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Home > Cats > How Much Cat Litter per Month Should I Use? Usage Facts & FAQ

How Much Cat Litter per Month Should I Use? Usage Facts & FAQ

person pours dry litter from a bag for a cat's litter box

Cats are great pets and relatively easy to care for, though, of course, you still need to feed them and provide them with a litter box. Cat food has portions listed on the package, which enables you to determine how much you will need each month. The same isn’t usually true for cat litter.

While most cat owners will use about 30 pounds of cat litter per month, that amount can vary significantly among owners and even monthly. If you want to find out exactly how much litter you will need each month, keep reading as we discuss the influencing factors.

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Factors That Affect Litter Usage

Cat’s Personality

Cats can be picky about the litter box and often won’t use it if it’s dirty. If you spend a great deal of time at work, you might be better off with multiple litter boxes that require you to use more litter, at least at first. Most experts recommend having one litter box for each cat, plus one. You should also have at least one on each floor to which your cat has access.

Young man cleaning cat litter tray at home
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Cat’s Age and Size

Kittens and small cats use less litter, while large cats require more to ensure their comfort. The age and size of your cat play a significant role in determining how much litter you should use.

Litter Box Type

The type of litter box that you choose can impact litter usage. Open-top, covered, automatic, or self-cleaning litter boxes have unique requirements, and some will require more litter. Naturally, a larger litter box will also require more litter than a smaller one, but it’s important to choose one at least 1.5 times the length of your cat.

Number of Cats

You’ll need to adjust your litter usage if you have multiple cats, as each cat will use some of the litter every time they visit the box.

two cats sniffing the litter box
Image Credit: Zoran Photographer, Shutterstock

Indoor or Outdoor Cat

Outdoor cats won’t use the litter box as frequently as indoor cats, and you won’t need as much litter. However, outdoor cats face many dangers and can also cause a great deal of environmental damage, so it’s best to keep your cat inside.

Litter Type

The type of litter that you use will be one of the biggest factors determining how much you use each month, as it can vary in absorbency and clumping abilities, which affects how much you will need to replace each time your cat uses the box.

Clumping vs. Non-clumping Clay Litter

The better the litter clumps, the less you will use because the clumping action will keep the cat’s urine in place, so it’s easy to scoop out. Non-clumping litter will enable the urine to spread out farther, contaminating more litter. The soiled litter will also be harder to scoop out of the box, and doing so might contaminate even more litter. Owners typically use 28–40 pounds of clumping cat litter per month, while those that use non-clumping clay litter will often use as much as 60 pounds per month.

clumping cat litter
Image Credit: Karnstocks, Shutterstock

Clay vs. Natural Cat Litter

While natural cat litter that uses recycled paper, crushed walnut shells, or pine can be better for the environment than clay, they don’t clump and are usually not that absorbent. You often have to change this litter more frequently than clay, and you might use as much as 100 pounds per month.

Modern Litter

Some newer litter types, like silica gel and diatomaceous earth, are more absorbent than clay but don’t clump. They will perform better than non-clumping clay litter, and some brands claim that they work even better than clumping litter, but they can be quite expensive, especially if you have several cats.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How Much Litter Do Cats Use?

Small cats and kittens usually use about 7–10 pounds per week of cat litter, equaling 28–40 pounds per month. Large cats will use more litter and can reach 12 pounds per week or 48 pounds per month.

pouring cat litter in the litter box
Image Credit: Seika Chujo, Shutterstock

How Much Does Cat Litter Cost Per Month?

Most clay litters cost around $1 per pound, so you can expect to spend as much as $48 monthly on each of your cats. Natural and silica-based litter will be even more expensive. However, most cats will likely use less than 12 pounds per week, so this estimate is likely on the higher side.

Will Two Cats Use Twice The Litter?

Since the litter will absorb the urine and cover the feces, each cat will use about 1 pound daily, if not a little more.

Tips for Efficient Litter Usage
  • Experiment with different litter materials to find the best one for your cat.
  • Scoop the litter box daily to remove waste and maintain a clean environment for your cat, which will help keep your pet happy and extend the life of the litter.
  • Choose a high-quality cat litter that offers excellent absorbency and odor control. It may cost more up front, but it can save you money in the long run by reducing the need for frequent refills.
  • Any changes in your cat’s litter box behavior can indicate health issues. Monitor your cat’s habits, and consult a veterinarian if you notice significant changes.
  • Dispose of used litter in an environmentally friendly way when possible. You can compost certain types of litter or even recycle it, reducing your environmental impact.
  • When refilling the litter box, measure the litter depth carefully to avoid overfilling. Using too much litter increases usage and makes it less comfortable for your cat. Most experts recommend 2–3 inches for the best results.

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Summary

If you use clay litter like most cat owners, you can expect to go through 28–48 pounds of litter each month at approximately $1 per pound for each cat that you own. Other types of cat litter, like natural litter and silica-gel-based litter, can be better than clay in many ways, but you will likely use more of it, and it will be more expensive. Clean the litter box frequently to help promote a longer litter life, and experiment with different brands to find what you and your cat like best.


Featured Image Credit: Oleg Opryshko, Shutterstock

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