How Much Litter Do You Need in A Cat's Litter Box?

Posted on 05 Jun 2016 17:58 by EricT


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How much kitty litter to use is a fairly common question. I must admit, though, that I was prompted to write this explanation after seeing Jackson Galaxy on "My Cat From Hell" talking about how much cat litter to use. This guy…does he just make stuff up? (That would be yes, it seems so).

So, Mr. Galaxy says a cat doesn't need more than two (maybe 3 inches) of litter at the bottom of the box. This is an example of way too little litter. If you give your cat two measly inches of litter, he or she will not have enough to work with. The urine, especially, will soak right through and form a puddle on the bottom of the box, mixing with the litter to form a sticky mess. You'll end up with a smelly and messy litter box, and your cat will not appreciate it any more than you do.

Your cat needs enough litter to dig a hole and deposit his waste for burying. Therefore, there should be enough for this purpose without your cat encountering the bottom of the box very easily.

So, two inches is not enough, but some folks go overboard, thinking more is always better. You do not want to fill the litter box to the brim with litter, either. If you put in too much litter, you'll just end up with a mess when your cat kicks litter out of the litter box all over the surrounding area.

The other problem your cat may have with too much litter is the same problem you might have when trying to walk on sand dunes. Your cat may be turned off if she feels unsteady on her feet. It has been suggested that some cats, such as long-haired cats, prefer less litter and to be able to make contact with the bottom of the box. When possible, you should avoid this, because of the clumps of wet litter that will stick to the bottom of the box. However, if you are using a lot of litter and your cat avoids using the box, try less litter.

If your cat is agile enough and large enough, a litter box with nice high sides can help. This will allow you more room for litter without the litter being kicked out of the box so easily.

How Much Litter Should I Put in the Box?

In general, a good amount of litter is anywhere from three to five inches of scoopable litter spread evenly in the box. This is enough for your cat to do their business but not so much that litter ends up all over the place.

As you scoop the litter box, keep the level topped off and spread the litter out evenly, leaving a nice clean and flat litter surface for your cat.

More Cats Mean More Litter?

Just because you have more cats doesn't mean you should put more litter in the box. You'll encounter the same problems. If you have more cats, you'll need more litter boxes. Two cats can often share one litter box but it's never really ideal. It's best to have two so that each cat can use one. It is often recommended to have one more litter box than the number of cats you have. Therefore, for two cats you should have 3 litter boxes. This may be impractical for most of us, but do try to have one litter box for each cat.

Sometimes, cats make up their own systems. They may both use both (or all) of the litter boxes in the house, or they may designate one for pee and one for poop.

Recommended Clumping Litter

Dr. Elsey's Ultra-Premium Clumping Cat Litter


This clay litter is one of the best on the market, and probably the best-selling clay-based litter. Clay litter was the first type of litter introduced to the market. Before this, people used ordinary sand in their litter box. Although there are many different types of litter available today, many of these are not clumpable and are therefore much more work for the cat's person. Although your cat may prefer a paper, wheat, corn, or pine-based litter, clay is really the most like what your cat would naturally want to use in the wild—a sandy loose soil. All the fancy litters claim to be better for your cat, but the only thing we can say for certain is that they make people feel better due to feel-good marketing. Whatever the case, let your cat be the guide.

Do Cats Eat Clay Litter?

Many cat care gurus say that you should never use clay litter because cats eat it and can become ill. Some even go so far to say that all cats will eat clay litter. This is ridiculous. If your cat ingests something like clay litter or any other non-food item, they may have an eating disorder called pica. At the least, veterinarians refer to this as nondiscretionary eating. This is unusual but it has occured, in cats and in dogs. If it occured, it could be very harmful to your cats bowels and kidneys.


Two Meows Litter Box - Recommended

The Two Meows Cat Litter Box With Kitty Litter Scatter Control combines the the advantage of a removable open-top sides with a built in perforated shelf in the front to help catch litter from your cat's paws. This also helps prevent, to some extent, litter scattering from enthusiastic litter usage.

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