The litter box is one of the few sacred spots in a cat’s life. A clean, quiet, private place for kitty to do their business. Some new cat parents don’t pick up on this right away and that’s when problem arise. If your cat has suddenly starting defecating all over the house and avoiding the litter box, a potential solution could be to up the number of litter pans you keep around.

Veterinarian’s will usually recommend you use at least 2 litter boxes for 1 cat. For additional cats, a good rule of thumb is 1.5 litter boxes for every 1 cat. So 2 cats would need 3 litter boxes, 3 cats would need 5, etc.

Related Post: How To Get Kittens To Use The Litter Box

Do You Really Need Two Litter Boxes?

The truth is, some cats get along fine with just one litter box. If you do a good job a keeping it clean and it’s in a nice and quiet location, you may not run into any problems. Not all cats are made the same and some are easier than others.

However, a lot of cats have proven to be very picky creatures. And it does not take much to irk a feline; especially when it comes to their blessed toilet.

A slightly dirty litter pan or not enough or too much litter could be just the excuse your cat needs to take their business elsewhere. And if there is nowhere else to take their business, there’s always the carpet!

Whether you have a brand new kitty or are looking for solutions to litter box problems in a multi-cat household, the amount of litter boxes you should use is relatively simple. So if you are having problems with what you have, adding an additional option for kitty might not be a bad idea.

Having said all that, let’s take a look at some of the basic advantages of having more than one litter box laying around.

  • Having a litter box in multiple locations (especially in a bigger house) prevents any accidents that can happen if your cat is too far away from the box and can’t hold it.
  • Your cat has the option to pee in one and poop in the other.
  • May not have to clean them as often if your kitty uses one more than the other.
  • Can keep one upstairs and one downstairs for easier access.

So really it all depends. If having just one litter box in your apartment is working, then great! If your cats are fine sharing a litter box then why make unnecessary changes? Nevertheless, getting another litter box as a backup won’t hurt.

Related Post: The Best Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes

how many litter boxes for one cat

Can I Put Two Litter Boxes Next To Each Other?

The quantity of litter boxes isn’t the only important thing to consider. The location of each one should be chosen carefully and with the needs of your feline in mind.

Generally, cats prefer a quiet, clean and at least semi-private place to do their business. You also don’t want to keep the litter pan somewhere your kitty can’t easily get to whenever they feel the calling.

While it’s true that some cats prefer peeing in one litter box than pooing in another, having them side by side doesn’t really make sense.

As I said before, accessibility is key. Big houses may require several litter boxes just so your poor cat doesn’t have to trek across 4,000 square feet just to get some relief. You may even need a litter box on each floor for a house this big.

Either way, it’s about convenience; and two litter boxes side by side doesn’t really add any convenience for your feline. This is especially true for older cats that have a bit more difficulty getting around. Keeping one upstairs and one downstairs will reduce the wear-and-tear on elderly muscles and joints.

Also, if your cats won’t share a litter box, giving each of them their own special location is a step in the right direction.

Wrapping It Up

Whether your cats are using each other’s litter boxes or they just won’t share, adding another litter pan into the mix could solve the problem.

If it’s just you and kitty in a smallish apartment then you’re probably just fine with one. But for bigger residences with multiple floors, having an extra litter box or two is definitely recommended.

Another issue that can arise in multi-cat households is one of your cats laying in the litter box. While there can be various explanations for this behavior, one of the most common is territorial concerns.

Felines like their space. So when another feline comes around their home turf trying to relieve themselves, some cats won’t take too kindly to that. They might feel like they have to hold down the fort by laying in their litter box so the other can’t use it.

This is quickly solved by introducing another litter box (or 2) into the home.

how many litter boxes for one cat

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