The answer to the question, ‘how often should you clean the litter box?’ is an important one and most importantly to your cat. Answer: Minimum 2 times per day. This is one of those things that should be considered before getting cat or having multiple kitties especially if it makes you wince. Scooping the litter box is the equivalent to flushing the toilet. Would you flush the toilet only once every few days or once a week? I think not!
Cats are fastidious, delicate, and particular when it comes to cleanliness. A healthy cat grooms multiple times a day; after eating, after using the restroom, and anytime the impulse strikes. It’s natural and healthy. In fact, when a cat doesn’t groom itself often this should be a tale tale sign something is going on that needs further exploration. Cats require a clean litter box …. period. Naturally the next question that arrises is what constitutes clean?
In our household we have 3 cats, two of the three litter boxes are in the bathrooms. So every time I visit the bathroom and notice the box has been used, I scoop. It takes literally less than a minute – it’s done ~ and makes for very happy cats. At minimum and I mean at minimum the boxes are scooped first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening. Cats don’t want to use an unclean litter box and many times they are forced to.
What’s The Scoop?
Let’s just cut to the chase …. if you love you cats as much as I love my own, you’ll understand that cats don’t want to have to step in poop or pee to go again. Whether their own or their litter mates’ leftovers, kitties need a fresh and clean palette to perform their duties. Your cat would like the same consideration you would like. Can you imagine trying to navigate your way through landmines just to find that perfect place.
Speaking of cleanliness, think about all the surfaces your cat’s feet touch in the household including you, your bed, and ALL the furniture in the house. That should be enough to convince you to do the right thing and keep that box maintained multiple times a day. You’ll be doing best friend the best of favors but yourself too.
Litter Box Rules 101
What if you have a multiple cat household? Here are the basic guidelines:
- 1 litter box = 1 cat 😸 (1 box for each cat) + One Extra Box
- Scoop Minimum 2 times per day ➡ purr 😸
- More is better
- A Box That Actually Fits Your Cat – Here bigger is better!
- Replace litter and clean box itself every 60 days
- Math: 3 cats = 4 boxes
Cleanliness is Godliness
Hygiene, hygiene, hygiene . . . . uncleaned, un-scooped, litter boxes pose potential problems for spreading bacteria around on your cat, your house and you. Cat boxes need to be appealing and enjoyable to cats. Dirty, over-used, cramped, full litter boxes entice cats to go outside the box or find a better place to take care of business. Eliminate potential problems and even health problems by adhering to hygienic litter box rules and routines.
How Often To Clean The Litter Box (In addition to Scooping)
Minimum every 60 Days.
Yes, the litter box itself needs to be cleaned and scrubbed and restocked with brand new litter. How often depends on how many cats are using the box. Assuming you are now scooping responsibly, at least 2 times a day, the box could be emptied, scrubbed and re-stocked once every 60 days. Ideally use an unscented cleaning agent: vinegar and water, Pure Castile liquid unscented Baby soap or this one. Vinegar does have an odor but it will not linger in the box. It is natural and will dissipate quickly.
How Often To Change Cat Litter And Best Types Of Litter
Since here at Happy Tails we are a holistically inspired site we recommend NON-CHEMICAL natural pet litters. The pads of a cat’s paw are highly absorbable. So absorbable in fact, its often a great place to administer remedies. As whatever substance the paw pads comes in contact with is what is absorbed directly into the body. Cat box litter is No exception. And a huge toxicity factor for cats.
We tried a bunch of them and after a few years of experimentation I’ve come up with the best recipe so far. Mix untreated pine pellets with Worlds Best Cat litter. This one here (always unscented). We buy a 40# bag of horse bedding pine pellets at the local feed store or elsewhere usually for under $10. And I mix equal parts:
- 50% Pine Pellets (horse bedding 40# bag under $10)
- 50% World Best Cat Litter UNSCENTED
There are tons of natural cat litters from clay, shavings, wheat, husks, pine pellets and many others. But the recipe above has proven to be economical especially if you get untreated horse bedding pellets in a 40# bag. Pellets for cat litter on line will be 10 times more expensive but the most important thing is to use natural mediums for the litter.
Always, Always Use Unscented Cat Litter
Cat litters are scented for people not cats. I guarantee your cat does not prefer scented litter. Their olfactory sensors are ultra ultra sensitive. The don’t want to waft chemicals or lavender flavor litter. It’s hard on them and their noses. Cat’s don’t do strong-scented anything. Even essential oils as wonderful and natural as they are ~ are not the best for cats, they are too odiferous. Cat boxes that are scooped and cleaned regularly won’t smell. You won’t need scented litter to cover up smell.
A Clean Cat Litter Box Is Essential To The Health And Well-Being Of Your Cat
Best Types Of Boxes
Ones that fit. You don’t want to send you cat into a box where they have to crouch to go potty. Can they squat comfortably? Can your cat stand up? Can they turn around? Bigger is better here for sure. There are zillions of cat boxes out there; cool ones. pretty ones. trendy ones. classy ones. fashionable ones. None of these matter to the cat. What matters is comfort and accessibility. Always make sure the boxes are not only ergonomically accessible but are locally accessible. Spread out throughout the house is the best idea. Easy to get to and away from high traffic areas. Cats want privacy when they potty ~ its a big deal to cats.
TOO Small A Litter Box (below)
These are all way to small for the size of the cat and if you notice the cats don’t look to happy!
Examples Of Appropriate Sized Cat Boxes For The Size Of The Cat (below)
See how the boxes actually fit the cat and are large enough for the cat …. very different than above
Closing Cat Quandaries
By now you should thoroughly have received the answer to ‘How Often Should You Clean The Litter Box?’ and probably a little more. Your cat loves you regardless of how they show their love. Consider your cats most basic needs when it comes to litter box etiquette. Your cat will be happier and healthier and you’ll be pro-active in eliminating unnecessary problems. Be Cat conscious! And thanks for stopping by!