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How Often Should You Clean Cat Litter

General Cleaning: Wear Protection

How to Clean Cat Litter Boxes

At first glance a cat litter tray looks quite innocuous. But naturally it will be covered in bacteria that are harmful to both you and your cat. We would recommend wearing gloves and a face mask either when you are clearing your cats deposits or cleaning the entire tray. These will afford some protection against the fumes given off by what the cat has left, and against the bacteria that will become airborne when you collect up the soiled litter.

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Scoop Solids And Sift Daily

As with any litter, you should remove solids daily. With wood pellets, it may be helpful to scoop poop as soon as possible after your cat makes a deposit even if its multiple times per day. Its particularly true of pellet litters because some cats wont bury their mess like they would with clay or another granular litter.

Sifting should also occur daily. You dont want to allow the sawdust to linger for long. If it becomes re-soaked, it can be pretty unpleasant for both you and your cat.

Scoop and sift often, and your cat will be happier, you can avoid unwanted behaviors and your litter will last much longer.

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How Often To Wash A Litter Box A Guide For Cat Owners

You love your kitty, but you dont love the messy litterbox. Boxes are not only a smelly nuisance but can harbor foul pathogens. Keeping it clean is imperative to not only your nostrils but you and your cats health. Scooping litter out daily is one thing, but sometimes it needs more than that.

So, how often to wash a litter box? A litterbox for one cat should be changed and washed out every two to three weeks. A big cleaning job should be done every one to two weeks if you have multiple cats.

No one relishes the aspect of tearing down and cleaning out the litter box. But cats are persnickety, and if you dont keep their box clean, theyll find somewhere else to do their business. Its easier to strip down that box for a major cleaning than try to remove urine from your great-grandmothers Persian rug. Read on and discover the importance of a washed litter box for both you and your cat.

Tip : Change Litter In The Box:

How Often Should You Clean The Litter Box?

Many people replace the litter in the box every week. And some of them change it in every few weeks. But the best thing would be changing it as often as you can. There is a simple rule for changing the litter. You can add 3-4 inches of fresh litter after dumping out the old. Dont get rid of the litter, dispose of carefully.

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Can You Put A Self Cleaning Litter Box Next To A Standard Litter Box

Place your new self-cleaning box next to the box your cat usually uses. This will help your kitty grow comfortable with it. For a week or so, allow your cat to choose between the two boxes. Use the same type of litter in a self-cleaning box that you would in a standard box.

Scoop out solids. Cat feces should be scooped out at least once every day. Some experts even recommend scooping out solid wastes twice a day for a really clean box. If you let solid wastes build up in the litter box, your cat may refuse to use the litter box, even if the litter was only changed a few days ago.

How To Change A Litter Box

To change out all the cat litter in your box, whether you use clumping or non-clumping litter, the process is the same. Follow these steps for how to change the litter box:

  • Place a garbage bag over the end of the litter box and tilt the box up to pour all the litter into the bag. Use the litter scoop or another tool to scrape any cat litter stuck to the bottom of the litter pan. Alternatively, carry the litter box to a large trash can and dump the entire contents of the box into the trash bag.
  • Wash the litter box with soap and water. A bristled scrub brush helps, and your bathtub is a great location for this job. Dont use chemicals such as bleach or ammonia. Cats are very sensitive to smell and a lingering chemical odor may cause your cat to avoid the box. Never use chlorine bleach because it can combine with the ammonia in cat pee to produce a toxic gas.
  • Dry the cat box with a towel or paper towels.
  • Fill the box with 3-4 inches of fresh litter.
  • Note: to help avoid litter being stuck to the bottom of the pan, try using ARM & HAMMER Slide Clumping Cat Litter for easy clean up.

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    How Often To Clean A Litter Box: Buy A New Litter Box Every Year

    Buy a new litter box every year. After a year, the scratches in the plastic from your cats claws and any cleaning products you used will do more to hold odor than eliminate it.

    If you use an automatic litter box, replace the waste receptacle and rake at least once a year depending on how many cats you have. Disposable litter boxes can last at least four weeks.

    Make It Easy For You To Scoop

    New Cat Owner Litter Guide: The Scoop by Tidy Cats®

    The easier it is for you to scoop, the more likely you will be to stick to a good scooping routine.

    Here are a few tips:

    • Use a good scooping shovel.
    • Keep sturdy and large plastic bags next to the litterbox. If you cant find sturdy bags, use two of them for double insulation.
    • Keep a quality trash bin nearby, for quick disposal of those bags. You could try the Litter Locker Soiled Litter Disposal System.

    I use Worlds Best regular clumping formula and I flush it. Yes, I flush. It will be 9 years in June and my plumbing is fine. I started using Worlds Best because it is flushable . CheshireCat

    • Keep a light chair nearby. If you need to, sit down for scooping to avoid back and knee problems and allow yourself time to scoop properly.
    • Work scooping into your morning and evening routine. Designate set times and include enough time to thoroughly wash your hands after scooping.

    The quotes in this article are from our members who posted in this thread: How Often Do You Clean The Litter Box.

    Comments? Leave them using the form below. Questions? Please use the cat forums for those!

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    How Long Does Clumping Cat Litter Last

    Clumping litter tends to last longer than non-clumping litter because the dirty litter is tightly clumped and easily scoop-able, you remove less clean litter when you clean the box. Arm & Hammers Clump and Seal litter, for example, does not have an expiry date so, you can keep the litter as long as it lasts depending on your households usage.

    Clay-based clumping litters are non-toxic but, not recommended for use for kittens. You can purchase biodegradable clumping litters made from pine, wheat, or recycled paper that are safe to use for kittens.

    To help make your litter selection for kittens, check out our blog, 8 Types of Biodegradable Cat Litter.

    When Should You Deep Clean A Litter Box

    Besides regularly scooping and changing the litter, you should be deep cleaning your litter box approximately every two weeks. This involves completely removing old litter and scrubbing the box with a gentle dish soap and warm water. When replacing the litter, make sure it is at least 3 inches deep to provide an optimal burying experience for your cat.

    Regular deep cleanings will prevent a buildup of waste and keep the box smelling fresh, a bonus for both you and your feline friends.

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    Staying On Top Of Changes

    Now that you know how often you should be changing your cats litter it will be easier for you to stay on top of the changes your cat needs to be happy. Instead of asking yourself, how often should I replace my cats litter, you can simply stay on top of scooping and changing when recommended. This will make life better for both you and your cat.

    Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock


    How To Clean A Cat Litter

    How Often Should You Clean Out Your Cat

    When its time to clean your cats litter box, youll need to completely empty any used litter thats left over.

    Pro Tip: A week building up to you cleaning the litter box, its best to stop adding more litter so that when the time comes, youre not throwing away too much fresh litter.

    Never use a detergent that has a strong scent to it as that will be over powering for your cat, and may put them off using the litter afterwards.

    Also give it some time to properly dry, otherwise the new litter will stick to the sides, and that makes it hard to get off the next time.

    When the litter box has fully dried out and the amount you should add to the litter box is about 3 inches. Now the type of litter also makes a difference.Advertisements

    Here are the steps:

  • Empty out the litter box, and then wash the inside with hot water and a mild detergent.
  • Do not use disinfectant even if your are tempted to do so for hygienic or strong odor reasons.
  • Always allow the litter box to fully dry, before adding the new fresh litter to a depth of about 3 inches.
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    What Do Your Cats Want

    This is one of the most essential pieces to figuring out how often to scoop. If your cats arent using the litter box, scoop more often to find out the threshold for their preference.

    You can experiment with the timing and the litter to find the ideal combination of litter and cleaning. Your cat or cats will give you valuable clues for how to treat their litter boxes to help you stay on top of cleaning without following your cats around 24/7.

    If you decide to change litters, dont do it all at once. Mix a bit of old litter with the new litter to help the transition go more smoothly. Your cat may accept the new litter if the change isnt sudden. If your cat still hates it, its best to continue with your cats preferences.

    How Often Should You Change The Litter When Using Clumping Litter

    Clumping litter is usually made of bentonite clay. When urine hits clumping litter, the grains stick together, solidifying the urine into round clump. Owners can then rake or scoop out the clumps of urine as if they were feces. The rest of the litter remains dry and granular.

    How often should you take out the entire contents of the box and replace it with fresh litter? Well, with clumping litter it doesn’t work like that.

    When using clumping litter, you simply add some litter to the box every two or three days, to replace the amount that went into forming the clumps and covering feces. That’s it. There really is no need to ever replace the rest of the litter, unless you’re doing a very thorough cleanup of the box itself .

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    Why Is Cleaning Frequency Important

    To put it bluntly, cats use the litter box to urinate and defecate in. Feces and urine are biological substances that can be very smelly. Moreover, once they leave your cat’s body they begin to decompose and degrade by means of chemical and bacterial processes. The result is a fairly nasty odor that both humans and felines find obnoxious.

    The two main factors at play are water and oxygen. Water and oxygen are necessary for the growth of the bacteria that breaks down Kitty’s “produce”.

    The sooner you remove excrement and urine from your cat’s litter box, the better. Every second that they are exposed to air means more foul odors. Keeping them as dry as possible up to the point of final removal can help too which is what good litter does.

    When You Should Give The Litter Box An Actual Clean

    How often should you clean a cat’s litter box?

    You must be thinking

    How many times do I need to clean this litter box!

    Think of it like this

    Your Cats worth it and something thats worth having requires work I guess


    Every month would be a good practice to clean the litter box completely

    Remove all the litter and empty it completely

    Then give it a good scrub and clean

    You should use a sponge and a dish detergent to clean the litter box

    If you could, try to use a unscented dish detergent

    Again, make sure the litter box is completely dry before adding new litter

    Where should you clean the litter box?

    The best place would be in the outdoors so maybe your back garden

    If thats not possible then the laundry sink would be ideal too

    I have a bathtub at home

    If you do use your bathtub to clean the litter box then youll need to clean the bathtub after litter box cleaning

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    How Often Should I Scoop Clumping Litter

    Scoop waste from clumping litter daily. Depending on the number of cats using the litter box and the frequency that your cat relieves herself, you might need to scoop waste between two and four times daily.

    Removing waste from the litter box daily will not only encourage your cat to continue to use the box but also help you to detect early warning signs of medical conditions your cat might be experiencing.

    Check out our blog, How Often do Cats Pee and Poop? to learn more about health warning signs that you might find in the litter box.

    How Often Should You Change The Cat Litter

    If you use a clumping litter, its best to scoop the box daily and change it out completely at least monthly. If you have more than one cat, it may be best to change the cat litter more often, every 2-3 weeks.

    If you use a non-clumping litter and have only one cat, changing the litter twice per week is a good guideline. If you have more than one cat, every other day may work better.

    There are no hard and fast rules for how often you should change the cat litter. Some cats are larger and have larger poop and greater amounts of urine, while others have tiny feces and smaller spritzes of pee. Your cats actual output plays a role in how often you need to scoop or change the box.

    Plus, if your cat is especially finicky or tidy, they may refuse to use a litter box that hasnt been scooped or changed. In these cases, youll need to clean the box more often. Pay attention to your cats output and litter habits and adjust as needed. You can also check with your vet about best practices for different types of litter, especially pellet-based ones.

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    Cleaning A Litter Box

    Keeping your cats litter box clean requires more than scooping and changing the litter. When the time comes to change your cats litter, taking the time to wash the litter tray will help reduce issues with unwanted odors and unhappy cats. Using mild dish detergent and hot water is always the safest way to clean your cats tray. With proper washing and drying, youll then be ready to add the fresh litter so your cat can enjoy a clean toilet.

    Keeping the litter tray clean is important, but dont forget about the scooper. Your cats scooper does the biggest job by far and deserves to be treated like the hero it is. Each time you scoop your cats litter, take the time to clean the scooper. Like the tray itself, dish detergent may take on this job but if you run into issues, baking soda may do the trick.

    Scrub The Empty Litter Box

    How Often Should You Clean Your Cat

    Once you have removed the litter, its time to scrub the litter box. You can do this in the sink, but doing it outside your house with a hose is better. Remember, this litter box is full of bacteria, and you wouldnt want those to get in your sink.

    Use warm water and a mild detergent to do this, so as not to leave any smell of harsh chemicals behind. The cats sense of smell is highly sensitive, and it might cause some problems if you use harsh chemicals.

    Scrub the surfaces, and also dont forget to pay attention to the edges of the box.

    Then, rinse thoroughly with clean water. Again, make sure that there is no soap residue so that the litter box doesnt smell like detergent. This may repel cats, which is also the reason why it is much advisable not to use scented litter.

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