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How Much Cat Litter Per Month Do I Need? A Beginner’s Guide

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

By Rachael Gerkensmeyer

scooping out cat litter from the sack

Most cat owners keep their feline family members indoors at least some of the time. Therefore, the need to maintain at least one litterbox in the house is necessary. A question that typically comes up in peoples’ minds right before or after adopting a cat is how much cat litter they are going to need each month to keep the litter box clean and everyone in the household safe from disease. Depending on the type of cat litter you use, you will need approximately 28-100 pounds of litter each month.

The truth is that the amount of cat litter needed each month to safely and properly take care of a cat depends on things like the type of litter being utilized, the number of litter boxes being maintained, and the lifestyle habits of the cat(s) in question. In general, you’ll need 28 pounds of clumping litter a month, but that amount increases if you decide to use non-clumping or natural litters—sometimes up to 100 pounds per month!

Here is what you need to know to accurately estimate your household litter costs.

Average Monthly Litter Requirements Based on Type of Litter

The type of cat litter that you use makes a difference in the amount that you will need to buy each month to keep up with maintenance.

Here are a few estimates:
  • Clumping Cat Litter: 28–40 pounds a month
  • Non-Clumping Litter: Up to 60 pounds a month
  • Natural Litter: Up to 100 pounds a month

However, determining the exact amount of cat litter that you will need to keep your home and feline family members healthy is not exact. In general, you can expect to use around 30 pounds of cat litter for every 18’x24” litter box that you’re managing. This amount can be less if you’re dealing with just a kitten or more if you’re dealing with a fully grown feline.

clumping vs non clumping litter types
Photo Credit: Notofoto Studio, Shutterstock

Things That Can Affect the Amount of Cat Litter That You Use

While there are general guidelines available, many different things can affect the amount of litter that you might use in a month. You may use more litter during some months than others for one reason or another. Here are a few factors to keep in mind:

  • Litter Box Cleaning Frequency: The less often you clean the litter box, the less often you will need to replace the litter in it. However, the less often you clean it, the dirtier and smellier your house will be as time goes on. Conversely, the more often you clean the litter box, the more litter you are bound to use. In exchange, you can have a clean and odor-free house.
  • Litter Box Size: The larger the litter box is, the more litter it requires to maintain the cat’s safety and health. A large litter box isn’t a bad idea for multi-cat households (though every cat should still have their own box), but if you’re housing just one cat, a small box should be sufficient and can help minimize the amount of litter that you go through each month.
  • Litter Cleaning Techniques: If you’d rather dump all the litter and replace it every other day rather than sift it and replace only what is necessary, you will use more litter. How much more depends on how much you fill the litter box and how often you dump and replace the litter.

Tips for Saving Money on Cat Litter Each Month

Various factors contribute to the amount of litter that you’ll use throughout the month. There are a few things that you can do to help save money on kitty litter as time goes on:

  • Sift Multiple Times Daily: By sifting your kitty litter twice a day (e.g., before and after work or school), you can cut down on the amount of litter that gets wasted each month. You will sift just the litter that has been soiled in the last few hours. If you only sift once a day or less, you will end up having to get rid of much more litter (both dirty and clean). Even if sifting twice daily only saves you a cup of litter a day, you can still cut down on the overall amount of litter that you need to buy throughout the year.
  • Try Different Kinds of Litter: It’s a good idea to try a few different kinds of litter—natural, clumping, non-clumping, clay, wood, and even paper—to figure out which best stays in the litter box over time. Some cats can and will easily throw clay litter overboard, while they can’t do so with other types of litter and vice versa. Try out different kinds of litter, and see which your cat kicks out of the litter box the least. That is the one that can ultimately save you money on care costs.


How much cat litter your household will need on a daily basis depends on various factors. However, you can count on using anywhere from 30 to 100 pounds of litter throughout a given month for each litter box that you maintain.

Getting down and dirty in the way of daily litter sifting can go a long way in saving litter and money as time goes on. How much cat litter costs per month comes down to your personal preferences and lifestyle.

Featured Image Credit: EvGavrilov, Shutterstock

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