By | January 20, 2018
how to clean a cat carrier


 “You just returned home after a mind-blowing trip with your cat. You are very pleased. Everything seems nice. But suddenly you saw the cat carrier lying on the corner of the room and you remember that you have to clean the carrier. You are starting to become confused. You don’t know how to clean a cat carrier and anything to do with it.”


Does the above scenario seem similar to you? If it does, then you are among thousand other cat owners too. There was a time when I didn’t know anything about how to clean a cat carrier and this prospect always scared me. I thought it was a very complicated and time-consuming process.


But, luckily for you, after trying thousands of things, I have finally found the right way to clean a cat carrier. you just need to follow the steps in this article. These steps will save you money and a whole lot of time.


So, why not just start reading?


Why do you need to clean a cat carrier?


  • When you have just returned from a trip with your cat, the first thing you need to do is clean the cat carrier. During the trip, especially if it was a long one, the cat carrier will get dirty and filled with germ. Your cat may have urinated on it or even pooped in it. Even if you take out the litter, there will be a stain from urine and odor from the feces if you not clean the carrier. Moreover, if not cleaned properly, the carrier will carry thousands of germs which will make your cat sick.
  • Cats like clean places. If your carrier remains dirty, she won’t even go near it the next time you go on a trip. It will make the trip much harder for you and your cat.
  • Keeping the carrier clean and germ-free will extend its lifespan and durability.
  • Cats are normally very clean animal. So, by keeping them confined in a dirty carrier, you’ll not only make them feel bad but also prone to germs. That’s why it is always necessary to keep a carrier clean as frequently as possible.
  • Last but not least, keeping a dirty carrier in the corner of the storage will make you feel bad and guilty. Cleaning a carrier doesn’t take much time at all. So, why not slack off the laziness and clean it properly?


How to clean a cat carrier?


Follow the below steps to clean a cat carrier properly in the quickest time possible:

  • At first, wash your hand properly and wear on a pair of disposable gloves. Now remove everything from the carrier such as bedding, food bowl, water bowl, soiled litter and so on.
  • If you see signs of cat hair, debris of food, crumbs etc. lying on the carrier, use a vacuum cleaner to clear everything off from the carrier. it will kick off the cleaning process much quicker.
  • Look for organic matters inside the carrier. The organic matters can be dried food, urine stain, blood, feces, cat hair etc. you’ll have to remove and clean the organic matters with soap or detergent. In this case, a brush comes real handy. Use the brush to scrape off any hard substance that is sticking on to the carrier. After that, properly wipe off the carrier with a clean cloth. You should wipe off the bottom, sides, and ceiling of the carrier. A pet disinfectant may work well in this case.
  • Most cat carriers these days come with removable pads inside them which is machine washable. Chances are your carrier has a removable pad inside too. Check if it is machine washable. If it does, then throw it inside the washing machine and use the hottest cycle to properly clean it.
  • Now you need to spray the whole carrier with a pet disinfectant. I recommend using Alpha Tech Pet disinfectant. If you can’t afford a good pet disinfectant for the time being, you can use a homemade solution of bleach. Mix half a cup of bleach powder to one gallon of water and use the solution as pet disinfectant. Allow the solution to sit on the surface for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Keep in mind that, this bleach solution will not be as effective as a commercial pet disinfectant and it doesn’t have any detergent action. So, you need to use soap first before using the bleach solution. This step will kill all kinds of bacteria, virus, fungi, and germs that are lurking inside the carrier.
  • Take the soiled litter box and throw away the used litter. Now clean it properly with soap and warm water. Using pet disinfectant spray on the litter is also a good idea. Make sure the litter tray is completely dry before pouring new litter.
  • Take all the items from the carrier i.e. food bowl, water bowl, toys etc. and clean them under warm water with soap.
  • The last step is to take a hosepipe and wash the carrier thoroughly with water. Make sure no corner is left untouched. Then take a towel and wipe off the water from the carrier. place it under the sun and make sure it is completely dry before storing in the cupboard.
  • Throw away the used disposable gloves and clean your hand with soap.



  • Don’t pour water on the bleach. Pour bleach into the water. It will help to create a dilute solution.
  • You can use a pet safe degreaser to remove greasy debris from the carrier.



  • Keep in mind that disinfectants that have Phenolic are toxic to cats.
  • High-density bleach water solution may cause various problems for your cat. So, always measure the ingredients when making the bleach water solution.
  • Keep in mind that, the bleach water solution needs at least 10 minutes to work their magic. If you spray and wipe off immediately, you are practically making the carrier worse by spreading germs all over the carrier.


Cleaning a hard-sided cat carrier:


  • Wash the hard plastic with warm water and mild detergent thoroughly. It is better if you can use an unscented detergent.
  • Make sure that no residue of debris is left behind.
  • If your cat had an accident on it, use a pet disinfectant spray. Or, if you can’t buy one, use a homemade mixture of bleach and water. Half a cup of bleach to one gallon of water would do the trick.
  • Spray with the bleach solution and leave it on the carrier for at least 10 minutes. Then thoroughly rinse off the carrier with clean water.
  • The last step is to let try hard sided carrier dry completely under the sun.


Cleaning a soft-sided carrier:


  • For cleaning a soft-sided carrier, it is a good idea to dip it in a bathtub full of warm soapy water. If you don’t have a bathtub, take a sponge and dip it into a warm soap-water mixture. Then use it to wipe off the interior of the carrier thoroughly. Hard or scented soap may cause irritation to your cat’s skin and nose. So, use an unscented mild soap or detergent for this.
  • If your cat had an accident, use a pet disinfectant or bleach water solution and spray it over the carrier. leave it on the carrier for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
  • After that, you need to wash the carrier inside and out properly with clean water and let it get dry under the sun.


Cleaning collars and leashes:


If your cat has a nylon or leather made collar or leash, you may have to clean them too. Collars often get stained with urine, dirt or skin oil and start to spread bad odor. Cats also pee on their leash by accident. So, you need to clean both of these for a healthier cat.

  • First, take off the ID tag from the collar and manually wash the collar and leash with warm-soapy water or gentle detergent. Use unscented and mild soap for the similar reason stated above. If the collar or leash is stained, use a truth brush to get rid of the stain mark.
  • If the collar is nylon made, you can also clean it inside the washing machine. Just make sure it is completely dried before using again.
  • If the collar and leash are made of leather, then wash them with hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly with clean water. After that, dry them flat properly. It is better if you can rub some leather shoe oil or baseball glove oil on them. It will make them more appealing and shiny.
  • If you see any sign of fraying or fraction on the leash or collar, discard them immediately. You should be better safe than sorry. Make sure the collar is fitting perfectly around your cat’s neck too.


How to clean a fabric cat carrier:


  • The first thing you need to do is spot clean the fabric cat carrier.
  • The next thing to do is remove every item from the cat carrier. Then, pre-wet the carrier for with clean water and soap mixture. It makes the dirt less resistant and easier to clean.
  • Then you need to spray the whole fabric carrier with a detergent. I recommend using Simple green. It is unscented and doesn’t cause irritation to cat’s skin. After spraying the detergent, wait for some time and let the detergent works its magic.
  • Now it’s time to scrub the whole carrier with a brush.
  • The last step is to rinse the whole fabric cat carrier thoroughly with clean water and let it dry completely under the sun.

How to clean urine from cat carrier?


Use a baking soda and vinegar mixture:


First, clean the urine stained area with clean water as much as you can. Then you need to make a solution of 1/3rd white vinegar and 2/3rd water with soap. Use this solution to wipe off the urine-soaked area with a clean rag. Repeat this process for a couple of times. The last step is to sprinkle a little amount of baking soda on the area and vacuum it up after about 24 hours.


Using peroxide:


Some people had success cleaning a urine-soaked area with peroxide. I didn’t have used this method personally though. I think this process can be a bit tricky and may discolor the carrier. peroxide contains some chemical elements which break down the urine and removes the stain as well as odor. if you want to use this method, I’ll suggest using a very little amount of peroxide when starting. Apply it to the urine stained area and let it dry. Then wash with warm water thoroughly and let it dry under the sun.


Using Listerine Mouthwash:


Many people claimed that this method works wonder to remove urine stain and odor. All you need to do is add few drops of mouthwash to a water-vinegar solution or to the peroxide. You can also use it with warm water only and apply to the urine soaked area. Listerine mouthwash contains little amount of alcohol which can be the reason for its magic work.

Using Nature’s Miracle Urine Destroyer:

This is by far my most favorite method to clean cat urine from not only cat carrier but from all types of surface such as carpet, mattress, bed etc. nature’s miracle urine destroyer is specifically manufactured for removing urine stain and odor, feces odor, vomit stain and other organic dirt from the surface.


The urine destroyer is made from a bacteria-based formula which when in contact with biomaterial, produces enzymes. Thus, it cleans urine stains and odor as well as refresh it with a citrus scent. You can apply it to carpet, bed, furniture, hard surface and even on fabrics. This ready to use cleaner saves a ton of my time when cleaning cat urine from the carrier.


Click here to check out the latest price on Amazon.

My Favorite Pet Safe Disinfectant:

It is extremely important to use a decent quality disinfectant when you are cleaning a cat carrier. A cat carrier generally tends to carry a thousand types of germs, bacteria, and virus which you can’t get rid of completely with only soap and water. That’s why the final touch of cleaning a cat carrier should always be using a disinfectant.


Now, I know I have described a way to make a DIY homemade disinfectant with bleach and water solution. But frankly, it doesn’t work as effectively as a commercial pet-safe disinfectant. And for cleaning my cat carriers, I always use Alpha tech’s pet disinfectant.


I have used quite a lot of pet disinfectant and found Alpha tech’s pet disinfectant to be the most effective at removing germs from the carrier. I love it because-


  • It is not only a disinfectant but also a deodorized as well as spectrum germicidal cleaner.
  • It is highly effective against fungi, virus, and bacteria.
  • The disinfectant is non-corrosive and doesn’t leave any stain on the surface.
  • You don’t need to rinse after using.
  • Has a fresh wintergreen scent which refreshes the carrier too.


This disinfectant doesn’t cost much and a single bottle last very long time for me. Click here if you want to check the latest price on Amazon.


So, this is my foolproof guide on how to clean a cat carrier. I hope the guide helps you to clean your cat carrier properly after every time use. Do not hesitate to comment below if you have any question. Happy cat keeping!




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