How Much Litter to Put in Litter Box

How Much Litter to Put in Litter Box

New cat owners might assume that the more cat litter in the box, the better. It is not always the case. How much cat litter can affect how consistently your cat will use it. And how it can have an impact on your place, too.

You need at least 2" of cat litter. Add more to fit your cat's preference on how much they like. Adding too much litter will cause your cat to spread it all over your floor, so adding the right amount will eliminate unwanted litter box problems.

How Deep Should The Cat Litter Be?

It is important to understand that every cat is different and each of them prefers different things. I have two cats at home. The first is the digger and the other favors a shallow pan.

The first one takes forever to dig and find the perfect spot, the other won’t do his job until they touch the bottom of the pan. Regardless of their behavior, you have to make sure that you put just enough.

You can buy the best litter on the market but if you don’t know how much to put, it can just create problems for your cat and you.

A good rule for depth is about 2 inches in each litter box you own. This is so that your cat will have enough to dig in and to use for cover.

However, it should not be so deep that it gets kicked out of the litter box.

The Problem with Too Much Litter

One of the biggest litter box mistakes is using too much. This will end up being kicked out of the box and onto your floor. Not only will this add the litter box to your cleaning tasks, but it will add the floor too. Getting the litter kicked out of the box will leave you with tracks everywhere.

Even if your cat's litter box is covered, if there too much litter inside, it will easily find its way onto your floor. The goal is to keep as much in the box as possible.

Aside from the additional cleaning tasks, using too much litter is very wasteful.

Not Using Enough Litter in the Box

As cat parents, we've found out using too little litter in the box is a common mistake. Not enough litter will leave the pan with odor problems since urine will not be absorbed. It will just sit on the bottom of the pan.

Cats are known to be neat freaks. If their litter box smells, it will keep them from going in there to take care of their business.
gray cat in blue litter box with not enough litter in it

Cats Behavior Towards Litter Boxes

A cat's natural behavior is to dig, eliminate, and then cover her elimination of the soil, which in our domesticated lives is their litter box. It is their survival instinct and this is especially true even with the most spoiled indoor cat.

If there is not enough litter, a cat may have a hard time when trying to search for a clean spot. This will leave them reluctant to attempt to cover. It may be a simple thing, but it stresses them out, big time.

Monthly Cost of Cat Litter

To find out the precise costs of cat litter in a box, we need to look at some considerations:

  • the size of the box
  • number of litter boxes you have
  • number of cats you have
  • brand type of litter you use
cat sitting with paper money laying around and money necklace
this cat deserves the money

Calculating Cost with Clumping vs. Non-Clumping

Let’s take a box to calculate monthly cat litter costs. To begin with, let’s identify the three main types of litter:

  1. Clumping – works pretty good at absorbing moisture and controlling odors. ($.076 per lb)
  2. Non-clumping – constituent litter particles do not clump together even when soaked in urine ($0.68 per lb)
  3. Crystals – highly absorbent, controls odor well, and is almost dust-free ($1.98 per lb)

Clumping Cat Litter

The average cost of clumping cat litter is $17.05 per 40 lb bag. If you are changing your litter every week, which is the recommendation, you will use the whole bag in a month, leaving you an expense of about $17-20 a month.

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Non-Clumping Cat Litter

There is not a huge difference in the price of non-clumping from clumping. If you're using the same amount of litter as clumping, your monthly expense should be around $17-20 per month.

Crystal Cat Litter

The average price of crystal cat litter is almost $2 per lb. You might avoid this because it is the most expensive, but think about the sustainability the makers of this cat litter had in mind when it was developed. With a cost of $60/month, you won’t have to do a full litter change.

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This may just be one of those cat trends that change over time, but there are reasons to consider using it.

CHECK THIS ARTICLE OUT: Benefits of Using a Hypoallergenic Cat Litter

More About Placement and the Basics

With your cat’s finicky bathroom habits, keeping their litter boxes up to the standards is important. Any veterinarian will agree with this. Otherwise, you will be dealing with a regular mess at home. Always remember the general rule in litter boxes;

  • Litter box placement: should be located in a spot where the cat gets some privacy but is also convenient, too. Avoid places near noisy and heat-radiating appliances. It is not advisable to put the box in the basement where the cement floor is cold. This will leave your cat less pleased and they’d end up doing their business someplace else.
  • Litter box basics: the recommended litter boxes you should have is one litter box for each cat, plus one. This is so that no cat should hold their bowels just because a litter box is occupied.

How Often Should You Change Out Kitty Litter?

The frequency of changing your cat's litter box will all depend on these three things:

  1. If you have an additional cat using the litter box.
  2. What type of litter you use.
  3. How picky your cat is. To avoid litter box issues we need to keep your cat happy.
tabby cat on white staircase

If you have more than a single cat then you may have to change your box more frequently than recommended, or if your pet likes fresh litter, change more often.

For clay litter change: twice a week

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For clumping litter change: if it's cleaned daily, change the whole cat's litter every 2-3 weeks

For crystal litter: two weeks for 1 cat/ once a week for 2 cats

How to keep your litter box clean?

A deep clean once a month will help keep your box smelling clean. Also cleaning boxes at least every other day (unless it's a self-cleaning litter box) will help with the smell.

For a deep clean, empty dirty litter and rinse out the pan. You can clean with dish dawn soap. To keep yourself clean, wear gloves or wash your hands after finishing.

Is 1 Litter Box Enough for 2 Cats?

Tips on the reasons using 1 box for 2 cats is not enough; here's why:

  1. Some cats may need their own space.
  2. It's stressful for some cats to not have their own box.
  3. Cats are territorial.
  4. Having an additional litter box prevents overcrowding of pee and poop in a single box.
  5. Allows your cat to feel happy and be in a safe environment.

If you own a two-story home or find an overcrowding or territorial issue with your cats, it's not unusual to have at least three cat boxes. But overall, if you have more than a single cat, use 2-3 cat litter boxes.

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How long does a 25lb bag of cat litter last?

Clay and clumping litter: this will last around a month with one cat with a matching box. More cats and you will need at least 40 pounds.

Crystal litter: with a self-cleaning litter box or regular boxes, a single bag of crystals is supposed to last 30 days for your cat, but in our experience, it's been about 21 days. You will need two bags for two cats if you only have a single box.

One veterinarian advises against a self-cleaning box due to cat's being scared and giving the pet an option to pee on the carpet instead.

Can you put too much litter in a litter box?

Yes, having too much in your litter box will only lead to more cleaning. Too much will and your cat may kick it out of the box; then your pet may want to search for another place to go.