Changing Cat Litter

Cats are clean animals by nature, so if you want your cat to use his litter box, you must change the cat litter regularly. How often depends on which type of litter you use.

Types of Cat Litter

Traditional clay-based cat litter was once the most popular type because the clay is very absorbent and masks the urine smell. However, clumping cat litter is gaining popularity because it forms large clumps when your cat relieves himself, making it easier to scoop. It also needs to be completely replaced less frequently.

Silica gel cat litter often comes in a variety of scents, which more effectively mask the urine smell for longer. However, some cats refuse to step in it because of the texture, and some brands may be harmful for ingestion if your cat grooms after relieving himself.

Biodegradable options made from plant matter are available if you're concerned about the environment. Because it's made of wheat, corn, peanut shells, wood shavings and other natural matter, it's not harmful to your cat's health, and it provides a low-dust option for asthmatic cats. It can also be flushed down the toilet. However, it's more expensive.

Before changing the brand or smell of your litter, remember that some cats don't like change and may be hesitant to use the new litter. Try gradually introducing a new litter before switching completely.

Cleaning the Litter Box

When cats start relieving themselves outside the litter box, it's often because the litter box is not being cleaned frequently enough. Cats are clean, picky animals, who would much rather relieve themselves in an unfamiliar place than a dirty litter box.

You should have at least one litter box for every cat in your house, and you should remove the soiled litter at least once per day. If you use clumping litter, this will be easy to locate. However, it's important to do no matter which type of litter you choose.

Depending on the type of litter, you should also replace the litter and clean the litter box regularly as well. Traditional clay-based litter often needs to be completely replaced daily, at the very least weekly, because it absorbs the urine so well.

Clumping litter needs to be replaced every three to four weeks, as does the silica gel litter. Biodegradable litter should be replaced with about the same frequency, but it can depend. Dispose of it when you can smell the urine even after removing clumps.

When you change the litter, completely replace all the litter and remove clumps that may be sticking to the bottom. That can be easily done outside with a garden hose. Then completely clean and disinfect the litter box before replacing with clean litter. This will keep your cat happy and won't force him to seek elsewhere to relieve himself.

Changing cat litter regularly is an important part of owning a cat. A dirty litter box can be very stressful to your cat, not to mention create an odor in your house.