How Often Should You Clean a Cat’s Litter Box?

how often should you clean litter box

Cleaning a cat’s litter box can be an unpleasant chore, but it’s easier if done correctly and done often enough. Keeping a clean litter box is necessary for the health of your cat and your enjoyment of your home. So how often should you clean a cat’s litter box? Let’s find out!

How Often Should You Clean a Cat’s Litter Box?

In nature, cats don’t go to the bathroom in the same place over and over. They seek out different places, and bury their feces, so they aren’t exposed to the smell of their own waste every day. This helps them stay clean and protects their health, so it’s important that we create the same safe environment when they live indoors.

A cat’s litter box should be scooped out every day, at least once a day. The litter box should also be cleaned once a week. You may need to clean your cat’s litter box more often, depending on your cat’s preferences; some cats are less tolerant of a dirty litter box.

How to Clean a Cat’s Litter Box

Exactly how you clean a litter box depends a bit on the kind of cat litter you use, but here is the basic procedure:

Consider wearing a mask

Cat feces carries parasites and bacteria that can be harmful to your health. Depending on the kind of cat litter you use, it may also create unpleasant dust and airborne particles that you don’t want to breathe. Consider wearing a dust mask to avoid your risk of inhaling anything unpleasant.

Consider wearing gloves

In most cases, you will be touching the scoop, and gloves aren’t necessary, as long as you wash your hands afterward. But if they help you feel more clean and comfortable when cleaning a litter box, it’s not a bad idea.

Consider using a litter box liner

A litter box liner allows you to easily remove all the litter at once, which simplifies weekly cleaning.


  • Scoop waste out of the litter. Using a kitty litter scoop, remove any solid waste from the litter box. Place the cat waste in a bag, and dispose of it immediately in your outdoor trash bin; do not place cat waste in another trash receptacle indoors and let it stay there
  • If you use clumping cat litter, scoop out any clumps at the same time
  • If you use non-clumping litter, you will need to clean the litter box more often, because urine will collect in the box. You may also want to use a litter box liner, to make that task easier
  • Top off the litter in the litter box. If scooping has made the level of litter in the box low, add more as necessary throughout the week


  • Clean the litter box. To clean the litter box, dump out all the cat litter in the box into a bag, and dispose of it outdoors immediately. If you use a litter box liner, this is faster and easier
  • Wash the litter box. Wash the litter box with hot water and soap, inside and out. Also wash the litter scoop with hot water and soap. If you use a litter box cover, wash it as well
  • Clean the area around the litter box. Depending on your cats and your litter box, there may be tracked or spilled litter around the area of the litter box. Clean up spilled litter and keep the area clean
  • Dry the litter box. Using paper towels, dry the litter box thoroughly
  • Replace and refill the litter box. Place the litter box back where it goes, and add clean litter. Put the cover back in place if you use one


Scooping and cleaning a litter box regularly keeps it cleaner and reduces odors, making it a less unpleasant task. There are also lots of ways (masks, gloves, liners, odor removers, using the right litter, etc.) to make it even easier and less unpleasant. Remember that you should always have at least one litter box for each cat you have, and more litter boxes if you have a large home.

Keeping all of them clean takes just a few minutes every day, and only slightly more time once a week, and is a great way to protect and monitor your cats’ health and well-being. Cleaning the litter box is an act of love for your pets, and is as essential a part of their daily care as food and water.

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