Can two Cats Share one Litter Box?

By Mariana Castanheira, Licensed vet. Updated: November 1, 2017
Can two Cats Share one Litter Box?

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Cats are incredible pets. They are funny, independent and very clean. Everyone knows that cats usually do their business inside a litter box. In fact, this factor is one of the main reasons why many people choose to adopt a cat, since they don't need to go out on the street as often as dogs.

Since cats are very sociable animals, it is common for some people to prefer to have more than one cat. Therefore, doubts often arise regarding how many litter boxes we should have. Many only have one litter box at home used by several cats, but, is this correct? AnimalWised will solve this doubt and answer the question: " Can two cats share one litter box? ". Keep reading to find out!

You may also be interested in: How to Change a Cat's Litter Box

How many litter boxes for 1 cat?

As we said, it is very common to find more than one cat in a family home. Therefore, many of our readers ask us: "I have two cats, how many litter boxes should I have?". Well, according to experts in feline behavior, it is advised to have the number of litter boxes equal to the number of cats, plus one [1][2] . That is to say, if we have two cats, the ideal would be to have three litter boxes.

A number of adequate litter boxes are essential to prevent behavioral problems, such as urinating or defecating outside the litter box, and even veterinary problems such as feline idiopathic cystitis, for example. However, this is not science and many homes with several cats use a smaller number of litter boxes and do not encounter any problem. In these cases, the cleaning of the litter box is essential and cat owners should clean them an average of four times a day. Remember that the litter box accumulates a large amount of waste, and if not removed, the animal may stop using it.

If you live with more than one cat and you have noticed that one of them urinates or defecates outside the litter box but they both share it, you have just found the cause of the problem! Cats are territorial animals and therefore many of them hate sharing their litter box. To avoid problems, the ideal would be that each has their own, and one extra. You can place the extra litter box in their favorite corners of your home.

Even for families in which both cats share without any problem, it is advisable to offer an extra box to be on the safe side. You don't want any more messes to clean up!

Can two Cats Share one Litter Box? - How many litter boxes for 1 cat?

Types of litter boxes for cats

The type of litter box is also very important, as it is another reason why a cat may not use it. So, if you live with several cats, you should make sure to offer different types of litter boxes to observe which is their preference.

In any case, the box should always be almost twice the size of the cat so that they can move freely and not feel pressured. Likewise, choose the most appropriate place to put it and ensure that the animal feels comfortable using it. Which place? The one that is away from noise, that is of easy access, calm and, above all, away from their bowls of food and water.

Self cleaning litter box for cats

If you don't know which type of sandbox to choose, the automatic sandbox is one of the most innovative and excellent options for cat companions who don't have much time to keep it clean always. Its main advantage is that it allows you to program it to make up to four cleanings per day and even to be cleaned every time the cat uses it.

On the market there are many different models, all with the same concept and objective: collecting animal waste, cleaning and drying the sand and leaving the box ready for its next use. However, its high cost can be inconvenient for people living with several cats. Therefore, we recommend using a common box per cat, and use the automatic box as an extra.

Can two Cats Share one Litter Box? - Self cleaning litter box for cats

What type of litter is best for cats?

The type of sand is also very important to get the cats to use the litter boxes. You should keep in mind that cats have different preferences, since they are very selective animals. So, the ideal is to try to find out what type of sand that each of your cats prefer and use it in their box. However, we anticipate that most cats prefer sand of a finer grain and without odors.

For more information, do not miss our articles on the different types of cat litter and litter training a cat.

If you want to read similar articles to Can two Cats Share one Litter Box?, we recommend you visit our Basic care category.

  1. Agustín, A. (2008). Adoption: behavior and well-being. Veterinary dissemination consultation. 16, 153. 31-35.
  2. Neilson, J. (2004). Thinking outside the box: feline elimination. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgey . 6, 5-11.

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