Why Cats Do Not Like To Use The Same Litter Box
Youre probably thinking about how easy and time-saving it could be to clean the litter box if both cats use the same one.
But unfortunately, many cats require a different litter, and a lot of this behavior stems from their environment during their early days, as well as other behavioral patterns.
Some of these reasons are:
Where To Put A Cats Litter Tray
Placement is really important in making your cat feel safe. Litter trays should be placed in discreet corners or adjacent to walls so that your cat has a full 180° view of approaching danger but is protected from behind.
Litter trays should be away from places where your cat eats and drinks and should not be in busy thoroughfares, like a landing or hallway, where they may be interrupted.
Other areas to avoid include those adjacent to full-length windows looking out over the garden, cat flaps, and external doors where the threat from strange cats outside may be particularly evident for your cat.
When Can Cats Share A Litter Box
There are some circumstances in which cats are more likely to be okay with sharing a litter box. If the cats were raised together and shared a litter box since kittenhood, its more likely they wont have territorial issues when they get older.
Gender also plays a role. Two female cats are less likely to fight over the litter box than two males. Male cats tend to be more territorial and asking two male cats to share is unlikely to yield good results.
Also, neutered cats tend to be slightly less territorial in general than intact cats. While neutering your cat is unlikely to solve all territorial behaviors, it may make litter box sharing a little more palatable.
So, can cats share a litter box?
You wont know if your two cats can share a litter box until you try it.
Cats that are different genders, who were raised together, and neutered are less likely to exhibit the strong territorial behavior that is at the root of litter box conflicts. However, none of these scenarios can guarantee that your cats can pee together in peace.
If your cat begins to show territorial behavior, your best bet is to simply purchase a second box. You can even purchase two litter boxes together right from the start, Favorite 2-Pack, to avoid any potential conflict.
While its no fun to have to clean two boxes and purchase twice the amount of litter, vet bills from a cat fight are even less fun!
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Where Should I Put Each Litter Box
The litter boxes should be set pretty far from one another, it would otherwise make no difference for your cat.
Place one in a room and the other one in another room on the other side of your home.
As for the third one, try to find a place in between. .
The overall choice for the right place for a litter boxis pretty straight forward. It needs to be:
Respect those 4 rules and you will ensure happy cats and a clean house!
How Many Litter Boxes Should You Have For Two Cats
The formula for litter boxes is simple: number of cats in house + 1. So two cats need 3 boxes. 5 cats need 6 boxes. The extra litter box is in case of accidents or one box filling up before cleaning. Think of it as a backup plan. Cats are territorial creatures who often prefer having their own litter box for personal space. Additionally, there may be concerns like surface preference and type of litter to consider. A single litter box for multiple cats will not meet all their preferences.
- Each cat should have their own litter box
- Keep one additional litter box for emergencies
- Having enough litter boxes reduces competition
Having to compete for access to a single litter box may aggravate behavioral issues. Without enough boxes, your cats may wind up competing more to be the alpha cat. In addition, a single litter box becomes dirtier faster and needs deep cleaning far more often. Thus, the golden rule is to keep multiple boxes on hand.
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Benefits Of Cats Using Different Litter Boxes
Many cat owners think that every cat should have at least one litter or more to itself. After experimenting, they have found that changing allowing cats to use different litters has caused a massive reduction in conflicts among the cats.
This behavior leads to better relationships of the cats with their siblings or friends, and you wont have to spend time trying to break up a fight all the time.
Moreover, if a cats litter is being cleaned out or refilled, then it can go to the spare litter and do its business in the meantime, which is convenient.
With the presence of many litters, cats are less likely to excrete elsewhere in the house, which will be difficult for you to clean after, as compared to if you have an extra littler on hand.
Can Two Cats Share The Same Litter Box
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Two or more cats might lounge on the same cat tree and play with the same toys, but when it comes to sharing their bathroom situation, your furry friends will be less than excited. While some multi-cat households may be able to get away with it, its usually a recipe for disaster.
So can two cats share the same litter box? And, more importantly, should they?
Although some households might prefer to maintain only one litter box, its never recommended to force two cats to share the same litter box as it can cause stress, increase aggression, and result in out-of-box urination.
Well cover the main problems that pop up when multiple cats use the same litter box, why they need more than one litter box, and how to make adjustments if something prevents you from keeping multiple litter boxes in your home.
Lets get started!
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Why You Should Trust Us
As Wirecutters pets writer, I know feces happens. Poop, leavings, droppings, its all part of the gig. Over the past three years, Ive tested cat products with the aid of more than 100 different cats, and Ive interviewed dozens of pet experts about what makes cats tick. I can tell you why an automatic litter box is a bad idea, how to pick out the right cat litter mat for your cat, and all about the art of training your cat not to pee on your stuff. And as a lifelong pet owner, I know the value of finding the right accessories to make your pets life happier, and that includes the stinky box most house cats use.
This guide also builds on research by Mark Smirniotis, a cat owner and senior editor at Wirecutter. When he was a staff writer, he consulted Dan DQ Quagliozzi, the award-winning cat behavior consultant behind San Franciscos Go, Cat, Go!, and Tony Wang, of the San Diego Cat Café, on litter box issues. And he tested the litter box finalists with the cafes 12 resident cats.
How Much Litter Should I Put In The Litter Tray
Most vets recommend a depth of 3-4cm of cat litter in a litter tray, but your cat may have a different preference, so its best to keep an eye out to make sure your cat is happy. Some cats prefer the litter to be as deep as possible, although in an uncovered tray this can lead to lots of litter ending up outside the tray due to digging and burying. If you find your cat is going to the toilet more than normal for medical reasons, you will need to adapt the amount of litter you use to accommodate this.
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Our Pick: Natures Miracle High Sided Litter Box
The Natures Miracle High Sided Litter Box is the perfect example of a simple solution thats also the right one. It has all the features that experts recommend to keep your cat happyits large and open and has a low entry pointas well as the ones that keep humans sane. Its high sides prevent litter and urine from getting out of the box, the smooth surfaces are easy to scoop and clean, and its dirt cheap.
Measuring 20 by 18 inches at the top, with a 16-by-11½-inch pan at the base, the Natures Miracle box is one of the largest ones weve found that bigger cats can use comfortably. Many of the boxes we dismissed without testing were much smaller, often less than 16 inches wide on the outside, with even smaller pan sizes. That may be fine for a kitten or small cat, but ideally, medium and large cats will get their length or more in every direction to turn around. One open box we considered was larger in length and width, but the extra space didnt seem necessary for most cats.
Open boxes have a reputation for being stinky, but the best way to avoid that is to scoop more often and keep the box clean.
Finally, this litter box is the cheapest we found, and it performs better than the competition. If youre okay with the idea of an open box, the Natures Miracle High Sided Litter Box is the best choice.
Can Sibling Cats Share A Litter Box
Some sibling cats like to share a litter box, others dont. This all depends on each cats individual personality. Cats dont treat siblings that different than any other cat, so dont expect them to get along just because theyre siblings. By the same token, they also wont automatically have sibling squabbles for you to worry about. The same rules apply to siblings as any other pair of cats: one box for each cat with one additional box for emergencies.
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How Big Should A Litter Tray Be
Most vets recommend that the ideal litter tray size is one and a half times the length of your cat, from their nose to the base of their tail. This gives your cat opportunity to move around, dig and cover without feeling restricted.
The minimum size recommended is approximately 49cm x 38cm, usually described by the tray manufacturer as Jumbo or Extra Large size.
Due to the increased popularity of giant breeds, such as the Maine Coon, some cats may need a plastic storage container or a garden tray to give them the dimensions they need.
If you are providing a kitten with a litter tray, you should start with a much smaller version but increase it regularly as they grow.
Q One Of My Cats Attacks The Other In The Litterbox Now I’m Finding Cat Mess In The Spare Bedroom How Can I Stop This
A. Although many cats will happily share a litterbox, its not at all uncommon for cats who otherwise get along to draw the line at sharing a potty. While the problem doesnt always involve hisses and attacks, it usually does involve the use of alternative bathroom facilities that the cat owners rarely like.
The first rule of solving any behavior problem is to make sure it is not a medical problem. Take your cats in for complete veterinary checkups. If either of your cats is ill, you won’t get very far with retraining efforts. Once you get the all clear, here are your next steps:
Add litterboxes in additional locations. The minimum number of litterboxes recommended by many behaviorists is one per cat, plus one additional box. Since your cats have known territorial issues, Id have at least two boxes per cat, in at least two locations in different parts of the house. Remember, too, that locations have to be safe in the mind of a cat. That means quiet, sheltered and with the ability for a cat to see whats coming at him. No one wants to be ambushed while in such a vulnerable position!
You can try to bring down the stress levels throughout the home with the use of synthetic pheromones from your veterinarian or pet-supply retailer. These substances mimic those produced by a mother cat to soothe her babies, and they really work to calm some cats.
If youre still having problems after separating the cats, ask your veterinarian for a referral to a behaviorist for help.
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Medical Problems That Can Cause Inappropriate Elimination
Urinary Tract Infection
If your cat frequently enters her litter box and seems to produce only small amounts of urine, she may have a urinary tract infection. See a veterinarian to rule out this possible medical problem.
Feline Interstitial Cystitis
Feline interstitial cystitis is a neurological disease that affects a cats bladder . Cats with cystitis will attempt to urinate frequently and may look as if they are straining, but with little success. They may lick themselves where they urinate, and they may have blood in their urine. Feline interstitial cystitis can cause a cat to eliminate outside of her box, but this is only because of the increased urgency to urinate and because there is pain involved in urination. Feline interstitial cystitis is very serious and can be life-threatening to the cat. It must be treated immediately by a veterinarian.
Kidney Stones or Blockage
If your cat has kidney stones or a blockage, she may frequently enter her litter box. She may also experience pain and meow or cry when she tries to eliminate. Her abdomen may be tender to the touch.
You Know Your Cats Best
Another key aspect to this is that everyones cats are different and you are going to know your cats and their lifestyle best. If you know for a fact that at least one of the cats you own frequents the litter box more than the others, then it may mean that that certain cat has a more sensitive bladder than other cats and may not fare well if you left it in a room without access to a litter box, even if it had its own routine schedule set up. Likewise, if you have known that your cat can sleep in the same place for upwards of eight hours while you are sleeping, then you can likely assume that your cat will also be able to make it through other nights without an issue as well, meaning that you can cut off access to a litter box during these times.
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Cats Are Creatures Of Routine
While it may seem as if your cat acts on a whim most of the time, cats actually prefer a life with rigid structure and routine to it. Cats seem to prefer being able to predict when things will happen rather than just going with the flow of life. What this means is that cats have a tendency to thrive off having a regular routine. Cats that have bonded to their people will naturally synchronize their own routines alongside yours. They will learn what times you go to bed and when you get up, when you leave for work and when you typically cook meals. Because of this, over time your cat will adapt to the fact that night is often going to be the time when people sleep, so it will be time for the cat to sleep as well.
Much like people, cats arent going to need to use the litter box when they are sleeping. If your cats have already adapted to your routine and are used to sleeping in your room with you but you are worried about having a litter box always available for them, then you wont have to worry about it nearly as much. A cat will happily sleep in the same room as you and will get up when you do, so it wont even need to think about using the litter box.
Natures Miracle Advanced High Sided Corner Litter Box
Another way to stash cat litter boxes for multiple cats around the house is to try these corner litter boxes*.
These can stand in the little odd-shaped recesses of rooms and next to other furniture without tripping you up whenever you walk past.
Remember to consider the location overall though, and make sure youve found a corner which doesnt feel cornered.
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How Many Litter Boxes Do You Have For Your Cats
And where do you keep them all??
Help us solve this practical problem by using the comments box below!
Affiliate link disclosure: Links in this article marked with an * are affiliate links, and we may receive a small commission if you purchase these products. However, we selected them for inclusion independently, and all of the views expressed in this article are our own.
Can I Place The Litterboxes Next To Each Other
In most cases, there should be no problem with placing two litterboxes next to each other, and you can use this configuration if it makes it easier for you. If your cat prefers a cleaner box or likes to pee in one and poop in the other, it can use its nose to determine which one it wants to use and will not mind if they are next to each other. The only time you are likely to have a problem with them so close together is if you have two male cats with a territorial dispute. When this happens, the dominant cat might claim the room as its territory and fight with other vats that try to enter, but this scenario is not too common and is unlikely to be an issue in your home.
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