Usually, you should get a new litter box about once a year. If you let your cat’s litter box become too worn and overused, it can cause litter box problems. Your cat might show dislike for their litter box and eliminate outside of it and in areas you don’t want them to. You must be able to recognize when it is time for out with the old and in with the new. In this post, we also cover different solutions to help make your litter box last longer to hopefully extend the time between having to replace it.
Why Do Litter Boxes Need To Be Replaced?
Litter boxes need to be replaced for really just two reasons. Be on the lookout within your own situation for the below reasons to make sure that you replace your cat’s litter box if and when it needs to be done.
They Become Outgrown
An obvious reason for a replacement is if your cat outgrows their litter box. If you bought your cat a small litter pan for them to use when they were kittens, then as they grow to full size, you should provide them with a regular-sized litter box to make it comfortable and easy for them to go to the bathroom.
Wear and Tear Causes Odor and Uncleanliness
Scratches and other damage caused by your cat can cause your litter box to reek all the time and be in a constant state of dirtiness. After prolonged use, your litter box can begin to constantly have an odor. Even if you were to thoroughly clean the box, a litter box can remain smelly even when it is as clean as you can get it. This is caused by a couple of things.
First, there can just be a general absorption over time by the material. The entire material can start to reek of your cat’s poop and urine just from being in contact with your cat’s poop and urine so much. The other cause of chronic litter box smell is from waste getting stuck in the scratches your cat leaves and once it is embedded in there, it can be very difficult to remove during your routine weekly cleaning. If there is an excessive amount of scratches in the cat litter box and it is impossible to really give your litter box a good deep clean and remove all urine and feces, it is definitely time to replace the litter box.
A chronically dirty and smelly litter box can deter your cat from using the litter box. As soon as you become aware of unremovable stains on the litter box, smells that won’t go away, or tons of scratches, replace it with a new one!
How To Make A Litter Box Last Longer
If you have a new cat litter box or are about to replace your old one, then you are probably also thinking about ways you can extend the longevity of it. Making your litter box last longer with the techniques below can be pretty easy and is definitely worth it.
Get A Durable Litter Box
One of the most effective solutions to making a litter box last longer is just by getting one that is more durable. Litter boxes made out of materials such as stainless steel tend to not absorb as many odors overtime as a plastic litter box and they will also be far more resistant to scratching.
Scoop and Clean It Regularly
If you can scoop out your cat’s poop a couple of times a day, and also clean the entire litter box and replace it with completely new litter at least once a week, then your litter box is going to last a lot longer. This is because your cat’s waste will be in contact with the litter box as little as possible which will help with preventing chronic smells and odors.
Figuring out a consistent and reliable cleaning schedule to scoop, deep wash, and change out the litter of your cat’s potty area is something all cat owners should do to prolong the life of their litter box. Also, it’s important to clean the litter scoop. For advice on this, check out here.
Use Baking Soda
Add a thin layer of baking soda to the bottom of your cat’s litter box to help deal with odor. Baking soda actually absorbs odor. If you can reduce the amount of odor that is exposed to the litter box, then it will last longer.
Avoid Covered Litter Boxes
Hooded litter boxes do not receive proper airflow. If the litter box is constantly exposed to the scent of cat poop and urine, it is going to absorb the smells way faster than if the litter box was open and in a well-ventilated area. Hooded boxes can also have some indirect causes of reducing the life of a litter box. They can do a pretty good job of trapping the smell inside which can make a cat owner more likely to forget to scoop and clean the litter box as frequently as they should which causes more odor which becomes permanent as more and more odor is absorbed by the material of the box.
Get Another Litter Box
Common veterinary advice is to have a litter box for every cat and then one extra. If you have one cat, getting two boxes can be pretty nice because it provides your cat with a place to eliminate in case their first litter box is dirty. If you have multiples cats, then having one per cat plus an extra is absolutely vital. Some cats may be territorial so by getting an extra litter box, you can make sure that all your cats have a location always available to use the bathroom.
An extra litter box increases the longevity of all your boxes because each litter box will get less use. A hidden benefit of having an extra one is that cleaning and scooping will have to occur less often for each. Less use means less odor and less wear and tear which means you will have to replace all of them less often.
Replacing your cat’s litter box when it needs to be done is very crucial for your cat’s well-being. Remember, if your litter box has a permanent smell to it or looks very battered, it is probably time to throw it out and replace the litter box.
Blaine is a pet owner and animal lover. His two passions of cats and blogging met and KittyCatReviews was formed.