How Often to Wash a Litter Box – A Guide For Cat Owners! –

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You love your cat, but you don’t like the messy litter box. Boxes aren’t just a smelly nuisance, they can also harbor foul-smelling pathogens. Keeping it clean is imperative not only for your nostrils, but also for your health and that of your cat. Picking up litter every day is one thing, but sometimes it takes more than that.

So how often do you wash a litter box? A litter box for a cat should be changed and washed every two to three weeks. A heavy cleaning job should be done every one to two weeks if you have multiple cats.

No one likes the aspect of tearing down and cleaning out the litter box. But cats are picky, and if you don’t keep their cage clean, they’ll find another place to relieve themselves. It’s easier to take that box apart for a big cleaning than trying to get the urine out of your great-grandmother’s Persian rug. Read on and learn the importance of a washed litter box for you and your cat.

Why bother washing it?

There are several reasons to wash a litter box. They include

  • Sanitary reasons
  • Cat welfare
  • human well-being

1. Health reasons

With today’s clumping cat litter, keeping a tidy litter box is much easier. A simple scoop-and-go is all you really need…right? Not so fast, picking up those clumps doesn’t remove everything. Yes, these lumps are quite hard with dried urine and feces and easy to remove, but the truth is that some of it stays in the box. Small pieces break or fall apart sometimes. This leaves the coarse litter dark in color. You also can’t reach those corners with that little square plastic shovel. Disgusting debris ends up sticking to it.

There’s only one way to really get rid of all that debris. And that’s to take it apart and clean it.

2. Cat welfare

A clean crate is much healthier for your cat. A dirty box has one or two effects on a cat:

  • They go somewhere else
  • They hold it back

You know what happens if they go somewhere else… you clean up a mess. But if they hold him back, you may be going to the vet. Retaining it is difficult for a cat, it can affect:

  • Kidneys
  • Bladder
  • Urinary tract

This can lead to lower urinary tract diseases. Besides basic bacteria, a litter box can harbor a host of parasites. Some of these parasites include:

  • roundworms
  • Hookworms
  • Ringworms

When the litter box is dirty, it is easier for parasites to enter the cat’s gastrointestinal tract. Some of the problems caused by these worms can be deadly.

3. Human well-being

Cats aren’t the only mammals that can pick up something nasty from a litter box or its debris. The remains of feces can end up lying around the house. If you don’t wash the box periodically, not only are you risking your cat, but you’re exposing yourself to harmful pathogens. Some of them include:

  • Toxoplasmosis
  • fungal infections
  • Bordetellosis (cat scratch fever)

With just a little soap and water, you can eliminate these risks.

How to wash a litter box step by step

It’s not difficult and it doesn’t take a lot of time to undress and clean a litter box. You don’t need to use fancy soap or special brushes. But you have to rinse well. Here are the steps:

  1. Take your litter box outside (saves on cleaning)
  2. Replace the box with a small shoe box or another small disposable box and put some litter in it, you don’t want any accidents. If you think your cat doesn’t need it, skip this step.
  3. Line an old trash can, bucket or trash can with a trash bag.
  4. Completely empty the litter into the lined receptacle. Use a stick or an old utensil to reach these corners.
  5. Take a bottle of dish soap from the kitchen (Dawn is always a good choice with pets) Do not use bleach or ammonia. This could deter your cat from using the box and can be dangerous for you if combined. Citrus-scented soaps will also deter a cat.
  6. Using a garden hose (if not available, your sink or bathtub will do), pour water into the box. Do not fill the box with water; pour only about three or four inches. You can add more if you need.
  7. Add the soap and let soak for a few minutes.
  8. Take a brush or a thick cloth and scrub. Be sure to reach the corners where debris likes to accumulate.
  9. Pour out the water if you still have debris, repeat steps 6 and 7
  10. Rinse the box thoroughly. You want to remove all the residue.
  11. Let dry completely
  12. When dry, fill with about two to three inches of litter.
  13. Throw away the temporary cardboard litter box with the old litter
  14. Since the dirty litter and temporary box are already in a garbage bag, simply tie the bag and throw it away.
  15. Repeat every two to three weeks

You now have a perfectly clean and sanitized litter box with no mess or mess.

What to do if your cat uses the litter box right away

You just spent time and energy cleaning that box, and the moment you put it back, your cat jumps in. If you have multiple cats, they’re probably all trying to jump at the same time. Why is it?

Although there is no definitive answer as to why there are certain assumptions. Keep in mind that cats haven’t been domesticated as long as some pets. They still retain some instincts, even your indoor cats.

One of the reasons they immediately jump into the box is because they don’t want that clean scent they want their own. It’s their box, so it should be their perfume. Now, that doesn’t mean they want it dirty; they just want to know it’s theirs.

A second possible explanation goes back a few years. They want to claim new territory. In the wild (including that tom on the street), cats mark all new territory. And while it’s not technically a new box or location, it does feel new to them.

And a third reason is… they’re cats. And cats always do what they want, when they want. Whatever your wishes.

Types of trash to help keep it clean

There are several types of litter that can be used to replenish and help keep that box a little cleaner for a little longer.

Although you may think you’re reducing the smell (cleaning it regularly will), don’t be tempted to use scented litter. It turns off a cat. There are several types of litter that will help reduce the smell of your litter box and make it much cleaner. They include:

  • Clay
  • Recycled paper
  • Walnut shells
  • Grass

1. Clay

Clumping clay is very absorbent and forms clumps when your cat urinates. When the urine clumps, you just need to remove it. Since it is easy to remove, it reduces odors. But the disadvantages are that it is dusty and not biodegradable. This is probably the most popular litter. An excellent choice is Purina Tidy Cat Free and Clean Unscented. It is unscented as it contains activated carbon in the clay which absorbs odors.

2. Recycled paper

Made with recycled paper pellets, this dust-free litter is highly absorbent. Because it’s made with paper, it’s biodegradable. The disadvantage is that it does not form lumps. An example of paper litter is fresh news. It’s not only non-allergenic, but because it contains baking soda; reduces odor.

3. Walnut shells

Crushed walnut shells make up this litter, and as a result, it is dark. It will reduce odors with its excellent absorbency and is also biodegradable. From a cleaning perspective, walnut shells are great because they clump together. Naturally fresh claims that because their litter neutralizes odors so well, one bag equals three bags of clay. It is also dust free.

4. Grass

grown in the United States; Grass litter is a relatively new product in the cat world. Made from grass fibers, it is not only biodegradable but clumps very well. Best of all, it controls odors. A brand that is new to the scene is The good ground. It is completely natural and fragrance free. Because it absorbs so quickly, you won’t have litter stuck to the bottom of the box.

Final Thoughts

Don’t let your litter box become unbearable for you and your cat. Take fifteen minutes and scrub well. This will not only reduce the risk of infections in cats and humans, but will also cut down on those little bits of feces and everything else that goes for a ride while it’s being carried around the house. A well-washed litter box equals a clean house and a happy cat.

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