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Using a handheld vacuum for cat litter has been a game-changer for me.
No matter what kind of litter you use, it’s going to get tracked around the house and your best defense is keeping the area near the litter box nice and clean. While a regular upright vacuum can do the trick it’s a bit like hammering a nail with a sledgehammer.
Yeah, it can get the job done but there’s an easier way.
I also like the idea of keeping litter away from my main vacuum, since it’s the one that gets pushed all around the house. After all, your cat is kicking litter out after they use the box. That means the litter is already…
You get the idea.
This is where the handheld vacuum cleaner comes in!
We keep ours right next to the litter box and it takes about 60 seconds to give the litter area a quick clean up. On the other hand, we keep our upright vacuum in the closet so pulling it out, plugging it in, and lugging it over is kind of a process.
I’ve put together my top 5 picks for the best handheld vacuum cleaner specifically for litter.
Let’s get into it!
How We Selected The Best Handheld Vacuum for Cat Litter
We’re not just looking for any handheld vacuum. We want one that works specifically with litter, will last for years, and isn’t going to break the bank.
Here’s a breakdown of our criteria.
Our top three vacuums have at least a 4.5 star average on Amazon at the time of writing. While reviews aren’t a perfect metric (and not everyone leaving a review is using the vacuum for cat litter) it’s a good start and an important metric.
Handheld and Cordless
We’re only looking at vacuums that are both handheld and cordless. In order to keep your litter box area clean, we want everything to be as simple as possible- part of that means not having to deal with cords. All of our top five selections are both cordless and handheld.
We’re subscribers of the “buy nice or buy twice” mentality but we still don’t see any reason to pay more than we have to. We’re making sure our selected vacuums have a competitive price and we’ve also made sure to include a budget option on the list.
We made sure to select vacuums that actually include reviews from cat owners that used the vacuum for cat litter. I’ve also got the vacuum that I personally use for my messy little cat at the top of the list.
Best Overall: VacLife Handheld Vacuum (Cordless)
- Awesome reviews on Amazon with a long list of happy customers (and video testimonials)
- Good battery life
- It’s what I use to clean up litter
- Some reviews claim the suction is limited, but I’ve had no problems vacuuming litter
This product from VacLife is easily my best overall pick. It’s got a clean design, great reviews from dozens (and dozens) of cat owners that have used the product specifically for litter and the price is just right.
VacLife appears to be one of the many e-commerce brands that doesn’t actually try to get space in big box stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond. Instead, these brands focus on getting sales through Amazon and end up saving a lot by not having to pay for additional shipping to hundreds of locations.
Why should you care about all that?
Because in my experience, these brands make some great products! They just don’t have the same overhead as a Black and Decker type brand would. That’s why this was my first buy from Amazon and I couldn’t be happier with the product.
One of the biggest concerns with a cordless vacuum is the battery. While cordless is great, if your battery stops working after a few weeks of use it’s simply not worth it.
I searched the Amazon reviews for the word “battery” and there aren’t any negative reviews that are battery specific.
That’s a good sign. I can also report that I’ve had my vacuum for 4 months with use every other day and no issue.
This VacLife product also has a few extensions that you can add on. The most useful is the crevice extension which can be great at snagging litter between the wall and litter box.
The hose extension could be handy too if you’re dealing with achy knees or back and want to limit how much bending your do while still getting the benefits of a light handheld. Speaking of light, this vacuum weighs just under 2 pounds.
Finally, this vacuum features a stainless steel reusable filter. That’s a huge cost saving over time and there’s no extra filter to buy. You simply pull out the filter, give it a quick scrub and you’re good to know.
If you’re looking for the best balance of quality and value, the VacLife handheld is your best bet. You can click here to see today’s price on Amazon.
Runner Up: Oraimo Handheld Vacuum
- Effectively removes pet hair, dust, and dirt from stairs or sofa
- Bright LED lights for cleaning at night
- Multiple attachments
- According to some customer reviews, suction power should be stronger
The Oraimo Handheld Vacuum enables super suction to remove your cat’s hair, as well as all the dust and dirt in your entire house.
It features bright LED lights to help you clean in dark corners or during night. This vacuum has multiple attachments:
- A brush tool for cleaning keyboards
- A crevice nozzle for hard-to-reach corners
- A flexible hose for car floor mats
It also comes with a 2-in-1 pet hair brush and can prevent hair from tangling. The Oraimo Handheld Vacuum has a 2200mAh*4 detachable battery.
It features a double filter which can efficiently block most of the dust around your house. Furthermore, this vacuum comes with two replaceable HEPA filters which are washable.
Best Money Can Buy: HONITURE Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
- Best option if you want an all-purpose vacuum that’s also great a cleaning up cat litter
- Advanced smart touchscreen
- A fully sealed 7-stage filtration system with multi-cone, stainless steel, sponge and HEPA filter
- If you just want to vacuum litter, it may be too much
HONITURE Cordless Vacuum Cleaner has a strong suction of 20 Kpa – 33 Kpa. This makes it easy for this vacuum to clear dust and debris from a cat litter.
This product isn’t loud and has a longer lifespan than an average vacuum cleaner. It features the latest LCD smart sensor panel.
It offers an outstanding filtrating effect and has an option for aromatherapy tablet devices. You can also add a few drops of some fragrance you like and enjoy a nice and fresh smell for a long time!
A soft and hard bristle brush cleans the pet hair and particles on the floor or carpet without scratching.
I really like this vacuum cleaner and it can do a lot more than just pick up cat litter. However, if you’re looking just for a vacuum to clean your cat litter, this may be just too much for you.
Best For Hair and Litter: BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser
✅ Motorized brush tool and lithium ion battery
✅ Large, easy to empty dirt bin
✅ Triple level filtration to help improve cleaning performance
- Perfect for vacuuming litter and dealing with shedding pets
- Awesome extensions for each purpose
- Need to buy additional filters
All the vacuums on this list can be effective for cleaning up both pet hair and litter. However, most folks probably don’t want to mix their litter vacuum with something they’d use in their bedroom.
Most of the handheld vacuums we’ve selected so far have had that in mind. But it can be great to have a vacuum that can do both. Especially if you’re prepared to change out the extension. In other words, you’ll want one extension for your litter section and other for your pet hair.
Finally, it may make sense to use the same handheld for pet beds and a litter area. There’s a pretty good chance your dog isn’t going to mind at all!
So if you’re looking for a great litter and hair combo vacuum you can’t go wrong with this product from Bissell.
It’s all about the extensions with this one. First, you’ve got the motorized brush that’s specifically designed to loosen up cat hair on upholstery. And it honestly works pretty well. While some of these extensions and gadgets seem like hype, this is the vacuum my sister uses with her German Shepherd.
And no matter how long your cat’s hair, that German Shepherd (his name is Cricket) is going to outshed your kitty!
Then there’s the crevice extension. This is perfect for cat litter and if you’re going for mixed-use this can be your dedicated litter extension.
Overall, this handheld vacuum is a great option for those with dogs and cats who want to clean up litter while trying to keep up with hair in their house or car. You can check today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Since posting this guide to the best handheld vacuums for cat litter we’ve gotten quite a few questions! We’ve been answering them individually as they come in but also wanted to put together a quick FAQ section for anyone that’s interested.
Let’s get into it!
Q: Does cat litter ruin vacuums?
As long as you don’t try to clean massive amounts of litter at once, your vacuum isn’t at any risk of being ruined. Try to keep with litter spills daily so you never have to put your vacuum under too much stress and risk damage.
Q: Can I vacuum my cat?
While you can vacuum your cat to try and get a headstart on shedding, not every cat will tolerate it. Make sure your cat is okay with being vacuumed (they’ll let you know by running away) and try a lower-powered option to start.
Q: Should I care about how many watts a handheld vacuum is?
Watts can be a useful way to compare and understand the power of a vacuum. It’s not perfect since it depends on the efficiency of the individual motor but overall a vacuum with higher watts is more powerful. Most full size vacuums are around 1,000 watts while smaller handheld vacuums are about 250 watts.
Q: Will these handheld vacuums work for cat hair, too?
Yes, all our top 5 picks will work at removing cat hair and our number 5 pick is actually purpose-built to remove pet hair of all kinds. That being said, make sure you consider the sanitation aspect of using the same vacuum for split litter and say your living room couch.
Every vacuum on this list has an extension to make this easier and you can of course clean it.
What Do You Think?
Do you agree with our number pick?
Did we miss a handheld vacuum that does a great job with cat litter?
Let us know about it!