How often do I really need to clean my cat's litter box?

August 24, 2018

How often do I really need to clean my cat's litter box?

Instagram photo: @dieseltherag

Keeping your cat's litter box clean and fresh is an important part of making sure your pet stays healthy and happy. It's also critical for your own satisfaction as a cat parent. Since feline business can be pungent, make sure you're cleaning your cat's litter box the right way. 

Prevent litter box problems.

An inadequate number of litter boxes or a messy feline toilet can cause a cat to find another, more welcoming spot in which to do business - your bedspread, the corner of your closet, or the showermat in your bathroom, for instance.

Prevent litter box problems by having one litter box per cat plus one extra. Choose the litter box your cat will enjoy using. If your cat likes doing business out in the open, select a Tray. Need more space? Use a Modkat XL. We don't recommend self-cleaning litter boxes since these can frighten household pets.

Give your cat the pick of the litter by selecting a high-grade, clumping option that your cat will use. Finally, make sure your cat's litter box is in a quiet but accessible place such as a guest room.


How often do cats use the litter box?

Cats generally pee 2-4 times each day. Factors such as fluid intake, age, and home temperature can affect a cat's urination schedule. If you notice any changes in how often your cat pees, check with your vet to rule out bladder or kidney diseases.

More solid business happens about once a day although don't worry if it's more frequent than that. Kittens tend to relieve themselves more often than adult cats. Diet, medications, exercise habits, and overall health may affect a cat's defecation schedule. Note that a cat suffering from diarrhea, blood in the stool, or constipation needs to see a vet. These symptoms should never be treated at home. 

Using the litter box 3-5 times daily is normal, and thus, it takes regular work to keep things clean and pleasant.


How often should you scoop a litter box?

Ideally, cat parents should scoop the box twice a day. If that's not possible, you can probably get by with a single daily scoop. Don't let it sit for more than a day though. You know how gross it would be to live with an unflushed toilet for several days. 

It's important to invest in a good scoop so you aren't dealing with a flimsy one that drops things or breaks at inopportune moments. At Modkat, we provide a durable scoop with beveled edges that make it easy to lift unsightly clumps out of your litter box even in hard-to-reach corners. 

When scooping litter, drop the clumps in a sealed bag, and toss the whole thing in an outside trash can.

You'll need to clean your litter sifting tool when you clean the box. A paste of baking soda and water works great for this chore.



Instagram photo: @bengalbrosny (Modkat XL).


How often should you change a litter box?

Most people replace their cat litter every week, some every few weeks. You can do so more often if you need to. The rule of thumb is to add 3-4 inches of fresh cat litter after dumping out the old. 

Remember that pregnant women should never change litter boxes due to the slight risk of contracting toxoplasmosis. Also, keep in mind that cat litter should never be flushed down the toilet in order to protect the water supply and the animals who live in it.


How often should you wash a litter box?

Typically, cat parents wash the box once a week. You can use dish soap and warm water or vinegar and water to clean the box. Don't use traditional bleach since it can interact with the ammonia in cat urine. 

Regular washing will prevent the plastic material of your litter box from absorbing cat odors. That means you won't have to replace a litter box nearly as early if you clean it often.


Why does my cat freak out when I clean the litter box?

Dominant cats often want to remark their territory after you've washed away all the smells, so they'll jump back in the litter box to take a leak right after you've freshened it up. And some cats may wonder why you're sifting through their nuggets.

Otherwise, cats shouldn't get too upset by a simple cleaning action. In fact, they're more likely to get turned off by a stinky litter box than by one that's just been washed. 

So keep your cats' toileting quarters in good shape, and you should have a happy, healthy kitty who's ready to snuggle, watch birds, or play with cat toys - the fun part of cat parenthood. 🐈

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