Best Vacuum for Cat Hair and Litter

Best Vacuum for Cat Hair and Litter – The best handheld vacuum for picking up cat litter will depend on your needs, but generally, a vacuum that is light in weight, has powerful suction, and has good filtration will be a great choice of product. Choose any of the products I have reviewed and recommended in this list, or use my buying guide to source some excellent products on your own.

If you have a kitty that loves to kick litter out of their tray, I would certainly recommend purchasing a handheld vacuum. They make cleaning up the mess so much easier and make this tiresome job way less hard work. Go on, you can thank me later.


Even though cats themselves can be very hygienic and almost too clean sometimes, even cats are prone to creating messes that simply require a vacuum cleaner.

Vacuum cleaners are fantastic options for cleaning up cat litter scattered throughout your floors or carpets.

1.LG Cordzero A9

The convenience of having a handstick that can both vacuum and mop is immense, and the best part about LG’s Power Drive Mop attachment is it allows you to do both at the same time – it sucks in from the front and spits out water from the back.

And while some hard, caked-in dirt might require some elbow grease to get them off your hard floors, we found the LG A9 Kompressor capable of handling most tasks except for the hardiest of grime.

2.Armor All, AA255

The ArmorAll AA255 is specifically designed to clean the interior of your car. Unlike many of the best shop vacs, it has no wheels, and the tank has a capacity of only 2.5 gallons. It handles both wet and dry pickup and comes with an assortment of attachments despite its small size. For large messes, though, you’ll have trouble cleaning up everything with this vacuum.

As with all the shop vacuums we reviewed, we tested the ArmorAll with a mix of screws and mulch for dry pickup. With a smaller shop vac designed for car use, you can’t expect the performance of large and expensive shop vacuums, so we weren’t surprised that this wasn’t the most powerful vacuum we tested.

3.ThisWorx Car

If you need a light-duty handheld vacuum cleaner, you might consider the ThisWorx 12V. There are many styles, varieties, and price points for a car vacuum, so it’s worth doing some research before you buy.

The ThisWorx car vacuum functions as its name implies (it works), but is it the best car vacuum for your vehicle? We tested this vacuum for suction power, maneuverability, ease of maintenance, and versatility to determine its strengths and drawbacks.

4.BLACK+DECKER dustbuster

The Black+Decker dustbuster CHV1410L is a cordless handheld vacuum. As it’s meant for spot-cleaning around the home, it’s very portable and easy-to-store, so you can quickly tackle small spills or messes without the hassle of dragging out a heavy upright vacuum.

It does an outstanding job of cleaning up debris on bare floors like a kitchen, and its small size makes it a suitable choice for tackling dirt spills in your car. On the downside, it has a short battery life and it can take up to four hours for it to fully recharge, which is disappointing. It also has a small dirt compartment, but that’s to be expected with a simple handheld vacuum.

5.BISSELL Pet Hair

The BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Plus is an upright vacuum meant for cleaning up pet hair. If your pet sheds a lot, this vacuum can easily tackle hair on low and high-pile carpet. It’s able to pick up most small and large debris on these surfaces too, and it comes with a crevice tool with an LED light to help you clean dark and difficult-to-reach places more efficiently.

However, it struggles a bit more to clean hair as well as debris on bare floors, and it doesn’t have a long range either, which can make it a little bit more difficult to clean stairs. It’s also somewhat difficult to maintain and there are frequent recurring costs, depending on how often you use your vacuum. That being said, it’s still very good for tackling pet hair, and you can even use a unique Febreze-scented pre-motor vacuum filter in it, which is advertised to help eliminate odors as you clean, although we don’t currently test for this.

Best Vacuum for Cat Hair and Litter – BUYER’S GUIDE


As with everything, there is a huge price range for handheld vacuums. The cheapest products start at around $30, but they can easily reach up to $100 for high-end models.

Therefore, the easiest way to start narrowing down products is by deciding what price you can afford. It doesn’t always follow that the best products are the most expensive, so make sure you check out the other factors on this list and don’t just assume that the bigger the price tag, the better the vacuum.

Suction Power

Suction power is one of the most important considerations when finding the best handheld vacuum for picking up cat litter. Pieces of litter are heavier than normal household dust, so for the vacuum to do a good job, it needs to have high suction.

For a really good clean, look for a battery voltage of at least 14V, and the higher, the better. However, voltages of 10V will still provide a decent clean around your cat’s litter tray.

You’ll also want to make sure that your vacuum has a lithium ion battery. When it comes to rechargeable batteries, they do not last forever and will eventually need to be replaced. However, lithium batteries offer up to 1,000 cycles before they start to lose quality, which helps improve the vacuum’s performance and means high suction power is maintained for longer.

Filter design also has a lot to do with suction, so bear this in mind too. A clogged filter will drastically reduce the suction power, even if there is a powerful battery inside. Look out for vacuums that have centrifugal action to help separate the dust and air to keep the filter clean. The more advanced the filtration system, the better your vacuum will perform, especially over time.

Charging Time & Run Time

If you are looking for a cordless model, which I would highly recommend as these vacuums can easily be transported and used anywhere around the home, you need to consider the charging time and run time.

How quickly the battery reaches full charge depends on its capacity and its strength. If you’re only planning on using the vacuum once each day for a quick clean between whole house vacuums, charge time is not as important as no product will take over 24 hours to charge. However, if you will be using it multiple times throughout the day, opt for a vacuum with a quick charge time so that it’s always ready for when you want to use it.

Run time is also important. Some high power vacuums only last for 10 minutes, which is great for my needs! However, if you have multiple cats or want to clean multiple areas in your home at once, finding a vacuum with a longer run time is best. This category totally depends on your individual needs.


Weight is also an important consideration, especially if you have weak wrists. The lighter the vacuum, the more easily you will find cleaning.

However, having a lightweight machine will also generally see the capacity decrease. Thus, if you want a vacuum that can hold a lot of debris and dirt before needing to be emptied, opt for a slightly heavier product that has a larger dirt bin. Again, there’s no right or wrong choice here, just what works best for your needs.


I’d also advise you to look out for a vacuum that comes with multiple attachments. This will make cleaning on multiple surfaces or in hidden nooks and crannies a lot easier.

At the bare minimum, I’d look for a vacuum with a crevice tool so that you can easily get into tight corners and spaces, and a brush tool to help shift stubborn dirt and dust that is trapped in fabrics. This is essential if you have your litter tray on carpeted floor, and less important for use on hard floors. However, I’d still get a vacuum with these attachments as you never know when they may come in handy.

Some hoovers, such as the BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Handheld Vacuum, have pivoting nozzles too, which further help you to get into tight spots and offer more cleaning versatility.

Ease of Cleaning

You should also consider how easy the handheld vacuum is to clean. This is especially important for handheld vacuums that will be cleaning up cat litter, as litter can be smelly.

Modern vacuums are commonly bagless, which is great for vacuums for cleaning up after your pet as you can easily tip out the debris and wipe the plastic clean. Some vacuums also have a removable bin so you can easily give the vacuum a deep clean. If you have allergies, look for a vacuum that can easily be emptied with the click of a button so you don’t have to come into contact with any dirt at all.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the best handheld vacuum for cat litter?

A: In my opinion, the best handheld vacuum for picking up cat litter is the BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Handheld Vacuum. It has super strong suction, a fade-free battery, and cyclonic action to separate dirt from the air. It’s also easy to use anywhere due to its cordless and lightweight design, and the pivoting nozzle makes cleaning hard-to-reach places easy!

Q: Are pet vacuums worth it?

A: If your cat is constantly making a mess around their litter tray, then yes, pet vacuums are undoubtedly worth it. It is also worth buying a larger litter tray with higher sides and a litter mat to help contain the mess. Pet vacuums are also great for collecting cat hair too.

Q: Are bagless handheld vacuums better than bagged vacuums?

A: Bagless handheld vacuums are generally better than bagged vacuums as the bins have a larger capacity and are easier to clean. To catch all the dirt and dust, bagless vacuums should have a filter.

Q: Will cat litter harm my vacuum?

A: Cat litter won’t harm vacuums as long as you aren’t hoovering up excessive amounts, as the clay and dust could damage the filter and mechanical components. Picking up spilled litter from around the tray should be completely safe.

Q: How do you clean cat litter off the floor?

A: The easiest way to clean cat litter off the floor is by vacuuming up the litter and dust particles. If you have a hard floor, you may wish to follow by wiping the floor with cleaning wipes or washing it using a mop and bucket.

Q: Why does my cat kick litter out for their litter box?

A: It is instinctive for cats to try and cover up their deposits, and can they get enthusiastic about it. This is when litter tends to end up on the floor outside of the litter tray.


However, litter trays and bathroom accidents are up there with being one of the worst things about having a cat, especially if you have a messy cat like me. My cat loves to kick litter out of her tray, and even with a high-sided litter box, she still manages to get it everywhere.

Handheld vacuums are a fantastic way to clean up litter clumps or particles that get kicked outside the tray or trodden around your home. They’re a better alternative than using your household vacuum, as you can quickly clean up a spillage without having to drag your whole vacuum out.