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How Often Should I Replace My Cat Box?

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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How Often Should I Replace My Cat Box?

How often should you replace your cat box (also known as litter boxes litterboxes, litter pans or litterpans) in your house?

This is not a common question but it really should be.

Most litter boxes are made of plastic-and plastic doesn't live forever. Urine is an acid and over time, the plastic can actually react with the acid and undergo chemical changes. These won't necessarily hurt your cat but they can irritate their paws and nose, cause the plastic to become rough and pitted, and weaken the material.

Many owners tend to buy a box and keep it for many years without realizing it can cause problems with their cat. Urine can soak into the material and make the box smell "dirty" all the time, which can discourage cats from using it.

I've even known owners with several cats who went to pick up their litter box and watched it shatter in their hands-all because years of urine had degraded the material until the plastic was too weak to use. Yuck!

The rule of thumb is that most boxes should be changed once a year. This includes both the bottom part where any litter sits as well as any covers that might go on it. It's also not a bad idea to change the scoop at this point too.

Try changing your cat's litter box on a day you'll remember so you won't forget. Some owners change their litter box on their cat's birthday, on a holiday, or even on the anniversary of the day they got their cat. However you do it, all that matters is that you remember it every year.

I hope this helps you understand how often you should replace your litter box.

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