Are you going through kitty litter at the rate babies go through nappies? You may be changing it more often than you need to, even to keep your furry friends happy. Evaluate your usage and find out how long a bag of litter should last.
Fill your cat’s litter box to the level you normally use. The Humane Society of the United States suggests a layer 2 inches deep is the best. Once you have filled the box to this level, tip the sand out of the box into a plastic bag and weigh it using your bathroom scale. If you’re using 3 pounds at a time, you can fill the litter box six times from the bag. If your cats use the same litter box this means a bag will last for between six and seven changes of litter. If they each have their own box, however, a bag will give you only three or four changes each.
Clean It Regularly
Keeping the litter box as clean as possible prolongs the lifespan of the litter. Start by washing and disinfecting the litter box to get rid of all existing odors and let it dry naturally outdoors. Sprinkle a layer of baking soda on the base of the box before adding the litter. This helps to keep the litter fresh and absorb odors. Depending on the size of the litter box base, 3 pounds of litter should cover the base adequately and fill the box between one-third and a quarter. Use clumping litter and remove the clumps as well as all feces from the box twice a day.
If your two cats are using the same litter box, you may have to change the litter twice a week. If each cat has his own box, weekly or even bi-monthly changes may be sufficient, particularly if you clean the box daily. With two cats each using their own box with 3 pounds of litter that is cleaned regularly and changed every fortnight, a 20-pound bag of litter should last you between six and eight weeks. You can prolong the period between changes slightly longer by “topping up” the litter once a week to replace the clumps you remove during daily cleaning.
Watch the Cats
Your most accurate indicators that it’s time to change the litter are the odor coming from the box and the behavior of your furry friends. Some cats are fussy and won’t use a litter box for more than a few days at a time, while others aren’t too concerned. Few cats will happily use a dirty or smelly litter box, which is good because soiled sand can harbor bacteria dangerous for both humans and animals. Keep an eye on your cats and they will let you know when it’s time to change the litter in their box.
Tracey Sandilands has written professionally since 1990, covering business, home ownership and pets. She holds a professional business management qualification, a bachelor's degree in communications and a diploma in public relations and journalism. Sandilands is the former editor of an international property news portal and an experienced dog breeder and trainer.