How to Clean a Cat Carrier [In 10 Steps]

If your cat urinates or defecates in her carrier, you should clean it immediately. Otherwise, your cat may become sick or susceptible to diseases. 

Cats are clean and picky animals. They like clean places and clean homes. If her carrier becomes filthy, they’ll likely avoid it for good.

For your cat’s benefit, you must keep the carrier clean and 100% germ-free at all times.

There a certain things you should do to ensure the cleanliness of your cat carrier.

In this step-by-step guide we explain how to clean a cat carrier and the products you should consider using.

Let’s dive in.

Jump ahead!

Alpha Tech KennelSoL Crate Disinfectant

  • Highly effective: Against fungi, viruses, and bacteria
  • Non-corrosive: doesn’t leave any stain on surfaces
  • Safe and gentle: No need to rinse after use
  • Fresh wintergreen scent

How to clean a cat carrier?

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

Step 1

Wash your hand and wear a pair of disposable gloves. Remove everything from the carrier, such as bedding, food bowl, water bowl, soiled litter, etc.

Step 2

If you see signs of cat hair, the debris of food, crumbs, etc., lying on the carrier, use a vacuum cleaner to clear everything off from the page. it will kick off the cleaning process much quicker

Step 3

Remove and clean organic matter ( dried food, urine stain, blood, feces, hairballs, etc.) with soap or detergent. In this case, a brush comes real handy. 

Step 4

Use the brush to scrape off any hard substance that’s sticking onto the carrier. Then, properly wipe off the page with a clean cloth. You should wipe off the bottom, sides, and ceiling of the kennel. A pet disinfectant may work well in this case.

Step 5

If your carrier has a removable pad, check if it’s machine washable. If it is, then throw it in the washer and use hot water.

Step 6

Use a pet disinfectant to Kill any bacteria, odor, or germs that lurk inside the carrier. We recommend using Alpha Tech Pet disinfectant. You may also use a homemade bleach solution as a substitute.

Homemade bleach solution: 

  • Mix half a cup of bleach powder to one gallon of water and use the solution as a pet disinfectant.
  • Allow the solution to sit on the surface for at least 10 to 15 minutes. 

*note: This bleach solution will not be as effective as a commercial pet disinfectant, and it doesn’t have any detergent action. Thus, you need to use soap first before using the bleach solution.


  • 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.


  • Disinfectants containing Phenolic may be toxic to cats.
  • A high-density bleach water solution may cause health problems for your cat.
  • Always measure the ingredients when making the bleach water solution.
  • The bleach-water solution needs at least 10 minutes to work its magic. If you spray and wipe off immediately, you are practically making the carrier worse by spreading germs all over the carrier.

Step 7

Take the soiled litter box and throw away the used litter. Now clean it properly with soap and warm water, then use a disinfectant spray. Ensure the litter tray is completely dry before pouring new litter.

Step 8

Take all the carrier items, i.e., food bowl, water bowl, toys, etc., and clean them under warm water with soap.

Step 9

Use a water hose 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 outside and let it sun-dry

Step 10

Dispose of the gloves and clean your hand thoroughly with soap.

How to disinfect a cat carrier?

Using vacuum cleaner

If there are crumbs, small food leftovers, cat hair, or any dry dirt, you can use a vacuum cleaner to clean the carrier. 

Bleach is an excellent remedy: 

Bleach is an excellent disinfectant. Since it does not leave residue behind after the solution dries. 

But, you should not use bleach to wash the carrier; it should only be used as a disinfectant.

Wash the cage properly with soapy water, then use a homemade bleach solution, 

keep the solution on the carrier at least for 10 to 15 minutes so that it can kill all kinds of bacteria and germs

Use with caution: Bleach can irritate skin and eyes.

Pet disinfectant spray: 

Here are the most Effective disinfectants in the market

  • F10 Veterinary Disinfectant 
  • Accel – Accelerated hydrogen peroxide
  • Virkon and Trifectant – Potassium peroxymonosulfate
  • Trigone – Didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride
  • Benzalkonium chloride
  • Polyhexanide (biguanide)

Homemade disinfectant: 

You can make an excellent disinfectant at home using a vinegar-based disinfectant spray by taking:

1 part vinegar, 1 part water, and 10-20 drops of essential oil like lemon essential oil, tree oil, etc. 

Then use baking soda and vinegar. You can make an excellent disinfectant at home by mixing 1/4th white vinegar, 4 cups of hot water, and 2 spoons of baking soda.

Listerine mouthwash

Using drops of mouthwash in a vinegar mixture or warm water can be great for removing stains and odors.

Other products

A great disinfectant named Alpha tech’s pet disinfectant is deodorized, non-corrosive, and highly effective against germs.

  • Other products are useful for removing pee, odor, and stains.
  • Omit Cleaning: Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator
  • Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator
  • Bubba’s Heavy Strength Enzyme Cleaner
  • Sunny & Honey Enzyme Cleaner
  • Nature’s Miracle Advanced Cat Stain and Odor Eliminator
  • TriNova Natural Pet Stain and Odor Remover Eliminator
  • UV Stain Detective LED Blacklight
  • Best for the Litter Box: NonScents Odor Control Cat Litter Deodorizer


  • Never use heavy-scented detergent or soap. It can irritate your cat’s nose.
  • Avoid using a phenolic disinfectant, as it is known to have adverse effects.
  • You must put aside all the carrier’s belongings like bed, pillow, sheet, etc., before cleaning it; otherwise, these things will get affected by the chemicals.
  • Always use hand gloves.
  • You should clean the carrier frequently (at least twice a week) to keep your pet healthy.
  • Many essential oils (like tea tree oil) are toxic to cats. So, be sure before using it.

Cleaning hard-sided carriers

Wash the kennel with lukewarm water and mild unscented detergent.

Ensure no residue or debris is left behind.

If your cat had an accident, use a pet disinfectant spray or homemade bleach solution. 

Spray the bleach solution and leave it on the kennel for at least 10 minutes. Then thoroughly rinse off the carrier with clean water.


Cleaning soft-sided carriers:

The first thing you need to do is spot clean the fabric cat carrier.

Next, remove every item from the carrier. Then, pre-wet the kennel with a clean water/soap mixture. It makes the dirt less resistant and more comfortable to clean.

Then, spray the fabric carrier with a detergent. We recommend using Simple green. It is unscented and doesn’t cause irritation to the cat’s skin. 

Wait about 5-10 minutes to allow the detergent to work its magic.

Scrub the whole carrier with a brush.

Rinse thoroughly with clean water.


Best Products for Cleaning Urine

Use a baking soda and vinegar mixture:

  • Clean the urine-stained area with clean water as much as you can.
  • 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 at least twice. 
  • Sprinkle a little amount of baking soda on the site and vacuum it up after about 24 hours.


Using peroxide:

Some people had success cleaning urine with peroxide. This process can be a bit tricky and may discolor the carrier. 

Peroxide contains chemical elements that break down the urine and removes the stain as well as odor.

If you want to use this method, We suggest using a tiny 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 again, this time under the sun.


Using Listerine Mouthwash:

Many people claim this method works; yet, we never tested this method.

You may try removing the urine stain and odor by adding a few drops of mouthwash to a water-vinegar solution or to the peroxide. 

You can also use it with warm water only and apply it to the urine.

Listerine mouthwash contains small amounts of alcohol which can be the reason for its magic work.


Using Nature’s Miracle Urine Destroyer:

This is our most recommended method to clean cat urine from cat carriers and all types of surfaces such as carpet, mattress, bed, etc. 

Nature’s miracle urine destroyer is manufactured explicitly 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 produces enzymes when in contact with biomaterial. 

Thus, it cleans urine stains and odor as well as refreshes it with a citrus scent. 

You can apply it to carpet, bed, furniture, hard surface, and even fabrics. This ready-to-use cleaner saves a ton of my time when cleaning cat urine from the carrier.


Using Alpha Tech’s Pet Disinfectant:

It is crucial to use a decent quality disinfectant when cleaning cat carriers. 

A cat carrier generally tends to carry germs, bacteria, and viruses that you can’t quickly get rid of with only soap and water. 

That’s why the final touch of cleaning a cat carrier should always be using a disinfectant.

We’ve described a way to make a DIY homemade disinfectant using bleach and water solution. Yet, it’s not as effective as a commercial pet-safe disinfectant. Hence why we recommend using  Alpha tech’s pet disinfectant.

We’ve tried countless disinfectants and found Alpha tech’s pet disinfectant to be the most effective at removing germs and bacteria.

It is not only a disinfectant but also a deodorized as well as spectrum germicidal cleaner.

  • It is highly effective against fungi, viruses, 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 lasts a very long time. Click here if you want to check the latest price on Amazon.


Cleaning a cat carrier shouldn’t be difficult. We hope this guide provides you with all the knowledge to execute ‘Operation: Clean cat Carrier’.  We recommend you frequently clean the carrier after each use. Do best by your feline friend and ensure your cat’s carrier is minty clean. Happy cat keeping!

avatar Noah
I’m Noah, chief editor at VIVO Pets and the proud owner of a playful, energetic husky (Max). I’ve been a volunteer at Rex Animal Rescue for over 2 years. I love learning and writing about different animals that can be kept as pets. read more...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *