Can two cats use the same litter box?
Cats are incredible, fun, independent and very clean companion animals. And is that everyone knows that these cats usually relieve themselves in a litter box. In fact, this factor is one of the main reasons why many people choose to adopt a cat, since they do not need to go outside as often as dogs.
Being felines very sociable animals, it is common for some people to prefer to have more than one cat. It is at this time that the question arises as to how many litter boxes we should have. Many only have one litter box at home, used by multiple cats, but is this correct?
How many litter boxes per cat?
As we said, households that include two felines in their family nucleus are very common. For this reason, many of our readers ask us: «I have two cats, how many litter boxes should I include?» Well, according to experts in feline behavior, it is advisable to have the number of litter boxes equal to the number of cats plus one. That is, if we have two cats, the ideal would be to have three litter boxes.
An adequate number of litter boxes is 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 to say that it is a certain science, since many households with several cats use fewer litter boxes and do not present any problems. In these cases, the cleaning of the box is essential and the guardians of the cats should clean them an average of four times a day. Remember that the litter box accumulates a large amount of waste that, if not removed, can lead the animal to stop using it.
If you live with more than one cat and you have observed that one of them urinates or defecates outside the litter box and, in addition, it coincides with the fact that they both share a litter box, you have just found the cause of the problem! Cats are territorial animals and therefore many of them hate sharing the litter box. To avoid problems, the ideal would be that each one had their sandbox, as we say, and an extra one. The extra box, you can place it in those areas where they usually relieve themselves, since they represent their favorite corners.
Even for those families in which both cats share a litter box without problem, it is advisable to offer an extra box for what may happen.
Types of cat litter boxes
The type of litter box is also very important, as it is another reason why a cat may not use it. Thus, if you live with several cats, you should make sure to offer boxes of different types to see which one is the favorite of each of them.
In any case, the box should always be almost twice the size of the cat so that it can move freely and not feel pressured. Likewise, we will choose the most appropriate place to place it and guarantee that the animal feels comfortable using it. Which one? One that is away from noise, that is easily accessible, quiet and, above all, away from their food and water bowls.
Automatic cat litter box
If you don’t know what type of litter box to choose, the automatic litter box is one of the most innovative and excellent options for cat companions who don’t have much time to always keep it clean. Its main advantage is that it allows you to program it to do up to four cleanings per day and even to clean it every time the cat uses it.
In the current market there are different models, all of them with the same concept and objective, to collect the animal’s waste, clean and dry the litter, leaving the box ready for its next use. However, its high cost can be inconvenient for people who live with several cats. For this reason, we recommend using a common box per cat, and using the automatic box as an extra.
- Agustín, A. (2008). Adoption: behavior and well-being. Veterinary dissemination consultation. 16, 153. 31-35.
- Neilson, J. (2004). Thinking outside the box: feline elimination. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgey. 6, 5-11.