The rule of thumb that most professionals suggest is one litter box per cat.
Why is this suggestion made? There are a few reasons this is a good idea, and creates the best litter box condition for your cats. Many cats will not use the same box that another cat has uses. Also, sometimes a dominant cat may block the litterbox from a less dominant cat. Another reason is that one litter box for more than one cat may simply get too dirty too quickly, making that litter box unappealing for use by any cat.
So, if you can provide one box per cat, that is ideal. However, while this makes a lot of sense, we understand that it might not be practical for all cat lovers and all living spaces. You don't have to feel guilty about not following this rule to the "T" if you aren't able to...that is, if you can get away with it;)
We're going to share a secret; we have heard from veterinarian Boxiecat subscribers that they don't exactly follow this rule to "T." If you decide not to follow this rule, we would advise that you don't exceed two cats per litter box.
There is some practical advice we would offer for both you and your cats regarding this topic:
- Observe your cats closely, and if you notice a cat avoiding the box, a cat becoming dominant over the box, or that the box is simply getting soiled faster than you can reasonably clean it, you may need to add more litter boxes.
- Clean a litter box more often if you have more than one cat using it.
- Use high quality clumping litter that keeps the boxes very clean throughout many scoopings - this becomes especially important when two cats are using the same box.
- Use enough litter in each box (maintain 2-3 inches in height). We suggest keeping a bag of litter by each box and adding a bit after each time you scoop the box.
- Don't try to counteract an overused and stinky litter box by using litter with a chemical fragrance, or by using additives. That will only mask the smell for you, and not take care of the situation for your cats. If a litter box is smelling and you are using high quality litter, one of the following things will help instead: Clean the boxes more often, maintain at least 2-3 inches of litter height in the box, or add another litter box to the mix.
If you are reluctant to add another litter box, just remember, adding a litter box isn't necessarily much more work for you. You'll still be scooping the same amount, and each box will be less soiled, making the task that much easier. You'll need more litter at a time, but you'll need it less often...and we heard there is a service that will take care of the chore of getting all that litter, and deliver it right to your doorstep (wink, wink).
As always we look to ways of keeping cats comfortable, happy, and using the litter box. Following these and other basic rules of litter box care can help avoid problems from coming up if your cat uses the box well, and help to alleviate problems if your cat already has litter box issues. Please note that some litter box behaviors and avoidance can be a sign of medical problems - if your cat has litter box issues or you notice changes in litter box behavior, it is important to take your cat to a good veterinarian. Although Boxiecat brand litter is veterinarian recommended, the writers of the article wish to state that we are not qualified to give medical advice.