How Often to Change Cat Litter

Updated: October 31, 2022

"How often to change cat litter depends on the type of litter you are using."

How often should you clean out your cat's litter box and replace your cat’s litter? It depends. The frequency of cleaning the litter box might vary based on a number of reasons, like the number of cats, the type of litter, your cat's activity level, overall health, and lifestyle. In this article, we will talk about how often to change cat litter and some things you need to consider.

Coming up With a Litter Box Cleaning Routine

How often should you change cat litter? Most pet parents opt to have their cats go potty inside to save the hassle and risk of going out to potty. While it may seem convenient for pets, it is a job for pet parents to keep the litter box clean consistently. You will need to establish a cleaning routine that includes scooping up puddles of pee and poop. It also comes with cleaning and changing the litter box thoroughly on a regular basis. The way you maintain and how often to change the cat litter box will depend on your circumstances. So, let’s look at how often you should change cat litter.

Kind of Litter Used

How often to change cat litter depends on the type of litter you are using. Clumping litter absorbs your furbaby’s pee and hardens into clumps that may be removed from the litter box while still leaving the unsoiled litter. If you are using non-clumping litter, some moisture, though absorbed by clay or wood, will still creep to the bottom of the litter box beneath the litter.

how often should you change cat litter

Clumping litters demand fewer changes because coated clumps of pee and poop may be easily removed with a litter scoop. Non-clumping litters, on the other hand, cannot be scooped, thus you must change all of the litter each time you clean them. Also, you will need to scoop or replace soiled litter less frequently if you use cat litter that has odor-controlling features.

Cats’ Behavior

When it comes to how often the litter should be changed, some cats are more particular than others. Some cats have very specific preferences for how clean they like their litter boxes to be. If it is not as clean as they would like, they will start acting up and may even have accidents or begin spraying outside the litter box. If your cat starts having accidents in different areas of your house, you will need to start replacing cat litter more often.


How often your cat uses the litter box on a daily basis will depend on a variety of things. Among many other facts, these factors include your cat's age, your home’s temperature, and water intake. However, in general, cats will poop every 24 to 36 hours and pee two to four times per day. Depending on the situation, the best litter box for cats in your life might be an automatic one.


If it is time to clean the litter box, your nose will let you know, for sure! This can be a result of your cat using the litter box more regularly, or perhaps your neglect to scoop the litter. if there is an odor coming from the litter box, it is time to scoop or replace the litter entirely. We recommend changing the litter before you smell anything for ideal cleanliness. If there is a change in smell without a difference in the time between litter changes, take your cat to the vet to check for potential urinary issues.

why do cats pee outside the litter box

Number of Cats

It makes sense that the more you have cats at home, the faster the litter boxes will fill up with more pee and poop and will require more frequent cleaning. While generally speaking, this is true, some cat litter features odor-controlling ingredients to help you go longer between cleanings.

If you have multiple cats and you should have more than one litter box as this helps spread the pee and poop amongst the boxes. In this scenario, you will only have two or more boxes to maintain rather than having to clean the individual boxes more frequently.

How Often Should You Change Cat Litter?

If you use clumping litter, it is best to scoop the box every day and change the litter at least once a month. If you have a multi-cat household, it can be better to change the cat litter more frequently, every two to three weeks. How often to change cat litter is not governed by any strict guides, but your cat’s behavior should be monitored to see if you need to up the frequency of changes. All the reasons stated above play a significant role in determining how often you should be changing cat litter.

Your cat will either have accidents or avoid using the litter box entirely if you do not regularly change the litter. Failing to clean and change the cat litter when necessary can lead to severe health problems, most notably cat urethral blockage, UTIs, and cat lower urinary tract disease. Dirty litter will also allow germs to accumulate inside the litter box, which will result in unpleasant odors.

As stated by The Humane Society of the United States, if litter box problems begin, call your vet as soon as possible. Many underlying conditions may also cause a change in your cat’s litter box habits. Your cat may have a behavior issue that has to be resolved if your vet examines them and marks their clean bill of health. Contact a cat-experienced animal behaviorist if the issue has persisted for a while or is complicated to handle on your own. You can use cat diapers while addressing the behavior if changing the litter more frequently does not fix the accidents.

To help keep your home tidy with litter, use Pawtect® Pads beneath your cat’s litter box. These absorbent pads will help prevent any misses in case your cat pees or poops outside the litter box or prevent litter from getting spread across your house from tracking. These washable pads can be used as a form of step-out mat for your cat, keeping your home clean easily. Just as your cat wants a clean litter box, you want a clean floor. So, these reusable pads help prevent spills and clean-ups.

"To help keep your home tidy with litter, use Pawtect® Pads beneath your cat’s litter box."

Take note of your cat's litter-box routines and habits, and make any necessary adjustments. Inquire with your vet about the best procedures for using various types of litter and of course, how often to change cat litter.