How Much Litter Should Be In A Litter Box: Get It Right To Reduce Messes

Kitty litter boxes are simple since you dump litter in and scoop out what the cat leaves. First-time pet owners can find themselves stumped by simple questions like how much litter should be in a litter box. However, even if you’re an old pro at cat care, there are some things you may not know about that cat bathroom. Moreover, cat boxes come in a lot of assorted styles. Does that mean they need more or less litter? I did a deep dive into the smelly world of litter boxes, and what I produced might surprise you. As a veteran pe owner, I thought I knew everything about the box, but I found new facts about how this simple staple works, and I’ll share what I learned with you. It turns out there is more to the litter box than sand goes in, and waste comes out.

How much litter should be in a litter box? You need two to four inches of litter in a litter box. Different cat boxes and cats determine how deep it should be. If your cats dig until they hit bottom, try putting a little more litter inside, or use a little less in a shallow litter box.

How Deep Should Clumping Litter Be in a Litter Box

How much litter you put in the box does not depend on the type of litter you use. Whether it’s large granules or an alternative littler like the variety made of recycled newspaper, you still need two to four inches. Clumping cat litter should be around three inches deep in the box as well.

Instead of going up and down levels based on the litter, do it based on the box and cat. Some kitties don’t bury the poo at all. This may be gross, but it means you don’t need as much litter. In these cases, use about two inches.

Similarly, if you use a wide, shallow box for kittens or older cats with mobility problems, then you need less litter. Putting too much inside the box will only make litter messes more likely. Likewise, for deeper boxes and deep diggers, a little more litter is in order.

Adjust the box to the cat. When your kitty is trying to make a hole in the earth with its digging skills, opt for a deep box with high sides. Furthermore, you can use enclosed cat boxes for kitties who are especially prone to kick litter out of the box.

Cat Litter Deodorizer

When the smell becomes overwhelming, it is more than just disgusting; it’s bad for your health. There is more to cat boxes than how much litter you should put in the litter box. Adding a sprinkle-in cat litter deodorizer is a wonderful way to help keep the smell down.

However, if stinky litter boxes plague your home, it is time to upgrade your cat box game. Cat litter deodorizer is the first step to never smelling that box again. Covering bad smells isn’t the only thing you need to do for a clean, stink-free cat box experience. The list below will show you all the steps to keep the cat box stink out of your home for good.

Reduce Kitty Litter Smells

Follow these handy steps to avoid having a home that smells like cats go to the bathroom there. Just as you clean your own toilet, cat boxes need some TLC. There are more steps to keeping your pet’s potty clean, but they are easy to accomplish.

  1. Use Deodorizer to reduce litter smells- Humans can spray or light a match after they use the bathroom. Since your cat has no thumbs, you’ll have to handle this step for them. Add a deodorizer to your cat litter.
  2. Put Litter Boxes In a Ventilated Area- Airflow is crucial. Even minor odors will build up over time. Please make sure the area you place our litter boxes in has good airflow. Open a window or use a roof vent.
  3. Scoop The Litter Box Daily- You wouldn’t leave an un-flushed toilet for multiple days, would you? Your pet’s potty needs a daily scoop. If you have more pets, get more boxes and scoop them daily instead of letting one box get oversaturated with urine and feces.
  4. Add Baking Soda to dirty litter- Like other household odors, baking soda can help absorb the smells from your cat box. You can mix it into the litter and place a box nearby to help absorb excess smells from even the smelliest cats.
  5. Choose a Covered Box as your cat litter box- Cat boxes with lids help you prevent little messes, but they also help hold in smells. Opt for a self-cleaning style box with a filtered vent in the top whenever possible.
  6. Change The Filter On The Roof of Your Covered Cat box- Covered cat boxes often have vents with filters. Like changing air filters anywhere else, these will only absorb so much before you need to replace them.
  7. Use Litter Pan Liners in your Cat Box- Litter pan liners may seem silly initially, but they help prevent cat urine from soaking into the porous plastic.
  8.  Wash The Litter Box Weekly- Even with a liner, some smells will seep into the plastic of your litter box. By washing the empty box out every week with a mild detergent like Dawn dish soap and a little baking soda, you can extend the working life of the box while reducing odor issues.
  9. Replace Litter Boxes Regularly- The best litter box in the world will still need replacing someday. All plastics are porous, and they break down over time. Check the manufacturer specifications. If there is no replace-by date, then ditch the box when it starts to smell even after you wash it, or about every six months for sanitation reasons.

How Much Non-Clumping Litter Should Be Added to a Litter Box

Choosing how much non-clumping cat litter to put in a litter box is simple. Start with two inches. At this height, there is enough litter for non-digging cats and shallow boxes.

You can add another inch or even two inches of cat litter as needed. When you have a very deep box or cats who love to dig, more litter is a good plan. Additionally, you should add more litter to a deeper box in general.

There is no functional difference between a non-clumping and a clumping litter in terms of depth. However, the clumping litters trap pee and make it into more manageable balls you can scoop out. Doing this will help prevent urine saturation in the plastic and reduce odors.

I recommend the Omega Paw EL-RA15-1 Elite Roll ‘n Clean Litter Box from Amazon. This self-cleaning litter box uses a clever manual method to roll the box over to clean it. Hence, no more scooping. All you need to do is pull out the tray and dump it when you’re done. Learn all about it by clicking right here

Is it Possible to Put Too Much Litter in a Litter Box

Did you know that you can put too much litter in a cat box? When deciding how much litter to put in a litter box, you need to look at the side height. Also, consider how vigorously your cat kicks their litter around.

Choose a deeper box for cats who dig like it is their job. When you overfill a cat box, the litter goes everywhere. It would help if you had at least an inch or two of a lip around the edge to help catch any excessive kicking.

Consider adding a litter mat under your chat box if your pet is especially messy with the litter. Plus, you can choose a covered box or one with deeper sides to keep even more mess inside.

For a mess-free cat box cleaning experience, check out the SpeedySift Cat Litter Box with Disposable Sifting Liners. The extra-deep sides on this box help keep the litter where it belongs. Moreover, when your cat is done, you simply lift out the disposable self-cleaning liners. The litter will pour through the bag leaving only waste behind. To read the outstanding Amazon reviews, click here

How Long Will a 20 Pound Litter Bag Last

New pet owners often struggle with how much of each pet supply to purchase. How much litter to put in the box doesn’t matter if you don’t have enough litter to fill it in the first place. How long will that twenty-pound bag last?

Typically, when you have a single cat box, your twenty-pound litter bag should last six to eight weeks. A deep box will use a little bit more litter. Similarly, if you have two or more cats and you clean more often, you have to buy litter more frequently.

It is not a good idea to use litter until the box is empty. Instead, maintain a constant level of litter by adding a little clumping litter every couple of days. If your litter is non-clumping, then you need to change it completely every few days to a week instead of adding more on top.

The difference is that clumping litter absorbs and collects pee into balls. You scoop all the urine out. Alternately, with a non-clumping litter, you are only removing the poop. Pee remains behind, soaking into the litter and box.

How Often Should You Change All of the Litter in the Box

Changing all the litter is a necessity no matter what type of litter you use. How much litter you put in a litter box shouldn’t change, but that doesn’t mean you can leave unused litter inside. The frequency of litter box changes depends on the type of litter you use.

For any non-clumping litter, you need to change the box more often. Because urine is not removed when you scoop this type of litter, it can soak in, causing unpleasant odors. Most importantly, leaving rancid urine in the box is bad for you and your cat. Change this type of litter completely every five to seven days.

When you use clumping cat litter, you don’t need to dump it all as often. Most of the urine collects in balls, which you scoop out. Some saturated granules will still escape and mix into the litter box. For sanitation reasons, you need to dump these boxes at least once every two or three weeks.

How Much Litter to Add for a Litter Box That is Used By 2 Cats

How much litter you need to put in a litter box doesn’t change based on the number of cats you have. If one or more of your pets is a litter kicker, get a deep-sided box. Furthermore, if your pets are deep diggers, they need an extra inch or two of litter in the box.

Regardless of the litter depth, the rule of thumb for cat boxes is that you need more for every cat you get. A single cat can have a single box. However, once you add another cat, your cat boxes need to go up exponentially. In general, you should have one box per cat plus one.

Two cats need three boxes; five cats need six boxes, and so on. The reason for this has to do with cat territory and comfort. Each cat needs their own box, and the extra is there to give them more space to work out who belongs where.

Like chickens, cats have a ‘pecking order.’ The dominant cat is usually the one who sits in the highest part of the home. So a cat who likes to jump on high shelves, counters, and takes the top of a cat tree is ‘in charge.’ Notably, a cat who sleeps higher than you thinks they rule your home.

The lead cat may decide to change the box they prefer. Hence the extra box means everyone can shift to a different box without invading a box the top cat already claimed. Doing this will help prevent cat fights.

Outside the Cat Box Pottying in Multicat Households

A cat who poops or pees outside the box once they are trained is trying to communicate. Sometimes the dominant cat is chasing them off the box, or you may not have enough cat boxes for your pets. Other times they dislike the box.

A cat who isn’t comfortable in a covered litter box will poop outside to complain. Consider replacing covered cat boxes if your pet doesn’t want to go inside. All the benefits of this style are lost if your fussy feline doesn’t go in the box at all.

Notably, you should always pay attention if a cat poops outside the box. They also do this when something is wrong. Constipation and worms are among the other reasons you may find poop on your floor.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning the cat box isn’t fun, but it is one of the crucial ways your pet depends on you. Knowing how much litter to put in the litter box allows you to save on costs and messes. Proper litter use is good for you and your furry friends.

For those who really dislike scooping, you can switch to a dust-free litter and get a cat box that is self-scooping. When you only must dump a container into the trash, it’s a lot easier, and you can avoid overfull litter boxes. Your cat and your nose will thank you.

Now that you know the secrets of the litter box, this routine chore will be much simpler to handle. A clean cat box will make everything smell better, and it reduces the chances your cat will use the floor instead.

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