When it comes to how often to change cat litter, a few factors come into play. A good rule of thumb is to change your cat’s litter every 2-4 weeks.
However, you might not need to change it that frequently because it all depends on your pet and their bathroom habits. It also depends on the number of cats that use the litter box and the type of litter that you use.
Keep reading to learn more about how often to change cat litter and other details that you should know when it comes to your cat’s litter!
What’s in cat litter and how does it work?
Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, What is cat litter made out of? There are several types of cat litter on the market today, but the most widely used cat litter is made from bentonite clay.
Bentonite clay is considered clumping cat litter, meaning it clumps when it is wet. A high-quality bentonite clay litter will trap odors very effectively, resulting in what is arguably the least smelly cat litter option. Since it clumps so easily, the bentonite clay makes it simple for you to remove the soiled areas of litter only—rather than having to frequently switch out all of the litter.
Alternatively, another popular type of litter is regular (non-clumping) clay litter. Unfortunately, this type of litter doesn’t clump when wet and generally isn’t great at keeping odors at bay. It usually includes ingredients like baking soda and charcoal, which can help trap odor, but not incredibly well. Regular clay litter will require you to change the litter out more often—because although it soaks up urine, it doesn’t clump when wet.
Yet another option available to you is silica cat litter, which forms an absorbent gel that helps to provide odor control. Silica litter is a great option for people who prefer litter that is not clay-based. Not only are silica litters not dusty, they also clump when wet and help reduce odor.
Last but not least, another common type of litter is known as biodegradable cat litter. It’s ideal for anyone who prefers a more environmentally-friendly product. Biodegradable cat litter is usually made from recycled paper products or plant-derived materials. These litters don’t clump, but they do absorb urine well—despite not being the best option when it comes to trapping odors.
When to change litter depends on these factors
When it comes to how often you should clean a cat litter box, a few factors come into play. Namely, how many cats are using the box and the type of litter you choose to use. Clumping litter is a fan favorite because it makes it possible to scoop out unwanted litter, meaning you won’t have to change the entire litter box as often.
You can also add carbon filters as another way of keeping litter fresh. Carbon filters will absorb odors and bacteria inside of litter boxes. Here’s what else you should consider when it comes to how often you should be changing kitty litter!
Number of cats
If you have multiple cats that use the same litter box, you’ll need to change out the litter more often. Some litters are designed for multiple cat households. As such, they have stronger odor-fighting capabilities, and those types of litter also clump more readily.
Some cats are more particular about the frequency of cleaning out the litter box than others. When it comes to their litter box cleanliness preferences, some cats will start acting out if it's not as tidy as they’d like. You’ll know if you need to start changing out the litter more frequently if your cat starts going to the bathroom in unwanted places around the house.
Type of litter
Getting the right type of litter will allow you more time between changes. Non-clumping litter doesn’t trap odors as well as clumping litter and doesn’t make it easy for you to spot where your cat has gone to the bathroom. Clumping litter not only holds odors better, it also gives you the ability to scoop out the dirty litter and nothing more.
Many factors will influence how often your cat uses the litter box on a daily basis. These factors include average fluid intake, the temperature in your home, the age of your cat, among many other details. However, in general, most cats will urinate two to four times per day and defecate every 24 to 36 hours.
Number of boxes
Cats like their own space, and it can be stressful for them to have to share litter boxes with other cats. Even if they don’t mind sharing, you’ll end up having to change the litter quite frequently if there is more than one cat using the same litter box. If you live in a multiple-cat household, you should have a litter box for each cat plus one additional litter box. For example, if you have three cats, you should have four litter boxes.
Your nose will tell you if the litter box is overdue for a cleaning! This could be the result of your cat going to the bathroom more frequently, or maybe you missed a day and forgot to scoop the litter. If there's an odor coming from the litter box, it's definitely time to scoop—or change the litter altogether.
Litter-Robot makes litter box cleaning easy!
With Litter-Robot, the cleaning process and overall maintenance of your litter box is a breeze! This self-cleaning litter box comes with features like carbon filters and seal strips that trap unpleasant odors.
The Litter-Robot unit detects waste levels in the drawer, while the app allows you to monitor the state of the litter box from your phone. Plus, you’ll receive a notification letting you know when it’s time to empty the waste drawer. All of these features can help you keep your Litter-Robot smelling like new!
Complete Litter-Robot cleaning in 6 steps
The Litter-Robot takes the hassle out of cleaning your litter box. Say goodbye to scooping with the best self-cleaning cat litter box out there! Grab an LR3 refresher kit at checkout to keep your litter box in tip-top shape and avoid unpleasant smells.
Step 1: Change the drawer liner
Infrared emitters and sensors will detect the level of waste in the Litter-Robot drawer. The blue light on the control panel will flash when it’s time to empty the waste drawer. You’ll start by pulling out the drawer, unhooking the edges of the waste drawer liner, and discarding the bag.
Step 2: Replace the drawer liner
Put in a new custom-fit drawer liner (or any kitchen trash bag) by rolling the edges a few times and pushing them into the four tabs. Be sure to keep the bag taut towards the back. Then, slide the drawer back into the base.
Step 3: Press the reset button
Press the reset button any time the weight or the placement of the unit is affected, such as by removing waste, adding litter, cleaning the container, or moving the unit altogether. You’ll need to press the reset button because it ensures that your Litter-Robot is functioning properly. Press the reset button when the unit is in the home position and the control panel displays a solid blue light.
Step 4: Add litter as needed
Each time you empty the Litter-Robot waste drawer, check inside the globe to see the amount of litter inside and add litter when needed. Make sure you add just enough to meet the Fill Line label that can be found on the black rubber liner. Also, be sure that you don’t overfill the globe. Remember to press the reset button once you’ve finished adding litter.
Step 5: Replace the carbon filter and seal strip as needed
Change out the carbon filter and seal strips periodically to keep your Litter-Robot and home smelling fresh! How often you change the filter is entirely up to you. If you start to notice that the waste drawer smells, you should change the carbon filter. You can replace the seal strips when they start to wear out, though this is not a frequent occurrence.
Step 6: Full cleaning
For a full cleaning, start by emptying all of the litter from the globe by pressing the empty button. The litter will fall through the waste port and into the drawer. From there, wipe down the globe, base, and bonnet with a gentle cleaner. Learn more about cleaning your Litter-Robot.
Litter box cleaning made easy
A clean litter box will keep your cat happy and help you avoid smelly odors in your home. When you have the best automatic cat litter box, cleaning is easy and simple.
Don’t spend your time constantly scooping the litter box! Let Litter-Robot do the work for you. Now you can spend your time playing and cuddling with your feline rather than cleaning up after them.
Yes, both non-clumping and clumping cat litter will absorb pee. Clumping cat litter allows you to easily scoop urine clumps from the box.
Typically, you will empty the waste drawer once per week if you have one cat. If you have more than one cat using the Litter-Robot, you will typically empty the waste drawer twice every seven to ten days. Perform a full cleaning and litter change every one to three months.
When you neglect to change the litter in a timely fashion, your cat will either go to the bathroom somewhere else or avoid going altogether. The latter option can result in serious health issues, most notably feline lower urinary tract disease, feline urethral obstruction, or UTIs. Not changing the litter will also cause bacteria to build up inside of the litter box and foul odors to develop.