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Best way to maintain litter boxes

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have three cats and two litter boxes (one box is standard sized the other is bigger than normal, 15" x 21"). I have heard that it is a good idea to have one more litter box than cats but when I had an extra one they didn't use it. At any rate I have been using precious cat (clumping clay litter)- costs about $10 for 40 pounds. Is it better to pour in a thinner layer of litter and completely empty the litter out every week, or use a thicker layer of litter and completely change it less frequently (every 3 weeks)? I try to scoop every day but sometimes its every other day. Thanks for any advice.
post #2 of 16
It really depends on whats easiest for you. I don't think it matters either way. I usually put in a thinker lyer and add new stuff to it every few days so they always have something fresh. Then I change it totally every few weeks. I usually buy the tidy cats for multiple cats. I also have more than one litter box, it's funny because they seem to go number one in the box and number 2 in the other box. :P
post #3 of 16
Because I have so many cats, I use Stall Dry. I scoop several times a day. I scrub out the boxes weekly and before I fill the boxes with new litter, I spray the bottom of the litter pans with PAM cooking spray. Makes clean-up so much easier. I also use a durascoop for a litter scoop and spray that down with PAM after cleaning. Don't even ask how many litter pans we have-
post #4 of 16
I know you have posted about it before Hissy but what is Stall Dry? Where can you get it? I have been using Feline Pine and I LOVE it and my cats seem to also. It smells good and covers the pee smell, plus the pee turns to sawdust so it is nice.
post #5 of 16
I've always used bags in my litter box, is there a difference or is one better than the other? They do tend to scratch and rip the bags from time to time.
post #6 of 16
I have to use a medium amount of litter with Seth. I change her litterbox once every 4 days, and I scoop 2-3 times a day. She's very picky and will poop elsewhere if I don't!
post #7 of 16
Originally Posted by hissy
Because I have so many cats, I use Stall Dry. I scoop several times a day. I scrub out the boxes weekly and before I fill the boxes with new litter, I spray the bottom of the litter pans with PAM cooking spray. Makes clean-up so much easier. I also use a durascoop for a litter scoop and spray that down with PAM after cleaning. Don't even ask how many litter pans we have-

PAM eh? weird..i'll do that next time i clean my litter boxes! lol
post #8 of 16
I would not recommed liners, the PAM works so much better and the cats don't get their claws caught on it.

Stall Dry is used in horse stalls to freshen the stalls after the horses urinate. It does a great job of getting rid of odor, all you have to do is remove the solid clumps and then stir the mixture so it can absorb odors. With so many cats, it is cheaper than buying cat litter
post #9 of 16
With my stud I do the thin layer and with the queens trays I do the thick layer.
post #10 of 16
I love the Tidy Cats Small Spaces litter for the litter pan in my bedroom. I used to use Feline Pine, but I couldn't figure out a way to scoop it(I didn't use the scooping kind). Right now, we have 1 pan in my bedroom, one emergency pan in the hallway under the fish dresser, two pans upstairs in the kitty corner, & one pan in Lily's crate. I cannot scoop the boxes, so they usually get scooped every 2 days(3 at max). I change the litter every 2 weeks or sooner if it is yucky. I use litter liners, but only because Twitch has been having some bowel issues due to medication(she's done with it finally!). I am going to start using you Pam idea, hissy. That is a great suggestions!
post #11 of 16
I'll probably try the cooking spray thing, but I'll avoid the pam brand.. lots of your "name brands" have chemical ingredients. I'll probably try an olive oil spray or something.
post #12 of 16
I use a thick layer of litter and large litterboxes. I basically change and scrub one box per day, which given the number of boxes I have puts them on about a 10 day-2 week rotation cycle. If a box is visibly soiled (like if there's poop on the side) but the litter is still fairly new, I'll dump that litter into another box and scrub the dirty litterbox.
post #13 of 16
I use World Best CAt Littler, it's made with corn cobs, it's clumping and flushable. it's fantastic.

b4 i used some cheap grocery store brands ($7 CAD 15 LB), it dones't clump well, and it gets smelly very easily. i have to scoop it twice a day adn my kitty would only use the little box after i scoop it. it gets yucky so fast that i had to change the whole little box weekly (or even twice a week). and the dust from the clay is making both me, my bf and my kitty sneeze and cough. (i'm very allegic to dust and have athsma). and when i sccop the little box, it's so smelly so every time i had to hold my breath and have to do it as fast as possible.
a box of 15 LB clay clumping little would only last me for 1 month.

now i jsut switch to this new littler, it controls odor so well, clump so fast that i only have to scoop it once a day, and when i'm scooping, it's not smelly AT ALLL, all i smell is the corn smell. and the best of all, it's FLUSHABLE! so i don't have to bag it and bring it out to the garbage can in freezing winter, all i have to do is flush it down the toilet. 1.5 weeks has gone and i don't need to dump out the entire litter yet, it's still good.

this new litter sounds very expensive, $20 CAD for 20lb, but apparently it'd last for 72 days. about 2.5 months.(according to the label)
so what i'm really paying is $9 / month!

and i only put about 2 inch of litter in the box, i found it if i put too much,the pee can't sink directly to the bottom and thus doens't clump well.
post #14 of 16
It depends on what kind of litter you use, and how quickly your boxes get dirty vs. how often you have time to scoop.

If you can scoop at least once a day the method in this link has worked really well for us to keep odor down:

If you don't have time to scoop regularly, it might not be good because the cats may break up the clumps of used litter as they dig - in that case, I'd go for a thinner layer and dumping the litter & washing the box every week.

We more-or-less use the video method but use Fresh Results corncob-based litter by 8-in-1 instead of clay, and use 18-gal Sterilite bins as litterboxes instead of covered boxes, to help keep the litter inside, and we spray the boxes with this litterbox spray to prevent sticking before filling the box with litter to 4-5 inches deep.

I spot-clean the edges if the cats soil along the edges or corners of the box, and respray cleaned areas with the litterbox spray (but not on the litter, because I'm afraid it might interfere with clumpability). I try to scoop twice a day (at least once at a minimum), and add litter as needed to keep the level high.

Every couple of weeks I'll sift the litter with a fine sifter to get out any soiled bits the litter scoop might have missed, and pour it into an extra box after spraying it with the non-stick litter spray. Then I'll wash the used box out, dry it, spray it with litter spray and repeat the cycle with the other litter boxes.

Eventually the litter will become soiled and I'll change it entirely, but sifting the litter and cleaning the boxes helps stretch out the life of the litter. It's a bit more expensive to fill the box so deep in the beginning, but it seems cheaper in the long run because I don't have to dump the whole box & start fresh every week.
post #15 of 16
I have 2 cats, 2 kittens, and five boxes! Two in the pantry on the first floor, one in the basement, one in the upstairs bathroom, one in a spare bedroom/computer room. I use the thick layer method, and try to scoop at least every other day. Unfortunately some boxes get more "full" then others. I usually completely change litter at least three weeks in. You can tell it's time b/c it is much smellier and the litter has tiny little crumbles. I also try to use the high quality litter as a starter, and refill with cheaper stuff. To me "high quality" is arm & hammer or fresh step and so far i think i like petsmart exisquiscat. Lower quality is tidy cats, which I don't like as much but is usually much cheaper and I always seem to have a coupon.
post #16 of 16
i have 3 cats and 4 litterboxes. right now we have dr elsey's precious cat ultra litter in 3 of the boxes and tidy cats (red) in the 4th box. (i'm just trying to use up the tidy cats, as the cats prefer the unscented precious cat litter).

i put 20# in each box when i dump and scrub them. which can be anywhere from 2-4 weeks apart, depending on how heavily that box was used. i scoop the boxes 2-3 times daily. sometimes more if i'm home and notice it needs it. i also add some litter as needed. but let i them run lower when it's close to time to scrub the boxes.
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