Lv 7
Jenny asked in PetsCats · 9 months ago

How often do you replace kitty litter?

I looked up online how often one should change kitty litter and one article suggested twice a week. That would create a mountain of waste!

I have two cats, two litter boxes and scoop daily. I have one box with clumping litter and one with regular clay litter.

I only change out the entire litter every 6-8 weeks. I wash the boxes at that time. When I change out the litter, I spread baking soda (one 16 oz package) on the bottom of each box before filling it. Over the 6-8 weeks, I add new litter as needed.

I don't have a problem with smell. So, what's up with the recommendation of replacing the litter twice a week? The litter for one box costs $14 (clumping) and $7 (clay). Plus 2x $0.80 for the baking soda. If I were to change out the kitty litter twice a week, I'd pay close to $200 every month just for cat litter! The recommendation seems like a manufacturer's ploy to sell more of their product...


@laura: How much litter do you put in the box? I use an entire 14 lbs bag of clay litter and more than half of the 25 lb package of clumping litter. That creates a 5 inch layer of litter. Even after 6-8 weeks there are barely any pieces of waste in the used litter. There is no smell, either (I attribute the lack of smell to the baking soda).

10 Answers

  • 9 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    I change it as needed, which is maybe once a month in winter, and once during the summer.  Two boxes for three cats.  But then, my cats do most of their business outdoors.  I use wood-stove pellets ($7 for 40 pounds) which is biodegradable and contains no chemicals and doesn't hurt the environment like clay or other litter types.  Also does a fabulous job of keeping odor down.   ADDED:  I usually get them from Ace Hardware or Tractor Supply. However Home Depot/Lowes carry them. If you can't find them there, most animal feed/supply stores carry wood pellet bedding -- a few dollars more expensive for less quantity, but the same stuff.

  • 5 months ago

    If you use silica gel cat litter, they have indicator which by changing color can let you know when is time to replace it.

  • 9 months ago

    I clean out the litter box every day or two, but fully change the litter about once every 2 or 3 weeks. I buy pretty cheap litter though and don’t want it to smell 

  • 9 months ago

    6-8 weeks is pretty disgusting as there's no way you'll getting all of the urine odor out of the clumping litter and you're getting NONE of it out of the clay.

    LOL that you think an entire box of baking soda makes a difference - what a waste!

    I use wood stove pellets and have six pans for four cats. I scoop the poop every day or two and dump the pans once a week. Wood stove pellets neutralize the urine odor and break down into a dry sawdust. I pay only about $5 for a FORTY POUND bag. So even though you seldom change your litter boxes I'm paying far less than you are and having MUCH cleaner litter boxes.

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  • Cassie
    Lv 4
    9 months ago

    I will change mine out completely maybe every 2 months. I personally have to add a bit of fresh litter every week about because I have a cat who kicks. If the litter that is kicked out is clean, I just sweep it up and put it back in, too. I have another cat who refuses to use a box if it has a lid on it so I just have to deal with the mess lol. I see nothing wrong with your routine, especially if it doesn't smell and if your cats seem happy!

  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    We adopted a stray cat over 4 years ago when she was a little bitty baby that her mother abandoned. After spaying her, getting her shots and getting her a bed. We had to choose between the dozens of available brands of cat litter. Some very cheap, some very expensive. We're FANATICS about our pets and cleanliness of our home and pet areas. I cannot endorse or recommend a specific brand due to my job. BUT I can suggest you find one that is dust free, hypoallergenic and relatively inexpensive. And change it once every two weeks. If you have an "Arm and Hammer"(wink). You'll find one.

    A layer around 3"-4" is perfect for a single cat. Scoop it DAILY or more if need be. Wash the box monthly completely.

  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    I have one cat.  I scoop daily.  I use clumping litter.   The litterbox is a big rubbermaid tote.   I put at least eight inches of litter in there.    I honestly only change it about 2-3 times a year.   I do add another couple inches of litter about every two weeks to replace what I've removed.     With eight inches of litter, the stuff on the bottom stays pretty clean.   Having that much litter allows her to fully bury everything which eliminates odor.   The tall rubbermaid tote keeps everything in the box...nothing over the side and onto the floor.

    I have become a believer that the less litter you put in the box, the more often the box has to be completely emptied and washed out.    The deeper the litter, the waste never soils the bottom of the box.

    ETA:   It's standard garage storage rubbermaid tote.  Sorry, I'm not at home so I can't measure.  I'm guessing it's about 18" deep.  Yes, she jumps in.   If she can jump on the bed, couch and kitchen counter, she can jump in an 18" box.   LOL!  

  • Fin
    Lv 4
    9 months ago

    I totally think it is a marketing ploy unless your cat has the runs or something.

    I have 1 cat and clean his litter box daily.  As long as he is having normal movements, I replace the litter out every 2 weeks. Also, I buy the sofresh litter from Petco.  You can go back with the empty 30lb container and refill it for $10.  I buy the $14 scented box of litter to put on as a top layer, ensuring that there is no odor.

  • Eva
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    Clumping litter does not need to be replaced. Clay litter does every so often as it's harder to clean. Your routine sounds fine.

  • Laura
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    I scoop the box daily, replace half of the litter once a week, and completely change out the litter and scrub the box once a month.I do this because I live in a small space and don't want my apartment to smell like a litter box, and because ts what my vet recommended. 

    My vet advised me to completely change the litter and wash the litter box every month because when you scoop the box you end up leaving little bits of soiled litter behind.  Over the course of a few weeks the litter is more waste than clay.  That needs to be removed.  This is even more important for non clumping litter, it needs to be replaced once a week because there is no clumping action to hold the waste together for easy removal. 

    Its gross when your cat is forced to do their business in a box full of waste, getting that waste all over their paws, and then spreading it around.  Its best to completely replace the litter every 4 weeks, maximum, with clumping litter.  With non clumping litter its best to do it every week.

    Yes its expensive but owning a pet isn't meant to be cheap.  I get chewy to send me my litter every couple of weeks so I always have it on hand.

    Edit: I use Tidy Cat litter, I use about 10-15 lbs of their normal litter (not the lightweight litter) and it makes about 3-4 inches of litter for my cat.  Any more than that and she will push it out of the box because she doesn't like it that full.  I get the 20 lb containers of litter, and go through about 1.5 - 2 each month. 

    This is clay, which is a natural material.  It, along with pet waste, is not going to sit in a landfill like plastic does.  It goes back to the earth very quickly.  With non clay based liter you can even compost it.  The fact that I'm throwing away 30-40 lbs of clay a month is nothing compared to the non-reusable water bottles and disposable coffee cups people use daily.  I'm ok with throwing this out because it is something that will naturally break down quickly, unlike the plastic containers the litter comes in.  I have an issue with that, but unfortunately nobody sells cat litter that my cat will use in an eco-friendly container. 

    I wish my cat would be ok with using a non clumping, clay free litter so i could compost it, but she is picky and will only use this litter.

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