Did you know that even when you clean your cat’s litter box daily to remove clumps, it’s not enough to guarantee optimum hygiene for your cat? In fact, it’s also advisable to regularly change the entire litter tray.
Why change the litter and clean the tray?
Cleaning the litter tray is essential for a number of reasons, not least to maintain your cat’s health and create a clean, pleasant environment. This thorough cleaning is necessary for a number of reasons.
- Hygiene: Cat droppings contain bacteria and parasites that can be harmful to both human and cat health. By cleaning the litter box regularly, you reduce the risk of spreading disease.
- Odor prevention: An uncleaned litter box can give off unpleasant odors. Cats are generally clean, and a dirty litter box can discourage your cat from using the box, leading to cleanliness problems.
- Cat welfare: Cats are sensitive to the cleanliness of their environment. If the litter box is dirty, some cats may refuse to use it, which can lead to behavioral problems, such as relieving themselves elsewhere in the house.
- Infection prevention: A dirty litter box can encourage the growth of bacteria and fungi, which can lead to urinary tract infections and other health problems in cats.
- Ease of cleaning: By cleaning the litter box regularly, you make the cleaning process easier, as litter won’t have had time to build up and become more difficult to remove.
How to clean a litter box
Every day: Remove feces and clumps from the litter box so that it’s always clean and your cat feels comfortable returning to it. To make cleaning easier, you can use a litter box. Add clean litter as needed to maintain an adequate level (around 10-12cm). This will ensure that your cat has enough litter to bury its needs.
Every 40 days (one cat with OdorLock litter): When using OdorLock litter, you should be able to get up to 40 days with the contents of a single bag before running out of litter or noticing a drop in odor control. After 40 days (or two weeks for most other clumping litters), we recommend a thorough cleaning of the litter tray:
- Empty soiled litter: At regular intervals, empty the litter tray completely into a garbage bag (avoid direct contact with soiled litter as much as possible; wear gloves if necessary).
- Dispose of soiled litter: Put the bag of soiled litter in the garbage, don’t flush it down the toilet.
- Cleaning the tray: Wash the litter tray with warm water and mild soap. Don’t use harsh chemicals or deodorizers that might repel your cat (like vinegar).
- Dry the tray: Make sure the tray is completely dry before adding clean litter, so that the litter doesn’t stick to the bottom of the tray.
- Adding clean litter: Fill the litter tray with an appropriate amount of fresh litter (10-12cm). If you’ve just changed the type of litter, it may be a good idea to mix a little of the old litter into the new one, so that your cat recognizes the smell.
Factors influencing litter changes
- Number of litter boxes: If you have more than one litter box per cat (as recommended), you should be able to stretch the life of your litter a little in each box (unless your cat always uses the same box).
- Number of cats: If you have more than one cat using a litter box, it’s normally recommended to divide the usual lifespan by the number of cats. For OdorLock with two cats, cleaning every 20 days would therefore be recommended.
- Litter type: If you use a litter other than OdorLock, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning the tray. For most litters, a complete cleaning is recommended every two weeks (or even more often in the case of certain non-clumping litters).
- Your cat’s health: Every cat is different. If your cat drinks a lot of water, or has a condition like feline diabetes, he may urinate more often, and you may need to change your litter box more often.
In the end, it’s important to remember that cats are living beings just like us, and deserve a clean, healthy environment. As well as being better for your cat’s health, a clean litter box will encourage your cat to use it and better control the odors it produces.