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Why Does My Clumping Cat Litter Not Clump? Here Are 7 Reasons

by Ben Doyle | Reading Time: 4 minutes

Clumping cat litter is designed to clump in contact with liquid. This makes scooping your cat’s litter quick and easy.

Sometimes though, you notice that their once clumping cat litter no longer clumps. If you have more than one cat, you might notice it clumps for one but not the other.

So why is that?

In this article, we’ll go over the reasons why your clumping cat litter doesn’t clump.

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7 Reasons Why Cat Litter Stops Clumping

If your cat litter has stopped clumping, it might be for one of the following reasons;

1. Poor Quality Litter

The more probable reason for clumping cat litter not clumping is that it’s not very good.

In this Reddit thread, users talk about some brands of clumping cat litter not working as advertised. Others talk about brands changing formulas and their litter not working as a result.

So if your current cat litter doesn’t clump, consider changing it.

2. Bad Scoop Timing

When you scoop and clean the litter tray will have an effect on how it clumps.

If you try to scoop as soon as your cat has urinated, the litter won’t have had time to set and form a clump.

On the other hand, if you wait too long before scooping, your cat might pee on top of an existing clump. This might make both clumps too wet to scoop.

Wait for 15 minutes or so after your cat pees before your scoop. This will give the litter time to form a solid clump. Also, make sure you scoop at least once a day to prevent your cat(s) from peeing on clumps that are already in the litter box.

3. Poor Litter Box Design

Round, oval or litter boxes that aren’t flat on the bottom can be difficult to scoop. As such, you might always remove all the soiled litter.

If soiled litter keeps getting saturated every time your cat goes to the toilet, it’ll turn into wet sludge.

This cat owner changed their round litter box to a square one with a flat bottom. This fixed the problem.

Try using a litter box that’s easy to scoop and clean. Or a self-cleaning litter box.

4. Your Cat Sprays Instead of Pees

Cats pee in two different ways;

  1. They pee in a single stream – this is their normal way of eliminating. Or,
  2. They spray – in most cases, cats spray to mark their territory. Although it can be a sign of stress.

If you have a good quality clumping cat litter, regular peeing will cause it to clump.

Spraying won’t saturate the litter enough to make a clump.

If you have more than one cat, make sure they have their own litter box in their own area. Some cats share litter boxes but often decide that’s no longer acceptable.

That’s why your cats might start spraying. Either to mark the area as their territory or because sharing has become stressful.

5. Urinary Health Issues

In this forum thread on TheCatSite.com, a user had an issue with her cat litter failing to clump. But it only happened when one of her two cats went to the toilet. She goes on to explain that she took her cat to the vet and he discovered that it was borderline diabetic.

That said, there is no clear connection between a cat litter’s failure to clump and health issues in your cat. So don’t panic.

That said, if you’re concerned, contact your vet.

6. Excess Urine

Too much urine in the litter box could prevent the litter from clumping.

There are three reasons why this could happen:

  1. Not cleaning the litter tray often enough – If your cat pees on an existing clump of litter, the added moisture could cause it to fall apart when you pick it up. This could also be the case if two or more cats share a litter box. So scoop the litter box at least once a day.
  2. Your cat pees a lot – This could be down to health issues like diabetes or if your cat drinks a lot. If your cat eliminates a lot of urine in a single toilet visit, it’ll create big clumps and these can take a while to set hard.
  3. You don’t have enough litter trays – If more than one cat uses the litter box, one might urinate on top of an existing clump which makes it soggy. If you have more than one cat, they should ideally have one litter tray each.

7. High Humidity

According to some cat owners, humidity can have an impact on your litter’s ability to clump.

This might affect cat owners who keep their cat’s litter boxes in the bathroom.

Each time you shower, the litter absorbs moisture from the air. As a result, it can become less able to clump when your cat uses the toilet.

If this is the case, try moving your cat’s litter box to a different part of the house.

Think carefully about where to put the litter box before you move it though. Don’t keep changing your mind and moving it again. This can confuse some cats, causing them stress which can result in them using the carpet instead.

Also, consider where and how you store your cat’s litter. If moisture can make its way into the bag or container, it might have already ruined when you want to use it.

So store your cat litter in an airtight cat litter container, in a dry part of the house.

Conclusion

Clumping cat litter fails to clump for one of seven reasons;

  1. Poor quality litter
  2. Bad scoop timing
  3. Poor litter box design
  4. Your cat sprays instead of pees
  5. Urinary health issues
  6. Excess urine
  7. High humidity

If your cat litter isn’t clumping, consider each point and find which one(s) apply to you. With a bit of thought, it’s an easy problem to fix.

Photo of author

Ben Doyle

Ben Doyle co-owns Pet Checkers with his wife, Vicki. He spends his days looking after all kinds of animals, from dogs to eagles. When he's not taking care of animals, he's writing about them.

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