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How often to replace the litter box?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I have an extra-large covered litter box. I scoop daily and give the box a thorough scrub and soak every 2 weeks. Lately I have noticed that it has an odor even a day or so after a cleaning. I do not use bleach on it, because I was worried about a lingering smell or chemical bothering the cats after it is put back in place, but I scrub it out with hot water and a household cleaner, then wash a 2nd time with dish soap.

I have had it for 7 months, with 2 cats. I assume the smell just soaks into the plastic over time, but haven't seen anyone mention how long that takes. Is it time to get a new one, or do I need to use something more to clean it with?
post #2 of 23
I always use bleach and it doesn't bother my cats and there are no lingering smell. I use bleach because it kills everything.
post #3 of 23
In my house it's about 10 months to a year, but that's with two cats and 3 or 4 boxes. All depends on how deep the scratches in the plastic get. There comes a point where I can't just clean it. I often use a dilute bleach solution and rinse, rinse, rinse when it's too cold or cloudy to put it outside.

In the summer I use enzyme cleaner and let it sit out in the sun to dry.
post #4 of 23
You could also try using white vinegar. For really tough stains you can put some baking soda on them first and then pour the vinegar over it. It will foam up but that's just because it is working. I use the vinegar on the rabbit's boxes (which are worse by far then the cats for some reason) and it gets rid of the smells right away.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
I just have the one box and 2 cats. I will try cleaning it with bleach this weekend and see if that helps. If not, I'll just replace it
post #6 of 23
I clean them with a combination of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap, let them soak a little and then scrub. no odor.
post #7 of 23
I use big Rubbermaid sweater boxes from Wal Mart (sans lid) as litterboxes. At $3.97 each they're cheap to totally replace a few time a year! I replace when they start getting scratched up.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isabel View Post
I use big Rubbermaid sweater boxes from Wal Mart (sans lid) as litterboxes. At $3.97 each they're cheap to totally replace a few time a year! I replace when they start getting scratched up.
I have to have a lid on the box though, because Riley is a flinger
post #9 of 23
Ahh...I see. I have a whole spare room for my litterboxes and my solution for flingers is to place all my litterboxes inside a larger box. I know it takes some room, but it keeps the stuff in. I don't use covered boxes anymore like in the picture because it is so much more convenient to scoop coverless boxes.

We made this by taking 4 lengths of pre-finished shelving and the bottom is that panelling stuff made of pressboard (I think it is called) sold at home improvement stores. The bottom looks like sand, I know, but it is solid. Easily swept up and it can be cleaned with water/vinegar if needed.

My current configuration is 4 big Rubbermaid boxes inside this larger box.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isabel View Post
Wow! That is a cool setup you've got there. Wish I had the room to do that.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isabel View Post
I use big Rubbermaid sweater boxes from Wal Mart (sans lid) as litterboxes. At $3.97 each they're cheap to totally replace a few time a year! I replace when they start getting scratched up.
Me too, I actually haven't replaced mine yet and I got it about 2 years ago I think..I only have one kitty though and I don't notice that it smells.
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SophieC View Post
Wow! That is a cool setup you've got there. Wish I had the room to do that.
I live in a small apartment so space is very limited. The litter box is in our (only) bathroom currently.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalicoPrincess View Post
You could also try using white vinegar. For really tough stains you can put some baking soda on them first and then pour the vinegar over it. It will foam up but that's just because it is working. I use the vinegar on the rabbit's boxes (which are worse by far then the cats for some reason) and it gets rid of the smells right away.
The first grey Tabby looks like my daughter's cat.
The second cat looks like my Russian Blue kitten.
The third cat looks like my Calico cat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isabel View Post
Ahh...I see. I have a whole spare room for my litterboxes and my solution for flingers is to place all my litterboxes inside a larger box. I know it takes some room, but it keeps the stuff in. I don't use covered boxes anymore like in the picture because it is so much more convenient to scoop coverless boxes.

We made this by taking 4 lengths of pre-finished shelving and the bottom is that panelling stuff made of pressboard (I think it is called) sold at home improvement stores. The bottom looks like sand, I know, but it is solid. Easily swept up and it can be cleaned with water/vinegar if needed.

My current configuration is 4 big Rubbermaid boxes inside this larger box.
Looks like you use liners. So do I. It is so much easier and quicker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlleyGirl View Post
I have an extra-large covered litter box. I scoop daily and give the box a thorough scrub and soak every 2 weeks. Lately I have noticed that it has an odor even a day or so after a cleaning. I do not use bleach on it, because I was worried about a lingering smell or chemical bothering the cats after it is put back in place, but I scrub it out with hot water and a household cleaner, then wash a 2nd time with dish soap.

I have had it for 7 months, with 2 cats. I assume the smell just soaks into the plastic over time, but haven't seen anyone mention how long that takes. Is it time to get a new one, or do I need to use something more to clean it with?
Nature's Miracle Cat cleaner is good to clean the litter boxes.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalicoPrincess View Post
You could also try using white vinegar
I use vinegar to clean out my cats box, then put it out in the sun.

I won't use any chemicals around my cats. Many cats are attracted to bleach so be sure to rinse really well if you use that.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by missymotus View Post
I use vinegar to clean out my cats box, then put it out in the sun.

I won't use any chemicals around my cats. Many cats are attracted to bleach so be sure to rinse really well if you use that.
That's what worries me!

I am going to give it one more good scrub this weekend, and will try vinegar since several have mentioned it. If that doesn't work, I'll just toss it out and get a new one. Will let you know how it goes!
post #16 of 23
I have a cat who is a standing up pee-er. Since I have an entry cut into our boxes (sterilite tubs) I can't soak the whole side. What I've been doing is washing the main part and soaking in the usual hot water and dish soap. And I spray the sides with Clorox Anywhere spray. It's a specially formulated bleach solution and it's safe around kids and pets. It's working great for cleaning my boxes. After I soak the sides in the spray (often it dries while I'm doing other chores), I wash the sides with the soapy water the rest of the box has been soaking in. Then I rinse and dry. My boxes have been staying a lot fresher since I started using the spray.

Honestly, I don't replace my boxes every year. I do when they look like they need it, or if they smell bad. I had a set of Tidy Cats litterboxes that I tossed after a couple years. And I've had the Van Ness Giant litterboxes last even longer. I really like the sterilite tubs, I think the plastic is actually toughter than regular litter box plastic seems to be. The ones I have now don't scratch easy (I replaced 1 of mine when we moved, threw the 3rd one away and didn't replace it--so we have 2 boxes). We've been using the tubs for over a year. Probably 2 or 3 years, but we've replaced them once because of moving.
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleraven7726 View Post
I have a cat who is a standing up pee-er. Since I have an entry cut into our boxes (sterilite tubs) I can't soak the whole side. What I've been doing is washing the main part and soaking in the usual hot water and dish soap. And I spray the sides with Clorox Anywhere spray. It's a specially formulated bleach solution and it's safe around kids and pets. It's working great for cleaning my boxes. After I soak the sides in the spray (often it dries while I'm doing other chores), I wash the sides with the soapy water the rest of the box has been soaking in. Then I rinse and dry. My boxes have been staying a lot fresher since I started using the spray.
I have not seen that spray but it sounds like it would work better than the spray cleaner I am using now so maybe I will give that a try since I could use it for other things as well.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalicoPrincess View Post
You could also try using white vinegar. For really tough stains you can put some baking soda on them first and then pour the vinegar over it. It will foam up but that's just because it is working. I use the vinegar on the rabbit's boxes (which are worse by far then the cats for some reason) and it gets rid of the smells right away.
That's a cool idea!
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judi View Post
Looks like you use liners. So do I. It is so much easier and quicker.
Actually, I don't use liners anymore. That picture was taken over 5 years ago (the tabby kitten, Hanna, is a very big girl now and will be 6 years old in June ). I was using clay litter at the time and liners were easier.

I have since ditched the covered boxes and switched to clumping litter (Dr. Elsey's - unscented and fairly dust free). I have found it almost impossible to scoop using liners - I keep scooping the liner up, ripping them and making holes and so defeating the purpose.

What I have found to make scooping easier is to first (and after each cleaning) spray the box thoroughly with a non-stick spray like PAM. I was skeptical at first and thought the moistness of the spray + the clumping properties of the litter would make a big mess, but it works like a dream to keep urine clumps from sticking to the plastic of the boxes.
post #20 of 23
I think it all depends on you kitty and if she/he goes alot.......Also how many kitty's you house using that litter box. I have one box right now for each kitty and I change them out 2 times a month with new bags and litter. My house never stinks.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isabel View Post
Ahh...I see. I have a whole spare room for my litterboxes and my solution for flingers is to place all my litterboxes inside a larger box. I know it takes some room, but it keeps the stuff in. I don't use covered boxes anymore like in the picture because it is so much more convenient to scoop coverless boxes.

We made this by taking 4 lengths of pre-finished shelving and the bottom is that panelling stuff made of pressboard (I think it is called) sold at home improvement stores. The bottom looks like sand, I know, but it is solid. Easily swept up and it can be cleaned with water/vinegar if needed.

My current configuration is 4 big Rubbermaid boxes inside this larger box.
Wow. That's really nice. And the kitten is in there too.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by JellyBella View Post
All depends on how deep the scratches in the plastic get. There comes a point where I can't just clean it. I often use a dilute bleach solution and rinse, rinse, rinse when it's too cold or cloudy to put it outside.

In the summer I use enzyme cleaner and let it sit out in the sun to dry.
I do about the same but will wash with soap after I use the diluted bleach. I keep 2 sets of boxes and rotate them in to give ample time to sun bleach out the real bleach. Mine last a few years because they are only used about 1/2 of the time. I also use sterilite bins which don't seem to hold in the odor like rubbermaid. They're also cheaper than rubbermaid.
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well I tried the bleach and I tried the vinegar on 2 sep occasions this past week and the box still has an odor. Granted, I only smell it if I am on the floor scooping or sweeping where they have tracked litter, but if I can smell it, it must be awful inside for the kitty using it. So I am just going to buy a new one tomorrow
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