How to Keep Your Cat's Litter Box Clean

The Spruce / Candace Madonna 
  1. Select and Place the Box

    Unless your cat has a preference for covered boxes or the box is in an area where you'd like to keep it inconspicuous, such as the kitchen, the best box to start with is a plain rectangular one. Make sure the box is large enough that your cat can move around in it comfortably, with no overhang. 

    The box should be placed for maximum privacy, away from noisy appliances, and with an easy escape route, in case you have a cat who likes to bully other cats. Being trapped in his litter box will surely frighten the cat, and may lead him to avoid the box later.

    The Spruce / Candace Madonna 
  2. Line the Litter Box

    The use of litter box liners is optional, but they are convenient for tidy disposal of the used litter when it is time to empty and wash the box. Liners are a definite advantage when using non-scooping litter because they contain the excess urine that seems to pool, which is the reason most non-scooping litter must be changed frequently.

    The Spruce / Candace Madonna 
  3. Pour in the Cat Litter

    Most cat litter manufacturers recommend using two to three inches of litter. You may want to use three to four inches if your cats are deep scratchers who will dig to the bottom of the litter box if you use less. Start with two inches and experiment until you find the ideal depth for your cat.

    A clumping litter such as World’s Best Cat Litter is a good choice because you don’t need a pan liner and unscented, clumping letter tends to be preferred by most cats. After filling the litter box, give the litter a final leveling off so the cats have a nice, smooth surface to dig in.

    The Spruce / Candace Madonna
  4. Scoop up Waste

    With clumping litter, scooping is easy because urine clumps into fairly solid chunks which can be scooped out while sifting the clean litter back into the box. Poop gets coated with the litter so that it doesn’t stick to the scoop.

    The litter box should be scooped a minimum of twice daily, and more often if needed. You may need to add fresh litter after scooping to replace the amount that was lost.

    ​The Spruce / Candace Madonna 
  5. Dump the Scoopings

    No matter how you do it, you’re going to need to dispose of your cat’s waste properly, and odor can be an issue. With a product like the ​Litter Genie, scooping as well as disposal of litter is much easier. You just insert the roll of plastic bagging material inside the Genie, tie a knot at the end of it, secure it to a wheel, and turn the handle a half turn. Then open the top and drop in all the scoopings. Turn the handle again, and the waste is safely hidden at the bottom of the Litter Locker to keep all of the odors confined inside. On garbage day, just remove the bag and contents and discard in the garbage can.

    ​The Spruce / Candace Madonna

Preventing Problems With Litter Boxes

Using clumping litter that you regularly scoop and replace will keep the litter box smelling fresh and clean for a while, but at some point, the box itself will need to be emptied and cleaned thoroughly. Depending on the type of litter you use, this may be as often as every week or as long as every four or five weeks.

Non-clumping litter must be emptied and washed much more often, primarily because the urine collects at the bottom of the box, and the odor becomes very strong very quickly. 

Empty the used litter into a sturdy plastic bag and tie securely before discarding it in the trash. Note that although some natural litters are flushable, the entire contents of a litter box should never be dumped into the toilet.

Next, wash the box thoroughly with unscented dish soap and hot water. Rinse completely, then dry with paper towels.

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— Update: 22-04-2023 — found an additional article What is the right amount of litter for your cat’s box? from the website for the keyword how much cat litter to put in box.

One of the most common questions that newbie cat parents have is how much litter to use when cleaning your fuzzball’s box. If you use too much, prepare to clean all the sand and poop ejected by your cats as they cover up their mess. But brace yourself if you use too little. Before you know it, the smell of cat urine will take over your home. The stench will repel him from even the most aptly positioned litter box. Then your pet will find a new toilet somewhere else, like your bed or laundry basket.

Avoid such fate by learning how much litter should be in a litter box to make your cat happy.

How much cat litter to put in box
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Cleaning your cat’s litter

The best way to make sure your cat uses the litter box is to keep it clean on a regular basis. There are a set of daily tasks and some other weekly cleaning chores needed to make the litter box more inviting to your pet and prevent foul smells from traveling around your house.

Daily cleaning should include:

  • Scooping out solid waste and sand lumps.
  • Disposing of the droppings in a bag.
  • Washing the scoop.
  • Cleaning the exterior of the litter box.

Once a week, you should perform the following:

  • Empty the litter box and throw away the used litter.
  • Clean the inside with soap and water.
  • Avoid using chemicals with harsh smells or perfumes.
  • Use a plastic liner to make the next cleanup easier.
  • Fill the box with clean litter.

Signs that you are using too much litter

Don’t be fooled by the idea that more is better when it comes to litter. There are plenty of reasons why your cat dislikes too much sand under their paws. Look out for the following:

  • Your cat slides and shuffles before settling to use the box.
    When using the box, your cat only goes in halfway.
    Your cat digs intensely to hide the waste and spills in the process.
    You are putting off cleaning your litter often by using more each time.

What can happen when you use too little litter

Not enough litter in your cat’s box creates big problems, too. One of the most important ones to avoid is litter box aversion, where your feline friend avoids using the box. This triggers unwanted behavioral issues that are easy to avoid altogether by creating a clean environment in their litter.

Another significant nuisance that comes with too little litter is the quick presence of concentrated waste odors. Urine is absorbed by the litter, and when you don’t use enough, the excess sits at the bottom of the box. This makes it uninviting to your pet and can force your cat to find a new spot.

Cats love to have enough sand to dig a hole, release, and then cover. If they don’t feel they have enough litter, they might find another place to go about their business. Make it easy on them by having the perfect amount every time.

How much cat litter to put in box

What is the right amount of litter?

As with everything, it depends on your cat’s unique behaviors. A good rule of thumb is to spread a 4-inch layer of litter in the box. This needs to be adjusted depending on the size of your box, the number of cats in the household, and any mobility issues your pets might have.

When you are bringing a new cat into your life, it’s always good to pay close attention to their behavior around the litter box. This will allow you to adjust as needed and find that perfect spot.

What type of litter is the best?

The answer to that question depends on who you are asking. If you ask your cat, the answer is odor-free and made with small litter particles. Cats love their own smell, and perfumes are sometimes too intense for their senses. Cats were originally desert-dwelling animals that preferred fine sand under their feet over pellets or crystals.

For cat owners, odor absorption, clumping, and low tracking are at the top of the list. Look for litter that has fast clumping for easy cleanup and is low-dust to prevent respiratory problems in your cat and yourself.

As you gain experience as a cat owner and get to know your furry friend’s needs, changing the litter becomes second nature. You will quickly figure out the perfect amount needed, how often you need to dispose of used cat litter, and your cat’s favorite type and brand. This means more time for cuddles and purrs.

Want to find out why your cat is lying in the litter box? Check out our guide.

— Update: 01-05-2023 — found an additional article Are You Using Too Much Cat Litter? from the website for the keyword how much cat litter to put in box.

Back Home

When it comes to cat litter, it’s easy to think that more is better. But it turns out that many cat parents actually use too much cat litter in the box! Typically 2-3 inches will suffice, but not everyone has a ruler on hand when filling the box.

So, how can you tell if you’re using too much cat litter? And how much cat litter is just right? Here’s the scoop:

How to Tell if You’re Using Too Much Cat Litter

Cats want a litter box that’s filled with litter—not too much, and not too little. You need enough litter for your cat to cover his or her waste, but it’s easy to go overboard. If you’re using too much litter, your cat will find a way to let you know—usually by displaying undesirable litter box behavior, like going outside the box. Here’s how to tell if too much litter might be causing problems:

Take a good look the next time your cat uses the box. (Don’t worry—cats aren’t shy.) Your cat should look confident and steady. If he or she is shaky or off-balance, you could be using too much litter, causing the “ground” to shift under your cat’s feet! Imagine walking through deep, loose sand—that’s how too much litter feels to your cat. This can be especially problematic for older cats or cats with physical challenges.

If your cat doesn’t feel stable in the litter box, he or she may deal by only going halfway in the box. You might witness your cat digging in the box with only his or her front half inside. If you’re lucky, your cat might turn around to finish the job—but it’s just as likely that he or she will leave a deposit outside the box instead. This kind of behavior could be because your litter box is too small, so be sure your cat has plenty of room to turn around.

All cats like to dig, but if yours gets a little too enthusiastic, you might have too much litter in the box. This behavior can happen when there’s too much “caving in” when your cat digs, making it hard for your cat to feel like the hole is deep enough. Frenzied digging is the result, often leaving litter scattered around the room.

A clean layer of litter can make the box look clean—but if you find yourself adding more litter to buy yourself time between cleanings, you may end up making the problem worse. This is especially true if you use clay litter, which can form hard, heavy clumps on the bottom or sides of the box, making cleanup extra difficult. Instead of trying to bury the mess, look for an alternative that gives you a cleaner litter box with less litter.

When it comes to cat litter, less is more!

How much cat litter to put in box
Just 2-3 inches of litter in the box is the ideal amount for you and your cat

Just 2-3 inches of litter in the box is the ideal amount for you and your cat. But don’t worry, your best bud will most certainly let you know if you’re using too much litter. Keep an eye on your feline if you feel they’re having a hard time and be sure to to talk to your vet if you have concerns.


Read more  Are You Using Too Much Cat Litter?