How to Clean a Cat Kennel

Soiled linens are replaced during kennel cleaning.

Soiled linens are replaced during kennel cleaning.

Cats are naturally clean creatures, so a dirty confined kennel leaves cats not only miserable, but also prone to illnesses. Correctly cleaning a cat kennel helps prevent the spread of disease and provides satisfying living quarters for a cat.

Wash your hands before cleaning the cat kennel and put on disposable gloves. Place the cat in a temporary carrier. Remove litter pan, bedding, dishes and toys. Dump soiled litter, old food and water.

Remove organic matter with soap or detergent. Organic matter consists of fecal matter, cat hair, dried food, blood and saliva. A brush is helpful to remove dried debris while a rag is used to wipe down the sides, floor and ceiling of the kennel, according to Shelter Operations.

Spray diluted bleach—half a cup per gallon of water—on all surfaces of the cat kennel. Bleach works as a disinfectant to kill bacteria, viruses, fungus and parasites. Bleach has no detergent action and will not be effective unless soap is used first. Allow the solution to sit for a minimum of 10 minutes.

Wash the litter box, dishes and toys with soap and water. Add fresh litter to the litter box and also fresh water and food to the dishes.

Rinse the kennel thoroughly with water and a towel. Dry the kennel thoroughly. Place litter box, filled dishes and toys into the kennel. Add clean bedding to the kennel and then transfer the cat from the temporary carrier to the kennel.

Dispose of gloves and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

Items you will need

  • Litter
  • Clean bedding
  • Disposable gloves
  • Soap or detergent
  • Water
  • Bleach
  • Rags
  • Towels
  • Cleaning brush
  • Degreaser (optional)


  • Pour bleach into water to dilute it, rather than pouring water into bleach.
  • A degreaser can be used to remove dried body oils and other greasy debris.


  • Phenolic disinfectants, such as Lysol, are toxic to cats.
  • Bleach fumes are irritating at high concentrations. Not measuring the bleach-and-water combination can cause potential toxicity to the cat and to humans and other pets.
  • Bleach requires 10 minutes of contact time with the surface being disinfected. If you spray and wipe, the microorganisms are spread around the kennel without being destroyed.

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About the Author

Melissa McNamara is a certified personal trainer who holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and communication studies from the University of Iowa. She writes for various health and fitness publications while working toward a Bachelor of Science in nursing.

Photo Credits

  • le chat et la couverture 01 image by Luc PATUREAU from Fotolia.com