The cat. Majestic. Self-sufficient. And…occasionally, stinky. Changing cat litter properly is a big deal, not only for your sense of smell but for the health and well-being of your feline friend. However, the answer to how often you should change cat litter is not solely based on the sense of smell. There are many different factors that play into keeping your nose happy and your cat(s) healthy. One good benchmark is that cat litter should be 2-4 inches deep, so once you scoop the mess, see how much is left in the litter box.

Type of Litter

If you have ever been down the cat aisle, you know that there are plenty of different types of cat litter. Some are cheaper, some are scented to prevent odors, and some are even hypo-allergenic or dust-free (for humans and for cats).

Additionally, for anyone who has ever had a cat, you will know that your cat will quickly come up with a preference. Just like you have a preference for what you use in your bathroom, your cat has a preference for what they want to use in their bathroom. 

If you get cheaper cat litter, you should change it more often. At most, you should change it every day and at least, you need to change it two to three times per week. This will keep everything sanitary and it will ward off the smell.

For more mainstream and higher-end litter (clumping litter), you can get away with completely changing your cat litter two weeks.

However, even with this, daily scooping is required to keep your cat in a sanitary bathroom setting and to keep your cat content with using the litter box. 

Number of Cats

The number of cats you have will also depend on the frequency you should clean out your litter box(s). The rule for having multiple cats is that you should have one litter box for every cat and then one more, just in case. 

Depending on the habits of your cats, they may use all the litter boxes or they could pick a favorite. Either way, it is important to scoop the cat litter and change it completely on a regular basis. 

Additionally, there is also special cat litter for multiple cats and that is recommended; both for smell and sanitary purposes.

How Often Should You Change Cat Litter?


Cats, like humans and any other living creature, are products of frequency. Most cats urinate 2-4 times per day. The other bathroom business is usually done once or twice per day. 

However, that number is not set in stone. Some cats drink a lot of water and eat a lot. Therefore, their relative output will be more than cats that do not drink and/or eat as frequently. 

Ultimately, you and your cat need to get into a schedule that is comfortable for both of you. If the litter box is acceptably clean each time your cat goes to do their business, the schedule is working. Yet, if your cat is finding other places to do their business, you need to adjust the frequency of changing their cat litter. Don’t worry! They will let you know.