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When I first moved into my apartment I couldn’t imagine keeping a pet in such a small place. I’ve always loved cats and dogs but being at work 80% of the week I was determined not to have a cat or dog as pet. A fish was an option but I left it for some later times.
And my apartment, no matter how small, was brand new and spotlessly clean and I enjoyed the cleanliness so much!
But how can you keep away from pets when you have a soft heart that melts on the very sight of them? Mission impossible 🙂
I mean you walk the street and you spot a helpless baby cat or baby dog… and you are fully aware how cruel this world is and how just passing them by could mean they will die. A real nightmare for an animal lover, like the sad lamb story in the movie “The silence of the lambs”.
And so I was destined to have a cat as my best little buddy at home (being single for life).
Having an indoor cat means you have to deal with cat litter – but with a cat that’s about the biggest maintenance effort. You don’t have to walk your cat twice a day or give it a bath often, so cleaning the litter box (often) is acceptable for having such a lovely companion. And it takes only 10 minutes maximum to fully clean it, so perfect for our busy lives.
So one of the first questions that come to your mind as a new cat owner is: how much cat litter to use on a weekly or monthly basis?
For me, this question was easily answered by my next-door neighbor. The girl that lived next to my apartment kept a black cat and I often saw plastic bags outside the door, waiting to be taken to the trash.
So one time it happened that I went inside her apartment (for some reason) and saw that she kept her litter box in the bathroom. I was quite surprised (here is my experience with places to put litter box in a small apartment) because it seemed to me that it would smell horrible. So then she revealed that she completely changed the litter box once a week and it became my practice as well.
How Often Should You Replace Cat Litter?
So in my experience what works really well is this practice: totally replace the cat litter once a week and in between do the scooping.
I am a bit lazy so I scoop once a week, usually Wednesday as I fully replace the litter on Sunday, but I admit it should be done on a 2 day basis for one cat. Some people scoop every day and I must say I admire that, but I often get distracted by work or other daily duties so that is my schedule. I guess it also depends on where you keep the litter box: outside or inside, for the inside litter box more frequent scooping is desirable.
Another great contributor to the frequency of litter box cleaning is the litter itself. Always try to find a high-quality, smell absorbent litter. It will save you a lot of effort and unwanted smells.
What I always recommend is silicone litter, it has proven to be the best odor trapping litter I have ever tried, it is easy to clean and you can actually track your cat’s health with it, by easily spotting irregularities when scooping or replacing the litter.
Although it is a bit gross work I just love when my Puffy gets her bathroom freshened up and I know she loves it because sometimes she will just lay in the sand and enjoy it.
The funny side of cleaning the litter box is that cats often use it right after you cleaned it. I think they may be actually holding up because they find the litter box unclean! So once the place is clean they are comfortable using it.
When I completely replace the cat litter I use a medium-sized bag of litter, which is around 4l bag of silicone litter, I pour it all at once. When I can’t find my favorite silicone litter I use a 5 kg bag of litter sand, I sometimes pour it in 2 rounds during one week (Wednesday and Sunday, my litter box cleaning days).
But it is always one bag of litter per week.
Another thing to watch out for is if you have only one cat or multiple cats, of course with more than one cat the cleaning should be done more often, but since I have only one cat I am sharing only my experience and best practice for one cat household.
Your cat individuality also plays a major role in how often you should change the litter per week or per month. It is different if your cat is healthy or has some digestive issues, if it eats a lot or what it eats. So keep track of these things so you can best adjust your litter box cleaning schedule for best performance.
In the end I must emphasize how very important is to have a clean litter box – that your cat approves 🙂 Otherwise, you may end up with a cat that goes outside the litter box, makes a mess in your home and that is definitely something you want to avoid.
As a one cat owner that is my litter change experience that works really good for me and my small apartment and I hope this share of information is useful to you 🙂
Just did my weekly scooping (not my favorite crystals though) and she had to check what is going on, like the very good cat she is: