How To Prevent Problems: Multi Cat Litter Box Solutions
You might find and know that at first your cats are all quite polite and dont mind sharing. However, there is a chance that someone will kick up a fuss at some point.
If you dont have a spare and think things are going fine, thats a bonus. But there are a few pointers which could indicate that your cat pet is looking to take his business elsewhere
In order to deter other cats from their favorite toilet spot, the greedier of the bunch might start to spray the entry or surrounding location of the litter boxes. This behavior is more applicable to cats with covered litter boxes, but not necessarily constricted to them.
Otherwise, they might begin to leave their droppings uncovered. Some cats dont get into this habit, but for those who do and then stop all of a sudden, they are likely trying to make a point to their housemates to not use their litter box.
The more grievous cats might not deign to fend off their similarly put-out feline brethren, and go straight for dirty protests around your living space. In order to avoid such inconveniences, just get the extra litter box.
Thats Mine: Territory Issues
Trying to only have one litter box for multiple cats can be a recipe for disaster. Because cats are territorial, it makes them less-than-ideal sharers. Theyre also particular about where they use the toilet and tend to have fastidious bathroom habits.
All of these factors can lead to what the experts have coined litter box aggression.
Some signs of litter box aggression are:
- Guarding the litter box.
- One cat attacks the other when they are in the litter box
- One cat is mysteriously peeing around the house, or even on your clothing
If your cats exhibit any of these signs, its best to purchase at least one litter box per cat to avoid future problems. You can even buy a two pack of litter boxes, such as the Favorite 2-Pack, which is a cost effective and convienent way of killing two birds with one stone.
One Litter Box Per Cat Might Keep Illness Away
If one of your cats becomes ill, and the illness is contagious to your other cats, having a separate litter box can keep the illness from other cats. Also, if the litter box is not cleaned out frequently, your cats could get a urinary tract infection from the dirty litter, which could then transfer to each cat in your home.
Cats are messy creatures and will either spray the side of the box or leave their poop uncovered. All of this can leave bacteria that other cats can pick up, which might create an illness of some sort. So it is best to create more facilities where your cats can go and not risk getting each other sick.
You May Like: How Many Calories Does My Cat Need
Cats Need A Clean Spot To Go
One of the most important rules to get your cat to use the litter box is to clean it regularly. Imagine how hard it can be to maintain this rule if all your cats share the same litter box.
Youll have to keep a constant eye on the litter box and clean it every time one of your cats decides to make a deposit. Even if you can find a way to remove waste right away, some cats can still be reluctant about going potty in a used litter box. Being territorial animals, each of your cats will claim a litter box that the other cats will rarely come near.
You can solve this issue by setting up multiple litter boxes. This also prevents cats from overcrowding into a single box.
As a result, cats wont be forced to look for another clean spot to relieve themselves since stepping on other cats waste is no longer a problem.
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!
You May Like: Introducing Dachshund To Cats
Best Litter Boxes For Multiple Cats
Whether your cats choose to share a litter box, despite being offered multiple, or they staunchly prefer separate boxes, there are a couple of factors youll want to keep in mind when purchasing a litter box.
Important factors are the base depth, overall size, and easy exit and entry. Here are a few of our top picks:
This litter box is an Amazon favorite for many pet owners of multiple. The carbon filters help keep pet odors to a minimum. It also has a hood that can be easily removed for cleaning or if you notice your cats prefer to use the bathroom with the hood down. Your cats will each love having personal sanctuaries in different corners of your home.
Cleanliness is critical when it comes to litter boxes, especially when it comes to multiple cats. This litter tray prevents leaks and spills and has a lid that provides quick access for easy cleaning. The top also offers three coverage options to suit each cat’s privacy preference.
Save your cats any unnecessary stress and strained relationships, offer multiple litter boxes and in turn, encourage good behavior. Remember, a good rule of thumb when it comes to litter boxes is the total number of cats you have plus one.
Read more –
12 Best self-cleaning litter boxes
The 10 types of litter boxes every cat owner should know.
Reason : Cats Like A Clean Toilet
Its usually recommended that you scoop the litter box daily, but if you have multiple cats using a single litter box, you may need to scoop more frequently. Most cats will dislike a litter box that smells, but really finicky cats can become stressed out if they cant find a clean place to use the toilet.
A cats reaction could range from staring at the box to let you know theres a problem to simply finding a new place to use the bathroom.
If you have two cats using a single litter box, youll need to clean it more often to keep it up to your cats standards. Thats not always possible, especially if youre out of the house for long periods of time. Two cats who use multiple litter boxes are less likely to be upset by cleanliness issues since there are more bathroom options available and less mess in any one spot.
You might dislike having several litter boxes to clean, but you also might find the consequences of using a single litter box for two cats much more frustrating.
Not only is it more likely that one or both cats will urinate in inappropriate places to avoid messy litter boxes, they both might experience additional anxiety and unhappiness.
Also Check: What Can I Buy To Keep Cats Off My Car
Best Premium: Pretty Litter Ultra
This lightweight, silica crystal cat litter is dust-free and comes in a fine texture that wont irritate even the most sensitive cat paws.
Pretty Litter is available in a convenient monthly subscription with a full bag lasting up to 30 days for a single cat. If you have multiple cats, simply add an extra litter box for each. The unique silica materials absorb odor and eliminate moisture while dehydrating solid waste, making it easy to keep the litter box clean and tidy.
The downside to Pretty Litter is the cost, and you may find the bag doesnt last a full month if your cats share litter boxes. What makes it worth the money, however, is that it changes color at different urine pH levels which can help you catch certain health issues early while theyre still treatable.
Other Behavior Problems To Rule Out
Urine marking is a problem that most pet owners consider a litter box problem since it involves elimination outside the box, but the cause and treatment are entirely different from other litter-box problems and therefore it is considered a rule out. A cat who urine marks will regularly eliminate in her litter box, but will also deposit urine in other locations, usually on vertical surfaces. When marking, shell usually back up to a vertical object like a chair side, wall or speaker, stand with her body erect and her tail extended straight up in the air, and spray urine onto the surface. Often her tail will twitch while shes spraying. The amount of urine a cat sprays when shes urine marking is usually less than the amount she would void during regular elimination in her box. For more information about this problem, please see our article, Urine Marking in Cats.
Read Also: Cat Food Blue Wilderness
Set Up Extra Feeding Stations
As we know cats arent big on sharing. Especially when it comes to the essentials.
So, if your cats are sharing their food bowls this may cause them stress and anxiety. This stress and anxiety may translate later over at the litter box in the form of aggression.
Even if cats are not fighting where they are eating, this could still be the source of their violence. All the sharing can leave a cat feeling possessive of whatever they feel like holding on to. Setting up extra feeding stations will allow cats to pick which one they want to eat at.
Another tip is to set up those stations on opposite sides of a room to try and keep the cats from crossing each other paths!
How Can Cats Share A Litter Box Happily
According to a recent 2017 study from researchers in Missouri, one of those rules is more important than the rest.
They found that the problem most likely to put cats off a litter box, was the physical presence of obstructions.
So, a box with odorless spills and faux-fecal logs was actually less appealing than a box which had been sprayed with the scent of urine and poo, but didnt really contain anything.
This suggests that scooping out your cats litter box regularly is the most important thing you can do to make it acceptable to them.
Also Check: What Does It Mean When Your Cat Hisses At You
How Many Litter Boxes Do You Need
The conventional advice about how many litter boxes you need is about 1.5 boxes per cat. How can you have half of a litter box? Well, you dont need half of a litter box, but when you have two cats, you will need to add an extra litter box in addition to one box per cat, for a total of three litter boxes for two cats. If you have four cats, then you will need five litter boxes.
Why would you need an extra litter box past the number of cats you have? In addition to each litter box for each cat, an extra box ensures that they will have a place to go if one box is near something scary like a dryer or fan. Also, if one box didnt get cleaned out thoroughly, they still have a clean place to go that isnt scary or dirty.
When you find the spaces to place your litter boxes, your cats will be happier and healthier for it, and you might find that they get along better, without the usual territorial disputes.
Why You Might Want Your Cats To Share A Litter Box
One of the more challenging tasks as a cat owner is maintaining a litter box.
While youll learn some tricks along the way to make the task easier it doesnt change the fact that each cat will use the litter box several times a day, so cleaning the box daily and deep cleaning on a regular basis can take up a lot of time.
You might find cleaning a single litter box easier than cleaning two. You might also have very little free space to keep litter boxes, and having only one fits better in your home or apartment.
While a lack of space is a difficult hurdle to overcome when providing your cats with enough litter boxes, using a single litter box when you have two cats isnt ideal and can cause more harm than good.
Heck, its better to just put two different litter boxes next to each other instead of only having one.
Recommended Reading: Cat Clothes Diy
Use Litter Made For Multiple Cats
Many brands offer multi-cat litter, which is recommended for households with multiple cats. Multi-cat litters are usually clumping litters with odor eliminators, which make cleaning easier and prevent undesirable smells from chasing off you, your cats, and any unsuspecting house guests. Clumping litters are usually best for preventing litter from sticking to the side and other mess-making problems.
Using a multi-cat litter should reduce some of the issues that cause cats to avoid the litter box, and hopefully make the experience much more pleasant. Even if you are able to set up multiple litter boxes, you should still consider multi-cat litter in a household with two or more cats.
Keep The Litter Trays Clean
Prevent your cat from developing potty behavioral changes by scooping and changing the litter at least once a day. Prevent scent or odor by rinsing the litter tray with warm water, unscented soap, and baking soda every week to help absorb the smell without off-putting your kitty.
You might want to avoid using scented litter, harsh detergents, or air fresheners, as the odors in these products can be a turnoff for your feline friend.
Also Check: Do Cats Shed Whiskers
How Many Litter Box Are Really Needed For A Multi
To best answer this question, we based this on the recommendation by the US Humane Society above, and it is recommended to provide one litter box for one feline and an extra this is to prevent them from eliminating in other spots in your house if all of the litter boxes are being used by other cats.
You May Like: Get A Tick Off A Cat
Keep Your Litter Box Somewhere Cool
If you have your litter box somewhere warm, like next to a washing machine or by a heater, it may be encouraging mold growth and helping to spread that litter box smell around your house. Move your litter boxes somewhere cool, so it stays clean, contains the odor, and makes your cat feel comfortable using it.
You May Like: Tastefuls Cat Food
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.
Cats Require Personal Space
Cats differ from dogs in more ways than one. One of the main variations between the two species is that cats dont exhibit the behavior of pack animals.
This is true even in the case of direct siblings. As such, cats like to have their own space where they can retreat whenever they feel like it and not get disturbed by other cats.
Consequently, it makes sense that sharing the same litter box can be stressful for many cats, especially since they use it to do a private activity elimination.
This is why experts generally recommend providing as many litter boxes as there are cats. Additionally, there should be one spare box.
Don’t Miss: Is Lavender Candle Safe For Cats
Reason : Sharing A Single Litter Box Can Lead To Health Problems
Stress by itself isnt the only reason two cats shouldnt share a single litter box. While stress may be the first reaction, many cats who are anxious about their litter box situation may avoid going until they cant wait any longer. This might come from the fear of an ambush, but it might also happen if youre not able to clean the litter box as often as you should with two felines.
Cats who wait to pee because they dont want to use the litter box youve set out for them may be more susceptible to bladder problems. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease is a large term for many bladder disorders that can occur in cats. Several of these conditions are thought to be caused by stress and any kind of bladder inflammation in cats can make peeing uncomfortable and difficult, which will continue a cycle of stress and urination problems.
Providing two cats with more than a single litter box should reduce the chance that your cat will hold it for too long and cause a bladder condition. While treatable, preventing health problems related to poor litter box conditions is really the best move in the long run.