Is it necessary to clean a cat’s litter box twice daily?

Insufficient cleanliness of the litter box is one of the most common causes of house soiling in cats. If a cat owner calls in and says his cat is eliminating on the floor, the first question is: “How often do you clean the box?”

Question: How often should you clean your cat’s litter box?

Answer: The litter box should be scooped at least twice daily. All litter box contents should be dumped every other week, or as necessary. However, it depends on…

This is a cat litter box cake. But, wow! That looks real!
This is a cat litter box cake. But, wow! That looks real! Photo by phil_g.
  • How many cats you have. Or, more to the point, how many cats you have per litter box. In most cases, there should be at least the same number of boxes in the house as there are cats. If you have fewer boxes, your cats may want you to scoop the box more frequently. If you have plenty of boxes, let’s say three boxes and one cat, you could go for daily scooping.
  • How clean your cat wants the litter box to be. Some cats won’t use a box if it has already been used even once before. If this is your cat, lucky you! You have two choices. You can clean the litter box right after every use (on average, cats pee two to three times per day and, depending on diet and activity, defecate less than once daily up to three times a day). Or, you can provide more boxes so a fresh one is always available. Remember, though, all of the boxes should be easily accessible.
  • What kind of litter you use. Although the litter type may not affect how often you should scoop the litter box, it surely affects how often you should remove all contents. Clumping litter is likely to last longer (up to a month), but it greatly depends on the quality of the particular litter. Silica litter, despite the fact that most packages state that it “lasts one month for one cat,” actually requires changing about every other week to prevent the litter box from stinking. Cat litter made from pine pellets may require dumping the entire contents of the box more often than weekly.
  • How often you can scoop. Many people say, “No way am I going to scoop twice daily. I’m not a slave to my cat!” We won’t lecture you about commitments and responsibilities of owning a cat. The Internet is full of lectures like that. If you think that twice-daily scooping cannot suit your daily rhythm, you will have to set up more litter boxes. If you think that’s out of the question, then we say you have to clean the litter box twice daily. We have gathered useful tips that will make litter box cleaning easier here.

You can find more information about cat litter box maintenance here.

How often do you clean your cat’s litter box? How does it work for you?