General Question

gailcalled's avatar

How often should I give a one-cat litter box a thorough cleaning?

Asked by gailcalled (54536points) September 5th, 2008

Empty the box, scrub with soap and warm water, bleach, dry in sun? Start from scratch every other week, once a month?

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10 Answers

poofandmook's avatar

I do it once every two weeks, but with my two, I don’t feel safe leaving them without a box for any period of time more than 10–15 minutes, and I refuse to deal with the waste of litter in another box just for an hour or two, so I just do a thorough (but surprisingly fast) cleaning with special litter box wipes, sort of like Clorox wipes. Just as good as taking it all apart and scrubbing with bleach if you do it more often, and it’s definitely less of a hassle.

gailcalled's avatar

@Poof; where do you throw the soiled litter? Those rakes let small lumps through no matter how careful I am. Maybe I can find a better rake.

And here I have to take everything that is not compostable to the transfer station. How would I classify old litter? (The last time I cleaned the box, I did simply toss everything in the scruffier part of my woods.)

poofandmook's avatar

@Gail: I flush my litter, because I use this. It’s made entirely of corn and is perfectly safe for the septic system. I empty the bin (I reuse bins until they’re cracked in the wrong places) into a little bucket I have, replace the bin, then I use a regular scooper to push all the remaining litter into the bin and then dump that in the bucket too. I flush the waste in “installments” for lack of a better word.

Then the box is empty… I use the vacuum attachment to pick up any remaining dust or particles, and then give it a good wipe-down with the litter box wipes… or if I’m out of those, I’ll use [favorite cat urine cleaner.. mine is “Complete for Cats”] and paper towels.

poofandmook's avatar

I posted too soon.. I highly recommend that litter. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but I get it in a 30lb bag and even with two cats, it lasts me forever.

You can improve upon your scooper by attaching a small piece of window screen to it.

gailcalled's avatar

@Poof; I just checked; my daughter left a large bag of the corn litter here. I have been using it with 1/2 Arm and Hammer litter.(The video-mercial was a little scary; the guy ate some of the stuf; and he used neither real cat urine or feces. AND there was a warning from CA to leave dirty litter in trash rather than flushing it.)

But I do not have the short safety interval that you do. Milo is polite and goes once or twice a day.

My pipes and septic can barely manage human waste. After a toilet-paper overload only, I am there with the plunger.

I think that the screen attachment is a wonderful idea. I wish that I had a few screens that were intact. I was planning a trip to hardware store tomorrow for screening to place over screens that Milo has shredded. I’d need 8 scratching posts at least, given the layout of this house.

Astonishing how devoted I have become. Your help has been invaluable.

poofandmook's avatar

@Gail: Oy, okay, I can see the issue with flushing. But it’s also 100% biodegradable, which would make it compostable, right?

gailcalled's avatar

Yes. I can feel free about dumping the litter and contents on the poison ivy. Will two wrongs make a right? My friend down the street with two cats flushes everything down his toilet.

JackAdams's avatar

I had a friend who had 3 Siamese cats.

Every 3 months, he would just throw away the litter box and buy a brand-new one.

He was super-paranoid about germs.

September 5, 2008, 12:18 PM EDT

augustlan's avatar

I use very sturdy litter pan liners (Johnny Cat brand). They are similar to drawstring trash bags, making it very easy to change the litter and no waste ever even touches the actual litter box.

JackAdams's avatar

I saw this device that supposedly “trains” a cat to use the toilet. I don’t know if it is “real,” or some kind of scam.

September 6, 2008, 2:19 AM EDT

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