Cats are notorious for being clean, and if you’re a new cat owner, one of the biggest questions you’ll ask is how often to change cat litter.
The answer to how often you need to change cat litter depends on several factors. While the general rule is once a month, you might need to change cat litter more frequently if you have more than one cat using one litter box, the type of cat litter, and your cat’s preference.
Let’s look at each of these factors and how they determine the frequency of kitty litter change.
Factors to Consider When Changing Cat Litter
Type of Litter
There are two types of kitty litter: clumping and non-clumping cat litter. Clumping litter is easier to scoop out since it absorbs urine and forms hard clumps that leave unsoiled litter behind.
Non-clumping litter, on the other hand, does not form hard clumps but absorbs urine, with some pee or poop falling to the bottom of the litter box.
If you use clumping cat litter, you can follow the general rule of changing the litter thoroughly every month. With non-clumping litter, you can change it once every 2 to 3 weeks.
Number of Cats
If you have more than one cat at home, you need to have more than one litter box. But, if you have one large litter box being used by multiple cats, you might need to change the cat litter more often.
More cats mean more urine and poop in litter boxes. Given that cats pee anywhere from 2 to 4 times a day and defecate every 24 to 36 hours, there will be more cat litter to scoop and replace in a multi-cat home.
Related: How to litter train a kitten
You might be scooping and changing your cat litter frequently, but if your cat’s behavior is showing it doesn’t like relieving itself in the litter box, it might be a sign you need to change the litter more often.
Cats are very particular about cleanliness, and any discomfort they may have with their litter box will lead to undesirable behavior. If the box starts to smell or there are too many clumps inside, your cat may start urinating or defecating elsewhere in the house.
Have you ever found cat poop in between your clothes? Or cat urine inside your shoes? If you have, then these are signs you need to clean and change your cat’s litter more often.
Related: Why is my cat peeing on my bed
If you’re scooping and changing your kitty litter frequently, but it emits a foul odor, it might be time to wash the litter box or change your cat litter again.
Create a Litter Box Maintenance Routine
If your cat doesn’t have a clean place to go when it needs to relieve itself, it will find somewhere else to do so. Or worse, your cat might hold it all in, leading to a variety of health problems.
If you want your cat to use its litter box religiously, then the task of making sure it’s clean is up to you. Creating a litter box maintenance routine means your cat gets to pee and poop in a clean and sanitary place, making your pet kitty happy, healthy, and your home clean and smelling fresh.
You can do three things for a successful litter box maintenance routine: scooping, clumping clay litter, washing the litter box, and changing the cat litter.
If you use clumping clay litter, then you can easily scoop out hard clumps from your cat’s litter box, and what remains will be clean litter. Scooping can be done once or twice daily.
Since the hard clumps absorb urine, the frequency of washing and changing cat litter will be far less than using non-clumping clay, where you can’t simply scoop out the clay.
If you’re using non-clumping clay, changing your cat litter may need to happen every week or as needed.
This is often the most overlooked part of a litter box maintenance routine. Sometimes, when you’ve scooped up hard clumps and changed the cat litter, you might think the litter box is already clean and sanitized. However, regular washing of the litter box needs to be done as often as changing the cat litter.
Wash the litter box with warm soapy water and avoid cleaning products that may have strong scents that can put off cats. Dry completely before refilling with cat litter.
Changing Kitty Litter
You can change it once a month and every 2 to 3 weeks for non-clumping clay for clumping cat litter. But, it also depends on other factors, which have been mentioned earlier.
A clean and sanitary litter box is key to a healthy, happy, clean cat. To achieve this, you, as a cat parent, must ensure a litter box maintenance routine is set in place.
The frequency of changing cat litter is generally once a month, but you would need to change it every 2 to 3 weeks, depending on a few factors. The true answer to how often to change cat litter depends on several things: the type of litter, the number of cats, as well as your cat’s preference.
Be wary of foul odor and a change in your cat’s bathroom habits as a signal to clean and change the cat litter. Even when it’s outside your litter box maintenance routine, these are signs it’s time to change the kitty litter.
Related: How long can cats hold their pee