Cleaning up scattered litter is an inevitable part of cat ownership. This daily task can be quite a struggle if you don’t have the right vacuum for the job. A handheld vacuum will undoubtedly make your life easier by preventing you from having to drag out the full-sized vacuum every time you notice litter scat.
There is no shortage of handheld vacuums on the market today, and while many of them are geared toward pets, that does not necessarily mean they will perform well when cleaning cat litter. That’s where we come in. We’ve dived into the vast number of handheld vacuums available to find the best contenders for your cat litter needs.
There is nothing better than avoiding wasting money through trial and error and having your choices narrowed down for you. No need to spend a lot of time checking reviews, we’ve done that for you! Let’s look at our top picks!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
|Best Overall||BLACK+DECKER Cordless Handheld Vacuum||
|Best Value||Dirt Devil Handheld Vacuum Cleaner||
|Premium Choice||Shark Ion W1 Handheld Vacuum||
|Best for Kittens||VacLife Handheld Vacuum||
|BISSELL Pet Hair Hand Vacuum||
The 6 Best Handheld Vacuum Cleaners for Cat Litter
1. BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Cordless Handheld Vacuum – Best Overall
|Included Components||Washable filter (model pvf110), on-board brush, on-board crevice tool, and charging base|
Our pick for the best overall handheld vacuum for cat litter goes to the Black & Decker 20V Max Cordless Handheld Vacuum. It gets the number one position thanks to its very powerful suction, ease of cleaning, and versatility.
The 20V lithium-ion battery that it uses can be thanked for the strong suction, this vacuum won’t have any trouble getting cat litter off any surfaces. This vacuum will separate dirt and air by using cyclonic action and will help keep up the suctioning power throughout the vacuum’s lifetime.
The vacuum is lightweight, weighing in at only 3 pounds, and uses a three-stage filtration system that helps reduce smells and enhance performance. Smell reduction is an important aspect when cleaning up litter. Replacing filters is as easy as purchasing a replacement rather than having to buy a new vacuum.
Another great feature that makes this vacuum so convenient is the pivoting nozzle that can rotate up to 200 degrees. This makes it much easier to reach down into furniture cushions, or hard-to-reach areas of the house. Not only is this vacuum a great option for the daily vacuuming of cat litter but is a great handheld vacuum for use in the home or car.
According to customer reviews, the downside of the Black and Decker 20V Max is that it tends to only last about 10 minutes after a full charge. Some users also complained that it only lasted about a year before experiencing issues with function.
2. Dirt Devil Scorpion Handheld Vacuum Cleaner – Best Value
|Included Components||Hose, crevice tool, sliding brush, upholstery tool|
Our top pick if you’re looking for the best value for your money is the Dirt Devil Scorpion Handheld Vacuum Cleaner. This product gets great reviews, and you really can’t beat the price. This is a corded handheld vacuum, which may make it undesirable to some, but the cord is quite lengthy.
This vacuum is lightweight with a powerful motor to enhance performance when picking up whatever your pet leaves behind, such as litter, dirt, debris, and hair. The crevice tool that is included makes it a breeze to clean smaller spaces and within furniture cushions.
There is no vacuum bag with the Dirt Devil Scorpion Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, making it easy to simply unlatch and dump out all that you’ve collected. According to reviewers, the biggest downfall of this vacuum is that air is pushed out of the vents on the side, which can further spread litter and other debris across hard surfaces. A few others advised that their vacuum broke easily, but overall, this is a well-reviewed handheld vacuum that is priced to be easy on your wallet.
3. Shark Ion W1 WV201 Handheld Pet Vacuum – Premium Choice
|Included Components||Nozzle, battery, crevice tool, charging station|
Our premium choice goes to the Shark Ion W1 WV201 Handheld Pet Vacuum. This super lightweight, stick-shaped handheld vacuum weighs just 1.4 pounds and gets glowing reviews. It is versatile enough to perform well on bare floors, carpets, and hard to reach areas within the home thanks to the additional brush attachments.
Despite being so lightweight, this vacuum has very powerful suction and comes with a 10.8V lithium battery and a highly efficient motor. The battery generally takes about 2.5 hours to fully charge, which is much less compared to the normal 3 to 4 hours. All attachments and the vacuum itself can conveniently be stored on the charging base. This vacuum comes in a variety of colors including graphite, gold, rose gold, and cove blue.
Another perk is how easy the vacuum is to clean. There is a button located at the top, you simply hover the vacuum over the trash can and press it to empty the contents without having to touch anything. The vacuum is bagless and easy to wipe clean. The biggest downside to the Shark Ion W1 WV201 is the small dustbin and the short run time of about 9½ minutes after a full charge.
4. VacLife Handheld Vacuum – Best for Kittens
|Included Components||Batter, nozzle, crevice tools, HEPA filter|
The VacLife Handheld Vacuum is cordless and utilizes a super-strong motor and a long-lasting lithium-ion battery suctioning power. It makes a great choice not just for cat litter but for any quick vacuuming needs around the house or in the car. It even comes with a super-convenient LED light so you can see to clean up in even the darkest, hard-to-reach places.
This vacuum is super lightweight at only 1.94 pounds. It comes with two separate nozzles for cleaning versatility. It does take approximately 3–4 hours to reach full charge, but you can expect this handheld vacuum to run up to 20 minutes once fully charged, which is better than some of the cordless competition.
The VacLife Handheld Vacuum uses durable and washable HEPA filters. The dust bin is very easy to clean, you simply open it up and dump it in the garbage can. Though this is a generally well-reviewed product, some users complained that the suction power and performance on carpets are a bit lackluster. So, it may be a better choice for those with laminate or hardwood floors needing litter picked up.
5. BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Li-Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum
|Included Components||Battery, motorized brush tool, upholstery tool, crevice tool|
This compact and lightweight option may be geared toward pet hair but does a great job picking up loose litter as well. It is very efficient at picking up both litter and pet hair that gets embedded in the carpet, so it is especially handy for those with litter boxes in carpeted areas. Upon activation, Bissell will even donate 5 dollars to the Bissell Pet Foundation with each purchase of the BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Li-Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum.
It comes complete with a 14V lithium-ion battery for strong suction and powerful cleaning ability. The dust bin is sizable at 0.7 liters and can hold more litter, hair, dirt, and debris than some others. It is simple and easy to empty. There is a triple-level filtration in this vacuum as well which helps with odors and allergens and provides easier cleaning.
The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Li-Ion comes with some specialized attachments made just for pets. This includes a motorized brush tool, an upholstery tool, and a crevice tool. This device can make for a great all-around handheld vacuum. The downside to this vacuum, according to reviews from other pet owners, is that it has a short run time after charging and some individual vacuums have emitted a small electrical charge when the power button is pressed.
6. BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
|Included Components||Filter, user guide|
The Black+Decker Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is a lightweight, cordless handheld vacuum perfectly designed for spot cleaning and can be a great asset to have for daily litter clean-up. It is known for performing exceptionally well on bare floors, so it’s great for those that have a litter box on hard surfaces but does a great job on carpets and furniture as well.
The 16V lithium-ion battery tends to last about 10 minutes after full charging, which is typical for battery-powered handheld vacuums but is still not very long in terms of cleaning. The downside is that it can take up to 4 hours to reach full charge. The dirt compartment is a bit on the small side, which is a bit of an inconvenience for bigger messes.
This vacuum uses Smart Charge Technology, which uses less energy. The cyclonic action keeps the filter clean and suction strong. It is also very easy to clean with the removable, washable bowl. You can even opt to purchase an additional filter with this vacuum. The biggest downside to this vacuum is that users have reported the battery is not replaceable, therefore you are out the entire vacuum once the battery goes bad.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Handheld Vacuum Cleaner for Cat Litter
There are some key factors to consider when choosing the best handheld vacuum cleaner, especially when you’re using it for cat litter specifically. Here are some of the key points to focus on when choosing a handheld vacuum that is right for the job.
Now that you know all the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to the top contenders for the best handheld vacuum, your choice should be that much easier. Whether you go for the well-rounded BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Cordless Handheld Vacuum, the price-savvy Dirt Devil Scorpion Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, the more expensive but sleek and effective Shark Ion W1 WV201, or any other of the top 7, you can rest assured you’ll be well on your way to convenient litter pick-up.
Featured Image Credit: Viacheslav Lopatin, Shutterstock
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
- The 6 Best Handheld Vacuum Cleaners for Cat Litter
- 1. BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Cordless Handheld Vacuum – Best Overall
- 2. Dirt Devil Scorpion Handheld Vacuum Cleaner – Best Value
- 3. Shark Ion W1 WV201 Handheld Pet Vacuum – Premium Choice
- 4. VacLife Handheld Vacuum – Best for Kittens
- 5. BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Li-Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum
- 6. BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
- Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Handheld Vacuum Cleaner for Cat Litter