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Home / Blog / Cat/Kitty Tips / How Much Cat Litter Should I Use?

January 15, 2022 |6 min read

How Much Cat Litter Should I Use?

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Has this ever happened to you? You’ve just woken up and you’re about to start your day. As you walk into the bathroom to brush your teeth, you realize your steps have started to sound crunchy. When you look down, you’re met with a sea of sandy tile floors sprawling beneath you, all courtesy of your favorite little cat excavator. You walked in to brush your teeth and now you’re leaving brushing away their mess. Maybe it’s time to cut back on the amount of cat litter you use to fill the box. It’s also a good time to evaluate what types of cat litter are best for your feline friend.

As a new cat owner, you must have wondered a few times how much is too much litter for your cat’s litter box? Here’s the scoop... even though it’s easy to believe that more litter is better for your cat, the truth is many cat owners put in too much litter. Less is more. You can’t just dump in the litter willy-nilly to whatever level of litter you think is enough and expect your cat to be happy and comfortable with going number one and number two. A good rule of thumb is to fill your cat's litter box with 2-3 inches of litter.

Knowing how much cat litter to use is important because some cats are picky! Many cats will dig in their litter box in order to bury the clumps. The endless digging can get tiring and also ends up having them hide their treasure a little too well. If there’s too much litter in their box, chances are your cat will let you. Keep a close eye on them to make sure they have enough litter for their waste. Here are some signs to look out for if your cat feels like there’s too much litter in their box.

1. Their litter box becomes a slip ‘n’ slide!

Next time your cat needs to go to the bathroom, watch how comfortable they seem standing in their box. Too much litter can make for unsteady ground and uneasy footing when they’re trying to go about their business. If they’re off-balance, then you’re probably using too much litter. Think about all those Saturday morning cartoons with quicksand depictions and how easily their characters slipped and slid through the sand. That’s probably how it feels for your cat standing in the rolling, sandy hills of their litter. This can be risky and pose a problem for older cats or cats with physical limitations.

2. They don’t go all the way in.

Is your cat only going into their litter box halfway? This might mean that your cat doesn't feel like it can be stable on its feet because there is too much litter in the box. If you notice your cat digging in their box with only their front half on the inside, then you either have too much litter or too small of a litter box. Some cats who dig into their litter with their front half may turn around and stick their back half into the box when they’re done digging to finish the job. But other cats could end up just missing the mark by digging, digging, and digging, and then dropping off all of their not-so-buried treasure right outside of the box.

Choosing cat litter can be a bit of a challenge but knowing the different types is very helpful and can help mitigate problems like digging.

3. Welcome to the sandy shores of... your bathroom floor?

Our feline friends love to dig. Sometimes so much that it makes one wonder if they’re reenacting scenes from the classic 2003 family movie, Holes. However, if they are digging too much and too frantically then it’s just a matter of time before the mountains of litter you poured into their box are lining the tile of your bathroom floor. This behavior happens when your cat thinks there’s too much caving in and not enough room in the hole for them to bury their treasure. 

4. Sometimes, our worst enemy is ourselves.

Let’s face it, as cat owners sometimes we can get a little lazy about cleaning up after our cats every time nature calls them. Layering clean litter over the evidence to buy yourself time in between cleanings may seem like a good idea at first, but in the long run, it just makes the problem worse and can jeopardize your cat’s health. We can’t live life by avoiding certain issues just because they’re messy. Fresh litter is really important for indoor cats' health. The excess waste in their box and more time in between cleanings will not only build up the contents of the litter box but also encourage your cat to avoid the box altogether and go elsewhere... giving you more to clean up in the end. A dirty litter box will just cause you more problems in the long run. If you want tips on how often and when to change cat litter, we have you covered!

Cat Owner Pro-Tip:

Remember, less is more and you only need 2-3 inches of litter each time you clean the litter box. At Pretty Litter, we're happy to help you find just the right litter for your cat.








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