6 Downsides To Using Disposable Litter Boxes

Ditch The Disposable?

We get it, no one enjoys cleaning out their cat's litter box. For many, the upkeep required can be time-consuming and just flat out inconvenient. Along with scooping on a day to day basis, the litter box requires regular deep cleanings to ensure a sanitary and hygienic bathroom space. On average, most experts recommend a complete dump and clean every 1 to 2 weeks or so.

Having a clear cut litter system at home can be instrumental in promoting a safer experience and keeping your cat healthy and happy. As cat owners, we all have our own systems and preferences when it comes to dealing with the litter. Some prefer to stick with the traditional method for manual scooping, others have upgraded to an automatic litter box, and some may even opt for a disposable litter tray. Let's investigate that just a little more.

Why use a disposable litter box to begin with?  

Disposable litter boxes give up to four weeks of use before requiring replacement. Like with all manual litter boxes, you'll still need to scoop daily to keep the litter bed clear. However, disposable litter boxes can reduce the amount of deep cleaning required as you don’t need to wash or disinfect the tray on a bi-weekly basis. This can be a convenient option for someone who might want to replace rather than reuse. Let's examine some of the key benefits:

  • They can be a great temporary solution if you travel with your cat or stay somewhere for a short time.  
  • Some cat owners opt to use them long-term, throwing away and changing the box every few weeks rather than cleaning it out completely.  
  • They are a good option for pregnant women who should avoid contact with feline waste.  
  • If your cat is sick with something contagious or dangerous to humans, you can throw away the whole tray with very little prolonged contact.  

The disadvantages of a disposable litter box 

Even though these types of litter boxes can be convenient, they do carry some disadvantages that should be considered before switching up your routine.  

1.They can become costly over time

There are some cheap disposable litter boxes on the market. Still, even with these, it can quickly become costly if you use them continuously over a longer duration. This is especially true if you have multiple cats in your care. It's usually recommended to have one litter box per cat, so if you’re using disposable trays, you could end up going through them much quicker than anticipated.

If you’re fostering kitties for a short while, it makes sense to buy low-cost disposable litter boxes that you can discard after they're re-homed. But for pets who are with you as their forever family, paying a one-off cost for a good-quality, long-term litter box will save you a lot of money down the line.  

2.They are not an eco-friendly solution 

Many disposable litter trays are constructed with recycled or biodegradable materials, which is fantastic! Of course, this is a much better alternative to using plastic, but it doesn't necessarily make them as eco-friendly as you might think. Just as you wouldn't recycle a used toilet product due to sanitary concerns you can't recycle used litter products either.  

This is because cats can shed parasites in their stools, such as toxoplasmosis, salmonella, or even worms. The feces and parasites can easily stick to the boxes’ bottom as theyr'e usually made from paper or wood materials. Therefore, the only place for used disposable trays is directly in the trash.

3.They don’t work well with clay litter 

Unscented, clay clumping litter is the preferred litter type for the majority of cats and litter box products. It is the most accessible style you can find in any pet supply chain or supermarket. Unfortunately, clay litter does not seem to work well with disposable litter boxes.   

If your cat tends to urinate in the same spot, clay litter will clump up into a wet dough and stick to the sides. You will then need to scrape it off, creating a mess and leaving most of the residue behind.  

Using clay clumping litter in a disposable tray will likely cause frustration and result in the need to replace the tray more frequently, piling on the costs and the upkeep. Likewise, many users have reported the same problem with crystal litter used in disposable boxes. 

4.They get dirty very quick  

If your cats are anything like mine, they always seem to get their waste in every direction of their litter box! With a traditional plastic box, you can easily wipe off the mess or even opt for a unit made from non-stick materials. 

However, this is not entirely possible with a disposable litter box as they're not designed with the intent of long term durability. Once they're dirty beyond what you can clean with a regular old scooper, they're tossed. 

5.Speaking of durability 

One major downside to a disposable litter box is that they don’t seem to hold up for all too long. Cats love to scratch at and tear up paper and cardboard products, so there is the chance they could destroy their litter box before you’re due to replace it. Even just digging around in the box with untrimmed nails could create tears and ridges where litter or urine can seep through to the floor.

Many disposable litter boxes are not considered "leak-proof". The last thing anyone would want is for their cat's waste to leak right through the tray and pool towards the bottom. Leaving soiled or saturated paper or cardboard products for too long can result in odors and unsanitary conditions for your feline friend.

6.Daily scooping is still required 

Lastly, just because your litter box is disposable doesn't mean you'll be scooping any less. The only way to properly alleviate the need for scooping is to upgrade your unit to an automatic option that can take care of the job for you.

While an automatic litter box is certainly more on upfront investment, the long term benefits and extended durability can reduce your expenditure of wasted litter, disposable products, and most importantly your time!

For further reassurance, we at ChillX provide a 12-month warranty on all our AutoEgg self-cleaning litter boxes should there be any need for a replacement or parts. An automatic litter box can give you the peace of mind of a fresh bed of litter for your cat and reliable clean for years to come.

Check out our homepage for more details on the ChillX AutoEgg here.