7 answers to your top litter box maintenance questions.
A clean litter box is key to a satisfied cat and a pleasant home. Today, we answer your questions about keeping litter boxes safe, clean, and fresh.
1. How often should I clean the boxes?
Ideally, scoop out the clumped litter as soon your cat has finished doing business. If that’s not practical, we recommend scooping out the box twice a day – once before you leave in the morning and again as soon as you come home in the evening.
A clean box is the single best way to keep a cat using it. Some cats will tiptoe through a mess, but others will turn tail and walk away if they spot a single clump. All cats will eventually refuse to eliminate in a fouled litter box. We know holding it forever isn’t an option, so a clean box could be the key to a clean bed, carpet, and closet.
2. How many litter boxes do I need?
Litter box maintenance starts with providing enough boxes for all your cats. The general recommendation is one litter box more than the total number of cats in your house. One cat? Two boxes. Two cats? Three boxes.
With a sufficient number of litter boxes, you can rest assured that one hasn’t filled up unnoticed. Cats are clean and solitary creatures. They won’t use a box that’s dirty, neither will they always be willing to graciously share with another cat. Keep enough litter boxes open that all your cats can answer nature’s call in clean, unoccupied space.
Jackson Galaxy from Animal Planet’s “My Cat From Hell” recommends keeping a litter box in social areas where cats and people hang out together, like the living room. In these situations you may want an attractive litter box so it won’t be noticeable out in the open.
3. How often should I refresh the litter?
It depends on how long your litter lasts but it is recommended to change litter about once a week. Dump everything in the box and wash the litter box thoroughly with warm or hot water. If you use soap, skip the artificial fragrances. Dry the litter box completely before refilling it with fresh litter. Your cat will appreciate this service and so will you and your houseguests.
4. Forgetting about the covered litter box?
Owners love the way covered boxes contain odors and sights. Cats often appreciate the privacy. Covered boxes can work so well, however, that you forget about them until they’ve filled up. Consider sticking a note on your fridge or adding a reminder to your phone to scoop daily.
5. Thinking abouta self-cleaning litter box?
Why bother with all that scooping when you can buy a self-cleaning litter box, plug it into the wall, and watch it do its thing? Because many cats don't like them. Self-cleaning litter boxes can be noisy and are easily clogged. If your self-cleaning litter box breaks down, you’ll have a big mess on your hands. And the kicker? You’ll have to clean it eventually, anyway.
6. What kind of litter works best?
Clumping clay? Shredded paper? Walnut shells? Grass? Flushable? The selection of available litters can baffle conscientious cat owners. The best litter is the one that you and your cat like to use and find to be a healthy choice. We always recommend a clumping, non-clay, natural litter as these are eco friendly, safe for your cat, and the clumping litter works best with our reusable litter liners.
Dispose of litter with regular household trash, litter or clumps should NEVER be flushed or poured down the drain.
Avoid scented litter, cats generally loathe those strong, unnatural odors.
If you choose to change litter type, gradually introduce it over a three to four week period, mixing increasing quantities of the new type with the previous one.
7. Why isn’t my cat using her litter box?
The box could be dirty. She might dislike the smell of the litter. Maybe, she’s stressed. If a thorough box cleaning and fresh litter don’t do the trick, your cat could have a UTI. Make an appointment with your vet.
A clean and well-maintained litter box will go a long way toward a home that’s comfortable for pets, owners, and guests. Follow our tips to a fresh-smelling house, a happy owner, and a relieved cat. 🐈