BEST VACUUM FOR CAT LITTER 2018Are you a cat person who appreciates a clean house and the best gadgets to keep it that way? For most households with a cat there is the question of how to maintain the litter box situation. There’s the never-ending trail of cat litter debris that gets tracked in and out of the box by fur and feet. The effort of sweeping with a broom and dustpan gets old very fast: You could be doing all this other fun stuff, like sitting on the couch cuddling with your pets, preparing catnip, or playing with Princess and the most recent addition to her toy box.

Let’s talk about the seven best vacuums for cat litter. These are not just ordinary vacuums and dust busters. These machines keep the cat owner’s lifestyle in mind. They will save your carpets, your rugs, your linoleum, your tiles and your hardwood floors alike. These vacuums have the tenacity and the endurance to get the job done over and over again. These brands suck up every last grain of clay litter and keep it in the chamber while leveling up their filter game.

Here is a chart to help you pick the right make and model for your household:

Product NameWeight (Pounds) / Size Dimensions (Inches)Rated Power (Watts)Cord Length or Battery TypeDirt Cup Capacity (Quarts) 
Bissell Cleanview Bagless Upright Vacuum 9595615 pounds / 12.5 x 13.5 x 44 inches1200W25 foot cord2.11 quarts Check Price
Shark Rocket TruePet Vacuum HV3228.6 pounds / 47.2 x 13.4 x 102 inches500W30 foot cord0.91 quarts Check Price
Dyson Ball Animal Upright Vacuum UP1317 pounds / 15.4 x 13.4 x 42.4 inches1400W30 foot cord2.2 quarts Check Price
Dibea SC4588 2-in-1 Stick Vacuum Cleaner4.6 pounds / 39.5 x 18.5 x 6.7 inches 600W19.7 foot cord1.06 quarts Check Price
Shark Navigator Deluxe Upright Vacuum NV4215 pounds / 11.4 x 11.8 x 45.5 inches 1200W25 foot cord1 quart Check Price
Holife Cordless Handheld Vacuum3.27 pounds / 7.48 x 17.13 x 6.1 inches85-90WRechargeble lithium ion battery0.63 quarts Check Price
Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Upright Vacuum NV501
Editor's Choice
15.5 pounds / 45.7 x 12.1 x 12.2 inches1200W30 foot cord1.3 quarts Check Price

Bissell Cleanview Bagless Upright Vacuum – The Best Vacuum Cleaner to Get it Done the First Time

Bissell Cleanview Bagless Upright Vacuum review
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This is a strong, multi-use household vacuum equipped with OnePass Technology (™). Bissell understands the frustration of vacuuming one spot over and over again with minimal results. This technology’s goal is to create suction consistent and powerful enough to get the job done quickly and in one go so you can spend less time cleaning and more time with your kitties. Powerful, multi cyclonic suction ensures that once the dust is in the vacuum, it stays inside, and the air expelled from the vacuum is clean and healthy for you and your cats to breathe. A full set of attachment tools makes picking up litter and debris trapped in corners, on stairs and in high, hard to reach places a cinch. The dirt tank empties easily with the touch of a button. There are multiple levels of filtration, and all filters can be washed and replaced easily.

Bissell’s Turbo Brush Tool features a fully motorized brush attachment for the end of the hose, meaning that every soft surface is penetrated deeply so that litter debris and other dust caught deep within carpet and furniture fibers are efficiently lifted out and captured. Other standard attachments include a crevice tool, a dusting brush and an extension wand.

  • OnePass Technology(™) cleans on the first pass
  • Turbo Brush Tool with motorized brush
  • Assembles in 5 minutes
  • Powerful suction adaptable for high carpet or wood floors
  • Easy-empty, translucent tank so you can see the results of each pass
  • Shorter power cord than some competitors
  • Heavier, harder to carry up stairs

Shark Rocket TruePet Vacuum HV322 – A Cat Home Cleaner with All the Needs of Pet People in Mind

Shark Rocket TruePet Vacuum HV322 review
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For those with limited mobility or lots of stairs to climb, this is one of the lightest upright vacuums on the market. When you’re vacuuming the open spaces with the stick option, detach the handheld option to complete the job in corners and near ceilings.

The TruePet features technology like Hard Floor Hero (™) to offer superior bare floor cleaning: Litter and stuck-on debris are picked up on one swipe. Other pet-specific features include the Pet Multi-Tool to minimize the number of extra add-ons while still capturing embedded cat hair on any surface, hard or soft. Don’t worry about getting caught blind in dark corners; bright LED lights help you spot all the hidden bits of litter and debris throughout your home’s corners.

Compared to older Shark Rocket models, the new and improved dust cup offers two times the capacity, meaning you’ll have to empty it half as often. In response to age old complaints about hefting bulky vacuums around angles, you’ll be pleased to try the TruePet’s Advanced Swivel Steering. You can make turns around furniture corners with just a flick of the wrist!

  • One of the lightest upright options on the market
  • 2-in-1 option for versatility
  • LED lights
  • Advanced Swivel Steering
  • Improved capacity dust cup
  • Pet Multi-Tool considers the needs specific to cat owners and gets the job done without a whole set of attachments to keep track of
  • Not powerful enough for thick carpeting
  • Air is vented out the back where you stand, which can be uncomfortable to endure

Dyson Ball Animal Upright – The Best Industry-Leading Asthma and Allergy Innovation

Dyson Ball Animal Upright review
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We love the innovative ball-based steering mechanism on this traditional push vacuum. Featuring Ball Technology (™), this is one of the most versatile, adaptable candidates for getting a push vacuum into hard to reach places. This vacuum has the range of motion inspired by the ball-and-socket shoulder joint, allowing you to approach from every degree and angle. You won’t have to awkwardly use your whole body to lift and heft the vacuum into the right angle every time you want to steer gracefully. Now it’s possible with just a flick of the wrist.

No longer will you need to risk breathing in a cloud of dust fussing with the dust chamber. Just hit a button and the chamber empties. This model has undergone some of the most stringent product testing we have seen, including 663 individual tests lasting over 12,800 hours for durability and performance. These tests were necessary to stand behind what is one of the most generous, bold warranties we have seen on the market: The Dyson Ball has been engineered precisely to last 10 years under sustained, high-impact use!

It is difficult living with asthma or other allergies. Breathing issues can make mundane, daily activities like vacuuming even more difficult. To demonstrate its commitment to improving the lives of allergy sufferers where they can, Dyson has gone the extra mile: This vacuum is certified to be asthma and allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. In fact, the company claims that “no other machine expels cleaner air.”

For extensions, Dyson keeps thing simple while streamlining each extension’s effectiveness. The wand and hose release instantaneously with one action. The wand is long and makes cleaning up high easy. It can reach corners of standard ceiling heights. There is a U-bend extension that allows you to reach the tops of doors and other awkward places where your more acrobatic cats have balanced.

Finally, the official product video for the Ball Animal boasts the “strongest suction of any vacuum on the market,” and we concur! This product can suck the carpet right off the floor! That means that no cat litter particles in even your deepest shag carpet will escape the clutches of this vacuum. Additional engineering ensures that once dust and particles go in, they do not come back out again. They are “sealed in,” so you won’t have to keep running back over a surface. Radial Root Cyclone Technology (™) also makes sure that what’s inside the vacuum stays inside, and does not drift back out.

  • Amongst the highest suction power on the market
  • Rides on Ball Technology (™), a specialized steering mechanism
  • Certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
  • Unique and streamlined extensions
  • Heavier push style could be difficult to carry up and down stairs
  • Higher cost

Dibea SC4588 2-in-1 Stick Vacuum Cleaner – The Best HEPA Filtration System and Apartment-Friendly Power Cleaner

Dibea SC4588 2-in-1 Stick Vacuum Cleaner review
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This is a lightweight option ideal for homes with multiple floors. It is one of the most compact vacuums, perfect for small homes and apartments. Use the stick option to push the device across floors to swiftly eradicate kibble crumbs, cat hair, dust and litter pieces. Remove the device from the push stick to use the handheld option to get into all the small, hard to reach areas underneath furniture. It comes equipped with LED front lights for cleaning dark areas.

The removable dirt cup is easy to empty and small enough to clean in a sink. The advanced cyclone HEPA filtration system keeps dust away from the motor and minimizes bacteria and allergens. You’ll find that all vacuums come with some form of filter, but not all of them are created equal. Some filters work minimally, but a HEPA filtration system ensures that the air coming out of the vacuum is odorless, clean and breathable. This is especially important for those with allergies or sinus problems.

“You’ll love how easy it is to store this device. Although it is small and narrow, it stands up easily on its own so you won’t have to lean it against a wall like you would with brooms and dust pans.”

Swivel steering makes navigating tight corners easy with the push stick. A suction adjustment button is available to adjust to different surfaces. The tube and vacuuming head detach easily.

  • LED front lights to clean dark areas
  • 2-in-1 option: handheld or push stick
  • Lightweight, easily transportable
  • Ideal for marble, tile, and hardwood floors
  • Nonslip handle
  • No-brushroll design prevents pet hair from clogging the brushes
  • Will not scratch hardwood floors
  • Not powerful enough to handle thicker carpets and rugs
  • Short 1-year warranty
  • Loud for its size
  • Handle is short for taller people

Shark Navigator Deluxe Upright Vacuum NV42 – Long Lasting Suction Technology

Shark Navigator Deluxe Upright Vacuum NV42 review
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Keeping your home’s cat litter box area clean is a demanding job suited for the Navigator’s Never Loses Suction Technology (™). We’ve all had experiences with vacuums that begin with powerful suction and that capacity dwindles over time. Shark promises otherwise. The large capacity cup makes this product great for multiple cat households or large homes where extended cleaning sessions are necessary without needing to stop and empty the dust cup every 10 minutes. Combine the extra-long, stretchy wand and hose to reach upwards to 10 feet to get those pesky high up areas. Brushroll Shutoff is another unique feature of the Navigator: Switch the button to seamlessly transition from heavy duty carpet-setting to gentle hardwood floor and smooth surface options.

Known to attract devoted fans in the pet-owning world, this vacuum is a “beast” capable of handling some of the worst messes imaginable on every surface under the sun: rugs, bath mats, couches, toilets, and more. Users brag about its ability to pull out cat hair, dog hair, and other hairs from every soft surface they tested it on! For your cat’s tender ears, the device is also relatively quiet. When you take it out of the box, it takes only several seconds to assemble.

Confirmed by people in the professional house cleaning business, the seven – yes SEVEN – attachments that come with this vacuum make getting into every imaginable place a breeze. The company was really thinking carefully when they came up with the varying widths and lengths for hose attachments knowing the diverse nature of our homes and habits. You will not be left wondering why attachment X won’t fit into hole Y because you have every tool in the toolbox here.

  • Enduring, powerful suction for all surfaces including thick carpeting
  • Equipped with a crevice tool, dusting brush and wide pet upholstery tool
  • Solid, high-quality plastic construction
  • Washable filter
  • No swivel steering
  • Heavy and bulky

Holife Cordless Handheld Vacuum – The Best Handheld Vacuum for Cat Litter and Noise-Sensitive Kitty Ears

Holife Cordless Handheld Vacuum review
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When you think of a cordless vacuum, you may think you’re going to have to compromise on functionality, efficiency, and power. This may be one of the few cordless handheld vacuums for cat litter that throws those ideas out the window, because this thing is a beast.

Those with smaller homes and apartments, take heed. Likewise, those who just don’t want the bulk and trouble of a large, cumbersome device that demands constant winding and unwinding of a long extension cord, listen up! Weaker competitors stay charged long enough to clean for an average of around 15 minutes. The Holife Cordless Handheld stays charged long enough for 30 minutes of straight cleaning. You’ll also enjoy a faster than average lithium battery recharge time.

Some cats are very sensitive to noise. These kitties appreciate when you don’t blow their little ears off every cleaning session. Yet another perk of a small cordless vacuum is that they make significantly less noise than larger push vacuums. Do you travel with your cat? A cordless vacuum is your best bet to take care of stray cat hair in your car and any litter that falls out of the travel litter box.

  • More powerful and enduring than most cordless vacuums
  • Fast recharge time
  • 30 minutes of run time
  • Less noise
  • Washable filter
  • Translucent dirt cup allows you to see the dirt level so you know when to empty it
  • Can handle liquids
  • Comes with 3 attachments including crevice tool and different sized brushes
  • Comes with 4 environmentally-friendly replacement filters
  • No wall mount option
  • Cannot be used on carpets

Shark Rotator Professional Vacuum NV501 – One of the Most Powerful Vacuum Cleaners on the Market to Blast Away Litter

Shark Rotator Professional Vacuum NV501 review
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The lift-away vacuum option is a valuable design addition to the best vacuum cleaners for cat litter. It combines the portability of a handheld while retaining the power of the larger, less mobile vacuums. You’ll want to begin vacuuming cat litter that’s scattered across the open surface of your floors. When you’re done with the main areas, simply press a button, and lift the barrel shaped body of the vacuum off of its wheels and carry it with you while you use the long, flexible tube and extendable wand to reach high and hard to reach areas.

You can’t go wrong with brands that specifically consider pet owners and their unique needs for extreme performance. The Rotator Professional boasts a special Premium Pet Power Brush to deep clean cat dander and litter from any surface, hard or soft.

Another standout innovation is the Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology + a HEPA filter. In addition to the industry standard HEPA filter, this feature promises to trap 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum! Sometimes, when we’re vacuuming with a lower quality device, we feel like we’re stirring up dust just to breathe it in, rather than efficiently collecting it in a sealed chamber where it belongs. Allergy sufferers and health conscious people should take note of this impeccable attention to detail.

  • Lift Away Technology removable canister for easy of movement
  • HEPA filter + Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology
  • LED lights to clean in dark places
  • Advanced Swivel Steering
  • XL capacity dust cup
  • Premium Pet Power Brush
  • 5-year warranty
  • Heavy, although it is compact
  • Stiff main hose
  • Customers pay shipping to replace defective parts under warranty
  • White color may fade or turn dull over time


These days, vacuums come in all sizes, weights, and styles to suit any home layout and physical ability. If you live in a house with 3 floors and 2 flights of stairs and there are litter boxes on all 3 floors, you may want to take vacuum weight and dimensions into consideration so you don’t feel like you’re breaking your back every time you heft your device from floor to floor. You may have to compromise on things like vacuum power and efficiency in favor of a lighter weight model. On the other hand, a device that is both lightweight and of maximum power and efficiency might come with a higher price tag.


Tools and Features for Vacuuming in Awkward, Hard to Reach Places

Cats are known to get into the darndest places. Where the kitties go, so does a steady, cumulative trail of shedded fur, bits of cat litter and dust particles that get caught in their fur. You’ll need vacuum access to the deepest corners, the tops of shelves, under stairs, in sliding door crevices, between floor tiles, behind furniture, and atop the refrigerator. Add that to the infinite surfaces that fill any home: carpets and rugs of varying thicknesses, hardwood floors, laminate, glass, stone, concrete, and more.

The standard vacuum brushes necessary to pull debris out of carpeting have been known to get quite clogged by the accumulation of stray animal fur and human hair that tangles up in the rollers and eventually keeps the brushes from spinning until you dislodge them. Luckily, some manufacturers are now producing vacuum brushes that remedy this issue. When you do your shopping, make sure to consider these!

While most vacuums come with an extension cord of at least 25-30 feet, sometimes even that is not long enough. Dealing with a cord tends to make vacuuming a more time consuming project: You’ve got to get the cord out, plug it in, keep it from tangling while you’re vacuuming, and then unplug and wind the cord when you are done. Although a button for fast-winding the cord is a standard feature on most products these days, sometimes the freedom of a handheld, cordless, rechargeable device is best for your unique situation. Rechargeable cordless vacuums tend to have lower sucking power, but they make instant, spontaneous clean up fast and easy, and you’re more likely to do it multiple times a day rather than waiting for the mess to get really bad before setting time aside to vacuum.

Sucking Power Sufficient to Lift Cat Litter Particles Over Time

Cat litter is made of clay, and clay is heavy. The demands of cleaning up cat litter and fur stuck to furniture are so challenging that there are products on the market that are geared specifically toward the maintenance of homes with pets. Especially if you’ve got multiple pets, the thing that separates you as a consumer from people without pets (poor souls!) is that you are probably vacuuming every single day, or thereabouts. Look at the wattage of the product to determine the power.

“Consider a device that runs 1400 watts if you’re looking for the most powerful option on the market. A smaller handheld device is going to be around 500 watts.”

You need a product that is built to last. Vacuum manufacturers know this, and they are taking your needs into consideration when writing their warranties. You’ll want to look for at least a 5-year warranty. A 10-year warranty is possible on some higher end products like the Dyson Ball Animal Upright Vacuum.

Filter Technology

HEPA filters are standard features in most vacuums. This is the highest standard for filter technology on the market, and it ensures that bacteria and allergens remain inside the machine once vacuumed instead of escaping back out into the air. Make sure that any product you purchase specifies at least a HEPA filter, if not a more advanced improvement to it.


Your cats mean everything to you, and keeping a clean and safe home for the entire family is a priority. The litter box is a necessity for keeping cats healthy and happy indoors; however they can be messy, with stray bits of litter following Fluffy on her way in and out. We also inevitably create litter dust and debris every time we clean the box. That dust and debris ends up on our floors, embedded in our carpets, atop our furniture and in the most remote and darkest corners of our homes.

Some vacuum cleaner models are bulkier and heavier, but they are effective, powerful, full of advanced features, and long lasting. Other models are quiet, lightweight, simple and handheld to offer just enough suction and efficiency for a modest abode. Whether your home is large, carpeted and spacious or small with easy-to-clean surfaces, rest assured that you can find the best vacuum for cat litter to suit your needs.

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