloves will get the job done. Now, you can get started with the carrier, just remove all the things such as the clothes inside the carrier, blankets, water and food bowl, litter etc.

Step 2: Small and thing things such as cat hair, crumbs and debris of food will need treatment from the vacuum cleaner. A vacuum cleaner is a much better way of effectively cleaning these things from the cat carrier.  It will make the process easy and safe.

Step 3: Try to search for organic matters such as food, urine stain, hair, poop etc inside the carrier. These are tricky to clean so you might need help from a soap or a detergent. A brush will be pretty useful in these situations. You can easily use the brush to scrape off any substance that is sticking on the carrier. A pet disinfectant may work well in this case, as it will help remove the stains.

Step 4: Most cat carriers, such as the carriers from Apetwithpaws, come with removable pad in them. These pads can be washed with a washing machine. Check if the pads in your carrier can be washed by machine and then clean them off using the hottest cycle in the machine.

Step 5: You need to now get a pet disinfectant. There are many disinfectants in the market, We are going to see the best disinfectants later in the article. You can get the best rated budget-friendly disinfectants online and use them. If you don't want to use disinfectant then, you can use a bleach solution. Simply mix half a cup of bleach to one Gallo of water and then use it as a pet disinfectant.  This will not have any detergent characteristics like the commercial disinfectant but it can be used to clean the carrier. Bleach solution is also effective against germs like fungi and bacteria.

Step 6: Remove all the poop and urine from the litter box and use soap to clean it. Rinse it with warm water if you can and then spray pet disinfectant to get rid of all the unseen germs. You can also use UV lights to see the bacteria and then clean it, although it is totally optional. Do this for all other items in the carrier such as bowls, toys and other accessories. If your cat has a collar, you can clean it in this process as well.

Step 7: Now all that is left to do is to wash the carrier with water. When you have washed it first with soap and water and then, sprayed the disinfectant. The next step is to again rinse it with water so you get all the chemicals off of the carrier. After you are done rinsing it, find a spot with plenty of sunlight and make sure you dry the carrier properly before reusing them. Pro tip: get rid of the gloves as soon as you are done cleaning and re-wash your hand with soap and/or hand wash.

Some Tips and warning while cleaning pet carriers

  • Use degreasers to remove stuff like greasy curry from the pet carriers.
  • Phenolic disinfectants are harmful to cats, do not use them.
  • Bleach solution will need some time, from 10 to 15 minutes to work properly.
  • Never mix water with bleach, pour bleach in the water.

What are the best pet disinfectants?

If you are busy like us and do not have the time to get a bleach solution ready then you must use pet disinfectants but which one should you go for? Well, there are many good disinfectants but our favourite is the 'Top Performance 256" disinfectant. We recommend this one because of a few reasons. First of all, this disinfectant is used all over the US and the UK by professional cat breeders and even vets so, it is reputed. In addition, the disinfectant kills all kinds of bacteria and fungi. It gets the job done and it also smells good enough. But if your pet carrier smells a lot then you might want to consider something like a Kennel Odor Eliminator. These disinfectants are very cheap to use and when you add these to your cleaning solution, it will eliminate all types of foul smell from the carrier. The ingredients aren't toxic and most of the eliminators are chlorine-based so they are perfectly suitable for your cats.

Are some cat carriers easier to clean than others?

Well, fabric cat carriers from Apetwithpaws are easier to clean than some of the hard plastic ones. Also, plastic carriers get pretty dirty easily and germs tend to live longer in plastics. Fabric cat carriers can be cleaned easily and you can find impressive carriers such as The Madison and The Coco in the catalogue of Apetwithpaws. These carriers can be cleaned with detergents or washing machines. They are easier to clean and do not require much thinking.


So, there you have it. A complete guide to cleaning cat carriers. Take away as much knowledge as you can from this article and use it to clean your pet carriers. Remember, your pet carrier need frequent cleaning so, we recommend pet owners to clean it maybe twice a month. Use disinfectants once a month and use everything under your power to keep the carriers clean for your cats.

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