Can two cats use the same litter box?
You might be wondering if you’ve adopted a new cat and aren’t sure how many litter boxes you need.
Fortunately, we’re here to give you a detailed answer to this simple question.
Just keep on reading.
Can Two Cats Use the Same Litter Box?
One of the best things about owning a cat is that you don’t have to take them for a walk early in the morning.
The bad thing is you have to deal with scooping poop, unpleasant smells, and litter around the house (get a litter mat!).
If you’ve noticed that your cats do their business in one litter box, you might wonder if you really need a second one.
Wouldn’t be easier around the house with just one litter box?
Let me give you the short answer – cats can use the same litter box, but they shouldn’t have to.
But let’s see in detail why cats should have separate toilets.
Why Do Cats Need Separate Litter Boxes?
When it comes to sharing, cats aren’t big fans of the idea.
Yes, two cats can “love” each other, eat from the same bowl, and sleep in one bed.
However, there’s always the potential for jealousy and bullying when cats share resources.
So, having a single litter box for two cats can lead to many behavior problems and bad bathroom habits. Allow me to walk you through the main reasons why cats shouldn’t share a box.
1. Less Stress
When cats are doing something as private as eliminating, they’re in a vulnerable position.
If another animal were to attack, your cat wouldn’t have much time to react or defend themselves.
That’s why having to share with another cat might lead to stress, especially when your cats don’t get along well.
The result would be doing one’s business outside of the litter box in a place that the cat feels safe.
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Cats value personal space and don’t like it when someone invades it.
Imagine how you’d feel if you catch someone in your private bathroom going through your stuff.
For cats, the litter box isn’t just a toilet. It’s a place where your cat goes to have some me-time and hide when stressed, anxious, or nervous
Related: Cat Anxiety
Related: Cat Anxiety.
It’s supposed to smell familiar, and your cat might be reluctant to do their business inside if it has a foreign scent.
3. Cats Can’t Block the Litter Box
If you pay attention to your cats, you’ll notice that your pets have “divided” your house so that each has a separate territory.
Two cats might enjoy each other’s company, but it doesn’t mean they won’t guard their “area” of the house.
When there’s only one litter box, there’s a possibility that one cat might block the access of the other one.
That’s a common way for dominant cats to harass young, timid ones and establish who the boss in the house is.
If that’s the case, the second cat will find another place to do their business, for example, flower pots, soft carpets, or your bed.
That’s something you don’t want to happen.
Cats might also fight for the right to use the single litter box, which will create tension in the household
Related: Fleas In Litter Box
Related: Fleas In Litter Box.
Not to mention that you might have to break up the fight if it gets out of hand.
4. Two Boxes Promote Good Bathroom Habits
As I already said, the litter box is a sacred place for your cat.
If something isn’t right with it, the cat will start to avoid the litter box and do their business elsewhere.
It might be that you’re not cleaning the box often enough, it smells funny or is occupied when your cat has to go.
The result would be that your cat will have a negative experience with the box.
If that happens, your cat might develop a surface preference and will keep using the carpet, bathroom tiles, or another spot as a bathroom.
Then it will be almost impossible to train the cat to use the litter box.
5. Easy To Maintain
It might seem like a single litter box in the house is less work, but it’s the opposite. Think about it for a moment.
What do cats do when you put fresh litter?
Then go into the box and do their business the moment you’ve cleaned it.
Two cats and one litter box means that it will get dirty quickly, and you’ll have to clean the box twice as often
Related: Two Cats
Related: Two Cats.
When you’re not at home to scoop the box after your cats, it will get smelly and unappealing quickly.
The moment your cat finds the litter box is not up to their standard, they will do their business elsewhere
Related: Cat Litter Box Alternatives
Related: Cat Litter Box Alternatives.
As such, a single litter box might be harder to manage than you expect.
How Many Litter Boxes Do I Need?
If two cats shouldn’t use the same litter box, how many litter boxes do you need?
You might think that two boxes will do the job, but you’ll be surprised what vets have to say on the matter.
Specialists and veterinarians advise that you have one litter box per cat plus an extra one.
That means that you should have two boxes for one cat, three boxes for two cats, and so on.
But why is that?
Cats like to pee/poop in separate boxes when they have that option.
Having one extra will give you time to clean the boxes before your pet decides that the litter is too dirty for their liking.
Frequently Asked Litter Box Questions For Two Cats
You probably have tons of questions about litter boxes for multiple cats, and we’ll do our best to answer them.
Where Should I Put the Litter Boxes?
Placing the litter boxes next to each other is a common mistake that many owners make.
That’s because the cats see the two boxes as one, not separate toilets.
One of the cats might claim both boxes and block the second cat from using them.
You want to place two litter boxes on opposite ends of the house to give your cats privacy.
The third box should be somewhere in the middle so that neither cat can guard it.
What to Do If Cats Are Sharing a Litter Box?
Sometimes, having multiple litter boxes just isn’t feasible. After all, we don’t all live in large houses, right?
If your cats are sharing a litter box, you don’t have to do anything unless you notice that there’s aggression among them.
The important thing is to have enough boxes so that the cats have a clean bathroom for when they need it.
In cases of aggression, you can add more litter boxes around the house and place them in separate locations.
My Second Cat Doesn’t Use The Litter Box. Why?
Your second cat might not be using the litter box because it’s too small or too big for their taste.
Scented litter, closed litter boxes, and the texture of litter you use might also put off your cat from using the litter box.
However, illness is also possible because cats connect the litter box with pain.
Providing enough litter boxes for your cats is essential for preventing accidents around the house and keeping cats happy and stress-free. Your cats might be fine sharing a box as kittens, but they will want their personal space when they mature into adults.
What do you think about the topic? Can two cats use the same litter box? Tell us about your experience in the comment section.
I’ve grown up surrounded by animals – dogs, cats, cows, goats, sheep, and horses and that has shaped me into what I am today – a crazy cat lady who always has a place for one more cat (or a dog). I’ve got two female cats – Kitty and Roni, and two tomcats – Blacky and Shaggy, but I also feed my neighbors’ cats when they come for a visit. I just can’t say no to them.
I discovered that writing is my vocation early in my school years. Since then I’ve taken part in several literature contests – writing horror and fantasy short stories and novellas.
For the past three years, I’ve been an ELS teacher, pouring my heart into showing children and teenagers how important English is for their future and trying to educate them how to treat their pets with care.