How to clean used cat tree

How to Disinfect a Used Cat Tree

Last Updated on October 1, 2022 by ellen

Wondering how to disinfect a used cat tree? Check out these tips to get a used cat tree clean and safe for your pet.

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Table of Contents

Cat trees can be very expensive, so purchasing one secondhand may be a great way to save money. But, used cat trees will need to be cleaned up before bringing them into your home.

Is it OK to buy a used cat tree?

Yes, as long as you take the necessary steps to clean and disinfect it before your cat uses it. You might want to think twice if it’s a messy cat tree.

But, a tree in good condition can certainly be used again.

Can you reuse a cat tree?

Yes, but you’ll need to take some extra steps to ensure it’s clean and safe for your cat. Once you take care of that, your cat will appreciate their new tree. 

Materials needed to disinfect used cat trees

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • A vacuum cleaner with attachments
  • Enzyme cleaner
  • Spray bottle
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Scrub brush
  • Clean paper towels or soft cloth
  • Brush
  • Lint roller
  • Bucket

How do I get cat hair off a cat tree?

You can use an old toothbrush or old comb to get cat hair out of cat trees. Try a lint roller if it’s in very good condition.

If the cat fur is matted into the carpeted areas, you may need to gently use a scrub brush or wire brush to remove it.

Finally, make sure you get all the hair from the tree. Your cat won’t appreciate being offered a dirty tree.

Can I steam clean a cat tree?

You can, but it’s not necessary. You can use a handheld steamer on the lower parts of the tree, but don’t get the carpet wet.

But, you may have better luck with soapy water and a vacuum. This should remove germs from other pets or cats that owned it before you.

Get this odor remover to get rid of the smell from the previous cat owner’s house.

How do you clean an old cat tree?

Cleaning a used cat tower is similar to cleaning any other type of secondhand furniture. You’ll want to start by giving it a good vacuuming, using a brush attachment to remove any dust, dirt, and hair.

Then, you can wash down the surfaces with a damp cloth or paper towel and mild soap or cat shampoo. Be sure to rinse the soap off completely. If it’s a very messy tree, you can use the upholstery attachment and carpet cleaner to deep clean.

Once the cat tree is clean, you’ll need to disinfect it. This is important to get rid of bacteria or germs on the furniture surfaces.

Homemade disinfectant spray

You can use a household disinfectant spray and paper towels or wipes or make your disinfectant solution by mixing 1 part bleach with 30 parts clean water. Be sure to wear gloves and a mask when handling bleach.

Spray or wipe down the surfaces of the cat tree with your disinfectant solution and let it air-dry completely before letting your cat use it.

You can use this same method for any type of cat furniture or stains. This will help kill bacteria on the cat tree.

Tips for disinfecting cat trees:

-First, start by removing all of the fabric or carpet from the tree. This can usually be done by unscrewing the panels that hold them in place.

-Next, vacuum the tree thoroughly, getting into all of the nooks and crannies. Make sure you get all the dirt and fur from the surface.

-After that, wipe down the entire tree with a damp cloth, paying special attention to any areas that look dirty or stained.

-Once the tree is clean, you’ll need to disinfect it. You can do this by spraying it with a diluted bleach solution or a disinfectant spray meant to be used on cat products.

-Let the tree air dry completely before reassembling it and adding any new fabric or carpet. If the tree has stains, you can try carpet cleaner and a dry cloth.

With these tips, you can easily clean and disinfect a used cat tree, making it safe and ready for your feline friend to enjoy.

How to get cat smell out of a tree?

If the tree still smells like a cat, you can try sprinkling baking soda on it and letting it sit for a few hours. Then, vacuum it up. If there are truly foul odors or stains, you may need to try a different method.

You can also try using an enzymatic cleaner meant for removing cat smells. Or, try a pet friendly odor remover free of harsh chemicals. I like this homemade carpet deodorizer for pets.

You must clean a cat tree before allowing your cat to use it. Killing bacteria and pests will help make it safe to use in your house.

If your cat tree smells like other cats, your cat may retaliate by peeing on the tree to mark it with its smell.

How to resurface scratching posts?

First, you’ll need to remove any old fabric or carpeting from the posts. You can do this by unscrewing the panels that hold them in place.

Once the posts are bare, you’ll need to sand them down to remove any old polish or paint. If they’re made of wood, you can use fine-grit sandpaper.

After that, you’ll need to apply a new layer of polish or paint to the posts. You can use a clear polish or stain or choose a color that matches your décor.

Once the posts are dry, you can add new fabric or carpeting to them. Make sure to use something durable and can withstand a lot of scratching.

With these tips, you can easily resurface your cat’s scratching posts or other cat furniture, giving them a new look.

Finally, if you decide that you just can’t disinfect a used cat tree well enough, you can always get a new one from the pet store. Check out this Cat Furniture Buying Guide for a few suggestions.

Related reading

  • Where to put a cat tree
  • Caring for carpeted cat trees
  • Choose the best cat tree
  • Pet safe air freshener


Ellen is a busy mom of a 24-year-old son and 29-year-old daughter. She owns six blogs and is addicted to social media. She has been running a small pet sitting business in southern Vermont for the past five years. She’s a proud Mommy to a shelter kitty named Scout. If you’d like to work together, email [email protected] to chat.

How To Clean And Disinfect A Used Cat Tree –

Cleaning and disinfecting a cat tree is a must for relatively every cat parent. This need grows when you buy a used cat tree because you don’t know how the previous owner took care of the item. Now you're wondering, how to clean and disinfect a used cat tree? We already researched the cleaning and sanitizing of cat trees by probing feline experts to provide the correct answer for you.

Cleaning and disinfecting a cat tree requires tools like a vacuum cleaner, a scrub brush, an old comb, a de-shedding tool, and pet-friendly cleaning solutions. Once you have the necessary items, removing dirt and other filthy substances from the cat tree can be done with the following steps:

  • Remove remnants of cat fur from the tree with a scrub brush and an old comb.
  • Use a de-shedding tool to remove matted fur.
  • Apply a mixture of lukewarm water and hydrogen peroxide.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner to remove leftovers of fur, dust, dirt, and other types of filth on the cat tree.

The entire process might look simple at first. However, missing steps can increase your pet’s risks of contracting illness from the unclean substances left behind. Continue reading to understand the details of cleaning and disinfecting a used cat tree for your feline's well-being.

How Do You Deep Clean a Cat Tree?

You need to deep clean a cat tree frequently, regardless of the status of its usage. For example, you purchased an old, yet still usable cat tree from an animal shelter. According to a study from the European Advisory Board on Cat Diseases (ABCD), infectious diseases can be difficult to control and prevent in shelters. Therefore, if you don’t clean the used cat tree, your housecat will be at a higher than average risk of contracting illnesses.

Here are the steps to help you deep clean your cat tree:

1. Remove the Fur

You’ll likely see fur dangling on the carpets of a second-hand cat tree. At this point, you have two options: First, replace the cat carpets with new models, and second, remove the fur from the tree using common household cleaning items.

If you choose the second option, start the process by using a scrub brush and an old comb to remove the fur from the dirty tree. Brush every carpeted surface on the tree. Also, don’t disregard the scratching posts during this step. Make sure to get all the sides, including the tree’s base.

If the cat tree is over 7-feet tall, it should be reasonably sturdy for you to lean against it. Otherwise, don’t attempt to put your weight on a small cat tree or you’ll damage the product.

Check out this 9-foot PawHut Vertical Cat Tree on Amazon.

2. De-Shed the Carpets

After removing most of the cat hair from the carpets and posts, you may notice that some of the furs are still stuck on the surfaces. This feline hair is matted, which means a thick, entangled mass as per the word's description.

Don’t forcefully remove the matted fur with your scrub brush and old comb. If you do so, you’ll damage the carpets and posts, leaving unsightly bald spots if you’re not careful. Instead, use a de-shedding brush for this step. This tool should get most of the matted fur out of the cat tree.

Again, don’t forget to tackle all the sides of the tree and its base. Put the removed matted fur to one side. You may also use a pail or bucket for easy disposal.

Look at this DakPets De-Shedding Brush on Amazon.

3. Kill the Germs and Harmful Bacteria

A used cat tree can harbor germs and harmful bacteria from its previous owner. Additionally, these unclean substances can leave off-putting stenches.

To remove germs and bacteria on the used cat tree, start by spraying clean paper towels with a pet-friendly odor remover and place them generously on the cat tree. Then, create a solution made of 3% hydrogen peroxide and lukewarm water. Place the mixture in a spray bottle and spray the liquid all over the cat tree. This solution should do a reasonably good job in killing different unclean substances on the tree’s surfaces.

Wait for about 5 minutes before removing the paper towels. Take note that you shouldn't let your cat get on the cat tree while the towels are still drying. It's because hydrogen peroxide, along with other cleaning solutions like alcohol and bleach, is harmful to felines, as per a post from The Humane Society of the United States.

After removing the paper towels with the hydrogen peroxide solution, use another set of clean towels to remove excess moisture from the cat tree. You’ll know if the solution did fairly well if you see residue like dirt and litter on the towels.

At this point, you may continue to spray the hydrogen peroxide solution on the cat tree. But make sure that your cat is out of the immediate area or the animal may show signs of discomfort from the chemical.


Final Touches

You may stop after disinfecting the cat tree. But you can proceed by using a vacuum cleaner to give the cat tree a thorough clean. By the time you finish, your cat can now enjoy a tree that doesn’t look like it had a previous owner.

Which Disinfectant is Safe for Cats?

Natural cleaning products, such as those that contain citric acid, white vinegar, and bicarbonate soda are reasonably safe to use around cats. Avoid using solutions with harsh chemicals like phenol chloroxylenol because these can cause a harmful reaction to felines and other pets.

How Do You Get Cat Smell Out of Cat Tree?

Aside from using a natural store-bought deodorizer for surfaces, you can also use a baking soda and vinegar mixture in a spray bottle to remove off-putting smells on cat trees. Vinegar is an acid, which helps neutralize the alkaline salts that might be present in certain stench-causing bacteria. With the help of baking soda, the solution can help remove both harmful bacteria and the foul smell they produce.

How Do You Get Hair Off a Cat Tree?

You can use an old comb or a de-shedding brush to remove hair from a cat tree. Additionally, you can use a pet hair-removing roller. Take note that some of the hairs might be tougher to remove than others. Therefore, it can take multiple passes with your chosen tool to remove the cat hair from the tree.

Check out this Nova Multi-Level Cat Tree Tower on Amazon.

Is It Safe To Buy a Used Cat Tree?

Generally, buying a second-hand cat tree isn’t a good idea. The used product can introduce unwanted stress, illness, and even behavioral issues to your feline. Furthermore, your pet may leave the tree alone if the product had a previous owner. It’s because another cat marked the tree and its surfaces, making it the other animal’s territory.

Also, the cat tree’s poles might have some leftover catnip from the previous owner. If you don’t remove the catnip, it’ll desensitize your feline from the substance, making it tougher than average to train your pet to do certain actions.

Final Words

Clean and disinfect used cat trees by removing leftover hair with a brush or comb. Then, disinfect the surfaces with a water and hydrogen peroxide solution, along with several paper towels. You may also vacuum the surfaces of cat trees to remove excess residue. However, consider buying a new cat tree instead of a second-hand one to reduce health risks for your feline.

10 unusual ways to use cat litter

Photo: Tracie Hall / cc

Unless your cat is one of those rare individuals who has learned how to use a real toilet, you most likely hate cat litter. You have to pay for it, bring all this weight home, and then collect the used lumps. But, you see, it would be much worse if your cat did not have it.

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It is usually made from clay or silica gel. These ingredients absorb moisture and bad odors that are likely to be found in other parts of your life. FurnishHome explains how cat litter can be used for less traditional items as well.

1. Roadside Assistance

Some drivers in colder climates keep cat litter in their cars. And it's not because they take their cats on field trips. If you run off the road and can't get your tires to move, throw some cat litter in front of them, this will provide the right amount of traction and get your car moving.

2. When using grill

Foto: Shutterstock

When it comes to open fires in your backyard, safety should always come first. Sprinkle a layer of (new!) cat litter on the bottom of your grill before using it. The clay in the cat litter will absorb the oil and prevent the grease from burning.

3. Odorless shoe

Cat litter designed to minimize odors. Use this property for your sneakers, children's and any other smelly shoes. Make sachets of cat litter using cheesecloth or other thin cloth. Put one in each shoe and leave overnight.

4. To fight mice

Uninvited four-legged visitors have nothing to do in your house. It's a little rough, but if you have a mouse problem, sprinkle used cat litter where you think mice get into your home. Mice will smell urine and stay away.

5. As a decorative element

Cat litter (only clean, of course!) can be used to fix decorative elements in a vase.

6. When creating dried flower bouquets

How to get perfect dried flowers? Use cat litter for this purpose as well. It will slowly remove moisture from the petals. Take a glass or plastic container with a lid and add clean litter to cover the bottom. Arrange the flowers in a single layer and carefully top with plenty of cat litter. Let the container remain closed and untouched for a week or longer.

7. For lovers of knitting

Photo: LETA

If you love to crochet or knit, cat litter is perfect for decorative items that need to be weighted down. Knitted holiday decorations such as pumpkins, hearts, or Christmas tree decorations can be filled with cat litter. They will keep their shape for years to come.

8. As a freshener

There's no shame in admitting that your home doesn't always smell good. The ability to absorb odors makes cat litter especially important for people with children and pets. Cut a pair of tights or socks to make small sachets. Tie the ends tightly and hide the bags in your car, next to trash cans, and in your teens' bedroom.

9. In a garage or workshop

Foto: Shutterstock

Cat litter's ability to absorb liquids makes it a useful addition to any workshop or garage. If gasoline or oil spills on the floor, add filler to absorb it. And then use paper towels or a broom and dustpan to remove all the debris.

10. Outdoor toilet

If it works for your Murzik, why not use it for yourself too? Pack some cat litter before heading out on a long outdoor trip where you won't have access to a bathroom. Set up camp and make your own rough toilet with a bucket and bags of cat litter. It's hardly luxurious, but it's better than just going to the bushes.

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Wood litter from a cat litter in the garden

Many summer residents have cats. The nature of all animals is different - someone goes to the toilet only on the street and endures until the morning (our Musya), someone in the toilet (we had those too!), But most - in a specially designed cat tray.

Soil from the filler for the tray

0074 Content:

  • Use of cat litter in the garden
  • Can cat litter be used as fertilizer?

Use of cat litter in the country

I don't know about you, but our Barsik goes exclusively in wood litter, which is sold in red packaging. These are such elongated pallets-cylinders, which, upon contact with moisture, soften and absorb impurities into themselves, instead releasing a pleasant coniferous aroma.

We have already made an experiment and planted seedlings on a feather in it in a greenhouse (see picture) - everything grew perfectly. But it's pure filler. Is it possible to somehow use a used one, in which the cat has already gone?

I read the thematic communities on this topic and did not find a clear answer for myself. One thing is clear - the goodness of this remains decently and everything goes to a miscarriage.

The next time the cat enters the toilet, even if he finds the slightest dirt (his own!), he considers that the toilet has not been cleaned at all and regards this as a challenge and a direct personal insult. As a result, a puddle or odorous mine does not appear inside, but in front of the entrance to the tray. Like, next time you will be more efficient to monitor cleanliness, there will be a lesson for you.

Can cat litter be used as fertilizer?

So, the pros: