Can 2 Cats Share a Litter Box?

Are you the proud owner of several cats? If that’s the case, there are a few things that need to be done in order to make them feel comfortable in your home. One of them is essential for their well being (and yours). You need to provide them with an adequate number of litter boxes. Boxeyou said? Did you think 2 cats could share a litter box? It might not be that simple! Let’s discover together how many litter boxes you need depending on how many cats you have.

In this article:

  • Why several litter boxes
  • The golden number
  • The location

Why you need more than one litter box for several cats

Understand a cat’s true nature

One litter box for two cats? It is possible but does not really suit your feline companion’s true nature. Cats are territorial creatures. You can see it in the way they behave on a daily basis: when they scratch their scratching post (or your couch) for example, they are leaving their mark and showing who’s the king of the palace.

Well it goes the same when they go potty! If you have been living with a cat for a certain time and decide to bring in a new companion, even though they might get along just fine during the day, they might have trouble sharing the litter box. The dominant one could even viciously block any access to the other poor little one, resulting in some not so pleasant presents in inappropriate places in your home.

can 2 cats share a litter box

A question of convenience

The amount of excrement in the litter box increases proportionally to the number of cats. Which means for two cats, you will have twice the amount of pee/poop (etc for 3,4…10!). If you only have one litter box, it might be very difficult to stay on track and keep this one box clean enough for them to use it at their ease. They might go elsewhere and I’m pretty sure you want to avoid that at all cost.

Having several boxes is just super convenient. It gives you some more time to clean the litter boxes before it becomes saturated and creates some traffic (poop) jam in the litter box. With several boxes you can leave your home with a free spirit knowing that your cat will have enough litter space to do their business during the day.

But what if I use a self cleaning litter box?

Ah! You almost got me. Well using a self cleaning litter box does not really solve the problem. A self cleaning litter box does not eliminate 100% of the waste, meaning it will always leave a territorial smell showing that another cat has been using it. And like I said, if one of the cat is very territorial, he might wait and hide in the corner to terrorize the other one approaching the litter box. Do them a favor, put several litter boxes throughout your home.

can two cats share a litter box

The golden number of litter boxes


Number of litter boxes = Number of cat + 1 


It’s a simple rule of thumb that guarantees maximum success. First of all, having one litter box per cat is a good start as it provides a choice for them. It also solves the problem of territoriality. The dominant one will not be able to guard both litter boxes at the same time.

Adding an extra box is a simple precaution that makes it even better for your cats. If it’s more convenient, you have more chances to avoid kitty litter problems, especially if you have a big house, it’s good to have several litter boxes in different rooms. Check the advice of a pro, Dr. Justine Lee says it all in this quick video:

 

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. (I know it might not be that easy if your place is small, just try to do your best).

The overall choice for the right place for a litter box is pretty straight forward. It needs to be:

  • Private (Safe and quiet)
  • Accessible
  • Clean
  • Away from food/water

Respect those 4 rules and you will insure happy cats and a clean house.

Best kitty litter box for multiple cats

Whether you have one or several cats, it’s always hard to find the right product for them. If you have several cats, you could choose any of those simple plastic litter boxes. As long as it is a reasonable size depending on the size of your cat, a plastic litter box should do the trick.

If like us, you cannot stand the view of those poop palaces, you could also choose to adopt a litter box furniture or find other creative ways to camouflage them.

Can 2 cats share a litter box: Last thoughts

Some people might not encounter any problems with their cats sharing a litter box. Just know that every cat is different and circumstances may vary and affect your cat’s behavior. Can 2 cats share a litter box? Our answer/advice is no but there could be cool cats out there who would say the contrary. Two cats adopted together at a young age might have no problem at all sharing the very same litter during their whole life.

black and white cat

We hope you enjoyed this article and we thank you for your trust! You are more and more each month to follow us on Fluffy Kitty and we appreciate your support.

What do you think? Do you have several cats? How many litter boxes do you have?

3 Comments

  1. Bj Miller said:

    I have a older cat and got a kitten, since then my older cat has been using a pee pad. He does notalways hit the pad. He has been doing this for anoit 6 months. Itried 2 boxes but when the younger one used he would not ise again. Any tips on how to get adult cat to use the litter box again? Have tried to keep younger cat out of box but cant watch her all the time. Thanks.

    April 25, 2018
    Reply
    • Hi BJ, thanks for writing to us with your question. We are not experts here, but we do think that there are some territorial/jealousy issues and your older cat might be reluctant to share his purrecious comfort with this new kitten. Practically, you could set up a situation where one litter box is only accessible for either your senior cat OR your kitten. This is going to be tricky and I don’t know your house setup, so it’s gonna require getting a little creative. If you can’t separate the two completely, then try “designating” both cat’s food/Water + litter box + toys in two separate areas..Like kitten’s “territory” with all the amenities in one room, and the older cat’s “territory” in another location. This would be ideal if there was an upstairs/downstairs separation for example, where the cats know which location is “theirs.” We have no idea if this will work, but it’s worth a try. Otherwise, if you have the means, a Litter-Robot cleans itself after each use, which means your senior cat might be more apt to using it since it is clean for each cat to use each time. It’s a big investment, but it could be a solution for the long-term. Otherwise, you could try to get another normal litter box, and have 3 total in the house, which might help the territorial issues disappear. Make sure to reward your senior cat after good behavior -i.e. after use of the litter box (when you’re around). And it is best to wean him/her off the peepad when you can, so s/he feels more obligated to use the litter box when it’s time to go. Hopefully at least one of these tips will help get you started. Best of luck and thanks again for reading FK.

      April 26, 2018
      Reply
    • Hi BJ, thanks for writing to us with your question. We are not experts here, but we do think that there are some territorial/jealousy issues and your older cat might be reluctant to share his purrecious comfort with this new kitten. Practically, you could set up a situation where one litter box is only accessible for either your senior cat OR your kitten. This is going to be tricky and I don’t know your house setup, so it’s gonna require getting a little creative. If you can’t separate the two completely, then try “designating” both cat’s food/Water + litter box + toys in two separate areas. Like kittens territory with all the amenities in one room, and the other in another location. This would be ideal if there was an upstairs/downstairs separating for example, where the cats know which location is “theirs.” We have no idea if this will work, but it’s worth a try. Otherwise, if you have the means, a Litter-Robot cleans itself after each use, which means your senior cat might be more apt to using it, since it is clean for each cat to use, each time. It’s a big investment, but it could be a solution for the long-term. Otherwise, you could try to get another normal litter box, and have 3 total in the house, which might help the territorial issues disappear. Make sure to reward your senior cat after good behavior -i.e. after use of the litter box. And it is best to wean him/her off the pee pad when you can, so s/he feels more obligated to use the litter box when it’s time to go. Hopefully at least one of these tips will help get you started. Best of luck and thanks again for reading FK.

      April 26, 2018
      Reply

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