How many litter boxes should you have for multiple cats?

That’s an excellent question because cats don’t like to share, especially when it comes to their toilet.

Fortunately, I’m here to talk about everything cat owners must know about litter boxes in multi-cat households. 

Just keep reading.

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How Many Cat Litter Boxes Should You Have for Multiple Cats?

Having multiple cats means it’s a joy because you’ve got several felines to cuddle, spoil, and pet. But having several cats can be a challenge when it comes to maintaining a clean house.

And the biggest concern is the litter box, of course. With multiple cats, inappropriate elimination due to a lack of enough toilet boxes can make it impossible to keep the floor and carpet clean.  

Bengal cat using his litter box

So, how many litter boxes should you have for multiple cats? The rule of thumb is one box per cat plus one extra. But other factors, such as how big the house is and the type of toilet box, also matter. 

So, let’s talk in detail about how many toilet boxes you should prepare for multiple cats. 

READ MORE: Can Two Cats Use the Same Litter Box?

How Many Litter Boxes For Six Cats?

The more cats you have, the more toilet boxes you’ll need to encourage proper bathroom habits. And many cats like to use one box for urine and one for feces.

So, how many boxes do you need for six or seven cats? 

As cat experts from PetMD explain, “for seven cats, you need at least eight litter boxes.” (1)So, for six cats, you need at least seven cat litter boxes, nine boxes for eight cats, etc.

Of course, when you live in a small apartment with six or seven cats, it’s not physically possible to place so many toilets. But you should still strive to provide as many as possible.

It’s hard to imagine living with so many toilets around the house, but as you’ll learn in a bit, it will save you from trouble in the long run.  

RECOMMENDED ARTICLE: Little Maid Litter Box

What Type Of Toilet Box Do I Need for Multiple Cats? 

When you have a clowder of cats, chances are they aren’t the same size or age. In this case, picking a standard litter box isn’t a good idea.

As vets explain, “Your cat’s litter box should be approximately 1 1/2 times their length.” (2) Otherwise, the cat won’t have enough space to turn around and do its business. 

pink litter box at the corner of the room

Moreover, both intact and fixed cats spray urine to mark territory. Opting for a toilet box with high sides can contain the urine and the unpleasant smell if you have such cats. 

So, you need to provide boxes of different sizes to ensure your feline friends can use the toilet with no problems.

As for the uncovered vs. covered litter box debate, studies say that cats don’t show a preference for either type as long as you keep the toilet clean. (3)

Are Self-Cleaning Toilet Boxes a Good Idea for Multiple Cats? 

Can you imagine spending an hour or two scooping seven or eight toilet boxes every day? Then you should consider a self-cleaning toilet box.

Automatic cat litter boxes have sensors that turn on the cleaning cycle after the cat exits the box. They remove solid and liquid waste into a built-in compartment to keep the box clean and reduce odors. 

Orange and white cat peeking out from inside a litter robot

Moreover, some of these boxes are designed to work for up to four felines and use less clumping litter than standard ones.

So, you’ll need fewer toilets around the house for multiple cats, and you’ll save some money on cat litter. 

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TRY READING: Best Cat Litter for Multiple Cats

Where Should You Put Litter Boxes For Multiple Cats? 

calico cat getting outside the litter box

Wondering where to put cat litter box? It’s essential to find the right places to put the toilet boxes when you have multiple cats. Otherwise, some of your furry friends can block access to the toilet to bully and intimidate the other cats.

You should spread the litter boxes around your house to ensure equal access. But don’t put them near food and water bowls.  

If you have several floors, each floor should have a couple of toilets because some cats won’t hold them in until they reach the ground floor. 

Finding a discreet area to put your cat’s litter box is challenging, especially if you have limited space and multiple cats. This cat mom has some great tips.

3 Reasons Why Should You Have Multiple Toilet Boxes for Multiple Cats? 

Let’s talk about why it’s so important to have multiple boxes for multiple cats and why cats shouldn’t share a toilet. 

#1 Territorial Issues 

As I already mentioned, cats don’t like to share, be it food bowls or toilets.

So, when you don’t have enough toilets, it’s easy for one cat to establish its dominance by marking the box and preventing the others from using it. 

And that’s bad because as Jackson Galaxy explains in this video, the bullied cat will find another alternative bathroom space. 

#2 Privacy 

Cats are vulnerable while using the litter box, so they become stressed when they have to share a box with other cats.

Moreover, cats are private animals, so they don’t like it when someone watches them using the toilet box. 

#3 Preventing Accidents

Cats aren’t going to wait in line to use the toilet. So, when you don’t have enough toilets, your cats will find alternative spots when the toilet box is occupied. 

Moreover, cats hate the smell of dirty litter boxes and will find another location to use. And since you can’t be around to clean the toilet all day, it’s better to have enough toilets to prevent such accidents.

Why Should You Have Multiple Toilet Boxes

FAQs

Why do you need 3 litter boxes for 2 cats?

You need to provide one extra box for two cats to prevent overcrowding and ensure your cats have clean boxes to do their business. 

How many cats is too many? 

No rule says how many cats you may have.
As long as you can take good care of them, provide high-quality food, and have enough toilet boxes, you can have as many cats as you like. 

Can I put 2 litter boxes next to each other?

Yes, you can put two toilet boxes next to each other. However, your cat may consider the two boxes as a single unit and mark them to prevent other felines from using the toilet. 

Conclusion 

Having multiple cats is a little bit more difficult than raising a single cat. But as long as you provide enough litter boxes per cat, it will be easy to keep the cats happy and the house clean.

Just consider your cat’s age and size when choosing the best litter for multiple cats, and spread the boxes as equally as possible around the house. 

adult cat inside a high side litter box

What do you think about this topic? How many litter boxes should you have for multiple cats? Share your experience in the comment section. 

References

  1. “Litter Box Training: Why Setup and Placement Matters.” Www.petmd.com, www.petmd.com/cat/care/litter-box-training-why-setup-and-placement-matters. Accessed 13 Apr. 2022.
  2. “Litter Training Kittens 101: When to Start and How to Do It.” Www.petmd.com, www.petmd.com/cat/training/evr_ct_how-to-litter-train-a-cat.
  3. Grigg, Emma K, et al. “Litter Box Preference in Domestic Cats: Covered versus Uncovered.” Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, vol. 15, no. 4, 26 Oct. 2012, pp. 280–284, 10.1177/1098612×12465606.
Grigorina S
Grigorina S

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.

Find her on Instagram. Read her latest articles..

Learn more about Grigorina here