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How Often Should You Replace Your Cat’s Litter?

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

person changing cat litter

If you have cats in your home, you know the importance of a clean litter box. If the litter box gets too dirty, cats tend to let you know by choosing random areas around the house to take care of their business. You may sit down on your bed to find your feline best friend has left you a wet calling card, or step into something you weren’t expecting on your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. To avoid these types of issues, you should keep the litter box clean and tidy. But how often should you replace your cat’s litter?

The question of when to change your cat’s litter is mostly up for debate. If you use normal clay litters, you may find the litter box requires weekly to bi-weekly changes, depending on the number of cats in the home. With so many factors coming into play when it comes to litter box routines and care, it’s best if we take a look at them all. If you’re ready to talk about kitty potty issues and how to keep their toilet tidy, read on below for a few hints to help you keep your feisty feline bosses happy.

The Type of Litter You Use Makes a Big Difference

For years we cat lovers depended on clay cat litter to get us through our litter box chores. With daily scooping and weekly changes, things stayed on the up and up. Our cats were happy when they weren’t being drama queens or kings, and we had a fresh-smelling home. Over the years, however, things have changed quite a bit. With so many types of cat litters on the market, understanding how to care for the different types can be difficult.

1. Clumping Cat Litter

cat playing with HARTZ Multi-Cat Clumping Paper Litter

Clumping litter has made lives easier for cat lovers over the years. Using bentonite, scoopable litter allows our cats to use the bathroom freely, knowing we will come around behind them and scoop away any mess they leave behind. Those who stay on top of the scooping process, doing it at least twice daily, and replacing what litter is taken out, may find themselves only replacing their litter twice a month.


2. Crystal Cat Litter

cat looking at crystal in litter box eco friendly
Image credit: Axel Bueckert, Shutterstock

Crystal litter is designed for absorbency. In a home with a single cat, owners will find they only need to replace their litter once a month. The crystals absorb the urine so all you need to scoop is feces your cat leaves behind. If cat owners are looking for the least amount of work, this litter is possibly the way to go.


3. Other Favorites

Cat litter is now being made by several different materials. Grass, pine, paper, corn, and even nuts have been thrown into the mix. Each of these litters requires scooping but can outlast traditional non-clumping clay when it comes to changing times. On average, each of these litter types can go roughly 2 weeks before needing to be changed. Some, when well-tended, may last as long as crystal litter in single cat homes.

paper cat litter
Image Credit: Douglas Cliff, Shutterstock

Cleaning a Litter Box

Keeping your cat’s litter box clean requires more than scooping and changing the litter. When the time comes to change your cat’s 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 cat’s tray. With proper washing and drying, you’ll then be ready to add the fresh litter so your cat can enjoy a clean toilet.

Keeping the litter tray clean is important, but don’t forget about the scooper. Your cat’s scooper does the biggest job by far and deserves to be treated like the hero it is. Each time you scoop your cat’s 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.

man cleaning smelly litter box
Image Credit: xamnesiacx84, Shutterstock

Ways to Make Cleaning Easier

Every cat owner keeps their eyes open for ways to make the cleaning process go easier. One way many have found is using cat box liners. These liners are designed to give owners the convenience of being able to simply tie up the used litter and dispose of it properly when the time comes. For some, these liners are incredible. That is if your cat isn’t a digger. If your cat likes to dig deep into their litter before using their box, litter tray liners may not be for you. Knowing your cat will help you decide whether investing in liners is the right idea for you.

Staying On Top of Changes

Now that you know how often you should be changing your cat’s 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 cat’s 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

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