Cats are very meticulous and squeamish creatures that can easily develop an aversion to litter boxes that are not kept perfectly clean and odor-free at all times. This is somewhat contradictory to the fact that they usually use their waste to mark their toilets and send territorial messages to other pets in your home.
Nobody wants to clean litter boxes more than absolutely necessary, so you may be wondering when your pet’s toilet is “clean enough.” Word to the wise, if you notice your kitty scratching inside and outside of the box and fussing and meowing, you are probably too late.
General Cleaning Timetable
Although every cat has a distinct personality, which includes the amount of waste he or she is willing to tolerate inside the litter box, absolutely none prefers a dirty, smelly litter tray.
Different characters aside, the general rule of thumb is to scoop the litter once a day or more, especially if you have multiple cats in your home. The scooping frequency also depends on your choice of litter and the number of boxes you own. The general recommendation is to use 1+ box per cat, but you can get away with just one kitty toilet (ideally, a bigger model designed for multiple pets).
Litter replacement depends on your chosen brand and type. For example, clay litters need to be replaced twice a week on average while silica and crystals can last up to a month. Additionally, your scooping diligence will also affect the overall usability of the litter. If you are using a clumping litter, unpleasant odors and moisture inside the litter tray are good indicators that it is time to replace the litter.
Every time you replace the litter, you should also scrub the box with a mild detergent. Products that contain bleach or citrus and ammonia oils can act as cat repellents. Also, keep in mind that some aggressive cleaning products are downright toxic to cats.
“Regular” Vs. Self-Cleaning
The cleaning schedule indicated above refers to traditional litter boxes without any electrical components and self-cleaning capabilities.
Automated self-cleaning litter boxes like Nature’s Miracle, on the other hand, do the scooping for you by implementing a motor-operated litter rake or some other automatic scooping mechanism. In other words, with self-cleaning litter boxes, all you have to do is empty or replace the waste bin once it is full. However, you will still have to clean the box the old-fashioned way once a month.
Self-cleaning litter boxes are an excellent choice for busy pet owners, especially since they clean themselves after each use, which makes them suitable for multiple cats. Unfortunately, some kitties are frightened by the sound of the motor and the movement of the rake and might start avoiding the box altogether.
Although some general recommendations regarding cleaning frequencies do exist, as indicated above, the optimal maintenance routine hinges on too many factors to give you a precise answer. It all depends on the number of cats in your home and their individual personalities, your choice of litter, the style of the box, and many other factors.
We recommend keeping the general timetable in mind at all times but also paying close attention to the behavior of your pets and making sure you choose the right litter and the best litter box for your current situation. With all these factors under control, you should spend minimal time cleaning the litter box and more playing with your little furballs and enjoying their quirks and mischiefs.